This is a reprint of the featured essay from Issue #11 of Exploits, our collaborative cultural diary in magazine form. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for $2 or subscribe to never miss an issue (note: Exploits is free for subscribers of Unwinnable Monthly).
As per every year, at the end of 2018 Unwinnable reached out to its writers to compile a series of lists of the best media released in the past year. This year, however, for the first time (at least in this writer’s memory) that set of lists was intended to include one devoted to books. As you can tell, it didn’t quite work out that way.
When Unwinnable writers were polled on their favorite books released in 2018, there was not a single book that appeared on multiple ballots. Not one.
In terms of a compiled list, this was a disaster. In terms of a response to a vibrant and almost impossibly varied medium, it was a little inspiring. There are, you see, too many books, and even too many good books, not to mention too many genres and individual predilections for one small, underfunded publication to compile any sort of representative “best-of” list for books.
It’s just too much. So we expanded a bit, and given that books are things that hang around took a little bit of extra time, and now here we are, with an entire issue of Exploits devoted to our contingent, individual choices for our favorite books of 2018. (And our awareness that our favorite books read in 2018 were frequently books not published in 2018, but that’s another topic for another time.)
We’ll return to our regular Exploits format and schedule in March, but until then, we hope you enjoy our little bit of excess, and that your year in reading ahead is as much an embarrassment of riches as ours has been.