#proFreads: The Best Books We Read in 2018

Here at proFmagazine, we write a lot, laugh a lot, talk a lot – which means we also read a lot. In the spirit of the New Year, I decided to ask our team what their favorite reads of 2018 were (regardless of when they were published). Our list runs the gamut from self-help to autobiography to fantastical fiction, and it truly shows off the variety of tastes we embody at proF.


Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

“What I loved about the book was how it empowers the reader to lead from a place of vulnerability. Brown teaches us that vulnerable leaders dare to be curious and empathetic, especially when times are uncertain and characterized by fear. Leadership requires courage – and it’s in being vulnerable that we become the daring and courageous leaders we need to be.”


The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

“It’s funny but it’s real. I don’t know that I 100% agree with him, but he gets you thinking: ‘In life, we have a limited amount of f*cks to give. So you must choose your f*cks wisely.’”


Becoming by Michelle Obama

“When I read it, I hear it in her voice and it gives me hope, not just for the future of this country, but for young girls who get to have her as an inspirational role model. I didn’t know much about her before and the book made me love her even more.”


Reunion by Fred Uhlman

“Reunion (published in 1971) is set in Germany in 1932 – during the rise of the Nazi regime – and follows the friendship of two 13-year-old boys, one Jewish and the other a Christian aristocrat. I decided to read it simply because it caught my eye in a bookstore, but I actually found it quite relevant to our times because of its spot-on depiction of the gradual, methodical way cultural change can happen, in this case with devastating consequences. I've never read something about the Nazi regime that captures so well how it must have felt to ordinary people living at the time, who witnessed a subtle change in attitudes and an insidious, growing fear and hostility they couldn't recognize until it was too late. Reading it against the backdrop of Trump's escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric was kind of terrifying in a necessary way.”


You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

“Full of quick-wit that makes it relatable, and great quotes.”


Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx / La juez que crecio en el Bronx by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez

“Most of my reading at the moment is kids’ books (this life phase). I like this book because it’s in English and Spanish, it has beautiful pictures, it presents an inspirational story about grit and persistence that a young girl can understand, and I learned something about someone I admittedly didn’t know much about.”


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

“Sapiens gives you a whole new perspective to understand history through and will change the way you look at the world. Every page introduces concepts and facts that pique your curiosity and leave you hungry to read on. Harari is a masterful storyteller who will challenge what you thought you knew about the human race – reading Sapiens is like seeing history through a kaleidoscope.”


The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

“I technically won’t finish this book in time to complete it during 2018, but it’s such a standout that I’m picking it anyway. I’m a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction, and it’s incredibly refreshing to read a smart, fast-paced, adventurous novel that breaks from overused Western high-fantasy canon. It’s a hefty, delightful read pulls you in from the first chapters.”

Were any of these on your 2018 favorites lists as well? Do you have any can’t-miss selections for 2019? Let us know in the comments – and have a happy New Year!