Class of 2018 Superlatives

Did you guys know I’m a big deal? You’re reading words written by the winner of her high school class superlative for Most School Spirit.

Before you swap out the image of me holding books to pom poms, know that I won simply because I wore absolutely ridiculous outfits as part of our school’s tradition of teams wearing a themed outfit on the days of their home games. I always figured: if you’re going to do it, DO IT. That meant if it was pirate day I wasn’t just wearing a striped shirt and bandana gosh darn it, I was poking around our closets and attic for full on pirate from garish gold clip-on earring in one ear to whatever boots I scrounged up, meaning I was most likely stomping around the school halls in snow boots.

As is probably expected from the type of person who blogs, I really like year end lists and general retrospective looks (Give me all the lists! All the nostalgia!), so when I was thinking about this year’s new books, I thought it might be fun to relive those glory days (ha) and hand out some class superlatives.  A drumroll for the class of 2018…

(The books that have asterisks next to them were gifted to me from their publishers, but they absolutely make the list based on their own merit.)

Best Looking
Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble 
Can we all agree how cringe-y it is that this is an award in schools? Anyways, there were so many gorgeous cover designs this year and I could probably go down quite the rabbit hole here, but this bold cover immediately popped into my head, as the best looking always should.
Class Clown
* Maeve Higgins’ Maeve in America
Maeve Higgins is a hilarious Irish comedian. She was a guest on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me this year and I was so impressed with how quick she is. This book made me laugh out loud in public repeatedly and also managed to be thought-provoking and challenging. Plus, there’s a very funny chapter on having the name Maeve, so bonus points there.  If you’re looking for laughs (and who isn’t?), add this one to your list. This class clown needs to cause a bit more disruption.
Friendliest
* Anne Bogel’s I’d Rather Be Reading 
I will always remember the experience of reading this book. We had just brought baby Maeve home and it’s the first book I read while holding her in my arms. The book itself is also a delight through and through.  It’s like commiserating and rejoicing with the best bookish friend and, if you love to read, like I’m guessing you do, you really should pick it up. I’ll be rereading this often.
Most Likely To Succeed
Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage 
I still haven’t read this one, but, I mean, it has Oprah’s blessing, so that’s basically like the kid who’s class president and All-American athlete and going to Harvard, right?
Most Artistic 
Sloan Crosley’s Look Alive Out There
This collection of essays really showcases Crosley’s gifts as a writer. Each story is crafted effortlessly with an arc from the hilarious to meaningful and, in my opinion, the best artists bring you into the experience and let you ride your way through.
Loudest 
Fatima Farheen Mirza’s A Place For Us
I’m eager to read this one in the coming year because I’ve heard nothing but high praise for it.  The combination of it being the first book in Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint and its own merit has definitely resulted in this book being one of the ones I’ve heard the most about this year.
Most Athletic
* Kate Atkinson’s Transcription
It feels odd to describe a spy thriller as quiet and its writing as beautiful, but that’s true of this story. It will nonetheless give you quite the workout frantically turning the pages trying to figure out what is happening.
Teacher’s Pet
Tommy Orange’s There There
This is one of those books you feel like you should read, and that I’m hearing about a lot from particularly intellectual seeming bookish folk, but that maybe you’re avoiding because you feel like it’s going to be too in your face?
Best Personality 
* Katy Regan’s Little Big Love 
This is another one that I didn’t hear much about it, even though it deserves big love. It was one of those reading experiences for me where I was liking the story so much that I was nervous while reading in case the author might mess it up as she went along. Do you get that way, too?  The little boy in this book is one of those child characters who is just so captivating and winsome.  Your heart will break and swell for him.  This is one I’ll definitely be rereading and I’m looking forward to experiencing all over again the author’s authentic exploration of so many of life’s deepest emotions.
Please join in on the fun and let me know which books you would have chosen for these superlatives or for some superlatives of your own!

If you would like to do a guest post for a favorite character’s book stack, please go to the submissions page!

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