15 Dec 2018

The best books of 2018

From Saturday Morning, 11:04 am on 15 December 2018

Writer and reviewer Kate De Goldi and literary festival director Laura Kroetsch talk with Kim Hill about their favourite and most memorable reads of the year.

Kate De Goldi's picks

Kate De Goldi

Kate De Goldi Photo: NZ Festival Writers and Readers

Kate De Goldi is a children's author, publisher, and reviewer. Her latest book is From The Cutting Room of Barney Kettle, and she is a regular guest on Saturday Morning to discuss children's literature.


(some chosen after listening to the Backlisted podcast)

  • Ulverton & Pieces of LIght by Adam Thorpe
  •  A long way from Verona by Jane Gardam
  • A year and a day by William Mayne (cf Katherine Rundell's work & The Mapmaker's Race by Eirlys Hunter)
  • Barking Dogs by Rebekah Clarkson (cf Amy & Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout)
  • Draw your weapons & Breaking up with God by Sarah Sentilles
  • Mr Godley's Phantom by Mal Peet
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Reader, come home by Maryanne Wolf
  • The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
  • Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles


  • Tana French's backlist
  • The Dry & The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Currently reading: 

Milkman by Anna Burns

Holiday reading:

  • The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
  • Everything under by Daisy Johnson
  • Rewording the Brain by David Astle
  • Rotoroa by Amy Head

Laura Kroetsch's picks:

Laura Kroetsch

Laura Kroetsch Photo: Supplied

Laura Kroetsch is a former director of Adelaide Writers' Week and now programme director of the Dark and Dangerous Thoughts symposium at Hobart's Dark Mofo festival.


  • Only to Sleep: A Philip Marlowe Novel by Lawrence Osborne
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


  • An American Marriage by Tarayi Jones
  • Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
  • Florida by Lauren Groff
  • The Afterlives:  A Novel by Thomas Pierce  (Hall of Small Mammals is an earlier book of short stories)
  • The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg


  • In Extremis by Lindsay Hilsum
  • Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel


  • Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Painter