The best of 2018: Books, albums and podcasts

It's been a huge year!

We’ve been deluged with great releases all year — here’s what to spend summer catching up on (or revisiting!) 


Youngblood, 5 Seconds of Summer 

The Australian band broadened their appeal beyond their teen fanbase and earned an ARIA for Best Group.

Love Monster, Amy Shark 

The recipient of the Best Album ARIA Award, Shark’s debut demonstrated her well-honed skills as a storyteller.

Golden Hour, Lacey Musgraves 

The country performer crossed over to a wider audience with her fourth album, up for Album of the Year at the Grammys.


Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes

Still 19 when it was released, the Canadian star’s third album showed a new maturity, both musically and lyrically.

Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe

Another Album of the Year nominee, Monáe’s third effort is her most accessible yet, but none the less potent.


Best new podcasts

The Teacher’s Pet 

It goes without saying that this look at the disappearance of Lynette Dawson was 2018’s most impactful series, leading to the arrest of husband Chris.


The Betoota Advocate

“Australia’s oldest and favourite newspaper” took its brand of satire into new media.


Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard

Mr Kristen Bell is an acquired taste, but there’s no denying the calibre of his guests.



Hosted by New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, this series delivers on its promise of taking listeners inside the workings of ISIS.

Binge List, Who Are You, Real Talk 

Tooting our own horn? Sure, but we’d be remiss not to flag WHO’s TV and celeb podcasts.

Best fiction books

the Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn 

An agoraphobic woman witnesses something shocking in this Hitchcock-esque tale.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

Based on the true story of a man tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

(Credit: Heather Morris)

The Shepherd’s Hut, Tim Winton 

A teenage boy forges an unlikely friendship amid WA’s brutally isolated saltlands.

(Credit: Tim Winton)

The Lost Man, Jane Harper 

When a man is found dead in the far reaches of a cattle station in Queensland, family secrets are unpicked.

Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty 

Ten days in a health resort prompts life-changing moments for an eclectic group.

(Credit: Liane Moriarty)

Best non-fiction books 

Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales

A fascinating look at how normal people cope when the unimaginable happens.

Fear: Trump in the White House, Bob Woodward 

The newsman who helped bring down Nixon accounts for how POTUS 45 triumphed.

This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Philipps

Hollywood actors are rarely as open or funny as Philipps is in this revealing memoir.


Winging it, Emma Isaacs

The Business Chicks founder provides a practical how-to for anyone out to reinvent their career or start a business.

The Arsonist, Chloe Hooper 

True crime isn’t usually as well written as this investigation into the man responsible for a devastating 2009 bush fire.

(Credit: Chloe Hooper)

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