My Year in Books and my Top 10 of 2018

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Wow!  What a year 2018 had been for books and reading.  My New Years Resolution last year was to start writing a blog and one year later I’m still here and enjoying the challenge of reviewing books in a way that makes people want to read my reviews!  I have published 97 posts which include all the books I’ve read and some of the bookish events I’ve attended.

My first bookish event this year was The Little Mermaid book launch at the fantastic Mina Lima store in London.  I’ve also been to two Folio launches, a book launch for The Familiars by Stacey Halls and the HQ and Transworld Crime evenings.  I’ve learnt that canapes are not enough to constitute a meal, especially with the copious amounts of wine that are usually served at these occasions.  I’ve learnt that I find these events a lot easier if I take a friend and not to sell myself short and to be proud of what I do.

I also discovered blog tours and have been lucky enough to take part in lots this year.  In 2019 I need to find a balance as my own TBR stack is backing up considerably but I’ll get there.

I’ve also been to YALC for the first time, the Guildford Book Festival and lots of wonderful Lush Book club events!  I’ve listened to and met some fantastic authors.  I’ve made some great new friends (in real life and virtually).  It’s been a great year!

Anyway, everyone has already done this but I still want to share my top 10 books of 2018 but first some stats (because I’m a nerd)

  • I’ve read 91 books.  My original target was 65 so I’m pretty pleased with this.  I’d love to make 100 next year but I don’t want reading to become stressful so I’m going to set a target of 80 and see what happens.
  • That’s 30481 pages!
  • I gave 5 stars to 21 books
  • I did not finish one book (The Leopard)
  • I’m going into 2019 with 129 books on my shelves that I haven’t read
  • The shortest book I read was 129 pages; the longest 661 pages
  • If you want to be friends on Goodreads, you can find me here

Top Ten Books of 2018 (in no particular order)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Rock the Boat)

This one had been on my radar for ages but every time I picked it up I just didn’t think I would get on with it as the layout is quite unusual.  But I was persuaded to pick it up by a couple of fans and I loved it!  The format really suits the book and it was a great YA read. 

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The Circle by Dave Eggers (Penguin)

This one made for very uncomfortable reading but I thought it was really clever.  We also saw the film version this year but I didn’t feel it captured the sinister nature of the book.

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet)

This was a buddy read with Ilovedreadingthis and was a moving book highlighting the brutality of slavery with the inventiveness of a real underground railway that enabled slaves to escape.  

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How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (Canongate Books)

Telling the story of 41 year old Tom Hazard, an ordinary looking history teacher who has been alive for centuries, this was a book club read that divided opinion but I really enjoyed this.  I liked the historic element of the narrative and thought it was touching.

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Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (Penguin, Fig Tree)

I haven’t seen this one around much but this was a charming tale of life on a remote fishing island off Newfoundland, Canada. It just ticked all the boxes for me and gave me all the feels!

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Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller (Penguin, Fig Tree)

I’ve loved all of Claire Fuller’s books so was thrilled to get a proof copy of Bitter Orange, a dark and twisty atmospheric story.  

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Good Samaritans by Will Carver (Orenda Books)

This one just blew me away.  My first blog tour for Orenda Books and I think everyone who read it agreed it was just amazing!  I spent most of my reading time with my mouth open in shock!

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The Thing About Clare by Imogen Clark (Lake Union Publishing)

Another blog tour, this time for Lake Union Publishing via edpr, this one was nostalgic and just a perfectly pitched story of family and the relationship between siblings.

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I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press)

I have not stopped going on about this book since I read it.  A memoir dealing with O’Farrell’s 17 brushes with death it is emotional and moving and I just thought it was perfect (I think this is my favourite read of 2018).

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Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton (Quercus)

A late entry (I only finished it a few days ago and my blog post isn’t due until mid January).  A rich historical account of the silk weavers of Spitalfields in 1768, this is due out on 10th January and is one to watch.

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Thank you for reading.  Happy New Year to you and here’s to lots more bookish fun in 2019!

You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter

 

11 comments

    • I just found it hard going. Everytime i sat down to try and read it my kind would keep wondering and I couldn’t concentrate. It was a book club read and members of the group loved it so maybe it was just me. I sometimes think I’m not clever enough for some books!

      Liked by 1 person

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