This is a post I have been waiting to write for months! Here is my top ten books of 2018…
2018 has been a bit of a weird year in most parts. A lot of sadness, a lot of good memories, and of course, a huge amount of books. Over recent years, I have read one or two books a year and didn’t really enjoy it. It’s stupid seeing as I’ve studied English most of my education but I just didn’t read, well, not for leisure anyway. But this year, has been crazy, and I have read 70 books! And, of course, I started this blog back in April, too. It’s gone so quick and I can’t believe how quick it’s all gone. I love doing this blog, talking about what I’m reading and creating conversations with fellow bookworms. Through the blog, I’ve read some wonderful books and have been introduced to a large number of authors – from established to debut authors. I’ve been part of wonderful blog tours, read some brilliant proofs and now, I want to take things a bit further in 2019.
I don’t know for definite at the moment but I want to create more posts on here instead of just book reviews. It’s something that I’m trying to come up with at the moment. One of the things is a newsletter. I did plan to start this in November/early December but I got ill for a while and it just wasn’t working out. But I hope to get it out as soon as possible to kick-start off 2019 in style. I feel that I’ve found my footing with my blog and want to push myself more and experiment with my creative side. But, of course, this blog will always be about books.
And this is a post I’ve been going back and forth for over three months – my top ten books of the year. It was a challenge to whittle them all down but I think these top ten have been the stand-outs of my reading year. They are books that make me go: ‘Oh! I love this one!’ at the top of my voice. There is nothing better than that sort of book, is there? So, here are my top ten reads of 2018…
- Sally Rooney – Normal People: 2018 has been the year of Sally Rooney. For many people but for me, I have found a new favourite author of mine. It wasn’t until I finished Conversations With Friends that I realised how bloody brilliant she is at writing. But Normal People changed everything. This book is not just my favourite of 2018 but, ever. I just love the way she writes her characters. They are real, flawed individuals and I don’t think I have had the same connection with any other characters than Connell and Marianne. I know that Sally Rooney is an author that I just can’t wait to read what she does next. This is my fiction book of the year. You can read my review here.
- Dolly Alderton – Everything I Know About Love: Words can’t describe the love I have for this book. I’ve been a big fan of Dolly and her writing and was so excited when I saw she was bringing out a book and I pre-ordered it straight away. This is a book that made me laugh and cry the next. It’s truth is the most important thing about this book. It’s real, honest, raw and that is why it has touched so many people. Dolly Alderton is one of our greatest writers at the moment. This is my non-fiction book of the year. You can read my review here.
- Michelle Obama – Becoming: I read this quite recently and I just fell in love with this book. Michelle Obama is a wonderful writer. The way she writes about her life story almost reads like fiction. I loved reading about her childhood and her family, and how she met Barrack is like something out of a rom-com. This is a book that is still with me after reading it and I think it always will be. You can read my review here.
- Graham Norton – A Keeper: Graham Norton is becoming one of my favourite writers. I loved his first novel Holding, but it’s this one that has made me a massive fan of his novels. A Keeper is brilliantly crafted and I didn’t see the twists coming at all. His writing is gothic yet light yet brutally honest. It’s like a comfort blanket, knowing you are in safe hands. I can’t wait to see what he writes next… You can read my review here.
- Kate Atkinson – Transcription: Before doing this blog, I wasn’t familiar with Kate Atkinson’s books. But since doing this blog, I’ve been introduced to a wide range of authors from debut authors to established household names, like Kate Atkinson. I was so intrigued by her new book, Transcription, coming out as I love spies, the war and thought I’ll give it a go. Especially after seeing so many people love it. And I loved every second of it! The way she establishes her characters (especially Juliet) and the world that they inhabit is brilliant. Her writing is dark, witty, hilarious and gripping from page after page. You can read my review here.
- John Boyne – A Ladder To The Sky: Like Kate Atkinson, I haven’t read any of John Boyne’s books… until now. I was so intrigued by the cover of this book (I think it’s one of the best covers I’ve ever seen) and I was also interested in the story. It took me a few chapters to get into but once I did, I loved it. This book is genius. It’s incredibly dark and full of richness and colour but for me, Maurice is the stand-out. I have never loved/hated a character as much as Maurice. He was just so captivating to read and I couldn’t stop turning the page. I’m going to go and re-read the rest of John’s books as I loved this one so, so, SO much. A true genius. You can read my review here.
- Helen Cullen – The Lost Letters of William Wolff: This is a book that I just adored. I loved the premise of this book – William sorting through the lost post and he finds a letter that takes him on a journey. But, also, it’s an exploration of a marriage in a vulnerable position. This book makes you turn the page and hold your breath and I just adored this ending. You can read my review here.
- Markus Zusak – Bridge of Clay: I finished this not that long ago and I’m still trying to process it, I think. This is a book that pulls on every emotion. It’s heartbreaking but not without hope. If you loved The Book Thief and haven’t read this yet, you must. It’s just beautiful. You can read my review here.
- Chloe Benjamin – The Immortalists: It took me a long time to get into this book but on the way back from London, I was immersed in the story and the characters. This is an epic story of a family of siblings who have been told the date they will die. I loved reading Simon’s story – it was so poignant and it’s still with me, even now. It’s emotional, funny, heartfelt and all about the universal theme of love. A must-read. You can read my review here.
- Ruth Jones – Never Greener: This book is a special one for me. This was the first book that I reviewed on this blog! I loved this book, especially as I’ve been a massive fan of Ruth for as long as I can remember. She is a big inspiration for me when it comes to writing so I was over the moon when I saw that she was writing a book! Never Greener is a fabulous book full of wonderful characters, witty dialogue and a lot of heart. Would you expect anything less from Ruth? I loved this book and I can’t wait to read her next one. You can read my review here.
And that’s it! Those are my top ten books of 2018. They are in no order but Normal People by Sally Rooney is my fiction book of the year and Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love is my non-fiction book of the year. 2018 has been a hard year in a lot of ways but reading these has helped in a big way, more than I can say. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings in terms of books… can you?
Any books you are looking forward to? What are your favourite books of 2018? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you and Happy New Year!