Well it’s here again, one of my most favourite posts of the year – just a month later than I hoped to post it. It seems to have come around so quickly once again. I’m not going to hang around for long – I know you are here for the book goss. So lets look at the books I loved during 2018.
This post contains some affiliate links #ad – If you decide to buy any of the books mentioned, click on the pictures. You won’t be charged any more but I may be awarded a couple of pence to pay the bills. Thanks x
Firstly the bad news. I aimed to read 55 books during the year but only achieved 45. I’m not too disappointed though as overall it felt like an awesome reading year. Even my usual September book slump didn’t last as long as usual. My total pages were 14,796 which was 1002 more pages than 2017.
My breakdown of star ratings (On Goodreads – add me if you use it) is as follows:
- 5* – 17 books
- 4* – 17 books
- 3* – 8 books
- 2* – 1 book
- 1* – 1 book
So let me introduce my Top 10 books in reverse order from last year:
10. The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story – Christie Watson
This is perfect for fans of This is Going to Hurt (which appears later on in this list). I read this in one sitting in a Waterpark in Cyprus and couldn’t tear myself away. I know, I must be such good company to go away with! Christie Watson also wrote Tiny Sunbirds Far Away (fiction) which is on my list to read in 2019.
In The Language of Kindness, Christie talks about her time as a nurse for 20 years. The chapters on when she worked on Paediatric HDU are incredible and will definitely bring a tear to your eye (remember where I was reading this, I must have looked amazing sat weeping in my swimming cozzie).
9. Marilla of Green Gables – Sarah McCoy
Oh wow, this book was a delight. A prequel to the beloved L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. This book tells the tale of Marilla Cuthbert’s upbringing, who along with her brother Matthew (I’ve never got over him dying!) adopts Anne. At first, I wondered if the writing style was going to be too slow for me but before long I was hooked. Such a delight to read and so very like the Anne series.
8. Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh
Another great domestic thriller from Clare Mackintosh. I enjoyed this slightly more than her second book and I loved that.
On the anniversary of her Mother’s death, receives an anonymous note. She has never been completely satisfied that her mum would ever commit suicide but this leads her to question it even more. Clare Mackintosh is very much the queen of the twist so I will admit I was looking out for it slightly. She’s clever though by adding various threads that come together so well at the end. The last 100 pages or so of this book are to be devoured hungrily, you will be on the edge of your seat!
7. Silent Scream – Angela Marsons
We read this book as part of our WI book group and I’m so glad we did. Here started my love affair with the Kim Stone series. Police procedurals and fast moving – just my bag. Angela Marson’s books are quite gruesome – the first murder definitely set the tone and made me terrified to be in the bathroom when home alone for ages.
6. Close to Home – Cara Hunter
Another author that I discovered for the first time last year and proceeded to devour all of her books. Very similar to Angela Marson’s in style and pace – again police procedural. I described this at the time as a suburban thriller. DI Adam Fawley is a great character who genuinely seemed to care about his victims. I was nervous about reading this – books about the death or abduction of a child scare me rigid but only a couple of pages in, I couldn’t stop.
5. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
Set in Ghana, this starts with following the lives of 2 sisters who end up living completely different lives. The books follows generation after generation of their descendants so cleverly. Its a big book but perfect for getting stuck into. The descriptions of the way of life and the landscapes are magical.
4. This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
This was actually higher up my list at first but after going to watch Adam Kay’s live show at The Lowry in January, I have actually moved him down. Its still a brilliant book talking about his time as a Junior Doctor but I’m not quite as naive about how nice he is as a person now. There’s no doubting his intelligence though. He has a way with words that I can only envy. There are parts of this book that will make you cry and parts that will have tears of laughter falling down your cheeks. As a friend of mine said this week, anyone working in decision making for the NHS in Government should be forced to read this book.
3. Only Child – Rhiannon Navin
Bearing in mind what I just said about finding it difficult to read books about the death of a child, this book should never have been my bag. I didn’t read the blurb at all beforehand though so started it not having a clue that it was about a school shooting. Please read this book – It really does stay with you and is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
2. Educated – Tara Westover
This is another book that I’ve told everyone I meet to read. An autobiography of Tara Westover’s life living in the mountain in Idaho. Tara’s Dad did not believe in doctors, hospitals, immunisations or formal education. She started off being home-schooled but this soon stopped in favour of working on the homestead. During her teens, Tara taught herself to read and studied world history, amazingly ending up at Cambridge. Her story is simply incredible. There were several times during the book that I had to remind myself that I wasn’t reading fiction but actually reading about someone’s childhood.
- The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah’s, The Nightingale featured in my Top Books of 2017 so pleased that another of hers has made it this year. This is set in Alaska where 13 year old Leni and her parents move to. This book started my obsession with all things Alaska. The descriptions of the wilderness and how brutal the winters are were chilling (pun totally intended).