Last year was definitely the year of reading for me. While I didn’t quite make it to my goal of reading one book a week (so close!), I did manage to read about 49 books last year which is something to be proud of for sure. I also broadened my bookish world quite a bit and read everything from fluffy romances to political memoirs, poetry and thrillers. Some were hits, some were misses and some were full-on standouts.
So before moving on to what I have on my reading list for this year, I thought I’d chat you through some of my favourite reads from 2018.
MY FAVOURITE READS IN 2018
THE SUN DOES SHINE BY ANTHONY RAY HINTON
I technically didn’t quite finish this in 2018 (I finished January 1st to be exact), but I’m still calling it one of my favourite books from last year. And I basically haven’t been able to shut up about it ever since I started reading it. The Sun Does Shine is the memoir of Anthony Ray Hinton, a man who spent nearly thirty years in a death row cell convicted of a crime he did not commit. Not only is this book beautifully written, but Hinton’s ability to find hope and humanity in the darkest of places is simply amazing. I know this book will stay with me for a long time.
BEARTOWN BY FREDRIK BACKMAN
It’s not often that I read a book that I’m simply compelled to recommend to everyone, but Beartown is definitely one of those. (I’ve literally recommended it to all of my friends). It’s a story of a small hockey town that finds itself divided after a tragedy. It gave me shivers, made me cry and broke my heart more than once. Also, I never in a million years thought a book could make hockey sound interesting, but this really does. The characters are so brilliantly complex that you feel for everyone; the good, the bad and the ugly. There are no simple answers in Beartown.
This for me was one of those books that is so amazing, that you simultaneously want to read it all in one go, while also savouring it for as long as possible so that it never has to end. (I’ve also read the sequel Us Against You and it was just as good!).
WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT BY SARAH WINMAN
Last year I read both Sarah Winman’s Tin Man and When God Was a Rabbit, and since I loved both books equally it was nearly impossible to pick a favourite. But this one wins, just by a hair. When God Was a Rabbit is the story of a brother and sister, Elly and Joe, spread out over four decades. Starting from the sweet days of childhood and going through the struggles of growing up, all the way to feeling aimless as an adult. There’s something really lovely and almost poetic about Winman’s writing and the book is full of lovable, quirky characters that feel like family.
YOU BY CAROLINE KEPNES
I read quite a few thrillers last year, but without a doubt You was my favourite of the bunch. I became completely obsessed with this book and pretty much read it in one go. The book’s protagonist is Joe, a bookstore clerk and a lovable villain, who falls madly (the key word here being madly) in love with an aspiring writer called Guinevere Beck. Yes Joe is a slightly psychotic killer, but he’s also charming, funny, intelligent and, shall I say it, a hopeless romantic. The book is romantic, sexy and suspenseful with a brilliant buildup, witty writing and a bookish New York setting that’s hard to resist. (However, definitely skip the sequel since it’s no good!).
What’s the best book you read in 2018?