Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier – Kathleen Norris.
We still have half a month left of the year, but in all honesty, I doubt there is much spare time for reading my goal of thirty books. I am reading quite the whopper of Queen of Air and Darkness at the moment which will take me at least a week to complete. Add in all the exciting festivities and there is no chance to attempt to break another book’s spine until the new year. With that being said, I am so proud of what I have achieved in terms of reading this year. For one, I can actually look back at all the titles I’ve read because I actually made a note of them all this year. I have also varied my reading this year, adding a couple of classics that I’ve been meaning to read since I graduated from university four years ago, as well as steering away from YA multiple times if only for a few weeks or so. The majority of the books I have read have been utterly amazing; most I have devoured in a day or so. Some, I think needed more work, or simply were not to my taste. It was so difficult to choose just five favourites, but so that you didn’t get bored by my wittering on about how amazing a dozen different books were, I condensed it to those that I am still thinking about months later, and those that made me feel something whether it was passion, or laughter, or a sense of loss… for the characters and the book itself.
ONCE AND FOR ALL
This was the very first book I read in 2018. I devoured it on New Year’s Day, usually spent hungover and feeling sorry for myself. Not this year! Sarah Dessen’s novel was the perfect way to start the year. It was the best combination of heart-break, new love and finding yourself. There were so many lovely and funny anecdotes throughout the pages, and it was set in my favourite season for books: summer. I had a different kind of hangover that day: a book hangover. Although not as sickening, they can be hard to get over.
STALKING JACK THE RIPPER
If you haven’t read the full review of Kerri Maniscalco’s debut, you won’t know about the small obsession I have with Jack the Ripper. I put off starting this series at the very beginning of the year; perhaps because I was a little worried about what to expect, or perhaps because I knew that if I fell in love with the story, I’d want to spend all my time reading it, doing nothing else. That is exactly what happened. I couldn’t get enough of the thrill and horror that bound the pages like blood, as well as the nature of the leading lady – a feminist when there was no word for it – not to mention the man who drives her insane.
THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS
Another book that sat on my shelf for far longer than it should was Leigh Bardugo’s collection of tales that would have been whispered to the Grisha by candlelight at night. There have been twisted tales written and rewritten, but none as magnificent as The Language of Thorns. Each story had a moral, as most fairy tales do, and a lesson to carry through life. The surprises were unexpected with the good characters devious, and the evil ones nothing but survivors. I would read this all over again in a heartbeat.
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
Sometimes the most spontaneous books take us on the best journeys. I picked Children of Blood and Bone up from Waterstones and didn’t begin reading for a few weeks after. Once I fell in love with Zélie, I was hooked. She is everything that a leading character should be: passionate, headstrong, a little foolish. Everyone has their flaws. I loved the world Tomi Adeyemi created, complete with gods and goddesses and war and politics. It was an eye-opener and words can’t describe the emotion I felt reading every single page.
WHY MUMMY DRINKS
My most recent read, and the most hilarious of the year. I really needed to read this book and just laugh. There is a bit of Ellen in all of us, whether we are middle-aged mothers or not. Gill Sim’s debut was nothing like I had read this year – a contemporary novel about a woman with nothing that exciting happening to her in terms of falling in love for the first time, or saving the world from monsters. It was the day to day things that everybody can relate to and making a joke out of life, even when things seem dire and low.
What books have you read this year? Did you complete your personal goal? What were your favourites?
Love, Faye xo