You know that I love to read, it’s my favourite pastime. If I have a spare hour, chances are that I’ll want to fill it by reading. If I have a trip out to the shops, chances are that I’ll pop into a bookshop. I am a bookworm, there can be no doubt! Hence today I am talking books. I am reflecting back on my reads of last year and sharing with you those books that stood out to me. These are the ones that jump out in my mind when I think about my favourites, these are the ones that I didn’t need to comb through my book journal to remember. So let me share with you my 5 favourite reads of 2018, in no particular order….
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
An astonishing story that powerfully depicts the loneliness of life, and the simple power of a little kindness
On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond
It’s a beautiful day in Manchester and four friends are meeting for a birthday lunch. But then they witness a shocking accident just metres away which acts as a catalyst for each of them.
For Laura, it’s a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock. Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship. Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless and out of control. And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface.
This is a novel about the startling and unexpected turns life can take. It’s about luck – good and bad – and about finding bravery and resilience when your world is in turmoil. Above all, it’s about friendship, togetherness and hope.
Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean
When Wicked Comes Calling . . .
When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a husband, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees to his suspicious terms–on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.
The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . .
Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.
For the Promise of Passion . . .
But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted . . . and the only thing he’s ever desired.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
To give them hope she must tell their story
It’s 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer’s block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book – she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Through their letters, the society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books – and the long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever.
Morrigans Cross trilogy by Nora Roberts
Modern-day New York Glenna Ward is a strong, independent woman. She is also a witch, and knows that one day her powers will be put to the test. When the mysterious Hoyt Mac Cionaoith enters her life in the strangest of circumstances, Glenna finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But even she is unprepared for the reason he has sought her out and the danger that lies ahead of them.
Twelfth-century Ireland Hoyt Mac Cionaoith is visited by the goddess Morrigan and charged with the ultimate task: to save his and all future worlds. Hoyt’s enemy is Lilith, the beautiful but deadly vampire queen who recruited Hoyt’s own twin brother, Cian. Five others must join Hoyt in his battle to defeat Lilith: ‘the witch, the warrior, the scholar, the one of many forms, and the one you’ve lost’. Now he must find them, before it’s too late.And Glenna is the first on his list…
I chose these books as they were the ones that I didn’t want to put down. These were the ones that made me laugh and cry, with stories and characters that grabbed me. I read a lot of thrillers, chick lit, historical romance and horror, I’d say that they are probably the genres that I gravitate to first. There are some of those represented here, and I also made an effort last year to read books that I wouldn’t necessarily normally choose, and it was good to do that. Around a dozen books spring to mind that fall into this category and I am happy to have read them all.
Overall, I’d say that in 2018 I read a lot of books that I enjoyed. As I look back over them there are only one or two where I thought ‘meh’ when I had read them. On the other hand, there weren’t that many that really stood out and that I would rave about. It was a comfortable, enjoyable reading year. I lost around two months of reading on just one trilogy (it was the All Souls trilogy, and I found that I only really loved the first book) and I finished my degree which also wiped out another couple of months worth of reading whilst I got my final assignments written up. All in all, I read 49 new books last year (along with several re-reads of old favourites), which isn’t a lot for me, but I do think that graduating was the priority!
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you have a stand out favourite of 2018?
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