I've actually got it together to get a post up for the first time in a couple of weeks and I just?? The flu absolutely knocked me for six and I so wanted to attempt at making January productive. But I've got another 16 days to go and life isn't all about putting words out there.
I read a lot more books in 2018 than I have done in recent years. Yes, the pressure of a Goodreads target looming over me helped, and yes I'm excited to read (hopefully) even more this year. I've got a Goodreads roundup post coming your way asap, but for now, here's a quick rundown of my top ten books of the year. After a whole tonne of deliberation, I'm even ranking them in order of preference from number ten all the way up to my number one book of the year.
10.) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I feel a little like this is heresy, placing GOT at the bottom of my top ten, but 2018 had a whole host of good books in. I loved this despite the length: there was fantasy and family warfare and conniving and secrets and you can really see why it works well as a TV show.
9.) Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. An 18th Century satire about a society of women without husbands in made for such a perfect classic. Gaskell is an incredible writer, and if you're not a massive fan of the Mr Darcy-esque writers of the era, then this might be a way into the genre.
8.) A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa. This book tells the story of one man (the author)'s escape from North Korea. It's eye-opening and so so brave. This is something that I hope sold so well to make the author's telling of his story worth the danger.
7.) The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. This book is hailed as the first ever English detective novel. It's a long one, and a bit Dickensian in the way that it introduces myriads of new characters as the book goes on, with lots of little side stories, but definitely one to read if you're a mystery novel fan.
6.) The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. This is based on a true story of a pair of lovers who meet in a concentration camp, and who are faced with monstrous levels of evil. I'm still thinking about this one months after I finished it.
5.) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This just about broke my heart. I was told to wait until adulthood to read it to really appreciate it (plus it's pretty graphic) and I'm so glad I waited. Now all I need to do is read all of Hosseini's other books.
4.) Remember This When You're Sad by Maggy van Eijk. This is the only non-fiction book on the list, and it really earnt its place here. I gave this to a friend as soon as I finished it because it's a book that needs to be shared. It talks through a whole array of mental illness and struggles and is so helpful in thinking about them.
3.) The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. This opened my eyes to so much and I've got a full blog post on ten things I learnt reading it here.
2.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. I re-read all of the Harry Potter novels towards the end of 2017/start of 2018 and oh my god I would recommend. This one made me weep but also made me realise that actually Dumbledore is a bit of a dick.
1.) Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. This stood out so far as the best book of 2018. The cover was beautiful, but more than that even just a couple of pages in you can see why this book has been put up for so many awards. If you read just one book this year, make it this.
What was your favourite book of 2018? I'm looking for some to add to this year's bucket list!