As we say goodbye to 2018, I wanted to share with you my favourite reads of the past year. An honourable mention needs to go first to Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (a wonderful Young Adult novel set in a bookshop, that isn't pictured as I've now lent it to my mum!) The others are in no particular order, but all have stuck with me since picking them up:
Tin Man by Sarah Winman (Tinder Press) - I read this after seeing it on Simon Savidge's Booktube channel. A heart breaking, quiet book about friendship and love. This was shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Novel Awards, and it's clear to see why with Winman's beautiful way with words and characters.
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (Penguin Random House) - This was my third Ruth Ware book, and I've blogged about her books recently so you can find that on here to read more. This is perhaps my favourite so far, a story of friendship, secrets and lies. Brilliantly constructed.
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (Bloomsbury) - This was another I discovered through Booktube (Rose Mannering) and is a delightful memoir about Rakoff's experience as an assistant at a literary agency in 1990's New York. A great book to pick up if you've ever wanted to work in publishing, or if you want some 90's nostalgia.
Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris (Harper Collins) - A compelling, addictive thriller that I finished in one day - I've posted a review of this if you want to know more.
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (Faber & Faber) - This was the first book I read this year, and I've since read another of Swanson's books (whilst hunting for more) If you like your thrillers to be twisted and dark, I recommend giving this a go.
English Animals by Laura Kaye (Abacus) - I found this novel during a delicious bookish trip to Bath. I'd heard of it through various reviewers / booktubers, and was pleased to actually find it in a shop as it didn't appear to be widely known. It's a beautifully strange story about a girl called Mirka who moves from Slovakia to live with a married couple in an English country house.
The Last Beginning by Lauren James (Walker Books) - This is the second book in a Young Adult sci-fi duology that I just adored. I don't read sci-fi normally, but this story and the way it was written (epistolary - using emails and other documents within the text) made it so interesting and engaging.
Eleanor Olyphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Harper Collins) - Since this novel was released and won the Costa Book Award in 2017, it's become very well known. I have to join in with the praise to say that this story was warm, funny and harrowing in parts. It touches on family, loneliness and friendship.
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine (Thomas and Mercer) - The last thriller on the list, this is the first in a series following a woman that discovers her husband is a serial killer (in the blurb) It's dark, creepy and intricate in it's plot … Not one to read when you're home alone. The sequel gets even darker, and I'm eagerly awaiting the third instalment next year.
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell (Two Roads) - I have been a fan of Jen Campbell for a while (her Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series appears in one of my first blogs) and so I was excited by this collection of short stories. To lose yourself in the imagination that has created stories about coffin hotels and mermaids in aquariums is just a delight. My personal favourite was the title story I think, but that may change tomorrow - I read this in the last week of the year, so the fact that it's made it to this list speaks for itself.
So, there you have the best books I read this year. Have you read any of them? What were your favourite books this year?
While I excitedly scan my shelves to put together the first books I'll read in 2019, I'll bid you a bookish farewell, and a Happy New Year.