For the last of my 2018 retrospectives I thought I’d have a little look at what some of the other bookbloggers out there have been saying about their favourite reads of last year. This exercise means that I have now added even more titles to my Reading Wishlist and it may just introduce you to some other bloggers that you might not know about (but don’t stop following me!)
With so many books out there it is perhaps not surprising that I haven’t found any books on my Top 10 that have featured in others listings. Also, we are each using our own criteria for inclusion, some restrict themselves to books published in 2018 others, like myself, believe if they read it this year then it’s up for contention. I did find, over at Random Book Reviews Web , Kamila Shamsie’s “Home Fire” which I had at #6 in my 2017 list at number 7 in Lou’s, who runs this site, 2018 list. She, like me gone for a classic as her top read by choosing Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. I’m also intrigued by a book I have never heard of which she has her number 8, “The Star Machine” by Jeanine Basinger, which is a non-fiction expose of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
One book which does keep cropping up is “The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton. This week it scooped the Costa Prize for Best First Novel. It appears on lists by amongst others The Owl On The Bookshelf and over at Secret Library where Nicki has adopted a self-interview approach to 2018 which enables her to celebrate books in categories and we get mentions of this title for most original book together with the longest book (512 pages) she read and the best book read based solely on others’ recommendation. This has been a real word of mouth hit and I did feature it on my “What I Should Have Read” Post.
There were other titles praised that I had already felt I had missed out and had included in “What I Should Have Read”. Fictionphile has 25 picks of the year and these include one that I had read and enjoyed “The Visitors” by Catherine Burns and two I should have read “Snap” by Belinda Bauer and “The Chalk Man” by C J Tudor (both of these I’m putting right so look out for reviews for these two soon). Inexhaustible Invitations has already read one of the books in my Looking Back, Looking Forward post, “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean and has made it his non-fiction pick of 2018. This is an interesting list which has Capote’s “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” as his classic choice and two titles sharing the fiction pick Edouard Louis’ “History Of Violence” (I read and enjoyed this author’s “The End Of Eddy” this year and another translated from the French title “Disoriental” by Negar Djavadi, which I had never heard of but I think I have been won over by (another one for the wishlist).
Other books which I know I should check out include three of Books On The 7.47’s choices “Normal People” by Sally Rooney (winner of “Waterstones Book Of The Year”, “Tin Man” by Sarah Winman and the biggest book of the year “Eleanor Oliphant Is Competely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. I have read and enjoyed Book On 7.47’s non-fiction choice “This Is Going To Hurt” by Adam Kay. Another that I have been after this year appears on The Owl On The Bookshelf’s list “The Corset” by Laura Purcell, but I have decided I need to read her previous publication first. Cathy at 746books has “The House Of Impossible Beauties” by Joseph Cassara on her list and I have nearly bought that book a number of times over 2018. I know that I am going to love it and because I have to read things in chronological order it is probably going to be some time before I get round to Fiction Fan’s choice, the large tome that is C J Sansom’s “Tombland”, a book which I know a lot of people have enjoyed this year, his 7th in the Matthew Shardlake series.
Although I’m not sure how I will get on with Aperture Reads #1 pick “The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers I am prepared to give it a go but Liam who runs this site does have a title in his Top 5 which I am aware of and which has also interested me this year, although I have not read it and that is “The Bedlam Stacks” by Natasha Pulley.
That leaves me with one title which I saw on a couple of lists (including The Owl On The Bookshelf ) which I had not even heard of but which sounds a very good match for me. It was Bookish Beck who won me over with her description of the book she had at number 3 on her list “Little” by Edward Carey which she describes as a “macabre Dickensian novel about Madame Tussaud”, I’m not sure how that passed me by in 2018 but I am adding it to my Wishlist.
So that’s just a taster of what delighted some of us bookbloggers last year. Now, let’s get on with 2019!!