I did it!
I reached my Goodreads reading goal (and then some) reading 26 books in one year – one book more than my target.
I was telling a friend about my Goodreads goals and they were a little critical about the insistence of seemingly tracking everything in life, and I totally understand. However, I am so grateful for my Goodreads challenge!
I have never fallen out of love with reading; in fact, our relationship is the strongest I’ve ever had. However, keeping tabs on what I’m reading, and how quickly, has encouraged me to re-prioritise books. I still scroll through my phone far too much in bed instead of getting through a few pages, but less so than I did in 2017. Here’s to even more time in bed with books and less with apps in 2019.
Anyway, I read some wonderful books last year and thought I would share my favourite reads of 2018.
It’s been extremely tough to choose, as I found that I loved most of the books I got through in 2018, but I hope this might inspire you if you’re looking for something new to read this year.
And if you want to see everything I’ve been reading, visit my Goodreads profile.
My favourite books of 2018
Moving/Life, Death and Vanilla Slices by Jenny Eclair
Ok, I’m cheating a bit with my first one, but both of Jenny’s books deserve to be on this list and they are equally as wonderful. Vanilla Slices was my final book of 2018 and it ended the year spectacularly.
Jenny has a wonderful way with words and her novels creep up on you until you find yourself suddenly ravenously devouring pages for the fourth consecutive hour.
These books shouldn’t be underestimated, much like their protagonists; they tell the tales of some seemingly innocuous people who, as it turns out, have more to them than meets the eye, and I was left thinking about them for weeks as if they were real. They start slowly, but draw you in gradually; I finished Vanilla Slices fighting back a few tears.
I can’t wait to read more of Jenny’s books this year and highly recommend you pick one up.
Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh
My love of food is no secret, and when I read Ruby’s wonderful book, it spoke my language fluently. So many of my memories and life experiences are connected intrinsically to taste; my mum’s comforting lentil soup, those rosemary potatoes I ate in Italy aged 11…
Ruby’s book connects life to the joy of food, discusses our troubled relationship with appetite and weight, and explores how identity can be played with and reaffirmed with a dish or two.
I actually got round to reviewing this book, so you can read all of my thoughts on Eat Up here.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This was one of the first books I read last year, and I remember sitting for a while after finishing it in reverence; sort of meditating on what I had just taken in. It has stayed with me for a full twelve months, which really means it has earned its place on this list.
Homegoing is a beautiful story following two sides of a family tree split down the middle; one half staying in Africa, the other making its way to America. I won’t say more, for fear of spoilers, but it truly is stunning and is always at the top of any list of recommendations I give friends.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Dolly’s memoir and book debut is completely relatable and honest; Dolly tells of all the relationships in her life; the lost loves, the early romances, the girlfriends and could-haves (and should-have-nots).
It offers tongue-in-cheek anecdotes about what it means to be a twenty-something woman in the twenty-first century and leaves you realising that, even with some wonderful people around you, loving yourself is the relationship you really must invest in.
I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend while reading this book, which is sometimes exactly what you need.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Another of my early reads last year, and another one that has stuck with me. Colson’s tale of slavery in America was powerful, sometimes shocking, heartbreaking and thought-provoking (as you’d expect), as well as beautifully written. I cannot recommend this book enough.
How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran
If you read my blog posts regularly or follow me on social media, you will be familiar with my love of Caitlin’s writing; her witty columns, pithy observations, and bright and bawdy characters.
I awaited her latest book, How to be Famous, eagerly, and was so excited to get my hands on it. It did not disappoint. Despite noticing a few too many spelling errors – come on, Penguin! – it made me laugh and long for longing, and was crudely entertaining.
What’s your favourite book of 2018?