Friday, January 04, 2019

The Books of 2018

I must say I had a stellar year for reading. I do believe the best since I started this annual list of all books read in the previous year. I attribute that to less responsibilities and more retirement. Moving to a 1 bedroom apartment has been a boon for this reader, assisted by a fabulous library close by and the ease of on line library book reservations. A tossing of books policy has strengthened due to (a) my advancing years and (b) impatience with poor writing, editing, construction and characterization. This rule is broken for book club selections as I feel honourbound to complete those reads, no matter how agonizing. I do try and file a wee book report on Good Reads where I can be found at: GOODREADS WWW REVIEWS
And my ten years of books read and rated can be found at Ten Years of Books Read and Rated

Here be the list:

(1)The Years Flew By - Sidney Gifford ("John Brennan")
(2)Books Art Life - Kyo MacLear***** review on Goodreads
(3)Suite Francaise - Irine Nemirovsky** {BC}
(4)Miss Emily - Nuala O'Connor***** review on Goodreads
(5)The End of Music - Jamie Fitzpatrick****1/2 review on Goodreads
(6)Mercury - Margot Livesy**** GR
(7)The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware 0 GR
(8)The Unseen World - Liz Moore ***** - best of the year so far. Review on GR
(10)Too Close to the Falls - Catherine Gildiner ****
(11)A Labrador Woman - Elizabeth Goudie ***** {BC}
(12)The Woman Upstairs - Claire Messud*****
(13)The Widow - Fiona Barton****
(14)The Child - Fiona Barton*****
(15)Remarkable Creatures - Tracy Chevalier***** {BC}
(16)The Lying Game - Ruth Ware*
(17)A Splendid Boy - Melanie Martin**
(18)The Ninth Hour - Alice McDermott****
(19)In the Land of Birdfishes - Rebecca Silver Slayer* Tossed
(20)The Burning Girl - Claire Messud*****
(21)Most Anything You Please - Trudy Morgan Cole *****
(22)The Alice Network - Kate Quinn **** (far, far too long)
(23)When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi *****
(24)Priestdaddy - Patricia Lockwood
(25)Bellevue Square - Michael Redhill - *Review on GR Winner of the Giller? Don't understand.
(26)The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah {BC} - savouring every page.***** Mind.Blown. GR
(27)The Ice Princess - Camilla Lackberg 0 worst of the year so far GR
(28)The Emperor's Children - Claire Messud *****
(29) I let you go - Claire Mackintosh **** Oops, read before years ago caught 1/2 way thru :(
(30)Ledger of the Open Hand - Leslie Vryenhoek {BC}** A slog, would have dropped only {BC}
(31)Mind's Eye - Hakan Nesser - 0 dropped at Page 65 when main character brags about slapping his wife around.
(32)The Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado ** Different, pornish, Dropped 1/2 way through when it became a riff on Law and Order.
(33)Little Deaths - Emma Flint ***
(34)The Good House - Ann Leary *****
(35)The Woman in the Window - A.J. Finn 0 truly awful
(36)Felicity - Mary Oliver ***
(37)After Her - Joyce Maynard*****
(38)Sleep No More - P.D. James****
(39)The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Agawa****
(40)Too Unspeakable for Words - Rosalind Gill****
(41)Orphan Train - Christine Baker Kline*****
(42)From a Good House - Trudi Johnson {BC}***
(43)the Life we Bury - Allen Askens*****
(44)Labor Day - Joyce Maynard *****
(45)Under the Influence - Joyce Maynard*****
(46)Baby Love - Joyce Maynard*****
(47)Faithful - Alice Hoffman **
(48)The Great Alone - Kristin Hannah ***
(49)The Glass Character - Margaret Gunning**
(50)The Perfection of the Morning - Sharon Butala****
(51)The Children - Ann Leary***
(52)Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty****
(53)The Museum of Extraordinary Things - Alice Hoffman****
(54)Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate*****
(55)Anger - May Sarton*****
(56)The Education of Harriet Hatfield - May Sarton*****
(57)Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel****
(58)The Chilbury Ladies' Choir - Jennifer Ryan****
(59)The Montreal Massacre - Louise Malette, Marie Chalouh
(60)The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion****
(61)The Wife - Meg Wolitzer***
(62)Christmas in Paris - Hazel Gaymore, Heather Webb*****
(63)The Marrow Thieves - Cherie Dimoline 0 not in mood, dropped.
(64)Encore - May Sarton****
(65)Sing, Unburied Sing - Jesmyn Ward 0 Tired of theme, dropped
(66)Being Mary Roe - Ida Linehan Young, won't rate but finished.
(67)Educated - Tara Westover*****
(68)Women Talking - Miriam Toews***
(69)When the Lights Go Out - Mary Kubica 0
(70)The Home for Unwanted Girls - Joanna Goodman*****
(71)Burning Bright - Tracy Chevalier{BC}*
(72)Wildlife - Richard Ford*****
(73)The Girl from the Savoy - Hazel Gaynor 0
(74)The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simson****
(75)A History of Loneliness - John Boyne*****
(76)Asking for It - Louise O'Neill*****
(77)All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews {BC} a re-read from 2014
(78)Women with Men - Richard Ford****
(79)The Finishing School - Joanna Goodman*
(80)Reading in Bed - Sue Gee****
(81)From a Low and Quiet Sea - Donal Ryan*****
(82)The Perfect Nanny - Leila Slimani****
(83)The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne*****
(84)Shadow of a Man - May Sarton****
(85)The House of All Sorts - Emily Carr****
(86)Days Without End - Sebastian Barry*****

And here be the best of the best. And on the whole it was a very rich reading year.

Books Art Life - Kyo MacLear*****
The Unseen World - Liz Moore *****
Miss Emily - Nuala O'Connor*****
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah***** {BC}
Under the Influence - Joyce Maynard*****
Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate*****
Anger - May Sarton*****
Christmas in Paris - Hazel Gaymore, Heather Webb*****
The Home for Unwanted Girls - Joanna Goodman*****
Wildlife - Richard Ford*****
A History of Loneliness - John Boyne*****
From a Low and Quiet Sea - Donal Ryan*****
Days Without End - Sebastian Barry*****

The absolute very gripping best were The Nightingale, Days without End and The Unseen World.


  1. Hooray for books and writers. A love of reading was the very best gift my parents ever gave me.
    Loving your list - not least because it is packed with authors and books I don't (yet) know. I did read My Puny Sorrows last year. And her puny sorrows put mine into perspective.

    1. I loved Puny Sorrows EC even more on the second read for Book Club. Yes my parents gifted me reading too. My dad got me my 1st library card at age 4.

  2. Great list. My top read of 2018 was A Gentleman in Moscow. Also loved Days without End by Sebastian Barry. Now following you on GR!

    1. I must follow you too Molly. Wasn't Days brilliant?


    2. Molly just ordered Gentleman from the library, thanks for the rec. It sounds captivating :)


  3. Oh my gosh its late and before I could comment I opened my library account and looked for some of the best of the best. Not one was available but we have wait list and lists we can add to as we need. I find that I have to at least add some with the note of who recommended the book. I REALLY must stop, comment and get ready for bed. I have to be fairly strict with myself..I have a sleep disorder so staying up is NEVER a problem keeping to a schedule of sleeping nights and up days is a constant struggle. I love that you post this list, thank you for sharing.

    1. Oh Candace you remind me that a good night's sleep is something not to be taken for granted. My deepest sympathy.

      My family has a book exchange on Xmas Eve so that added to my trove.

      I'll be interested in your comments. And also let me know if you're on Goodreads.


  4. Replies
    1. I do Gigi, not as many as some but it's been a voracious hobby since i was 4.

  5. Wow! What a lot of books and how I do love reading your yearly list. Will definitely check out some of them. Also, such a lovely tribute to the mother of your friend. Beautiful.


  6. My father had a bookshelf in the toilet; he read the cornflakes packet at breakfast; he was addicted to reading and thus so am I. Our house was full of them and I read everything from Gray’s Anatomy to Neville Shute. I once aged ten read an account of the torture methods used in the Algerian War ; I don’t remember being traumatised. The book of this year for me was Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thein; I have asked people to read it but so far nobody has reacted as I have, maybe because I’ve been to China twice. I’d be interested to know if anyone else found it deeply affecting.
    Glad you liked Delta Wedding! X

    1. Oh I read it too. Really enjoyed it.
      Are you on Good reads Anne?


  7. I am although I haven’t reviewed anything, yet!
    I’ve been listening this afternoon to an interview with the author of The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton - which makes me want to read it. A debut novel from a very eloquent lady. X

    1. I must add that to library requests, Anne. I'll try and find you on Good Reads.


  8. Such an amazing world in reading! I just followed that link and sent a request. I do reviews on books about half the time.

    1. I'd love to do a GR catch up on all I've read over the years, 1000s and 1000s but the rest of my life would be used up with no more reading of the new :)



  9. Years ago I would have read that many books in a year, these days I have trouble getting through two or three a month. I used to be able to read while watching TV, now I can't do that anymore, it's one or the other. And the computer takes up far too much time, which is why I cut back on blogging. I'd love to spend days at a time just reading again.

  10. The Unseen World was a wonderful read. Thank you for the recommendation.


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