I read 70 books in 2018, not all of them were complete hits, but some I’ll keep with me for a long time to come. Here’s five books that made my 2018.
Eleanor Oliphant (2017) by Gail Honeyman
This book I read in the summer of 2018 is the story of Eleanor. Eleanor – with all her weird quirks, her undiscovered past, her misunderstanding of the world – who crawled into my heart within the first 30 pages and never left. This book isn’t perfect, but I applaud any author who can write a debut like this. It’s a book about kindness, friendship and love. It’s a heartbreaker, but also one that heals you in the process.
“Your voice changes when you’re smiling, it alters the sound somehow.”
Nevermoor (2017) by Jessica Townsend
This little Middle-Grade came as a complete surprise to me. A book that had me completely smitten and I almost finished within a day.
A story about Morrigan, a cursed 11-year-old who finds friendship in unlikely places, with giant cats, ginger men in green suits and the most stunning places in the world of Nevermoor. I will not throw in the Harry Potter comparisons because those have been named enough. What I will say is how this book, and series, gives me all the fuzzy and warm feelings, and that’s all I can long for in a book.
“Thanks, Fen,” Morrigan said quietly. She heard Fenestra padding softly to the door. “Fen?” “Mmm?” “Your saliva smells like sardines.” “Yeah, well. I’m a cat.” “Now my face smells like sardines.” “I don’t care. I’m a cat.” “Night, Fen.”
The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan (2018)
The Gloaming was one of my most anticipated books of this year. Kirsty Logan is one of my favourite authors and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this beauty of a book.
This book once more displays exactly what Kirsty Logan does best; beautiful writing, fairytale/mystical references, a story of a family and LGBT+ representation written to perfection. The Gloaming is a story about a family on an island, a family who experiences hope, grief and love. A family with stories to be told. And it was magical. A stunner from the cover to the last sentence.
“The world was so full of magic then that Mara didn’t always know when she was awake and when she was dreaming.”
The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein (2017)
The Trauma Cleaner is the story of Sandra Pankhurst. You might think you’ll only get to know the story of a trauma cleaner but Sandra Pankhurst’s life contains more than most lives do.
We get to know Sandra from the most she’s born, as a boy called Peter who’s adopted by people who don’t know how to love him right. We then go on to explore the rest of her life; as a husband, father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, wife and business owner. it.
This memoir is written in the most loving way; Sarah Krasnostein develops a beautiful friendship with Sandra and does her story proud. I, as a reader, was in awe the whole way.
‘I must say that I’ve got a very creative mind,’ she told me once. ‘I can see through things, or past things, or imagine things. I always had this thing that I want more out of life. I still have the belief that you’re as powerful as your mind. An idea could come and if you think you could go with it, you take the gamble and go with it.‘
Record of Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (2018)
Record of a Spaceborn Few is the 3rd book to the Wayfarer series. Another highly anticipated 2018 release for me. Simple described it’s a sci-fi series, described in a few more words it’s a series I hope will never come to an end.
This year I reread the first two books in the series to prepare myself for the third book’s release this year. And reading this series from the first book to the last made me realize how much of brilliant write Becky Chambers is.
I cannot describe in a few words what this book it’s about, it’s stories of life, of humanity and it brought me to tears a couple of times. Of sadness but certainly also of joy.
“Our species doesn’t operate by reality. It operates by stories. Cities are a story. Money is a story. Space was a story, once. A king tells us a story about who we are and why we’re great, and that story is enough to make us go kill people who tell a different story. Or maybe the people kill the king because they don’t like his story and have begun to tell themselves a different one.”