The Book Review of 2018

This is the third year that I’ve done this post. I got it from Kezzie, who got it from somebody else, and I recently found out that the original (with slightly different categories) was created by The Perpetual Page Turner in something like 2010. So, in my third year of doing, this I’m finally giving credit to the creator and linking up with her. Also, killing two birds with one stone and linking this up with Jana and Steph for “Show Us Your Favourite Books of the Year”.

books2018

Without further ado, let’s get on with it.

Best book you read in 2018:

This is always such a hard question. So many good books… how do I pick a favourite? I’ve narrowed it down to two: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr by Frances Maynard.

Best children’s fiction:

I absolutely loved A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder. There are others I could choose, but I feel like not many people know this one.

Best crime fiction:

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French. There’s one more book left in this series, which I own but I kind of don’t want to read it because once I do it’s all over. *Sigh*

Best classic:

I haven’t read a lot of classics this year, but I really enjoyed We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

Best non-fiction:

Given that I’ve only actually read two non-fiction books this year, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli wins by default. Luckily I did actually like it.

Best dystopian fiction:

I didn’t actually read much dystopian fiction this year. I think Cloud 9 by Alex Campbell counts as dystopian?

Best YA:

I’ve read  a lot of YA this year, and a lot of good ones as well, which makes this difficult, but I’m going to say Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne.

Most surprising (in a good way) book read in 2018:

Katherine by Anya Seton. It’s on the BBC Big Read list but I had been putting it off for ages thinking I had no interest in the goings on of royals and their lovers. I was surprised to find I actually really enjoyed it.

Book You Read In 2018 That You Recommended Most To Others:

Does buying books for people count as “recommending”? If so then definitely  The Everything Machine by Ally Kennen. I gave it to me friend for her birthday, my little brother for Christmas and also sent it to a PostPals child.

Best series you discovered in 2018:

The Scarlet and Ivy series by Sophie Cleverly. I have read some other good first books in series, but I’m reserving judgement on whether the entire series is good until I’ve read more 😉

Favourite new to you author you discovered in 2018:

Both the books I chose for the first question were by new to me authors, but in the interest of not repeating myself I shall say Frances Hardinge. I loved The Lie Tree.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t

The Humans by Matt Haig. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it, but I was somehow expecting more.

Best Book That Was Out Of Your Comfort Zone Or Was A New Genre To You

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh is definitely a new genre to me… what genre even is it? Answers on a postcard…

Book You Read In 2018 That You’re Most Likely To Read Again In 2019:

As I say every year, it is highly unlikely that I will re-read a book again so soon. A book I read in 2018 that am likely to re-read at some point in the future is The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.

Favourite Book You Read in 2018 by an Author You’ve Read Previously:

This was harder than I expected… I’ve actually read a lot of new-to-me authors this year.  Umm, The Witch of Demon Rock by Gabrielle Kent (book 3 in the Alfie Bloom series). That was a good one. I want her to write a book 4.

Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

If “someone else had it on their list for Erin’s reading challenge” counts as a recommendation then The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick.

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2018:

Forget Me Not by Ellie Terrie. Look how pretty it is!

Forget Me Not

Book That Had The Greatest Impact On You In 2018:

Alice and the Fly by James Rice. It’s so dark and disturbing… definitely not for the faint of  heart… but so, so good. Definitely one that stayed with me for a while after I finished it.

Book You Can’t BELIEVE You Waited Until 2018 To Read:

I didn’t exactly wait until 2018 to read it – that implies a level of intent that just wasn’t there – but I can’t believe it took me this long to discover From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler! Seemingly it’s a children’s classic but I managed to go through my entire childhood without ever having heard of it! (Admittedly it’s American and we mostly had books by British authors – apart from Little Women – but I never found it at the library either and they had loads of Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume books). Anyway, it’s really cute and if, like me, you’ve been living under a rock, you should read it.

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, specifically the ending. I put the book down and literally said “What the hell” out loud to the empty room. What even was that? I am still shook  and wanting the ending not to have been real – and I read this book all the way back in March!

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2018 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)

Lexie and her cousin Eleni in What Lexie Did by Emma Shevah. They’re not even speaking for half the book but still their relationship is so, so precious.

Most Memorable Character In A Book You Read In 2018:

This is always a difficult one, but maybe Demi from Whisper by Chrissie Keighery.

Genre You Read The Most From in 2018:

I don’t actually know. I read a lot of YA, but that’s not a genre whatever people seem to think! YA contemporary I guess? (Although “contemporary” feels like a cop-out as well… set in modern times. Well, yes, but surely a thriller can also be contemporary?). Ha, how’s that for a non-answer?

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2018:

Trying to avoid repeating the same books… The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop was fun, and I wanted The Book Emporium to be real.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018:

I cry a lot when I read, to the point that if I read a supposedly sad book and don’t cry I rate it down on Goodreads. But one I remember making me cry this year was Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt.

Book You Read in 2018 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out:

The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner. I can’t remember how I found it, but I definitely hadn’t seen anyone else mention it. And although it came out in 2015, it only has 768 ratings on Goodreads. 768 ratings in 3 years! It’s a really enjoyable book that deserves more attention.

Total books read in 2018 (so far): 164

Despite the fact that I am part-way through several books, I started another one last night – well, it’s set at Christmas so how could I not? I’m hoping to at the very least finish that one before the year ends, and maybe one more.

And, just because Goodreads tells me and I like statistics, the longest book I read in 2018 was Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, which has 964 pages and the shortest was Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones (bought for my little cousin’s birthday) with 32 pages.
The first book I read in 2018 was The Lost Twin, book one in the Scarlet and Ivy series and as of right now, the last book I read was Plain Jane by Kim Hood (although that will soon change).

I know this was a long post, so if you actually read all of it you are amazing! If you decide to answer the questions, let me know so I can come and be nosy. And also add your link to The Perpetual Page Turner’s post.

Also stop by the Show Us Your Books link up to discover everyone’s favourite books of 2018.

 

25 Get to Know Me Questions

Today I want to something slightly different. I’ve done similar things before (like an A to Z of Me), but it’s been a while and I think I’ve acquired a few new readers since then (hi new readers!)

I spotted this particular set of questions on Ellie’s blog, This Country Girl’s Journal, and since she asked her readers to join in, I thought I would.

Baby me
Does anyone recognise this person?

1. What is your middle name?: Ann. It’s my grandma’s name and was also the name of a great grandma I never met, but I’m not sure whether my parents named me after either of them or just picked it because it’s such a middle-namey kind of name (seriously, I can think of at least 8 people with the middle name Ann(e)!)

2. What was favourite subject at school?: English for all the reading and Food Tech because I’ve always liked food 😉

3. What is your favourite drink?: Tea! Soft drink probably Dandelion and Burdock. Alcoholic changes regularly.

4. What is your favourite song at the moment?:  My all time favourite song is Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler, closely followed by Landslide by Fleetwood Mac and Desperado by The Eagles. Right now I rarely listen to music, but when I do it’s Sister Hazel more often than not, so I’ll say my current favourite is Change Your Mind by them.

5. What is your favourite food?: I hate this question! How can you expect me to pick just one?! Potatoes, garlic, sweet potato, cheese, pumkin, Yorkshire parkin, cottage pie, Sunday roast, Swiss chocolate… I’m hungry now!

6. What is the last thing you bought?: Books. Always books.

7. Favourite book of all time?: Again, NOPE! You cannot expect me to pick just one book! But, since you said all time, I’ll only include ones I read more than 10 years ago that have stuck with me. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, So Much to Tell You by John Marsden, Each, Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg.

8. Favourite colour?: Red

9. Do you have any pets?: Sadly, no. I want a dog, but in Germany I thought it was unfair with us both working full time and in Switzerland you have to do a course and get a certificate before you’re allowed to own one! Then there’s the small matter of getting permission to keep one in the flat…

10. Favourite perfume?: I don’t know. It was Liberte by Cacherel, but it’s been discontinued.

11. Favourite holiday?: Well, New Zealand was pretty amazing, but so were Taiwan and Madeira. EDIT: I’ve just realised this was probably originally American since I changed all the “colors” to “colour”, so “holiday” probably means like public holiday. In which case pancake day, because who doesn’t like a day devoted to pancakes?

12. Are you married?: No.

13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Out of which country? I was born in England but clearly don’t live there now so umm… stupid question ;-).

14. Do you speak any other language?: German (but not Swiss German!). A tiny bit of Spanish. Individual words in a few other languages.

15. How many siblings do you have?: A sister and two half brothers. My brothers are not related to each other.

16. What is your favourite shop?: I… don’t think I have one? Maybe TK Maxx.

17. Favourite restaurant?: I don’t knooooow. I did like Bratar in Karlsruhe, but favourite? Hmm. We went to a lovely restaurant in Basel recently – Safranzunft.

18. When was the last time you cried?: I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet a book was involved!

19. Favourite blog?: Oh, lots. Kezzie‘s, Holly‘s, Charlotte‘s…

20. Favourite movie film (sorry)?: A League of Their Own, Dogma, Clue, Edward Scissorhands. Sorry, I’m useless at picking just one of anything.

21. Favourite TV shows?: E.R. (still and always!), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (hmm, need to watch it again), The Big Bang Theory, Farscape, Blackadder.

22. PC or Mac?: PC

23. What phone do you have?: An ancient BlackBerry. It was a gift.

24. How tall are you?: 5ft 6 – I think.

25. Can you cook? Yes! I love cooking, but not when it’s just for myself.

Did you learn anything new about me?

If anyone else decides to give this a go, let me know – I’d love to come and have a read. You can see Ellie’s answers here.