I read some excellent books for children and young adults last year (I can’t believe I’m saying last year to 2018 already) so making a top ten list was very difficult. Which is why I ended up making a top eighteen list (that’s only nearly a lie; I mostly chose 18 due to template considerations but I bet I could easily make a top twenty-five list. I also spent most of December reading too many books which left me with very little time to write about all the books I’ve been reading. So the blog tragically languished. I’m hoping to find more sustainable reading and blogging (and hopefully-soon-to-be-launched vlogging) habits in 2019 but I’m not going to make it a resolution lest I jinx it. In fact, I’m just not even going to think about it too hard in case I spook the idea away. For more details about why I loved these books, I wrote a blog post for the lovely folks at Duckbill which you can read here.
I know it’s the second day of 2019 but I’ve only just managed to grab some free time to highlight some of my favourite books from last year. I managed to read waaaaay more books than I had anticipated (hello freelancer status for eight months). Which is why I’m making two separate lists – one featuring books for adults and the other for children (which features even more books). I think I’m going to try and relax a bit with the reading in 2019. Obviously I’m still going to be reading lots of books but maybe if I don’t read 207 books this year (I know, it’s ridiculous), I might get some other stuff done. Apart from moving to a new city at the end of the month and really finding my PhD groove (by which I mean a sustainable work-life balance), I have lots of other plans which involve exploring my new home city, trying out new things, writing and book vlogging (more on that later). So here’s to a year of a reasonable amount of books. Happy 2019!
The audiobook of Truckers was my first foray into non-Discworld Pratchett was so fun and I can’t wait to read/listen to the other two books in the Bromeliad trilogy
I had been looking forward to reading A Snicker Of Magic for ages. It has rave reviews on Goodreads. I liked the cover and the title and the synopsis long before I actually read the book. But once I did start listening to it, I almost instantly realised this wasn’t doing it for me. I really expected to love this book. But it was far too twee and whimsical for me (and I’m usually a fan of both those things). There are obviously a lot of other readers this book is meant for. It has some interesting ideas but it ended up being quite a disappointment for me.
Doctor Who Time Lord Fairy Tales is a combination of two of my favourite things – Doctor Who and fairy tale retellings. It features 15 familiar (and some lesser-known) fairy tales set in the Whoverse. Some of the stories even feature a few Doctors. This was a lot of fun to read.
The premise of The Girl With The Red Balloon sounded so fun – a mix of fantasy and historical fiction. But ugh the characters and plots bored and annoyed me in equal measure. The book has so many ardent fans according to Goodreads so I think it just wasn’t for me. I was quite grumpy about the disappointed expectations though since I read quite a few disappointing books this month.
Highly Illogical Behaviour was another book that just wasn’t doing it for me. I’m not the biggest fan of YA to be honest, particularly realistic fiction. I think the only reason I got through this was because I needed a book to keep me company on my daily audiobook walks. I’m going to be more selective next time though. Right after I returned this to the library, I borrowed All The Bright Places, another glowingly-reviewed realistic YA nook, listened to a couple of hours, grew increasingly sad about my life choices and decided to abandon it. So I suppose I have this book to thank for encouraging me to hit the DNF button on disappointing books? It’s still a lesson I’m slowly learning though.
I had such high expectations from The Paying Guests because I absolutely loved Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, only to have them cruelly dashed. Another book with great potential whose characters and plot bored me senseless and left me feeling really grumpy.
I borrowed The Library Book from my library on the last day of Libraries Week in the UK so that I could read essays celebrating the wonder and importance of libraries. I now feel an even stronger sense of joy and love for public libraries than I already did.
I squealed in delight when I found Terry Pratchett’s A Slip Of The Keyboard in the library because I love his writing and I didn’t know this collection of his essays and articles existed. As I expected, they were great.