I hope it’s not too late to wish you a Happy New Year.
I moved home on the 17th December and then was ill all of Christmas week. The two things are probably connected but it didn’t spoil the holidays too much. I’m gradually settling in and I know it’s just a matter of time before I completely adjust.
I’m designating this month ‘Slow January’. I will be putting zero pressure on myself and doing little more than curling up with a good book.
With one thing and another, I missed my Reading Challenge goal for 2018 by 2 books. I managed 33 in all which is still perfectly fine with me.
Of these 33 books, I gave 18 a rating of five stars on Goodreads, which shows it was a good reading year overall.
The ten books that impacted me the most for various reasons were:
Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier
I finally found out what all the fuss was about. What a stunning novel. I want to read her other books now and will try Jamaica Inn next.
Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
This book taught me that regularly practicing self-compassion can change your life. I will re-read it at some point.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
I was worried I wouldn’t get on with this Japanese modern classic, but I was captivated by it. I felt so much affection and empathy for the main character and his angst.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I couldn’t get enough of the chilly, fantastical atmosphere of this novel set in medieval Russia. I read the second book and have pre-ordered the final instalment of the trilogy which is released on 10th January.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I know some literary types look down their noses at this one but I found it to be a great tragi-comic read.
12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
I don’t go along with all his views by any means but this book was what I needed at the time to push me into action.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Right up there with Song of Achilles, another wonderful Greek myth re-telling from Madeline Miller.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
This personal memoir of severe depression coupled with crippling anxiety made me feel less isolated when I was going through issues of my own. Matt Haig comes across as hugely likeable. I’d like to read his fiction at some point.
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
This beautiful book set in coastal Essex in the late 19th century made me want to read more historical fiction. I loved the relationship between widow, Cora and vicar, Will, not to mention the mystery of the Essex serpent.
The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters
The metaphors get a bit convoluted but the basic premise that our emotional brain is stronger than our rational brain – and how to deal with – will stay with me.
My most read genres were fantasy, self-improvement and classics, which is reflected above. I’m particularly glad I set the target of reading a classic a month because it led me to some amazing books I might not have got round to otherwise.
This year I want to continue reading classics I might have missed as well as more historical fiction. How about you?
Any literary highlights from 2018?