If you follow me on Goodreads, you will have noted that I seemingly failed in my 2018 reading challenge to read 52 books. Strictly speaking, this isn’t true. I read far more than 52 books. I’m a quick reader, especially when something grips me. However, I didn’t log everything I read, and I didn’t log rereads. I often reread my favourite books as I don’t believe in saying goodbye forever to an enjoyable read.
So this isn’t a celebration of completing my challenge, nor is it admitting failure. Instead, I’ve decided to round-up five books I read in 2018 that have stuck in my mind.
The Shock of the Fall: Nathan Filer
Haunting, witty, brilliant, and emotionally draining, this book wrings your heart, squeezes it and puts it back, with a lump in your throat. A special piece of work – click here to read my full review.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: Gail Honeyman
Oh, Eleanor. Has there ever been a better book character? Because I’m struggling to think of one. Eleanor isn’t really completely fine. She’s been through a major trauma as a child. She’s also clever, funny (really funny), and doesn’t belong. But one day a chain of event begins, forcing Eleanor to address and find peace with the events in her life. This is a story of kindness, a story of acceptance, and a story which will have you laughing out loud on one page, before sniffling on the next. A bit of me doesn’t want Gail Honeyman to write anything else. Eleanor Oliphant is simply perfection.
The Good Mother: Sinead Moriarty
Sinead Moriarty is an Irish author. I read her first book, The Baby Trail, back in 2004 and have stuck with her since. The Good Mother was released in 2017, but I only read it a few months back. Kate is a mum of three, who has found herself a single mother after her husband had an affair. Times are tough and they only get harder when her twelve-year-old daughter, Jess, is diagnosed with cancer. It soon become apparent that Jess isn’t going to get better and she asks Kate to help her to die. Sinead may have a simple writing style, but she has a wonderful ability to pull at the heartstrings. She handles her subject matter delicately, but the book left me an emotional wreck.
My Mum Tracy Beaker: Jacqueline Wilson
This may seem an unusual inclusion and a childish one at that, but many women my age grew up on the fabulous Jacqueline Wilson. Bold and brilliant Tracy Beaker, the bolshy ten-year old who grew up in care, aka The Dumping Ground, was one of my all time favourite childhood characters and like many, I was left wondering whether she’d fulfil her dreams of becoming a writer. In this book, we meet Jess Beaker, Tracy’s ten-year old daughter. She thinks Tracy is the best mum ever; she’s made a home for Jess, she doesn’t put up with bullies, and she even shouts at Jess’s teachers. But then Tracy meets a blast from the past and she and Jess are whisked into a fabulous happy ever after lifestyle, in a big house with a celebrity lifestyle. But is it really happily ever after? Younger readers will no doubt enjoy this as a standalone novel, but adults will be thrilled to meet up with Tracy and foster mum Cam.
If Cats Disappeared From The World: Genki Kawamura
I mentioned in my review that I chose this book simply because I liked the cover, but it turned out to be a quirky and gentle philosophical read about a man coming to terms with the end of his life and what is really important. I sat down and read it one afternoon, a strange yet compelling novel proving that choosing a book on the basis of having a cat on the cover can only be a good thing.
I’m setting my reading challenge again for 2019 and I am setting it for 52 books. However this time, they must be 52 books that I haven’t read before. Link up with me on Goodreads here.