One year ends, another begins…

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently talking about top reads of the year for 2018. As I start to get back into the swing of something approaching normality after the always bizarre way time seems to move over the last two week of the year, I’ve been thinking about whether to offer my own.

I’ve read some amazing books this year, and through setting up this blog had the privilege if starting to get to know some wonderful people who have really had my back. People like Jo Perry, Derek Farrell, Chris McVeigh, M. Sean Coleman, Karen Sullivan, Aidan Thorn to name check a few. Trying to narrow the 47 books I’ve completed this year to 10 seems to me like it might be a somewhat fruitless task. Plus, how do you compare a novel like Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (I do read trad published books, I just don’t blog about them), with something like Dead is Better by Jo Perry? Both wonderfully written novels, both gripping from start to finish, yet entirely different stories and styles.

So, I’ve decided not to attempt it. I also believe this aligns with my not offering star scores on my reviews, if I give a top ten and a book I’ve reviewed isn’t included, does that mean its not a book worth reading. Does it bollocks. I much prefer to take each book on its merits, and the only time I like to use comparisons is in a positive way and to maybe support someone in understanding a style or story structure by offering a favourable comparison with a writer they may be more familiar with. I know I always say this when offering an opinion like this, but just to be clear: I don’t think people offering their top 10s are bad people or that they should stop. This is simply my way of thinking. Its no better or worse than anybody else’s. And I don’t want to get dragged into a debate on star ratings please!

If anyone is interested in what I have read this year, I’ve included the list at the bottom of this post. They are in chronological order of completion, which is how I keep track of my reading. Only books I’ve finished are on this list. That in itself tells you that I enjoyed each and every book listed. I don’t finish ones I’m not enjoying. Life’s entirely too short for that.

On to 2109. I have high hopes for the year ahead. I’ve enjoyed launching and running this blog over the last five months or so, as any blogger will tell you it’s a lot of work to keep up but I find it hugely rewarding to do so. I’m hoping to continue throughout the year and to keep on shouting about indie authors and publishers. There are some great books on the horizon too, some series entries I’m really excited for like Danny 4, Charlie and Rose 4, Batford 3, Ripley 3, Lamb 6 (trad that one), which are all incoming. And I can’t wait to see the debut novels that appear that I haven’t heard of yet, the opportunity to get to know a new voice is always exciting.

I have a couple, at least a couple, of reviews planned for January. I have almost finished reading The Lingering by SJI Holliday, which I am thoroughly enjoying, an excellent, atmospherically creepy ghost story, told from an entirely female perspective (rare in the genre) and which keeps defying expectations. I should have a review up in the next week or so.  I am putting a lot of focus though into the grand plans for #Fahrenbruary, a fantastic idea from Martin at The Beardy Book Blog which I am 100% behind. Look out for a lot of Fahrenheit love across February.

2019 hold a lot of promise, here’s to a great year ahead.

For those interested and as promised, here is my 2018 reading list:

 

Title Author
The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes Lawrence Block
London Rules Mick Herron
Death of a Nobody Derek Farrell
Rubicon Ian Patrick
The Smiling Man Joseph Knox
Death of a Devil Derek Farrell
Trans Britain Christine Burns
The Fog James Herbert
Killer Instincts Linden Chase
Pimp Ken Bruen and Jason Starr
The Rats James Herbert
When You Run With Wolves Robert White
Killer Intent Linden Chase
Lair James Herbert
Vinyl Junkie Tony R Cox
When The Music Ends Aidan Thorn
Not Guilty Sue Elliot and Steve Humphries
The Outsider Stephen King
Satan’s Sorority Graham Wynd
Needle Song Russel Day
Dead is Better Jo Perry
Dark Water Ariana D. Den Bleyker
A Killing Kiss B.R. Stateham
Exceeding My Brief Barbara Hosking
We Are Always Watching Hunter Shea
The Last Days of Disco David F Ross
An Isolated Incident Emily Maguire
Chainsaw John Bender
The Cuckoo Wood M. Sean Coleman
Dear Mr Pop Star Derek and Dave Philpot
Rattus New Yorkus Hunter Shea
Manchester Vice Jack Strange
Stoned Love Ian Patrick
Dead is Best Jo Perry
A Hollow Sky M. Sean Coleman
Elevation Stephen King
Washington Black Esi Edugyan
Turn on the Heat Earl Stanley Gardner
Battle Royale Koshun Takami
Sinner Man Lawrence Block
Blood on the Mink Robert Silverberg
The Black House Peter May
The Dry Jane Harper
The Rise and Fall of The Miraculous Vespas David F Ross
Kill Me Quick Paul D Brazil
Mary Poppins PL Travers
Rival Sons Aidan Thorn

 

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