With just two days left of 2018 I’m taking a look back on my reading year. I had a sluggish reading start to the year but really picked up over the summer and finished well. I had set a target of 75 books on Goodreads and have, up to today, read 94, which I am really pleased with.
I would love to have made it to a nice, round 100 but that is not going to happen, however I may set that as my Reading Challenge target for 2019.
As I don’t read just newly published books, I’ve broken my end of year list down into three sections: best newly published books, best from the 746 and best books by Irish authors.
Which is just a cheeky way of having a Top 15 Books of the Year, rather than a Top 10, but that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it!
So, here are the books I’ve enjoyed most this year, with links in the titles to either my reviews or their Goodreads descriptions.
Top Five Books published in 2018
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
Don’t Skip Out On Me by Willy Vlautin
To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine
Top Five Books from the 746
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Life, A User’s Manual by Georges Perec
Top Five Irish Books read in 2018
Sweet Home by Wendy Erskine
Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
Travelling in a Strange Land by David Park
Milkman by Anna Burns
Orchid & the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes
Special mention must also go to The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, which doesn’t fit into any of these categories, but which was one of the books I most enjoyed this year. I am now bereft that I have read all his books and have to wait until he finishes a new one for my Mitchell fix!
Looking forward to 2019, I feel quite positive about my reading and my blog. I feel like I have found a good balance in the second half of this year and new features such as Northern Exposure, focusing on literature from Northern Ireland and my Monthly Miscellany round ups have given me a structure and a focus.
I very much enjoyed reading more literature in translation and do plan to try and keep that up, but not in any formal way.
I plan to take part in The 1965 Club in April, organised by Simon of Stuck in a Book and Karen of Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and the RIP Challenge again in October. In terms of my own challenges, Reading Ireland Month will return in March along with 20 Books of Summer in June.
One thing that did strike me as I looked over my reading year was how little progress I actually made in bringing down the 746 – which is, effectively, the whole point of this blog! Of the 94 books I have read, only 33 came from the 746, which is a really poor percentage.
Therefore, in 2019, I am setting myself the challenge of getting the 746 down into the 400s. That means reading a minimum of 46 books from the TBR. I think that is completely doable, if I just focus and plan my reading carefully.
I am looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings. Are you taking part in any interesting reading challenges that I haven’t heard about yet? Will anyone be participating in Reading Ireland Month or 20 Books of Summer? I do look forward to reading along with you all in the coming year.
Happy New Year!
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!