My Top 10 Reads of 2018

2018 was the year of reading. A lot. I read 74 books-including literary magazines. After a bit of tweaking I've managed to come up with a list of my ten favourite books read in 2018. It's not ranked by preference but these are all titles I read and loved during the year...

Everything I Know About Love x Dolly Alderton: How incredibly unexpected is this inclusion? Ahem. This hardback tome of Dolly's tales and wisdom was read and read with such joy. I laughed loudly in public reading excerpts, I cried. I wanted to wallpaper my walls and notebooks with Dolly's prose. This is such a special, charming, brilliant book and I look forward to reading it again soon. 

 M Train x Patti Smith: I read and reread a few of Patti Smith's writings this year. It was M Train, her love letter to writers, writing, coffee and contemplation that has stuck with me. I read this in Spring and it made me want to plan a writerly holiday and left me yearning for more of the beauteous thing that is solo travel. Patti Smith's writing is potic and whimsical and hums with quiet, understated charm.

Normal People* x Sally Rooney: Ahem, again how unexpected. Sally Rooney's writing makes my mind turn into the heart reaction emojis on Facebook+Instagram. She dissects every nuance of character and relationships with such finesse. The way in which her stories evolve and travel forward by dialect is just brilliant. Normal People resonates because Connell and Marianne are so believable. I see fragments of them all around me in people I know. Rooney's writing is so alluring and it's not surprising to me that this tile has been flying off the shelves.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation x Ottessa Moshfegh: A darkly brilliant novel about twenty-somethings. Existential crises swirl around unlikeable characters. This book about a faceless protagonist who sleeps for a year, occasionally surfacing for the odd shopping spree and Whoopi Goldberg film session, is dark but hilarious. The ways in which it commentates on loneliness and life unravelling are so poignant. While the novel is satirical, if you are feeling a little vulnerable, perhaps venture in to this one with caution.

The Cost of Living x Deborah Levy: An introduction to Levy for me. A book of loss, relationships spanning generations, writing sheds and contemplation. It all unfolds so seamlessly and Levy's writing is intricately detailed. 

Tinderbox x Megan Dunn: A recommendation from Kiran's blog feature last year. A book about the art of adapting Farenheit 451. Also a book waxing lyrical on Megan Dunn's days as a bookseller for Borders. Addicting, hilarious reading. I loved it.

How To Be Both x Ali Smith: 2018 was the year I also read a lot of Ali Smith's words. Rather than fill this list with her books, I've gone for the one that has stayed with me. A novel that plays with the concept of fresco painting. It is multifaceted. A story set across two time periods; the present day and renaissance Italy. It looks at two teenager's perspectives on love, art, loss, the passage of time. It's cleverly done.

Bluets x Maggie Nelson: So this is a reread but it's another book I think on often. Nelson's meditations and musings on the colour blue. How she sees it in her life and the world around her. Its presence in art. Beautifully written and a book I've scribbled annotations throughout.

Call Me By Your Name x Andre Aciman: Read last Summer in frenzied bursts on my commute to and from work. Conjuring memories of Italy and its gorgeous scenery and architecture. First loves, exquisite dialogue, peaches and Summer frivolity. Every bit as rich and lush as the film.

Crudo x Olivia Laing: This book is short and punchy. Written during 2017 through the lens of Kathy Acker as a narrator. It draws parallels with events from Laing's own life. Crudo is raw and a times I found myself needing to escape the heavy all too real prose. At the same time I love the truth and timeliness contained within its pages.

/ What did you read and love in 2018?

*Review copy

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