2018 has been the year I truly re-discovered my love of reading. It has been wonderful to immerse myself fully in the literary world: going to book club, attending my first author event and starting English Literature at university. Not to mention continuing to be part of the inspiring community of book bloggers!
So without further ado, in no particular order (because I am extremely indecisive!) my top 10 books read in 2018 are:
1) Half of the Human Race by Anthony Quinn
Synopsis: Constance is a suffragette with ambitions to become a surgeon and a deep aversion to following her sister’s footsteps into domesticity. Will is the rising star of county cricket, whose values are far more ‘traditional’. When the two fall in love, each finds their views of the world irrevocably shaken at their foundations. However, with war on the horizon and British society clinging to the ideals that are about to be torn apart, will their affection be able to overcome the gulf of circumstance that separates them?
Read if: You love the idea of a historical romance with absorbing depth.
Full review here.
2) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Synopsis: When Catherine Morland accompanies family friends on a visit to Bath, she is hoping for more than just a partner in the ballroom. Her mind is full of the adventures that may await her, just like the heroines in the novels she loves to read. However, the high society of Bath can prove difficult to navigate, especially for a naïve young woman with an over-active imagination.
Read if: You’re looking for a light-hearted and witty classic.
3) The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Synopsis: Many years ago, Anthony Peardew broke a promise. The only promise he has ever made. In atonement, he begins to carefully collect a hotchpotch of objects that have been lost, in the firm belief that they have a significance to someone, somewhere. When Anthony dies, he leaves the collection to his assistant Laura. Adrift in a comfortable but unadventurous existence, Laura finds a new purpose in the monumental task of reuniting the lost objects with their owners. Her quest to fulfil Anthony’s legacy of love makes for a moving tale of wonder, compassion, triumph and the infinite endurance of human connections.
Read if: You want a quirky, unique and uplifting foray into contemporary literary fiction.
Full review here.
4) Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Synopsis: When Mr Lockwood moves to the countryside, he is shocked at the gruff and uncivilised reception by his landlord and neighbour Heathcliff. However, an old servant soon explains to him the story behind this frowning recluse of Wuthering Heights. The tale she spins is one of social divides, wild spirits and one of the most intense love stories of all time.
Read if: You would like to try an infamous nineteenth-century dark romance.
5) The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Synopsis: When Lane’s mother commits suicide, she is invited to live with her estranged grandparents and cousin Allegra at Roanoke – their mysterious residence in a suffocating small town. On the surface, the family seems perfect. They are wealthy, rich, beautiful and charismatic. Behind this, Lane discovers a harrowing family history of violent deaths, disappearances and dark secrets. After only one summer, she becomes the only Roanoke girl to escape. However, eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing, Roanoke’s haunting secrets are clawing her back once more…
Read if: You want to be drawn into a dark and intensely addictive thriller.
Full review here.
6) Beloved by Toni Morrison
Synopsis: Sethe is free. Her days as a slave at the horrific Sweet Home Farm are behind her. However, the past continues to haunt Sethe and her family in the home they have made at number 124. Then, with the arrival of a mysterious girl at 124, the unspeakable history Sethe has struggled to suppress begins to seem even more inescapable.
Read if: You want to move closer to understanding atrocities that can never truly be understood through a bewitching story.
7) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Synopsis: Shaker Heights seems like an almost flawless town – careers, families and entire lives are carefully constructed with little margin for error. All of this changes when free spirit Mia moves in with her daughter Pearl. Secrets and scandals begin to emerge that threaten to crumble the community’s perfect facade.
Read if: You are searching for some character-driven drama.
Full review here.
8) Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Synopsis: Technically a play, not a novel, but it is my favourite text from my first semester at university so I had to include it! Doctor Faustus makes a bargain with the devil; he exchanges his soul for the ability to live with infinite knowledge for twenty-four years. Why didn’t he ask for more than twenty-four? I have no idea. Why did he decide that, instead of making valuable use of said knowledge, he was instead going to channel it into a series of elaborate pranks? Still no idea. Despite (or because of?) its incomprehensibility, it is amazing that a play written 400 years ago can still retain its heart-in-the-mouth dramatic intensity.
Read if: You want to experience some suspenseful, spectacular playwriting!
9) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Synopsis: Algernon is no ordinary lab mouse – scientists have performed a pioneering experiment to exponentially increase his intelligence. Charlie is a man with learning difficulties who longs for a higher IQ, believing it will make him feel more equal to those around him. He is to become the experiment’s first human test subject. It opens up a world previously closed to him, but Charlie soon learns that increasing IQ is too simplistic an approach to solve the complexities of human relationships. With Algernon’s behaviour also becoming more erratic, Charlie’s future looks increasingly uncertain…
Read if: You want to be entranced by a science fiction novel with a big heart.
Full review here.
10) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Synopsis: Eleanor Oliphant leads a steady, predictable life. She goes to work, listens to the same radio show every evening, calls her mother on Wednesdays and passes her weekends getting drunk alone. Then she helps an elderly gentleman who has fallen in the street outside her office and stumbles into friendships that make her question what it really means to be “fine”.
Read if: You want to be reminded to appreciate the small things by an incredibly life-affirming story.
Fun relatable review here.
Have you read any of these books? What was your favourite read of 2018? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!
2 thoughts on “My Top 10 Books of 2018”
Hi. I might give a couple of these a try, especially the Hogan novel. Here’s a book you might like: I Am The Clay, by Chaim Potok. Take care —
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Hi! I would 100% recommend ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ by Ruth Hogan, it is one of those stories that manages to say a lot in relatively few pages. I looked up ‘I Am The Clay’ and it looks very intriguing, as it’s a part of history that I don’t really know much about. I’ve added it to my Goodreads list – thank you for the recommendation! I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve read it 🙂