I love reading more than anything else. It is certainly right up there with running. If you left me alone for a month, I wouldn’t switch the TV on, but I would get through a lot of books and would be very happy. I’d much rather read a book than spend time on social media or read a magazine (although I do those things too).
For me, reading is escapism. I read books because I love them, not because I want to learn or better myself (you will never catch me reading a self-help book). I don’t read great works of literature because I feel I should. I read what I want to. Because my reading time is my own time to relax and unwind.
I read every night before I go to sleep – although not many pages, as my eyes tend to blur and I’m so tired I start seeing things that aren’t there! When the kids are at school, I read every day when I’m eating my lunch. I read when I’m waiting for my son to come out of school and any time I am forced to wait anywhere for anything – like doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms. I love nothing more than to read on a train, although train journeys for me are few and far between.
On the whole, I’ve been pleased with my choices of books this year. I’ve read a lot of brilliant ones, some good ones and one or two I have been slightly disappointed with.
In 2018 I read 40 books, which is three more than last year, despite the fact that a couple of books at the end of the year seemed to take forever to read.
In addition to the books I’ve read for myself, for the first five months of the year I was also reading four children’s books a month for work. They could be anything from a 24-page picture book to a 500-page adult novel. So that adds another 20 ‘unofficial’ reads to my total. I’m pleased to say that my daughter still likes me to read to her at night, so I’ve read a fair few Jacqueline Wilsons and other books suitable for 12 year olds too.
So what did I read in 2018?
This year I’ve read:
- The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons
- Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza
- The Child by Fiona Barton
- Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
- Can You Keep a Secret? by Karen Perry
- The Thirst by Jo Nesbo
- Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
- Still Me by JoJo Moyes
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- He Said/ She Said by Erin Kelly
- Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson
- Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
- Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
- Dissolution by C J Sansom
- Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza
- The Marriage Pact by Michelle Redmond
- Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
- The Widow by Fiona Barton
- Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin
- I Found You by Lisa Jewell
- A Very English Scandal by John Preston
- Can you hear me? by Elena Varvelo
- Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
- The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard by Robert Bryndza
- The Break by Marian Keyes
- One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
- The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana
- This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
- Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
- My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
- Bring Me Back by B A Paris
- Force of Nature by Jane Harper
- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
- Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
- Friend Request by Laura Marshall
- How to Measure a Cow by Margaret Forster
- On the Bright Side by Hendrik Groen
- The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
So what were my favourite books of the year?
It’s a tough choice, because I’ve read so many brilliant ones. Although my favourite genre is the psychological thriller, I find it is usually books which aren’t psychological thrillers that stand out as my absolute favourites. I wanted to come up with a top five, but could think of three favourites and couldn’t separate the next three. So this is my top six books of the year:
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
- Lethal White
- Three Things About Elsie
- Force of Nature
- This is Going to Hurt
- A Man Called Ove