My 2018 reading challenge: 75 books
I did it! At the start of this year I challenged myself to read 50 books, but I as the year went on, I increased it, and on my last day in Goa, I finished my 75th book!
Rather than doing a round-up of my favourite books (which, let’s face it, would have basically been copying and pasting reviews I’d already written), I thought I’d do a slightly different round up of the books I’ve read over the last few months!
Favourite new author?
There have been so many authors that I’ve discovered and absolutely loved. I think Mark Edwards has been my favourite discovery – it’s always lovely discovering an author who has lots of books released as it means you can dive in and make your way through them all! Gill Sims, who wrote Why Mummy Drinks and Why Mummy Swears is also now an author I’d be eager to read more from – absolutely hilarious and so relatable!
Best psychological thriller?
I had to throw this in, I read a LOT of psychological thrillers so I thought I’d try to choose the best one I’ve read this year… I think it has to be The Magpies (Mark Edwards) – brilliantly written, completely gripping and suitably creepy, I raced through it and would recommend it highly!
Best non-fiction book?
I read some incredible non-fiction books this year, but I think my favourite was The Tattooist of Auschwitz. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the biography of Ludwig “Lale” Eisenberg, a Slovakian Jew and Holocaust survivor, who was the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist. Taken to Auschwitz in April 1942, aged 26, he contracts typhoid but is saved by Pepan, a French academic, and the current tattooist – he was the one who had tattooed Lale with his identification number. Pepan takes Lale under his wing and teaches him the trade, and when Pepan disappears, Lale becomes the tattooist of Auschwitz.
Least favourite book?
I read Into the Water (Paula Hawkins) over the summer, and just couldn’t get into it. This is her second full-length novel, the first being the popular The Girl on the Train, which I did really enjoy. Into the Water just fell flat for me, I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, I didn’t care about any of them and the storyline just felt forced.
Which books would I read again?
I’d definitely read Gill Sims’ Why Mummy Drinks/Swears books again, they’re easy and funny. I’d also read Stephanie Butland’s Lost for Words again as it’s such a beautiful book, and all of Matt Haig’s books as they are so wonderful – particularly Humans and Reasons to Stay Alive. The messages in both of them are something I could do with being reminded of more often.
Any books I didn’t finish?
There were two: Red Sparrow (Jason Matthews) – I really wanted to like this book, but I just struggled so much. I wasn’t invested, I kept stopping and starting and needing to go back, and I kept losing track of what was happening. The other book I didn’t finish was The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas). This one will sound strange, especially because I know this is a book that everyone says is incredible and important, and I could tell it was from the few chapters I did read, but I think maybe I picked it up at the wrong time, because I just kept putting it down and not picking it up again. I will restart it as I want to read it, but for now, it’s a DNF.
Best book of the challenge?
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I read this back in January and I think I’ll read it again. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly long, unbelievably harrowing and heartbreaking, and not a book you can read lightly, but it is so worth it.
If you want to see all the books I’ve read over the challenge…