The big fat book post of 2018: A literary Settlement of the year

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Guys, you probably already know this, I love books right? I honestly was such an antisocial kid when I was young, couldn’t stand the wacky neighbourhood kids -some of whom by the way, managed to find me on Facebook and still no idea why we are connected. (I bet you all have that friend on FB. There is a Wedding photo in the profile picture and only common thing you share is either living in the same area or being in the same school) ANYWAY! So my only true friends were BOOKS. My precious books. 

My pocket money never was able to compete with the amount of books I’ve read, I was literally drinking the books with a straw. So the library in our neighbourhood was my happy place. It was probably summer of 1993 I self-declared myself as a bookworm. I probably read hundreds of books, the librarian used to ask: what are you doing with all that books, I wish I had my people facing skills back than when I was 12, and lectured her about the conflict in her question…Yes, I read all that books. I wish I had the journal of the books I’ve read. Sadly, I’ve only been using a tool like Goodreads since 2011 and  only the books I’ve read since are recorded there. Today I have the luck to access ALL the books I’ve read this year, and seeing the stats so I am super happy.

Oh god, I can go on until the morning with the blabbering so will cut short now! HERE ARE my selection of 2018 books… 

My absolute favourite of the year :

Everything Under – Daisy Johnson

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I probably screamed my love of this book to the mountains and you probably heard my snapping sound when it didn’t win the Man Booker. Absolutely the best, best, best of best thing I have read this year. Just can’t have enough words to describe my love of this book.

The invented language, the re-invented myth, the characters, the writing, the dreamy(or nightmarish) atmosphere all took my breath away and I would definitely will be welcoming any new book from Daisy Johnson.

 

The ‘Why didn’t I read this author before!’ book of the year: 

How to Stop Time – Matt Haig

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I used to see How to Stop Time everywhere in 2017 but was a bit shy to read it, and oh god, how naive I was! The story was captivating and the plot was amazing. I finished it in a few days.

Would love to read from Matt Haig again and this book made me question why did I not read Matt Haig before!

 

The ‘What the heck just happened in the end??!’ book of the year:

The Last Time I Lied

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I was quite fast to devour this book, a buddy read with lovely Norrie but the ending really left me puzzled. I questioned the realistic aspect of the whole plot, looking back to the elements, but then just said : naah.

Aren’t all thrillers are a bit stagey anyway, and the book had me some fun time so I’d say I have good memories with this book but the ending was a moment of WTF for me, I am not going to lie 🙂 I found it overly dramatic.

Will 2019 bring a new Riley Sager book?

Will see.

Will I read it?

Will have to see.

The “As beautiful as it’s cover” book of the year : 

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

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Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was a total surprise, as I think the book blurb wasn’t doing it justice. It’s a tale of a concubine, kept woman Angelica and wealthy merchant Mr Hancock and a mermaid!

Blended with magical realism and feminist kicks it’s a spellbinding novel, another one going beyond the Genre borders. 

Come on guys, you can’t classify this beauty as a historical novel. Just because it’s set in past doesn’t make it historical ONLY. I can argue yesterday is history as well. (Know a lot of folks keeping away this book thinking it’s historical. please don’t. Read it!)

Best Audio Book of the year : 

This is How it Ends by Eva Dolan

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In the end of this book I said : Wow. It was really good and narrated brilliantly.

I loved the social aspect of the book, telling a gritty story but then touching the problems of contemporary Britain, like poverty, homelessness, the struggle to survive. 

The way it’s told was pretty good and I would definitely read Eva Dolan again. The end was perfect. 

The narrators Jilly Bond & Billie Fulford-Brown did an amazing job as well! I would highly recommend this audio book.

 

The ‘Worth the length’ Book of the year :

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

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With a whooping +500 pages The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is for me the most enjoyable debut of the year.

I’m not sure where I have seen this definition about this book but someone said It’s groundhog day meets Agatha Christie and that’s such a SPOT ON description.

With the complex (believe me it’s REALLY deep shit) structure it’s kind of a “Gone with the Wind” book, you won’t realise how 512 pages end, and you’ll crave for MORE!

Good news is, Stuart Turton is working on another novel which will be out 2020!

 

The Heart Breaking Heart Warmer of the Year 

Us Against you by Fredrik Backman

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Oh god,definitely Us Against You. As you can see in my review here, I was a BIG fan of this book and the Beartown, which was the previous book.

It’s the aftermath of the scandal that shook the small town of BearTown, ordinary people coming to terms with the ‘big’ things in their small worlds. 

I loved how Backman lays out people like maps, the roads between them, the rivers, mountains, pushing them apart or bringing them closer. If you haven’t read from Backman, do read him – such a unique style, very cinematographic, but beware: it is sad. (not cringe sad, but good sad. I like that type of sad. nuff said.)

 

The surprisingly good, sad, and funny book of the year  

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

One thing for sure about The Pisces would be saying that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea!

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Bloomsbury quoted my review from NetGalley and kindly send me a Twitter card 🙂

But I loved it. It’s sad and hilarious at the same time and the beauty of it is that most of the things in it are probably true and happening, well, like, everyday. ( Except the Merman)

Just relax and read it, especially if you love unlikable characters as protagonists, such an  ironic, witty, thought-provoking story blended with magical realism, feminism and the struggle to find “the soulmate” in an highly disposable romantic hemisphere which young people find themselves in with the use of internet in dating.

 

The Fabulous Flamingo : 

Transcription  by Kate Atkinson

Funny that I picked up Life After Life years ago and didn’t enjoy it, while everyone seemimg_20180910_065027-01-1450910056.jpeg to love it. The opposite is true for this book. People have been incredibly quite after this book was released, which I think is because I am horribly Turkish and as a result I am naturally horribly offensive, blabbering about the books I disliked and shit like that, on the other hand British book bloggers are very polite and they avoid saying “they didn’t like it”, so I headed to GoodReads and saw not many people found it enjoyable like I did- which is WEIRD because this book is SO GOOD! The whole espionage story line is so gripping and Atkinson’s language is so charming. Definitely try it if you’re into WW2 era. 

 

The shorty but worthy 

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

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Gosh! I read this in one sitting, you see? It’s such a pure, pretty neat little novella, about an autistic woman trying to survive adult life in Tokyo. She’s working in a supermarket and the daily routine is her passion.But her friends and family criticises her for living so… simple. 

Japan is terrific and terrifying at the same time, the culture is so different, so rigid, people seem so hard on themselves. It’s a very quick read but worth reading. 

Really good and unforgettable.

 

Special Mentions:

I need the feel to mention this bunch as well, as they were much loved by me this year.

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, once again making me nod that I LOVE this woman, what an haunting book about walking terrors called humans.

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller, reminding me I should read more of Fuller’s work, she is FANTASTIC

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus, cleverly written page turner which I devoured and was surprised in the end 

The Girl in the Tower, by Katherine Arden as the only YA series I’ve managed to love and enjoy, really loved the blend of Russian folklore, so skilfully written and feminist (go girl, Go Vasya!)

Melmoth by Sarah Perry because it took my breath away

and finally, Whisper in the Dark by Emma Healey, a fantastic and truly realistic read on mother/daughter relationships and teenage struggles, so good.

 

 

There are TONS of books I look forward in 2019 and I am hoping to chuck them into another post soon!

Happy reading my bookish peeeps!

31 comments

  1. First of all: wonderful pictures ❤
    You mentioned some really awesome books. I totally agree on Us Against You. I still couldn't bring myself to write a review about it, cuz my feels are still in pieces if i think about it.

    I was very much like you when i was a kid. I didn't have many kids in the neighbourhood around my age, so i guess that helped a lot as well. My early years were all about books and Smurfs marathons 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post. Beartown and its sequel are on my TBR very soon list. So many great titles to check out, thank you.

    And I can absolutely relate to your childhood. Library was my best friend as well. 😊

    Like

    1. Yayy! I am happy you alos enjoyed those books. 🙂
      Definitely try Pisces, but it’s not a nicey nicey book. I love unlikable characters so I loved it.. 😀

      Like

  3. Oh my goodness, I used to get the SAME QUESTION from the librarian!! Our library had a 10-books-per-card limit, so I made my parents both get cards so I could get 10 on mine AND 10 each on their’s. The librarian would, every time without fail, look at my stack of thirty books and say “Are you sure? What are you going to do with them all?”. And I don’t ever remember sending one of them back unread. Yay for young bookworms!

    And this is a GREAT round-up. I didn’t get to Convenience Store Woman this year, but I’m really looking forward to it! Here’s to a fantastic reading year in 2019!

    Like

    1. Those Librarians 😀 Why are they asking that question :))) my story was also similar, we had 5 limit and I was using mum’s card too.
      Thanks so much for stopping by, your comment made me smile 🙂 And I wish you the same for 2019! Hoping to catch up about good books ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. wow, you have such a charm to write your posts, even me that I don’t like to read books that are not related to my carrier wants to read a book now, lol
    anyhow thanks for the following, I will keep reading your posts, keep sharing xoxo
    happy new year in advance.

    Like

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