This is a bonus post, please forgive me for the lack of unusual words. I’ll be back on Monday with my English oddments.
As you might guess, I read compulsively across many genres, fiction, and non. I’ve taken a look back at my reading during 2018 (with thanks to my Goodreads account) and here are thirteen of my favourite books of the year. They’re not all recent releases, as books often wait in my Towering To Be Read Pile for a while and because I’m still working my way through the 501 Books to Read Before You Die List. If you got a book voucher for Christmas I’d recommend any of these books. If you order through the links provided below a tiny fee is paid towards supporting this blog.
If you’re not a reader or prefer posts about unusual words, don’t worry normal service will resume tomorrow.
They’re listed in random order. I can’t rank books, I love them too much.
The Complete Peanuts, Vol 5, 1959-1960 – Charles M. Schulz
Comic strips, including the introduction of Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally, and Snoopy’s impressions of a fierce mountain lion. Hardback series.
The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell
Funny, sarcastic, and touching. A true account of a year in the life of the owner of a small second-hand bookshop in Scotland.
Wild Chamber – Christopher Fowler
If you love London, or history, or humour and you haven’t read any Bryant & May detective stories yet – you are in for a treat. Frequently provides unusual words for this blog. I read four others this year and they were all excellent. Series.
Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens
A children’s book (I borrowed from my daughter) but easily one of the best detective books I read this year. Agatha Christie, for kids, in a boarding school in the 1930s. Series.
Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
Fantasy about a girl training to be a magical assassin to avenge her family. If you thought Snape was bad, check out the potions teacher here who poisons the entire class before their first class, and really doesn’t care how many of them survive. Witty, clever, brutal. Brilliant.
On This Day – Vol 2 – Myles Dungan
Collection of pieces, mostly about Irish history, first broadcast on radio. Dungan has a great tone and although I knew some of the stories already, he tells them well.
The Things I Should Have Told You – Carmel Harrington
I love chick-lit, rom-coms, and women’s fiction. In this story about a family reconnecting on a road-trip across Europe in a camper van, Harrington proves she can do it, and do it well.
The Diary of Samuel Pepys – Samuel Pepys
One from my 501 list – Pepys lived through plague, the restoration of Charles II, and the Great Fire of London.
The Masked City – Genevieve Cogman
A magical library connected to all libraries on all worlds across space and time. Just add librarians who are nearly immortal and can work magic with words to fight dragons and faeries. Series.
The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith (JR Rowling)
The Cormoran Strike detective novels are enjoyable, intelligent, and feature one of the best detective pairs ever. No wizards. Series.
Two Kinds of Truth – Michael Connelly
The 20th Harry Bosch novel and Connelly is still hitting the high notes. Bosch is my favourite American policeman, even now that he’s retired. Series.
Voyager – Diana Gabaldon
Gabaldon’s historic fiction (with a dash of time-travel & romance) Outlander series (now an excellent TV series) is a regular re-read of mine featuring the best depiction of a married, loving, couple I’ve ever read. Perfectly researched. From Scotland during Bonnie Prince Charlie’s uprising to revolutionary America the story sweeps you along and the characters become family. Her books frequently inspire words for this blog. Series.
How To Get Your Name In The Dictionary – Grace Tierney
Inspired by this blog, a fun journey through the lives of the people who gave their name to the English language. From apgar to zeppelin with stops for casanova, guillotine, sandwich, and cardigan, each one of them lived an extraordinary life. Packed with wordy trivia and perfect for history buffs.
Happy reading in 2019,