2018: My Reading List So Far

Some nightstand inspiration for you…

I’ve become one of those annoying book people. I badger people into reading the same thing as me so that I have someone to discuss the plot-line with. I buy basically everyone books for their birthdays (usually a copy of Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’ – I think I’ve bought six copies in total). I stay up an hour later than Mark in bed just because I need to read one last chapter before I turn off the light. I now actually look forward to a long-haul flight because it gives me the chance to read – screw secretly watching Magic Mike XXL with the brightness turned down so no one else can see!

In fact my Goodreads account is now one of my most-used apps on my phone. Not only does it give me a log of books that I’ve previously read, which as someone who basically acts as a library for their mates is a helpful tool as not to forget my reading list. It also allows me to bookmark ones I’d like to read in the future and scan though other users profiles to see what they’re up to book-wise. Right now I’m working my way through Jojo Moyes’ ‘Still Me’, which has clicked into ‘page-turning’ pace for me now I’m around 50% off the way through. But what have I read so far in 2018? Well here’s the rundown for those who have been asking…

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I read this back when we were on honeymoon in New Zealand over the New Year and once I picked it up I didn’t want to put it back down. It’s a bit of a murder mystery intwined with complex family relationships, histories and cultures. I bought it for my Mum for Mother’s Day and she enjoyed it too, so I’d say that it’s a real crowd pleaser. It’s easy to start and one that sucks you in quickly, so if you’re in need of a quick but satisfying bite to read, then this is the one for you.

Call Me Buy Your Name by Andre Aciman. I read this earlier in the year when it was practically impossible to go online and not hear about this book-turned-film. It was EVERYWHERE. Although I’m glad I read it (and the film soundtrack is stunning!), it’s not one I’d recommend the most highly out of all that I’ve read so far this year. However it would be perfect to read whilst on a hot holiday to the Med. In fact I’m writing this post from the outside patio of our villa in Italy and this would have been the perfect place to get in to such a text. I’m not sure I’ve ever read something that’s really conjured up a location so well and it will make you want to book a holiday to Italy stat. It’s a poetic prose and so takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s a love story that’s worth taking the time to get your teeth in nonetheless.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Being a fan of Celeste’s first book I knew that I’d love her second and I was right. Although I didn’t feel like it was as satisfying as her first novel (the ending could have been a little tidier for me), she’s a pro at intertwining the lives of different families and exploring the dynamics and complexities within them. She asks questions within her prose and frames them in a way that you might not have thought about before. Reading her books is like giving your brain a little thought-provoking prod that forces you to weigh up your stance on a particular topic, whilst also being an enjoyable and page-turning read. I can’t wait to see what Reese Witherspoon does with the TV adaptation. BRING. IT. ON.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2018. I had friend after friend lining up to borrow this book after I’d read it, but in the end I kept my original copy for myself and bought them all their own because I feel like it’s a book that everyone will want to have on their bookshelf to read again and again. I know I certainly do. Filled with stories of Dolly’s life from her teenage years and twenties and dispersed with recipes and satirical emails, one Sunday I read the hen party email template to my Mum until she had tears streaming down her face as I couldn’t breathe because I was laughing so much. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll become a complete and utter Dolly fangirl (and if you’re not already listening to The High Low, you’ll be ON IT before you know it).

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This is right behind Dolly’s book as my second favourite that I’ve read this year. I spoke in last week’s post that my last free weekend was back in early March and I have such fond memories of it because I gorged down this book in just two days. It was that good. I’ve never read a book before with a protagonist who you don’t instantly get on side with and it’s a strange feeling, but you spend half the book feeling muddled and the other with a big ol’ smile slapped across your face. Anyone who I’ve met who has read this book feels the same sense of fondness for it – it’s a best-seller for a reason. If you’ve got a holiday or some spare time at the weekend coming up, grab this and prepare to cancel the rest of your plans.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I spoke about this in my most recent favourites video, but WOAH what a meaty read this is. Not only is it physically massive (a 700+ page hunk of a book), the subject matter covers all heart-wrenching scenarios from death, self-harm, eating disorders, disabilities and suicide. Yeah, don’t be expecting to laugh until you wee during this one. I’d recommend that this is a good one to take on (if you think you can handle the contents) when you have a large stretch of time ahead of you. Maybe you have some time booked off work or a long flight on the cards? Because you really need some serious hours on the clock to get through it, as the chapters are long and not easy to get through if you just fancy reading a few pages before bed. I don’t want to put you off through because it is a beautiful read and is one that will stay with you for a long time and if I ever go past Lispenard Street in New York, then I’m definitely stopping to take a photo.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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