And so we reach the end of another year and my final monthly roundup. I have decided not to continue with this feature in 2019 as I am unconvinced it adds value. Do let me know if you disagree.
I hope you have enjoyed the festive season and found time to read many good books. I posted reviews for 14 titles in December, thereby bringing my total for the year to 167. This was down on 2017 but I console myself with the thought that I attended more literary events this year and provided detailed write-ups of these alongside my reviews of the titles being promoted.
I publish my books of the year around mid December that anyone interested may purchase them as Christmas presents. 15 books made my books of 2018 list, with Little by Edward Carey coming top by virtue of being a fantastic read and offering wide appeal. By posting my list before the year ends there is a risk that a deserving title will be missed as I do not, of course, cease reading. And lo, this was indeed the case. In the week before Christmas I read an astonishing work of fiction. Ezra Maas is original and compelling – read it and question everything.
The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas by Daniel James, published by dead ink
December was a month when I tried to make inroads into my vast TBR pile, particularly the books from small publishers who send me generous quantities of ARCs to review. I found those I picked up a mixed bag.
A Small Dark Quiet by Miranda Gold, published by Unbound
Quartier Perdu by Sean O’Brien, published by Comma Press
Sincerity by Carol Ann Duffy, published by Picador
In the Restaurant by Christoph Ribbat (translated by Jamie Searle Romanelli), published by Pushkin Press
I then ended my reading year by starting on my 2019 ARCs, introducing these with a post about the books I have on my New Year pile and those I am looking forward to in the coming year.
I managed to review three upcoming titles over the festive season.
Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson, published by Jonathan Cape
I will be starting the New Year with a short holiday away with my boys and have no reviews scheduled as our destination offers limited internet access. After this brief hiatus expect more reviews and event write-ups, both here and over at Bookmunch where I am pleased to remain a contributor.
As ever I wish to thank the publishers who send me their titles to review – the arrival of a book parcel makes my day.
My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms. I don’t say it enough but your support is always appreciated. Here’s to a happy and good book filled 2019 for all.