2018? Where in the hell has it gone? How is it Christmas next week – I still have shopping to do!
With that, the Books of the Year feature, where I ask all of our contributors for their book of the year, normally sometime in September, has kind of fallen by the wayside, so I’m going to do my books of the year.
Only problem is is that, in going through the books I reviewed here, I hated a lot of books this year. Of the ones one I reviewed on here, I would highly recommend these three (click each for my review):
Poetry – Autopsy by Donte Collins
Fiction – Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Non-Fiction – ‘Curing Queers’: Mental Nurses and Their Patients, 1935-74 by Tommy Dickinson
In true Books of The Year fashion, none of those books were published in 2018 (although were read in 2018). And still, I don’t think they were my Books of the Year.
So, I thought I might have a look at books that I have read this year and loved that didn’t make it onto the blog, and within those, I have found my true Book of the Year:
I don’t want to say too much about this – expect a full review in the new year, I am currently starting the third book in the trilogy – but this absolutely floored me and is most definitely my 2018 BOOK OF THE YEAR. Sheer perfection. Recommended to even don’t read fantasy or sci-fi (I don’t, usually, and adored this, and fantasy heads are loving it too).
Runner-up in My Book of the Year, this beautifully written short novel, Nothomb’s 25th, is a perfect distillation of her themes – familial cruelty, female relationships – in this tender, sharp and brilliant, brilliant book. And I’m delighted that Europa are translating more of her work (I hope they translate it all!). [Also, it was published in 2018, so if that’s essential to you, then I suppose this is my Book of the Year].
Honourable Mentions go to:
Philip Ridley’s prose is one of my favourite things. His novel, In the Eyes of Mister Fury, is my favourite novel ever, and this is the new edition (completely rewritten!!) of his early 90’s short story collection. Queer, dark, fantastic, shocking and beautiful – highly recommended.
A giant doorstop of a graphic novel; Amal is fleeing an arranged marriage and TJ is fleeing – well, Amal, doesn’t know – but they end up driving across country and getting closer and closer. A beautifully written and gorgeously drawn graphic novel. One to savour.
Yes, it’s the sequel to the book of the year but damn if this isn’t excellent also. All three novels in the trilogy won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and it’s really not hard to see why.
Mark, have you lost it? A late 1970’s manual on the intricacies of poetic metre and form? Yes – it was wonderful and intricate and will explode open how you read and write poetry. Oh, and it’s often quite funny and snarky too!
So that’s my Books of the Year. Let me know if you’ve read any, and what your Books of the Year are in the comments.
Oh, and Happy Holidays! [We’ll return on the 2nd!]