It’s that time of year again, time to review my year of reading. Honestly, it hasn’t been my best reading year. I don’t want to complain about receiving free books and ARC editions but thanks to my discovery of NetGalley, reading started to feel like a chore. And that’s never a good thing. So I’m determined to cut down on the number of books I sign up for and focus more on the books on my own shelves. Even though I wouldn’t count 2018 as the most enjoyable, any time spent reading is to be appreciated and there are always a few standouts books.
- For instance? Amy Stewart released another Kopp Sisters novel, the fourth in the series (and there’s another one on the way for 2019!), Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit. and she makes my top reads list for the third year in a row.
- This summer my ever reliable librarian friend introduced me to Louise Miller’s first novel, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living and when my library got her second novel, The Late Bloomers’ Club, I read that one too. I loved both books and they both make my list.
- I encountered a few disappointments from some of my favorite writers: Neither Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Heroes Are My Weakness or Katie Fforde’s Love Letters were the authors’ best works. Though I did enjoy Abbi Waxman’s Other People’s Houses it didn’t quite live up to the hilarity of last year’s top read, The Garden of Small Beginnings. The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion, the author of my beloved Don Tillman series, was one of my least enjoyed books of the year, earning my only one-star review of the year.
- Then again some well-loved writers equaled or surpassed themselves: When I finally got around to reading the second book of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber, I found everything that I loved about the first book along with a deeper relationship between Claire and Jamie. My return to Jan Karon’s Mitford series was a joyous one with the short, sweet Christmas story, Shepherds Abiding. Best of all was Elizabeth Berg’s Night of Miracles, which contained the unique attention to detail and wisdom that I love about Berg’s writing along with a ton of heart and some lovable characters making it a front-runner for my top read
- Another front-runner is Jon Cohen’s Harry’s Trees which celebrated two of my favorite things, books and nature, with an enormous amount of heart, a devilish sense of humor, and a dash of adventure.
- Finally, if awards were given out for best character, Polly from Kathy Hepinstall’s The Book of Polly would definitely get a nomination.
There are the highlights of my year. I read some great books but there wasn’t even a competition for my favorite read this year. I pretty much knew what it would be back in March. Harry’s Trees is just so full of hope and love and a darn good story that I knew it was destined to be one of my favorites. Since finishing it, I’ve recommended to everyone and even wrote it in for a Goodreads choice award.
These are just a few of the books I’ve read this year. To see the full list and read the reviews, check out My 2018 Year in Books on Goodreads!