A Year in Reading – 2018

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe how fast the year has been. In term of readings, I have been pretty consistent: twenty-ish books read. I have also started three more that I didn’t finish by the 1st of January. Truth to be said, I am not a woman of several readings at the same time. After all, you can only read one book at a time. 

Anyway, I present you my top readings of 2018. Those books made me laugh, cry, think and learn some interesting things along the way. I hope it will inspire you to read some more.

Top 3 Fiction books

1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Not all fairytales have a happy end. Illustrated by the great Sara Kipin, this book is a collection of stories you thought you knew. Or did you? In Language of Thorns, I discovered many short stories I didn’t know about, but the one I loved was about Ursula, the villain in The Little Mermaid. Leigh Bardugo is incredibly talented to make us immerse ourselves in those stories in just one line or two. Greatly recommend.

2. The Elysian Prophecy by Vivien Reis

I have read a couple of self-published novels in the course of the year, but The Elysian Prophecy just blew my mind. I just loved how the author managed to create this duality between a brother and sister. The psychology of these two was wonderfully written, and the different adventures they are living are just amazing. I can’t tell you more about it without spoiling you, so I recommend this book. I also know that Vivien Reis has published another story in the same universe that I’m craving to read (and it’s free!).

3. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I completely fell in love with the series. Once I’ve read the first book, I had to read the second and the third. In this series, we’re following Paige in an underground society full of superpowers and illegal activities. One day, she is kidnapped and she discovers the truth about the true leaders of the world. The Bone Season was an incredible discovery this year, and I hope I’ll get to read the next instalment very soon. Samantha Shannon’s writing is amazing and she created a complete and fine world out of her unique imagination. I firmly recommend!

Top 3 Non-Fiction books

1. Art Matters by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

What can I tell you about this book? You might have noticed that everything writing or art-related is close to my heart. I couldn’t miss Neil Gaiman’s essay on why art matter, why imagination is more than needed and why it’s important to defend it. Illustrated by the talented Chris Riddell, the book is an inspiration for every artist, not just writers. Highly recommend!

2. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

Climate Change is a big topic. When the IPCC published its report on the alarming state of Climate Change, I just wanted to know what I could do as an individual. My sister is doing a master in environment so I asked her for book recommendations. The Sixth Extinction is one of them. It helped me understand the consequences of our mode of life. Our societies evolved, which is good for us, but the outcomes for wildlife have been dreadful. This book is the result of journalist Elizabeth Kolbert’s researches, and it’s worth reading to get a first contact with environment and climate change.

3. La grande histoire de la Belgique by Patrick Weber

Okay, I don’t think this one exists in English. I got that book offered for Christmas and I completely devoured it. It tells my country’s story from the prehistoric ages to our previous king, Albert II. A truly interesting read, as I wanted to know more about the history of Belgium, how it came to be and the influence of such a tiny country in our everyday lives. Of course, I got history classes when I was in school. However, I am far more open to listening now than I was as a teenager. I highly recommend if you’d like to know more about Belgium and its secrets (and read French of course).

My bookcase for 2019

Let’s finish this post with a little update on my bookshelves. I’ve got 21 books waiting for me to pick them up. That’s only six more than last year, which is good (knowing that I’m a compulsive book buyer).

On the Trade Fiction shelf, I’ve got The Dark Vault by V.E. Schwab and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, two of my favourite authors. On the Indie Fiction shelf, there’s The White Raven by Carrie D. Miller and The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci, which joined my pile this Christmas. I’ll try to read a bit more self-published authors this year.

And finally, on the Non-Fiction shelf, I’m currently reading Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig who I’m going to see in March. And I’ve got two new indie author related books that I’m craving to go through because I’m so passioned about the topic: Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque and The Indie Author Mindset by Adam Croft. I hope to get lots of insights that I can then share with you.

I hope these lists gave you some inspiration for future readings and that you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

What were your best readings of 2018? And what will you read in 2019?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle