Top Ten Books I read in 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl where each week has a specific prompt everyone is welcome to post a list with their own answers. This week’s theme is “Best Books I Read In 2018“.  I’ve talked about pretty much all of these in my end of year survey already, but my top ten books for the year, in no particular order, were….

The YA

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu
The final book in the Summoner series, this was actually my favourite of the series I think.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, romantic historical fiction. Put a smile on my face instantly.

The Extinction Trials by S. M. Wilson
“The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park”: consider me sold. Fast-paced, addictive fun.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
An impulse purchase and a honeymoon read, this was just addictive.  I bought book 2 on my kindle as soon as I finished book 1, even though it meant I wouldn’t have a matching copy on the shelf, because I just couldn’t wait that long.

The non-fiction

Eat Drink Run by Bryony Gordon
Like having a conversation with a friend over a cup of tea or a cocktail. Relatable and motivational with inspiring moments and moments that’ll make you cry.

Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove
Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching and one that’ll stick with me. Of course you need to decide for yourself what you agree/disagree with in what Hargrove says, being better informed about the Seaworld controversy is the only way to really figure out your own feelings, and Hargrove’s obviously got a wealth of experience to share.

The sci-fi and fantasy

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
I knew almost nothing about this but it was getting rave reviews so I decided to give it a go – worth all the hype, this is a well-written fantasy in a carefully-crafted world which feels absolutely real.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
What I was expecting from Miss Peregrine’s I think – a little dark, a little spooky, very atmospheric and with characters you can’t help but love.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Giant robots and government conspiracies? This was always going to be a hit for me.  I also loved the unique writing style, with everything written as interviews, documents, news reports etc.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Why, why, why, did I wait so long to read this? Probably my favourite read of the year in total, I absolutely loved this.

Top Ten longest books I’ve ever read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl where each week has a specific prompt everyone is welcome to post a list with their own answers. This week’s theme is “Top Ten longest books I’ve ever read“.

This week’s list is absolutely dominated by two authors.  It’s no surprise that George R.R. Martin features so heavily, as the Game of Thrones books are notoriously long, though Robin Hobb was less expected.  Objectively I know Hobb’s books are big but they’re always so good I never really notice just how long they are!

  • A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (1,061 pages)
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (994 pages)
  • A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (931 pages)
  • Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb (914 pages)
  • The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb (906 pages)

  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (896 pages)
  • Ship of Magic by  Robin Hobb (880 pages)
  • Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb (853 pages)
  • Belgarath the Sorcerer by David Eddings (840 pages)
  • The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings (800 pages)

What are the longest books you’ve read?

Top Ten Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl where each week has a specific prompt everyone is welcome to post a list with their own answers. This week’s theme is “Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read“.

This is actually one I really struggled with because I’m up to date with quite a few of my favourite authors (Maria V. Snyder, Sarah J. Maas, Pierce Brown, Becky Chambers).

Robin Hobb

I’ve loved every book I’ve ever read by Robin Hobb, but so far I’ve stuck to the Realm of the Elderlings books.  I’d like to actually go back and read her other series, even if they’re not necessarily something I would normally pick up; the Megan Lindholm series isn’t fantasy but I’m curious because she wrote them and I just love Hobb’s writing!

J. K. Rowling

Well of course J. K. Rowling was going to feature on this list! I’ve read the first Cormoran Strike book and while it was enjoyable enough, I still haven’t picked up the second book despite the fact it’s been on my shelves for an embarrassingly long time. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually, I just keep being drawn in by new additions to my shelves. The Tales of Beedle the Bard is one I really do want to get to eventually.

Laini Taylor

So I’d never actually come across this book until I discovered it at a book sale earlier this year. Of course I picked it up: I absolutely loved both the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and Strange the Dreamer so I have high hopes for this too!

Matt Haig

I really enjoyed The Humans and Reasons to Stay Alive but I haven’t read Notes on a Nervous Planet yet – I don’t feel too bad because it hasn’t been out that long, but I definitely intend to get to it pretty soon! How to Stop Time is probably a book I wouldn’t pick up apart from the fact I know it’s by Matt Haig, so it’s one I’ll grab if I see it at the library but probably won’t rush out and buy.

Jodi Picoult

I always know what I’m getting with a Jodi Picoult read: multiple points of view, ethical/moral dilemmas, shades of grey, all in easy-to-get-lost-in prose with characters I’ll relate to, hate and love in varying degrees.  There’s a few of hers I haven’t read yet but as I do have a copy of The Storyteller that’s highest on the priority list.

David & Leigh Eddings

David & Leigh Eddings are what got me into fantasy to start with and I think this is the only series of theirs I haven’t finished. I picked up book 1 and 2 too long ago to be able to jump straight back in with Crystal Gorge and at the moment, I can’t bring myself to step away from all the other books I want to read long enough to re-read both of those followed by the last two books.  I’ll get there one day!

Mira Grant


I love Mira Grant’s books so having exhausted her novel backlist I’ve started moving on to the stories she writes under Seanan McGuire instead. I haven’t started the October Daye series yet – partially because there are so many of them – but I know people love them so I definitely will do.

Any thoughts on which of these I should pick up first? And which books are on your TBR by your favourite authors?

Ten books I read and loved before I started blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week is a throwback freebie so I’ve gone with Ten books I read and loved before I started blogging.

First fantasy favourites

My fantasy obsession started as a kid with Harry Potter & David Eddings, and it’s only grown bigger since. I still love fantasy books with assassins, like Throne of Glass and Graceling, and I’m pretty sure that started with Silk from The Belgariad, continued on with Fitz in Assassin’s Apprentice and was reinforced with Poison Study. I absolutely can’t resist anything with a dragon, and I’m pretty sure both the Dragonlance books and the Song of Ice and Fire series (as well as later Robin Hobb books) played a huge role in that.  Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten is the odd one out of the group as the only urban fantasy, a genre I don’t reach for that often now, but I still remember reading and adoring this, and I keep telling myself one day I’ll make it to the end of the series…

The dystopia obsession begins

I picked up Uglies first and was absolutely hooked. Once I finished that  I snatched up anything I could find that was similar, which led me to both The Hunger Games and the Delirium series, both of which went on to become favourites (though Requiem was a bit of a let down if I’m honest).

Which pre-blogging books remain your favourites?


Ten books I disliked initially but ended up pleasantly surprised by

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week’s theme is “Top Ten….Books you had a hard time with“.  I didn’t want to do just books I decided to DNF, because that’s a bit depressing, but I’m also not sure I can think of 10 books I’ve DNF’d but then gone back to love, so I’ve tweaked the theme a little, to Ten Books I disliked initially, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by.

Pre-reading prejudice

Wolf of the Plains – This is one of the very first books I can think of where my initial snap-judgement was totally wrong. This was recommended to me, and I promptly turned my nose up – Genghis Khan? I knew literally nothing about him, but I knew I didn’t read historical fiction. That remained true, until I got nagged into reading this by the person who’d recommended it, and I ended up loving it. I still don’t read much historical fiction, but I don’t dismiss it straight out of hand any more, and this remains one of my favourite books.

Am I normal yet? – Contemporary? Not my thing, and I found Holly Bourne’s covers kind of cheesy-looking if I’m 100% honest. I picked this up after reading the third book in the series, and ended up being very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed both.

Graceling – I missed this when it initially came out, and by the time I got around to it, I’d sort of decided in my head that you were a fan of Graceling OR of Throne of Glass – and I loved Throne of Glass. How could Graceling compare? (Or, a tiny part of me worried, what if I loved it and ended up hating Throne of Glass?). Slightly irrational? Absolutely, but it did put me off for ages. When I finally picked it up, I loved it, and I discovered that I didn’t have to pick one over the other – I could just love both (I don’t know why I ever thought this would be an issue to be honest, but I did).

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child – Oh the fear of this one. The epilogue of Harry Potter is my least favourite part – I regularly tell people I’d rather just ignore it’s existence and pretend it never happened. How could I possibly like a story about the ridiculously named children, born of all the canon-pairings? I’m a fanon shipper all the way, and I resented that JKR hadn’t let us go off and make our own endings, but I knew I’d get spoiled for this so I picked it up to at least make my own mind up. I ended up actually really enjoying it (and Scorpius is awesome).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Demons and romance? BORING AND CHEESY. Er, wait, actually, when I finally picked it up I burned through all three books rapidly and Laini Taylor went onto the list of favourite authors. Oops.

Didn’t like on first attempt

The Lord of the Rings – This is still probably never going to make it on to my list of favourite books, but I enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE when I picked it up at the right time. The first time, I didn’t even finish the first book. Second time, I made it part way through The Two Towers before I decided it was too much like hard work. Third time, I read through the whole lot in one go.

A Game of Thrones – I picked this up and thought “It’s another Tolkien. Everything is so slow, and boring, and so damn wordy.” I came back a year later and absolutely devoured the series, couldn’t get enough of it. Now an absolute favourite.

Fool’s Errand – I know, I know, this one seems weird. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by Robin Hobb, and the Fool is my favourite character, how was this not an instant favourite? I don’t know either, all I know is that I absolutely loved these when I came back to them a second time (AFTER reading the Liveship Traders) I enjoyed them a lot more, even though the recommended reading order is these first and the Liveships later.

A Discovery of Witches – Too urban, too modern, too cliche-romance, I didn’t even make it through the first chapter the first time.  After someone recommended it to me I went back and gave it another go and got engrossed.

The Final Empire – I started this on audiobook the first time, and I couldn’t get on with it AT ALL – I ended up returning it to audible because it was all so bleak, and depressing, and I found the narrator just put me to sleep (definitely a personal preference, I know lots of people love him). I picked it up in paperback a few years later though and really enjoyed it.

Which books did you dismiss out of hand but end up loving? And have you ever had a book you initially dislike turn into a favourite, or am I being very weird?