Let’s talk some more about books on this cold, beautiful and lazy Sunday morning, shall we? Today I’m sharing my 5 favourite books I’ve read in 2018!
After I’ve recommended five books in my Christmas gift guide earlier this week, we’ve arrived at the second installment of the ‘Best of 2018‘ series on Almost Famous Writer. Today is a beautiful day to talk some more about books (although any day is a beautiful day to talk about books, no?) so let’s dive into my 5 favourite books I’ve read in 2018.
The Only Story – Julian Barnes
I’m apologizing beforehand if this article turns out to be a Julian Barnes appreciation rant, but I truly can’t make this list without his latest novel The Only Story. It tells a story that is beautiful and subtle and heartbreaking: the only story that ever really mattered to 19-year old protagonist Paul, who falls in love with the 48-year old Susan Mcleod. Merlijn got this book for me when I was on a crazy reading spree this Summer and I didn’t ever want to stop reading it. This truly is one of those books that make you feel sad when you know you’re nearing that final page, because you know that soon you’re going to have say goodbye to those amazing characters and that beautiful story line.
Disobedience – Naomi Alderman
I vividly remember me buying this book in a great bookshop in Ireland, then sitting down at night and becoming completely engulfed by this amazing novel. Naomi Alderman’s debut novel Disobedience is set in an orthodox Jewish suburb in London and it has taught me so much about a religion and a community that I really know nothing about. Ronit has left this community behind and has freed herself from her past and her family, but Esti has stayed and has made the community her home. The two women are thrown back together after a tragedy shakes the community and the two lovers are then forced to confront their feelings for each other, their history and their different views of their religion and their home. It’s a beautiful read, and I would highly recommend this book (the film adaptation not so much, unfortunately).
The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
Let’s talk some more about Julian Barnes, because why not. The Sense of an Ending won the Man Booker Prize back in 2011, so I’m only 7 years late to the party, but boy am I glad it to the party after all. I got this book for my birthday from my Cineville colleagues and it has honestly become one of the books I’ve ever read. Naturally I recommended it to Merlijn, but he usually never reads the books I recommend to him, but he did read The Sense of an Ending and he absolutely loved it as well. It’s a very complex and intricate story about memory and guilt and how the decisions we make can resonate through the rest of our lives, but it’s written so delicately and subtly that the story never feels too heavy or too complex.
On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
I told you in yesterday’s advent calendar article that we were going to the beach, didn’t I? Well, we have arrived! On Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, to be more precise, so probably not the beach you had in mind, but still a beautiful literary beach that’s well worth your visit. In this post Fifty Shades of Grey world, I still think it’s important to go back to a time where sex was something that was extremely private and hushed and where young people were very much sexually uneducated – and to realize that this is still a reality for so many people today. In On Chesil Beach, a young married couple in the 1950s succumb to their inability to openly discuss their hesitations and doubts about sex and marriage and contraception. Reading this novel makes you realize over and over again how important is to to be able to speak freely about matters such as sex and sexuality and sensuality, and that it’s okay to ask questions about it.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Marie Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Will I ever stop talking about this book? Probably not, so we’re just going to talk about it again. The reason why I recommended The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows as a christmas gift is because it was undeniably one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. It’s written with so much love for stories and reading and readers themselves, that it will make you completely fall in love with reading all over again – and that’s one of the best feelings.