Last year I set myself the modest challenge on Good Reads of reading a book a month. By the time our summer holiday came round in August I’d plodded through 5 and looked like I was going to fall woefully short of my target, but in the following 4 months I read 19 more and finished the year with a tally of 24.
A few things happened in the latter half of the year to turn my reading year around. Firstly I started to get unapologetically picky about what I chose to read and wouldn’t buy anything with less than top reviews on Amazon (and believe me there are loads and loads of books like that, so you never run short). I also decided to dump anything that didn’t grab me quickly when I started reading and finally (the hardest part) whenever I picked up my mobile out of boredom, I made a conscious decision to put it back down and read a book.
That last bit wasn’t easy, but if I’m honest I’m coming to the realisation that most (but not all) of what I read online contributes nothing to my day or my happiness and I need to force myself to break the habit and waste less hours browsing rubbish.
Of my 24 books a lot were marketing and business related, but I also read some really cracking novels which I wanted to share in this post for anyone looking for reading inspiration. These are all books with great reviews which I wouldn’t hesitate to pass on to friends. If you’re looking for reading inspiration for 2019 I hope you find something to start you off…
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The Dry – Jane Harper : A story so vivid that when I recalled it later in the year I was convinced I’d seen it as a film rather than reading it.
The Bear & The Nightingale by Katherine Arden : Probably not for everyone, but I loved being transported to the Russian wilderness for a story set among mystical creatures and the bitter cold. Part of a series and hard not to speculate if it will be the next Hunger Games or similar
Take Me In – Sabine Durrant : A couple become indebted to a man they dislike after he saves their sons life on holiday and then keeps reappearing in their lives.
Close To Home – Cara Hunter : 8 year-old Daisy goes missing from a family barbecue and the suspicion switches from character to character before an inevitable final plot twist
The Death Of Grass – John Cristopher : A 1960s dystopian classic. A deadly virus wipes out grass in China and then spreads to Europe. The protagonist leaves London to attempt to join his brother on a protected farm in Cumbria while anarchy breaks out.
Lies – TM Logan : A man accidentally sees his wife meeting a man at a hotel, she denies it and everything he believed starts to unravel
The Lost Man – Jane Harper : My second Jane Harper book of the year and even better than the first. If the opening chapter doesn’t have you hooked I’ll be astonished.
The End We Start From – Megan Hunter : My husband says this is “not a proper book” and at 120 pages of sparse type I read it in 24 hours. Written by a poet there’s not a wasted word on the page, but it’s beautifully written and tells a great story.
I’d also love to start building my ‘want to read’ list on Good Reads so if you’ve discovered any great books recently I’d love to know, please leave suggestions in the comments below or equally let me know which highly rated books you think I shouldn’t bother with…