Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Although this is not a newly published book, I had not come across it before. This was the first book I read in 2018, and it set the bar very high. Long and involved, but certainly worth the effort.
Soviet Bus Stops by Christopher Herwig
I'm not going to lie, this is niche, but I absolutely loved it. If you like looking at pictures of unusual public structures in places you'll probably never go, then you might love it too. If you do, follow it with Made in North Korea by Nick Bonner, which I also loved.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Similar to Jonathan Strange - classic in style, long and involved, completely brilliant.
Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb
I have never loved a series of fantasy novels like I have loved the Farseer novels by Robin Hobb. Absolutely beautiful, and I am a little sad that there will be no more.
Educated by Tara Westover
A fantastic autobiography that gives an insider perspective on an unusual life. Highly recommended.
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
I enjoyed this a great deal more than the films.
The Murder of my Aunt by Richard Hull
Written in 1934, and republished by the British Library. Recommended by my step mum. Clever, and absolutely hilarious.
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascherenhas
Time travel, strong women, multiple perspectives = everything I love in a novel.
The Cows by Dawn O'Porter
Hilarious and clever.
The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah
Very evocative and always interesting.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
If you liked the film, you'll love the book. Excellent.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T Sullivan
A deeply moving, fantastically researched historical novel based heavily on the life of a young Italian soldier spy recruited by the Nazis in WW2.
The Colour of Time by Dan Jones
Fascinating. Colour has been added to iconic old photographs, to bring them more readily into the present.
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
Hilarious, moving, interesting.
Year One by Nora Roberts
Absolutely brilliant fantasy dystopia.
A Dark Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
I loved this. I remember my Mum and Dad getting very excited about the TV adaptation, and now I understand why: spare, compelling, excellent.
FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE:
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell.
Timeless and brilliant. The story of some children, lost in the Amazon, and how they manage to survive.
Release by Patrick Ness
An important book, and also a wonderful story. Not for young children!
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
I had never read this, but it is truly wonderful.
The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders
Utterly beautiful. I cried through most of it. The story of a girl whose disabled sister has died, and her adventures with her sister's bear.
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
Made me very sad and angry, as great books for teenagers often do. I love Crossan's verse novels, and this does not disappoint.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M McManus
Excellent murder mystery aimed at young teens.
Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood
Wonderful rabbit myth tale. Really enjoyable.