Books read in 2018

I have, as usual, been falling behind on my book reviews. I’ve been reading, though, as much as I can while also being a full-time parent to a toddler and attempting to get in as much paid editing work as possible during nap times. I read 58 books last year, which is a fairly significant fall-off from 2017’s 89, for which I blame the fact that I weaned my daughter and thus no longer had several hours a day of being forced to sit still in a chair with nothing to do but read. Of the books I read, a little more than a third were for this project, all of them from the Philippines. I just managed to finish my last Filipino book on December 31, and have now moved on to Brunei, which is a blessedly short list. I also read a fair few books as background for the novel I’m writing: as many books as I could by Black British women, and a few memoirs set in prisons in the UK (and no, I am not writing the book that that sentence makes it seem I am writing). Anyway, only a day a few days a week late, here’s a list of books I read last year, with some brief annotations.

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Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock, Joan Lindsay, 1967

  • Australia, #14
  • Kindle, £4.37
  • Read March 2014
  • Rating 4/5
  • Opening line: “Everyone agreed that the day was just right for the picnic to Hanging Rock – a shimmering summer morning warm and still, with cicadas shrilling all through breakfast from the loquat trees outside the dining-room windows and bees murmuring above the pansies bordering the drive.”
  • Recommended for: proper young ladies who read Patricia Highsmith and Daphne du Maurier, have a secret love of Unsolved Mysteries, and appreciate the pathos of the opening scene of Carrie but find the rest of the movie lacking in subtlety

Read on for the full review