My 2018 Book Picks

If there’s a better last minute gift than a book (if there’s a better gift than a book full stop) then I’ve yet to find it. Besides the usual seasonal autobiographies, celebrity endorsed cookbooks and lifestyle guides, and prestige children’s books that tend to fly off the shelves, there’s more than enough quality fiction to suit every style of reader. Here’s a selection of some of my favourite books that I’ve reviewed over the past year.

For the by-the-fireside reader

A KEEPER – Graham Norton
Hodder & Stoughton

Secrets are unearthed when a woman returns from New York to her small Irish town to clear out her mother’s house following her death. What is the truth about her father? Will her mission to get the bottom of her heritage uncover more skeletons than she’s capable of handling? Will her own present day problems conspire to unfurl her completely? A deep, dark read perfect for settling in for the long haul with a steaming cup of hot choc.

Read the full review here

For the reader who can’t sit still

ROAR – Cecelia Ahern
Harper Collins

A collection of bite size short stories may be just the ticket for someone trying to read more but with only snatches of time to fit it in. Cecelia Ahern has come up with 30 modern fables, ranging from a woman who discovers the power of flight to one who is swallowed up by a hole after an embarrassing incident at work. Perhaps one for a feminist friend, or one who needs a jolt of empowerment or one who can’t sit still long enough to get through an entire novel.

Read the full review here

For the reader with time on their hands

Tinder Press

When four siblings visit a travelling fortune teller they each come away with the date of their deaths. Armed with this information their lives paths are shaped and fed by it, leading each of the siblings to very different fates. A long and substantial novel, this would be a lovely gift for someone who wants a significant and satisfying read to get stuck in with over the holidays.

Read the full review here

For the reader who loves a page-turner

THE OUTSIDER – Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.

A little boy is found brutally murdered and all fingers, evidence and witness statements point to a local little league coach. The only trouble is, he has a water-tight alibi. How can one man be in one place at once? Any horror or sci-fi fan would get a lot out of this, not to mention any other reader who likes to speed through a fast-paced thriller.

Read the full review here

For the reader who wants to expand their horizons

Raven Books

Waking up with no recollection of the previous night, let alone his entire past, a man is thrust into a murder mystery he must solve before it’s even committed. Very twisty-turny, complex plotting means concentration is needed for this one, but the pay-off is marvellous once everything starts coming together. A bit of Agatha Christie mixed with some very strange goings-on, I’d recommend this one for a reader who likes something a little bit out-there.

Read the full review here

For the reader who’d prefer a memoir

Penguin Random House

For those of us who prefer non-fiction this early life memoir by Sunday Time Style columnist Dolly Alderton charts her ups and downs in life and particularly love up until the dawn of her 31st year. The writer’s early life will resonate with many people of similar age and those of a slightly older vintage may not appreciate the 90s pop culture references. However, as her life goes on a vulnerability and raw human emotions are laid bare, making it an honest and well-written portrayal of one woman’s experience in the modern world.

Read the full review here

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