This year has been many things, but I’d like to talk about books, because books are among the better parts of being human.
For me, 2018 was the year in which I discovered, and became swiftly addicted to, audiobooks.
It started with my daughter, who is dyslexic and also has trouble getting to sleep at night. I got an audible account, mainly using it for her, so she could engage with books she might find difficult to read, and also because I thought there might be soothing stories on there to help her fall asleep.
Then I started listening to them myself. Now I have a paper book and an audiobook on the go all the time (and I, too, often fall asleep listening to soothing things). I listen to books while I walk around town, while I do housework, and any time I can drag myself to the gym. I love having someone reading a story to me: it has been a revelation. I have now discovered that in 2018 I downloaded 96 audiobooks (Audible must love me): some were for my daughter, some for me, and some were free series for audible subscribers (I’m currently working my way through Nicholas Nickleby, wonderfully read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, which was free and is brilliant).
So - for the end of the year, here are my top five audiobooks of 2018, and my daughter’s top three (as you will see, 2018 was the year in which she discovered YA: that’s my girl).
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: a stunning read.
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. This is part 2 of a trilogy: I adore these books and hugely recommend them.
I am I am I am - Maggie O’Farrell. I was listening to this while walking home, and when I got back I had to rewind it to play a passage of it to Craig because it was so breathtaking.
The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris. This book stayed with me for ages after I finished it and I missed the main character as if he was real.
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: wonderful. I’d been meaning to read this for years and I loved it.
The Girl with all the Gifts by MR Carey. She loved this so much she has been buying copies for her friends.
We were Liars by E. Lockhart. I went on a book tour with Emily this year and got a physical copy signed for L.
Everything Everything - Nicola Yoon. She kept finding me to tell me which bit she was up to.
I know that 2019 will bring many things (the happy part is that Craig and I are getting married in April), and I also know that I will continue to listen to stories wherever I go. Right now I'm off to the gym with Hilary Mantel.