I have been terribly inactive this past week due to the resurgence of a Sims addiction I can’t seem to keep under control and my latest obsession with The Eye of the World, the first Wheel of Time novel. I had meant to write a post for A Little But a Lot’s ‘Six for Sunday’ prompt Favourite Books this Year So Far but I was 4 generations deep into my Sims’ dynasty and couldn’t tear myself away long enough to do any writing. So I’ve altered this prompt down to 5 books and I’m releasing it 6 days late. Better late than never, right?
Now the tricky part. I’ve read 11 books so far this year and other than an isolated instance, I’ve enjoyed them all very much. I definitely get trapped in the mindset that every book I finish is ‘the best book I’ve ever read’ immediately after completion, so it’s fun to reflect on them all weeks or months after the fact. So here are the 5 books that I consider to be the best of my 2018 reads (so far!).
5. Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (2016)
Though it lost some points for its slow start, Lovecraft Country deserves so much praise for it’s cast of badass, no-nonsense female characters. The story follows an extended family of black Americans during the 1950s as they battle rampant racism alongside an almost lesser evil of a Lovecraftian cult. Written in an episodic format, the book is filled with a fascinating cast of characters who all stand up to their own inner demons while living in a world where they are targeted with constant emotional and physical abuse everywhere they go.
4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)
I’m still surprised that I actually enjoyed this book as much as I did. Despite the lack of character development and plot depth, Ready Player One was an absolute blast to read and an exciting throwback to so many bits and pieces of my childhood, some I had completely forgotten about. As I discussed in my review it’s flawed in ways that would normally make me hate a book, but I gave it a pass in return for a fluffy and enjoyable page-turner that gripped my attention throughout. I’m looking forward to checking out the movie adaption soon.
3. The Haunted Moustache by David Bramwell (2016)
Bramwell’s The Haunted Moustache is one of the strangest books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It details the years when the author first moved to Brighton in southeast England and the unusual group of people he befriended and loved. The book’s scrapbook-like layout and occasionally questionable truths paint a unique and unforgettable picture of one of my favourite places in the country. As it isn’t a long book, The Haunted Moustache is a perfect companion for the train ride from London down to the rocky beaches of Brighton.
2. Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose by Christopher Josiffe (2017)
Dear old Gef, my favourite creepy cryptid. I had been dying to get my hands on a copy of Josiffe’s analysis of the mongoose that ‘haunted’ a small farm on the Isle of Man since it’s release last year. I was nothing short of amazed by the obscure historical information that Josiffe was able to dig up about this more obscure member of the British ghostly canon. I learned a lot reading this book, not only about Gef but also about the Isle of Man and other similar creatures in various geographic folklores. A very colourful, creepy, and hilarious read.
And the winner of 2018 (so far!) is…..
1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)
Could it really have been anything else? Danielewski’s bizarre and mind-warping tome has left me searching for answers in the depths of the internet over a month after I finished reading it. Forget 2018, this is easily one of my favourite books of all time. After I had finished reading it I knew that I would never read anything else like it ever again, and the thought left me simultaneously sad and excited to read it again in a couple years for a new perspective. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to detangle the surrealist web Danielewski weaves throughout this monumental and outstanding narrative.
As you can see, 2018 has been a really exciting year of reading for me so far. I can’t wait to see what my ‘Top 5 of 2018’ looks like in a couple of months! How is your 2018 reading going so far? Have you found any new favourites? Let me know in the comments!