It’s that time again for my, and my librarian husband’s, top ten books. These are selected from books we read this year – not books published this year. You can read our lists from 2017, 2016, and 2015 by clicking on the years.
Here are some facts and figures about my list:
- None of my top 10 books were published this year (although I did read plenty of recently published books)
- I read 94 books this year (including a couple of manuscripts)
- Three of the books on my list have been made into wonderful films: The Hours, The Wall, and My Abandonment (filmed as Leave No Trace), (and You Should have Left is in production)
- Neatly, five female and five male authors made it onto my list (of my 94, 56 were female)
- Two of my top ten are English translations from German: You Should Have Left and The Wall
- The shortest book I read – You Should Have Left – made it onto my top ten. It’s 111 pages, but they are tiny pages. The longest I read was Night Film at 640 pages.
- I listened to two of the novels on my list, and loved them so much I bought a physical copy: After the Eclipse (also the only non-fiction book on my list), and Odd Girl Out by Elizabeth Jane Howard
- For an article I wrote in October about haunted house novels, I read several ‘scary’ books that I hadn’t heard of before, and two of them (You Should have Left, and The Elementals) made it onto my list.
My best reads of 2018
Top 3 (in no order)
Bitter Orange is published today (October 9) in the USA and Canada. And to celebrate I’m giving away one set of all three of my novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, and a hardback copy of Bitter Orange (with its US cover).
To enter, just visit Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and follow the instructions there. The competition is open worldwide.
The Canadian cover, from House of Anansi, is almost the same as the UK version.
Early US reviews have been great:
Kirkus (starred review)
“In the vein of Shirley Jackson’s bone-chilling The Haunting of Hill House, Fuller’s disturbing novel will entrap readers in its twisty narrative, leaving them to reckon with what is real and what is unreal. An intoxicating, unsettling masterpiece.”
“In her new novel, Claire Fuller enhances the mystery with luscious detail: sights of ghosts, smells of overripe fruit, echoes of Cara wailing. The plot’s movements are rendered secondary, at least in the early going, to the atmosphere, and it’s to the novel’s benefit; with sensations so alive on the page, you’re constantly kept on your toes, attuned to the mania. You’ll ask, beguiled: What’s really going on here?”
Buy Bitter Orange.
It’s been a crazy year in the world and on a personal scale, but I’ve always come back to books. I read 76 this year, lots of proofs (thank you publishers), lots newly published, and I discovered many books and authors that I somehow missed reading years ago. This is a list of my favourite books I read this year, Continue reading
Back in January I was lucky enough to visit The Little Ripon Bookshop to sign some copies of Our Endless Numbered Days. I couldn’t have been made more welcome – coffee and biscuits, a little table by the door, a display of my books (and toothpaste, Spam and string) in the window, and a stream of customers who so clearly came because they love this little bookshop, its owners and staff.
Here’s my interview with Gill, one of the owners.
He wrote her five notes after they first met, and when she was in the bath, he hid them around her house – behind a painting, under a rug, in the toe of an old tennis shoe. She found them one by one over the years. Notes of love, recalling the heady rush of newness.
Until only one remained.
“Tell me where,” she begged, already old. “Give me one clue.”
“In the library,” he said eventually.
Every day she took down a book and flicked through its pages; and finally, one afternoon, a scrap of folded paper fluttered out.
I’m flattered this week that Rochelle chose a photograph of my libary at home. My piece this week is based on a true story. My partner Tim and I did write notes to each other and hid them in each other’s houses. We live together now, and I know that there is one final note in a book, that I’m yet to find.
This piece of writing is part of the Friday Fictioneers writing group. Each week writers from around the world attempt to write 100 words (or so) starting with a picture.
I’d love to receive comments and constructive criticism. Click here to read other people’s stories inspired by this picture or to join in, with the group hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields.