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My Books Of The Year 2018

Once again it is the end of another year. I cannot believe that 2018 is over and 2019 has begun. 2018 was a great year for books, but it was a slow year in terms of reading for me with me only reading 53 books. I have struggled to decide between my favourite books of the year so although I don’t give star ratings on Bloomin’ Brilliant Books I do on Goodreads and Amazon and I have simply listed those I have rated five stars on those sites. Click on the titles to read my full review:

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

Intelligent, thoughtful and damn scary, read Hydra with the big light on and not before bedtime! Absolutely bloody brilliant!

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravtn

A psychological thriller in the purest sense, The Bird Tribunal is deeply unsettling and will resonate with you for days after reading it. It is, however, more than this and the outstanding prose and rich descriptions make it a beautiful piece of literary fiction. Outstanding!

Last Orders by Caimh McDonnell

An absolute corker and a great way to end the series, Last Orders is brilliant. I loved everything about it and it, along with the other three books, will be one I return to again and again. I’m gutted it’s over but excited to see where McDonnell takes us next. If you haven’t yet read any of these books go out and buy them all now; I promise that you will love them!

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

Nugent never lets me down and Skin Deep is yet another accomplished novel by this talented author. She has weaved another twisted tale to perfection ensuring her place at the top of my list of favourite authors. Skin Deep takes you for a walk on the darker side of life and it is delectable. An absolute must read for fans of psychological thrillers.

Overkill by Vanda Symon

With a twisty plot, a protagonist who shines and beautifully written observations of the cruellest things, Overkill is crime fiction at its best and this is an outstanding book. I predict that this book is going to soar here in the UK and it deserves to. I adored this book and can’t wait for the next in the series. If you read and enjoy crime fiction, you will adore it too.

Attend by West Camel

The writing is sublime and Attend is a book that is rich in imagery and metaphor, leaving me thinking about it, and feeling it, long after the final page was read. It is a beautifully spun tale that defies being pigeonholed into a genre. A delicately balanced tapestry that combines current social issues, history and a little bit of magic, Attend is an assured debut by a talented writer. Lovers of literary fiction will adore it.

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

I have loved Beech’s previous books (although I still have to read How To Be Brave) but The Lion Tamer Who Lost may be my favourite yet. Incredibly moving, at times desperately heartbreaking and always tender, The Lion Tamer Who Lost reminds us that if fate exists, it is fickle and may not always be leading you to the outcome you expect. A truly outstanding and beautiful book.

Docherty by William McIlvanney

Full of grit, rage and despair, yet interspersed with dry, Scottish humour, Docherty is an uncomfortable read but an essential read. If you like your literature to be unflinching in its depiction of life at the harshest end of the scale you will enjoy Docherty.

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

A first-rate follow up to her debut novel, The Hoarder was everything I expected from Jess Kidd. If you haven’t yet read anything by this author ensure you do now! The Hoarder is exquisite, sublimely written and a great story.

The Old You by Louise Voss

I loved The Old You, and I would go as far as saying if you only read one domestic noir this year make it this one as you will be hard pushed to find better. Tense, chilling and cleverly plotted.

The Retreat by Mark Edwards

The Retreat creeps and twists like the ivy that climbs up an old building and it gets under your skin. Combining old-school style ghost story elements with modern day thriller, Edwards has created a spine-tingling story that it is enthralling and irresistible.

I also want to give a shout out to a book that I have read in a different capacity and, therefore, not reviewed but which I have a huge sort spot for. That book is The Truth About Archie and Pye by Jonathan Pinnock. It is hilarious, and I urge you to read it.


Relic Chaser Adventure Giveaway Winner!!!!


So, a while ago the lovely Urcelia Teixeira ran a giveaway alongside her Author Influences post. The winner was to receive a signed set of Relic Chaser Adventure books and I am pleased to announce that the lucky winner is…

Julia Theulings!!!

Whoop, whoop! Congratulations, Julia. Urcelia will be in touch with you shortly to get your contact details. Well done and enjoy your prize.

Literary Book Gifts – Exclusive Discount

I am delighted to welcome Melissa from Literary Book Gifts to Bloomin’ Brilliant Books today. Melissa is here to tell us about her beautiful products. She also has a very special offer for Bloomin’ Brilliant Books’ readers who can claim a 20% discount on all goods ordered and this is unlimited! There are some really gorgeous bags and T-shirts in Melissa’s store. Read on to find out how to claim your discount and to find out more about Literary Book Gifts.

So, I will now hand you over to Melissa…

About Literary Book Gifts

Literary Book Gifts specializes in bringing novels and their characters to life on t-shirts, backpacks, and tote bags.

A few titles include works by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Books exist primarily on paper and as ideas. Wearing a shirt of your favorite book makes the experience tangible in a way that reading the book or talking about it does not. If anyone has spent an afternoon looking at vintage book covers they will understand the nostalgia that comes with reading very old literature.

Shirts and bags make amazing presents. Giving someone a shirt with their favorite novel on it, such as Walden by Henry David Thoreau or Ulysses by James Joyce makes for a fun and unique gift.

All design work is done in house, with an effort to create designs that look and feel authentic. You will not find anything similar to most of the designs anywhere else. Take for example The Origin of Species shirt with the famously extinct dodo bird. You can hunt far and wide but you won’t find this print elsewhere.

Every style is available in many different colors and sizes. There are hundreds of products available in the store with over 45 many more to come so there is always something for everyone.

Check out the rest of the gorgeous products Melissa has by heading over to the Literary Book Gifts website:

I absolutely love the tote bags and there are a couple of my favourite books depicted – The Secret Garden and Wuthering Heights – and any of these would make great presents. I also love The Origin of Species one that Melissa mentions. 

As promised, Melissa is giving  all readers of Bloomin’ Brilliant Books 20% off everything in store:

I have created a promo code BLOOMINBRILLIANT20 which is good for 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times.

It is really simple to use; just pop the code into the discount box and click ‘apply’. Literary Book Gifts are based in the USA but Melissa ships overseas so UK readers can use the code and order too, hurrah! 

A huge thank you, Melissa, for this offer. You are incredibly kind!

Happy shopping!

Taking a Break

I’m taking a brief break away from Bloomin’ Brilliant Books and social media from 3rd July to 9th July. I’m hoping to catch up on some reading and concentrate for a while on some other things in my life. I’m going to try and get myself organised into a schedule of both blogging and other projects that works well for me. I will still be responding to emails.

See you all soon xxx