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Kirsty Logan

Hello! I’m Kirsty Logan, a writer of novels and short stories. My books are The Gloaming, The Gracekeepers, A Portable Shelter, and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales.

Latest News

Kirsty Logan

Hello! I’m Kirsty Logan, a writer of novels and short stories. My books are The Gloaming, The Gracekeepers, A Portable Shelter, and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales.

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Best Books of 2018

31st Dec 2018 in Books

This year I read 258 books – and for the first time in my entire life, I read more non-fiction than novels!

The 258 books break down like this: 85 non-fiction, 63 novels/novellas, 41 YA/kids, 33 short story collections/anthologies, 26 graphic novels, 10 poetry collections. As always I have a slight female bias, with the authors 146 female and 103 male (the other 9 either genderqueer or I don’t know their gender, or multi-author anthologies).

In no particular order, here are my 50 favourites of 2018.

Books out in 2018:

  • Best feminist myth-inspired stories: Apple and Knife, Intan Paramaditha, Stephen J Epstein (translator)
  • Best domestic thriller: Lullaby, Leïla Slimani, Sam Taylor (translator)
  • Best transgender protagonist (also best sad crime novel): The House on Half Moon Street, Alex Reeve
  • Best badass (also deaf and bisexual) protagonist: Dark Pines, Will Dean
  • Best ongoing series I can’t get enough of: The Blood, E.S. Thomson
  • Best book that made me roll the prose around in my mouth like a sweet: In the City of Love’s Sleep, Lavinia Greenlaw

  • Best sincere embracing of a surreal concept: My Boyfriend Is a Bear, Pamela Ribon (author) & Cat Farris (illustrator)
  • Best book that indulges and also analyses nostalgia: Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction, Gabrielle Moss
  • Best adorable LGBT graphic novel: The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
  • Best book on the importance of tenderness: Little Sid: The Tiny Prince Who Became Buddha, Ian Lendler (author) & Xanthe Bouma (illustrator)
  • Best Agatha Christie/Black Mirror mash-up: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton
  • Best graphic novel I love so much I want to eat it (particularly as the colors make it look like forbidden snacks): Paper Girls, Vol. 5, Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Cliff Chiang (illustrator) & Matt Wilson (colourist)

  • Best book about books: Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading, Lucy Mangan
  • Best book I keep telling everyone about to the extent that it’s probably quite annoying: Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, David Graeber
  • Best book that both comforted and confronted me: Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life, Katherine Ormerod
  • Best book I immediately wanted to give to all my female friends: How to Own the Room, Viv Groskop
  • Best book about Pretty Dead Girl stories: Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, Alice Bolin
  • Best spooky stories: Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book of New Ghost Stories, Rowan Routh (editor)
  • Best stories that gave me writer envy, bewitched me and creeped me right the fuck out: This Dreaming Isle, Dan Coxon (editor)

I also published two books in 2018 (I haven’t included either as part of my top 50 but I’m giving them a brief mention, as they were hard work to write and I’m proud of them!). One is a novel, The Gloaming, and one is a personal essay/memoir, The Old Asylum in the Woods at the Edge of the Town Where I Grew Up, published as part of Hometown Tales: Glasgow with Paul McQuade.

 

Books Out Before 2018:

  • Best small, dense, perfect novella: Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill
  • Best snowy, sparse, surreal novel: The Ice Palace, Tarjei Vesaas, Elizabeth Rokkan (translator)
  • Best strange, claustrophobic, desperate crime novel: The Hours Before Dawn, Celia Fremlin
  • Best gay crime novel: Fadeout, Joseph Hansen
  • Best book I read on a mermaid inflatable in a swimming pool: Picnic at Hanging Rock, Joan Lindsay
  • Best novel set in post-Katrina New Orleans: City of the Dead, Sara Gran

  • Best stories that never went where I expected them to: Tiny Deaths, Robert Shearman
  • Best short stories about Deaf experience and culture: Chattering, Louise Stern
  • Best surreal, beautifully-written stories that gave me writer envy: The People in the Castle, Joan Aiken
  • Best Malaysian horror stories: Them Horrors be Everywhere, Julya Oui
  • Best gorgeously-illustrated new fairytales: The Language of Thorns, Leigh Bardugo
  • Best horrible/brilliant stories I couldn’t read while eating: Daddy’s, Lindsay Hunter

  • Best feminist pop-culture essays: You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Princesses, Trainwrecks, and Other Man-Made Women, Carina Chocano
  • Best true crime that made me examine how we portray female murderers: Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History, Tori Telfer
  • Best book that made me think more deeply about both Hillary Clinton and Kim Kardashian: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, Anne Helen Petersen
  • Best book about a subject I didn’t know I wanted to read about: Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste (33⅓), Carl Wilson
  • Best book about what the concept of ‘celebrity’ is and isn’t: Where Am I Now?, Mara Wilson
  • Best true crime book that expands the boundaries of what true crime can do: The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

  • Best book to read in cold seasons: The Nature of Winter, Jim Crumley
  • Best book I should have been taught at school: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Best Re-Read: Ariel, Sylvia Plath
  • Best book that inspired me while also making me want to read Russian novels: The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature, Viv Groskop
  • Best nostalgic book: The Bucket, Allan Ahlberg
  • Best book that made me want to read things I didn’t expect to want to read: Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction, Grady Hendrix

  • Best book that made me figure out what the novel I’m writing is actually about: Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction, Malcolm Gaskill
  • Best book to read on a writing residency: Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World, Nell Stevens
  • Best book I read while doing novel research at the Wellcome Library: She-Wolf: A Cultural History of Female Werewolves, Hannah Priest (editor)
  • Best book that broke all my illusions about writing for Hollywood: Dreams & Nightmares: Terry Gilliam & the Brothers Grimm, Bob McCabe
  • Best how-to-write book: Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative, Chuck Wendig
  • Best book to learn how (and why) to write a screenplay: Which Lie Did I Tell?, William Goldman

  • And best devastating final line: Evening Primrose, Kopano Matlwa

 

What were your favourite books of 2018?

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