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Kirsty Logan

Hello! I’m Kirsty Logan, a writer of novels and short stories. My latest work is the Audible Original The Sound at the End. My other books are Things We Say In The Dark, 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 latest work is the Audible Original The Sound at the End. My other books are Things We Say In The Dark, The Gloaming, The Gracekeepers, A Portable Shelter, and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales.


Best Books of 2018

31st Dec 2018 in Books, News

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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