From Pemberley to Milton’s 2018 Favourite Books

Good Afternoon everyone

It’s the last day of the year which means I get to publish one of the posts I most enjoy writing: the year on review and my list of favourite books 🙂

I love to analyse figures and see exactly how my reading habits are evolving so I keep wanting to create some stats to share with you, but unfortunately I was once more unable to do something very complex, so I hope you like this simple take on how my 2018 was. I promise that next year I will finally built something worth seeing 🙂

 

 

Last year I had read 38 books which at the time seemed a lot to me! I know some of my readers read many more books per year, but to me it is really hard to get to that number with my full-time job and all the other activities I love to do, so this year I had established 35 as my goal. When I got to the end of the year and saw how may books I had read, I could not have been more surprised! 2018 was truly one of the worst years of my life, if not the worse, and I didn’t have much time to read, so I could not understand how I could get to 51. Then I figured out that my long, long commutes to work started paying off. Out of these 51, 15 were audiobooks and many of them were novellas, so that explains how I was able to get to this high number.

 

I read a total of 11 800 pages which is 1570 more than last year, but my average of pages read per book is smaller than the 276 from 2017, it was only 234. The shortest book I read this year was a novella I tried just for fun a couple of days ago and that is free on Amazon, but I ended up disliking it very much, it is called Mr. Darcy’s Passion and it is an erotic story without much content apart from the infamous encounters between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. The longest book I read this year, The Whisky Wedding, is much smaller than These Dreams which was the longest book I read in 2017, but it still had a considerable length of 514 pages.

 Just like last year I didn’t read anything online, so the 51 books are only referring to published works.

From the 51 books I read this year some are more famous than others and the most famous one was not JAFF, it was Thirteen Reasons Why from Jay Asher and if you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. It is innovative, poignant, daring and a wake up call for all of us. If you have seen the Netflix show which is also available at Amazon Prime you may want to bear in the mind the book has some differences, it is not meant to be a blockbuster so it is more real and less shocking. Now, the least popular book I read is indeed JAFF, but I also recommend it, it was Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish which I have recently reviewed and it is a nice variation of Persuasion that takes place during Christmas time.

The highest rated book on Goodreads that I have read was Yuletide, which was also the last  review I posted this year 🙂 If you read it, you know that I am on the same page with the Goodreads average rating, if you haven’t, you can still find it here.

Not all the books I read in 2018 were published in the current year, in fact, most of them were published in earlier years, so my 2018 favourite books list does not include the best books published in 2018, but my favourite books which were read in 2018. I’m sure there are amazing books published this year that I haven’t read yet and that could have made this list if I had, but I am trying to read the old titles that are still in my TBR pile 🙂

 I’m including both Jane Austen Fan Fiction books and North and South Fan Fiction books and excluding all other fiction novels. The ones I chose this year were the ones that left a bigger impression in me, the ones that for some reason I still recall vividly in the end of the year. I’ve read many great books this year but if I didn’t quite remembered them when I sat down to do this list they were not included because, can they really be my favourites if I didn’t remember them after a few months of reading them?

Even though this was the year I read more books since starting this blog, it wasn’t very difficult to choose my favourites, I think I’m getting used it 🙂 During my first years it was really hard to compile this list, but I always tried to be fair and honest even if it meant leaving some really great books behind. If you are curious about my 2015, 2016 and 2017 lists, just click on the links and you’ll be re-directed there (I’m working on a more organized way to have these available in the blog….big renovations will have to occur this year).

Now that I’ve explained how I decided to create this list, and without further ado or any particular order, my favourite books read in 2018 are:

 

 

.

 

 

The Events at Branxbourne – Caitlin Williams

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 256

Sub genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it –The writing, the writing and lets not forget about the writing! It may seem I’m overreacting, but Caitlin Williams’ writing in this book is pure perfection, it is gripping, profound, enticing, clever, exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The plot was innovative and along with the writing made this book impossible to put down.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – No

 

 

Nowhere But North – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 409

Sub Genre – North & South Variation

What I loved about it – The writing, the structure, the character development and depth… This is until this moment my all time favourite North & South variation! Everything about it was perfect and as I mention on my review, this book is a masterpiece that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys good literature.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

Son of a Preacher Man – Karen M. Cox

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 295

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Different Era

What I loved about it –The character development, the small town feeling and the ability to transport me into a completly different reality. As I mentioned in my review, the character development was impressive and had a magnetic pull to it, the romance was believable, true, inspiring, life changing and passionate, the writing was addictive and the message of hope, forgiveness and love that is transmitted throughout the novel made it one of the best books I’ve read this year.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

The Deception at Lyme – Carrie Bebris

Publication year – 2011

Number of Pages – 304

Sub Genre – P&P and Persuasion Mash Up; P&P Sequel

What I loved about it – The perfect blend of the characters into the story, the mystery and the uniqueness of it! It took me 7 years to find this book, but it certainly will not take that much time to read another book of this series! This book was my 2018 biggest surprise, let’s see what 2019 will bring 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Conceit & Concealment – Abigail Reynolds

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 396

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it – The storyline, the characters, the roller coaster of emotions and never knowing what would happen next! I cannot wait to publish my review of this book that hooked me from page one until the end. Along with Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections this is now my favourite Abigail Reynolds book 🙂

My review (coming soon)      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Being Mrs Bennet – Alexa Adams

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 309

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Time Travel

What I loved about it –The creativity, the audacity, and the ability to make me love a book whose main character is Mrs. Bennet (of sorts)! I found this book bold and compelling and as I said in my review it proves the author’s talent and ability to engage readers in an endearing novel with character development and introspection in the middle of a funny and light narrative

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity – Amy D’Orazio

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 334

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it –The plot, the angst, the love story, the writing, the characters… This book just had all the necessary ingredients for me to love it! As I mentioned in my review this book is  gripping, character driven, intense and it comes as no surprise that it was one of my favourites this year!

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

London Holiday – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 300

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it – The dialogues, the tenderness of the story, the effortless writing quality and the dreamlike feeling it created in me. This book is light and entertaining but also intense when it comes to characters feelings. The reader can feel exactly what the characters are feeling at each step of the way and is transported into a true London Holiday himself.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

The Darcy Legacy – Joana Starnes

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 422

Sub Genre – Pride and Prejudice Variations

What I loved about it – The humour, the supernatural and the writing as always 🙂 Joana Starnes took a risk by venturing into a completely different style and she was definitely successful making her way into my 2018 favourite books list 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Yuletide – Edited by Christina Boyd

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 192

Sub Genre – Anthology

What I loved about it – It is a Christmas Anthology written by some of my favourite authors, what is there not to like? Plus it has all the necessary diversity to keep the reader engaged and looking forward for the next story 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Not Yet

 

Do you share any favourites with me? Have you read all that are on my list? You have noticed that most of them are available on Kindle Unlimited and I recently received an email from Amazon with a special deal of 3 months subscription for only 0,99$ which was more then a bargain! I subscribed it and immediately downloaded a few books I have been meaning to read lately but that were a little more pricy then usual, it was a great deal. You may want to check if you also are entitled to this special price in Kindle Unlimited. It may allow you to read many books almost for free 🙂

So, which were your favourite books in 2018? I would love to hear your opinion and maybe get a few suggestions of great books to read this year, the 2019 reading challenge is already starting and all suggestions to fulfill it are welcome, even if this year I will establish different goals 🙂

For 2019 I will establish the same goal in  Goodreads I did this year, 35 books. It’s not much but I want to dedicate more time to the blog itself so I know I won’t have that much time to read. I want to re-organize the blog because with the growing number of books I’ve read it is getting hard to have an easily accessible arquive. I’ll have to work on that and maybe re-think on the number of posts I’m doing per week, the format etc. Do you have any suggestions? Should I post more or less then I’m doing? And should I change the way I’m writing the reviews?

Anyway, one of my 2019 goals will definitely be to re-organize the blog, but when it comes to reading goals, last year I had established as a goal to read more non-autenesque books, namely 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny, I was able to achieve that goal by reading not only these two but also a total of 6 non-autenesque books, so this year I want to continue with that objective but there isn’t any particular book I want to read, I just aim to read at least 5 non-austenesque novels.

In 2017 I also established as a goal to read more books in portuguese and I wasn’t very successful at that with only 3 books read on my native language, so this year I’ll have to work harder because that is still an objective.

But my main goal this year will be to read more paperbacks. I love my kindle, don’t get me wrong, I’m always the one who jumps into its defense when people say it’s not the same thing as reading “an actual” book, but the truth is I do miss turning the pages and I’m starting to feel that with my kindle everything starts to blend in my head and I’m not getting as much enjoyment as I used to when I was reading paperbacks. I have all these beauties lined up on my bookshelf, which ones do you think I should read first?

 

And which goals are you establishing for yourself? I hope you are able to achieve all your goals and that you have a fulfilling 2019 full of health and happiness!!!

Until then, a Happy New Year!!!

 


 

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51 Comments

Filed under Favorites, JAFF

51 responses to “From Pemberley to Milton’s 2018 Favourite Books

  1. Christina Boyd

    What a great list! Some of my favorites too in that list. #ILoveBestOfListSeason Thank you for including our Yuletide anthology amongst your favorites this year. I am sorry to read that 2018 was terrible for you on a personal level. I did enjoy traveling with you vicariously on Instagram and loved when you took our #RakesAndGentlemenRogues on vacations with you or seeing you wear your #RationalCreatures shirt on your travels. That was fun to see! Thanks again. And hope your 2019 is better. Looking forward to seeing you in person next summer here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ll hand deliver your hardcover copy of #TheDarcyMonologues with your blurb on the back as I no longer have faith in the postal service. (Seriously? How much stuff can get lost in the mail when shipping is as expensive as it is. Sorry for being so gauche as to mention money.) Anyway, thank you again and can’t wait to read your coming review of #RationalCreatures.

    Like

    • I’m sure 2019 will be better Christina, and I’m also curious to see which books it will bring me and which places I will visit :)))
      The Pacific Northwest is seeming more and more attractive 🙂

      Like

      • Christina Boyd

        By the way, I would suggest going with Amanda Granges’s Captain Wentworth. Here’s my review from 2007. Can you believe how much I spent on this one book! True story. (Those were the days when hardly any JAFF was in print—we are lucky now to live in times when writers are giving their words away at 5.99 and less!) https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R86KA8K2MFLQ8/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0013TTK9E

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      • Christina Boyd

        About £20 in hardcover then shipping to US was about $20!!!! I was desperate back then!

        Like

      • Wow!! Christina if that’s not love for the genre I don’t know what is!!! I also remember buying the paperbacks and paying postage to Portugal when I started reading this type of books and it wasn’t easy. I could only buy one per month, luckily kindle changed that, but to be honest I think it’s making me get less involved in the stories so I’m going back to paperbacks for a while. Lately I feel they give me more pleasure to read… it may be just a phase, but I’ll definitely be reading only paperbacks in the near future…

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  2. What a thrill to be included, Rita! Thank you so much! It’s a great list of books, many of which I have yet to read. Have a wonderful new year and happy reading in 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not yet read Being Mrs. Bennet nor The Deception at Lyme but both are on my TBR pile. I enjoyed all the others you mentioned. Great list. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer Redlarczyk

    My reading is not what is should have been since I was so busy editing and promoting my own books. Still I did read 5 of those you mentioned and loved them all. Right now my Kindle is loaded, but I’m hopeful for 2019. I probably would add “Proof of Love” by Brenda Webb as on of my favorites. Thanks, Jen Red

    Liked by 1 person

  5. caroleincanada

    Love your picks for 2018 but there were 3 on there I haven’t read yet but hope to for 2019. My goal at this point is to read the books I have won in giveaways (to the authors I thank and apologize) and alternate with some of the wonderful ‘new’ books that have come out in the past couple of months. I will also re-look at how many books I will read this year as I am not going to hit my target for 2018 as it is. I am happy though with what I did accomplish.

    As for which book you should pick first for 2019: The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds – love that book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • caroleincanada

      Oh and most of all HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

      Like

    • I think we may have similar goals for next year Carole, I also need to read the books I already own instead of continuously buying new books. Thanks for the advice! That book was offered to be by Anita from My Vices and Weaknesses a couple of years ago and it has been in my TBR pile for some time, I guess now is the time 🙂 Happy New Year to you and your family 🙂

      Like

  6. Great list! I loved Being Mrs. Bennet (doing my happy editor dance to see it on your list) and Yuletide. The others are on my Kindle so I’m glad to see you loved them. Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glynis

    Well done Rita! I don’t know how you do it and a full time job! I’m happily retired but still have a long list of books on my kindle which I haven’t read. (I admit a reason for that could be my re reading of books I love)
    I have so many favourite books that I’ve read this year including some of yours. I loved the books by Lory Lilian, Unwrapping Mr Darcy by Leslie Diamond, In Good Conscience by Cat Gardiner, Mr Darcy’s Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds etc etc etc. I could list many more as I find it so hard to make decisions 😦
    Good luck with your reading plans for 2019 and my best wishes for a happy, healthy and wealthy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Glynis! You support means a lot to me 🙂 I haven’t read anything from Lory Lilian and surprisingly I never read anything from Cat Gardiner. Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment is in my TBR and Unwrapping Mr Darcy was pretty good too! Thanks for sharing these preferences with us 🙂
      A Happy New Year for you and your family Glynis, and May we continue to talk about books next year 🙂

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      • Glynis

        If you want different you really should read Cat Gardiner’s books. Her Conscience series is outstanding! I’m totally besotted with Iceman and the total story oh him and Liz is so not like anything else. These are all on my love to the read list. Please let me know what you think if you ever do read them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Glynis, that series has been on my TBR pile for a long time! I really want to read it, so I’ll try harder to reduce my TBR pile this year so I can start with Car Gardiners, if you are recommending it, I’m sure it is worth it.

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  8. Rita, I am so honored that you included both Nowhere But North and London Holiday in your list! I have never written two more dissimilar books 😁

    You have some amazing selections. The quality of books just astounds me, and I cannot wait until I see what my fellow authors come up with in 2019. I hope it is a better year for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope 2019 is a very productive year to you Nicole because we need more of your books, it doesn’t matter how dissimilar they are, they are always a great read, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll present us with next 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. karenmcoxbooks

    Reblogged this on Adalia Street Press and commented:
    Son of a Preacher Man finds a spot on this Top 10 of 2018 list!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. karenmcoxbooks

    Rita – Thank you so much for including “Son of a Preacher Man” on your 2018 list! I’m so glad the story spoke to you. I’m honored to be listed here with other authors I admire 🙂 I hope you have a new year full of blessings and joy ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Karen! A Happy New Year for you too 🙂 Son of a Preacher Mas was definitely a surprise because I don’t usually love moderna or different era novels, but this one is indeed special 🙂

      Like

  11. I love seeing your list of favorites, Rita! Thanks so much for sharing! I am sorry to hear that 2018 as a whole was not a good year for you – I hope all the travels were good! That is so amazing that you’ve been to so many places!

    Of your top ten, I’ve read 7, but I’m hoping to read the other 3 soon – 1 is on my TBR pile!

    Thanks so much for sharing!! Wishing you a much happier 2019 – filled with travel, great reads, and lots of happiness!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Meredith, I’m looking forward to see your list too, I bet we have at least one or two favourites in common 🙂
      The travels were actually very good and hopefully this year I’ll be able to travel as much. Wishing you all the best!

      Like

  12. Sophia Rose

    Isn’t that something that you had such a big total? I love that audiobooks gave you the chance to enjoy more books this year. I’ve found that to be true for me, as well.

    I’ve only read a few of the books on your list, but they were huge winners for me, too.

    Wishing you another wonderful year of reading- particularly your print copies. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sophia! Hopefully this year I’ll be able to clean my backlog a little starting with these paperbacks :))
      I’m not listening to audiobooks as much nowadays, but I’ll have to work on that too because they are a great company ;))

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  13. Amy D'Orazio Author

    Thank you Rita! This is an amazing list and I am thrilled to be included!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. wonderful “best of 2018” list

    denise

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m delighted that Conceit & Concealment was one of your favorites for this year, and I’m thrilled to have my book among such great company. Wishing you a happier 2019 full of wonderful reading!

    P.S. The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice was written in 2002-3, when people could hold strong opposing political opinions and still think the other one is a real person. My plan was to have politics play most of the divide between my Elizabeth and Darcy characters, because a mere rich/poor difference in a modern doesn’t replicate the vast social gulf between Elizabeth and Darcy in the Regency. I thought the only things that could show that were differences in race, religion, or politics; and I didn’t feel competent to write about race or religion. My Elizabeth character was a female marine biologist, which pretty much automatically made her a liberal, so the Darcy character had to be conservative. Unfortunately, in the last few years, some people have read the book as a political screed, which frustrates me no end. So if you do read it, remember when it was written, back when it was pretty new-fangled that Darcy could search out a tiny picture of Elizabeth on the internet, and that Elizabeth would consider Darcy’s possession of a cell phone to mean he was rich. It’s amazing how quickly things are outdated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Abigail! I’m glad you gave me a little context regarding The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice because now I’m even more curious! I’ll let you know my opinion once I read it 🙂 Something tells me it will be as good as Conceit & Concealment 🙂

      Like

  16. Shelley Hoisington

    Great list! I swear my to read pile might crash down and kill me (Ha-Ha).
    Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: 2018 Year End Favorites – Nicole Clarkston

  18. suzanlauder

    I pick “The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice” for your read. It’s an excellent fic, and I’m a Regency snob! Great choice in your top ten. My fave of this list was “London Holiday.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Buturot

    Great line up of books. Thanks for putting this last post of the year. Some of the books I have already but looking forwatd to some I haven’t yet. Happy New Year and happy reading to all of us!!!

    Like

  20. I recommend Mr. Darcy’s Diary, by Maya Slater for your next paperback read. I remember being afronted by Mr. Darcy’s antics when I read it years ago, but in comparison to today’s standards it will be tame. Thank you for sharing your reading travels this year. Wishing you better days in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a great list! I wish I could read all of them, right now! But Caitlin’s book is top on my long to-read list. I hope 2019 is a much better year for you, and have fun with all the great reading ahead! (Oh, and though all of the books on your next-to-read list look fascinating, I was especially intrigued by “The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen” and “The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice.”) Happy New Year!

    Like

    • Thanks Christina! A Happy New Year for you too 🙂
      Caitlin’s book is a masterpiece, her writing is really good and this is one of those books people don’t forget about. I highly recommend it. I will definitely start with The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice as it appears to be a favourite of many people 🙂

      Like

  22. Sofia

    Hello! I just found your blog and I’m hooked! As a Portuguese reader (and I thought I was the only one JAFF obsessed in our little country), these lists and recommendations are wonderful! My favourite book in this list is probably the one from Abigail Reynolds, I couldn’t put it down! Have you read The Constant Love series by Sophie Turner? It’s a sequel (three so far, actually), but so well written and engaging I think you’d enjoy it… Bom ano e boas leituras!

    Like

    • Olá Sofia, it’s always a pleasure to find fellow janeites in Portugal!! In the beginning I thought I was the only one too, but with time I’ve come to meet other people who like this genre, or maybe I should say other people I convinced to try it :)) Luckily we all live near Lisbon so we had a chance to meet and discuss books, we would love to meet you too if you are interested 🙂
      I haven’t read anything from Sophie Turner yet, but if you recommend I’ll add it to my TBR list.
      I would love for us to talk about all our favourites :))
      Obrigada pela visita e espero ver-te aqui num futuro próximo 🙂 P.S- Vai dando um olhinho aos giveaways 🙂

      Like

      • Sofia

        Well, I’m a bit farther away… From Gaia to Albufeira, I have a big commute this year! Last year I was living in Seixal, so you never know! 😉 I’ll keep coming to read your news and book reviews! So many books, so little time, right?!?!? Beijinhos!

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      • Yes!!! It’s impossible to keep up with all the new books that are coming out, I have a few that I keep saying I want to read but I never find the time 😦
        Well, we never know, we may meet one of these days despite the distance, we just have to keep in touch in bonnetland (I’m stealing the expression from Joana Starnes, but I’m sure she’ll forgive me) beijinhos e até à próxima 🙂 E Feliz Ano Novo!!!

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  23. I’m so glad you liked Yuletide, Rita, and thanks SO much for including ‘The Darcy Legacy’ in your list of 2018 favourites! Wonderful to see it here!!

    It would be wonderful to see *you* again soon. I hope everything falls into place. Sorry I’m commenting so late, I just realised today that I’ve only commented on FB while we were away and the internet connection kept fading in & out. Hope your 2019 is much better than 2018 and that it would bring you to the UK often. All the best and fingers crossed for Pemberley!

    Like

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