Because I smashed 2017’s target of 45 books with 56 books read, I set an always ambition target of reading 50 books this year, and only just scraped in on the last day of the year to make it (having included some delightfully short children’s books!).

In 2018 I continued to read poetry where I could, and continued to expand my Edward Ardizzonne collection. Related to my reading I fostered relations with the very best of British bookselling as I began travelling the nation to illustrate The Booklover’s Guide to Bookselling  – but more of that in the months to come. Back to the matter in hand, in strict reading order, this year I have read…

  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
  • A Stranger At Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
  • Daemon Voices by Philip Pullman
  • Trick or Murder? by Debbie Young
  • True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond
  • Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter
  • Paddington Bear by Michael Bond
  • Paddington’s Garden by Michael Bond
  • The Land of Green Ginger by Noel Langley
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • Paul, The Hero Of The Fire by Edward Ardizzone
  • The Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain by Edward Ardizzone
  • Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone
  • Time Shifters by Kate Frost
  • Murder in the Manger by Debbie Young
  • Cuckoo Call by Betty Salthouse
  • Kill Land by Dan Holloway
  • Murder by the Book by Debbie Young
  • Helmingham Hall Gardens by Timothy John Edward Tollemache
  • The Lido by Libby Page
  • 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox
  • The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
  • The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr
  • Not Quite Lost by Roz Morris
  • Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey
  • Raising a Forest by Thibaud Herem
  • Off the Shelf by Carol Ann Duffy
  • Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard
  • The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Last Hedgehog by Pam Ayres
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
  • Summer by Melissa Harrison
  • The Colour of the Sun by David Almond
  • Jack and the Beanstalk by Irana Shepherd
  • The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes by Beatrix Potter
  • Dennis the Dragon by Vera Hopewell
  • Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve
  • Pages & Co by Anna James
  • The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Tim Rice
  • A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
  • No. More. Plastic. by Martin Dorey
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  • Peacock Pie by Walter de la Mare
  • More Prefabulous Animiles by James Reeves
  • Paddington’s New Room by Michael Bond
  • The Writer’s Map by Huw Lewis-Jones

Stand out books to recommend this year? This year, I have two must-reads for everyone from completely different genres and age-ranges, but both absolutely excellent. Libby Page’s debut novel, The Lido, and Anna James’ Pages & CoI was also very fortunate read The. Best. Book. Of. Next. Year. in the form of Michelle Harrison’s A Pinch of Magic – put your pre-order for 9 February with your local independent bookseller now! Other books of note, No. More. Plastic. is a book that should be on everyone’s shelves. The Writer’s Map has been my last book I read this year, and was a deliciously anticipated book to enjoy from my Christmas reading.