Book Reviews / Books / Lifestyle

A literary look back on 2018

12.31.18

The Literary Edit

Most years have some sort of literary significance for me – whether it be the year I launched my blog, the year in which I finished the BBC Top 100, or the year in which this blog was rebranded to The Literary Edit. And this year has been one of the most memorable to dates, when it comes to both the books I’ve read and this very blog. And with the clock due to strike midnight in just a matter of hours, I wanted to pay homage to all things bookish that have happened this year.

I won the London Book Fair’s Inaugural Book Blogger of the Year Award

Undoubtedly the highlight of my blogging career, I was fortunate enough to win the London Book Fair’s inaugural Book Blogger of the Year Award – which entailed a rather last minute flight back to London from my home in Sydney. As part of my win, I was also interviewed by Mariella Frostrup on BBC Open Book about the rise of book blogging – and as a huge fan of Mariella’s, it was an absolute dream come true.

London Book Fair's Book Blogger Award

I visited Byron Bay Writer’s Festival

As a fan of both literary festivals and beautiful beach town Byron Bay, getting to combine my love for both made for my favourite sort of weekend. I spent a blissful weekend at the festival with my friend Emily, seeing the likes of Matt Haig, Trent Dalton and Sarah Wilson discuss their latest literary offerings, and I cannot wait to return in the new year.

I spoke about my love for books on a podcast

While i *hate* the sound of my own voice, I was thrilled when Caitlin and Michelle from Better Words Podcast asked me on to their podcast to chat about my win at The London Book Fair, and the books that best represent both London and Sydney. It was a real joy getting to wang on about my love for books with two fellow bookworms, and I’ve been an avid listener of their podcast ever since.

I started a book club in Bondi

I first came across Bondi bookstore Gertrude & Alice when I holidayed in Sydney almost four years ago now, and the second I stepped foot in this beautiful cafe-cum-bookshop, I felt instantly at home. I’ve spent many an hour since perusing their shelves and enjoying one of their famous chai teas over the pages of a newly bought book, and so when Jane, the bookshop’s owner, asked if I was interested in hosting a monthly book club, I couldn’t quite believe my luck. I hosted two bookclubs ahead of my trip to the UK at the end of the year, and we have a fantastic line-up of riveting reads for the year ahead. It’s an absolute honour to be part of such an instrumental part of the Bondi community, and I can’t wait for our forthcoming meetings in 2019. Should you be Syndey-based and so-inclined, you can get tickets to our first book club of the year , where I’ll be interviewing Bri Lee, author of the scorching memoir, Eggshell Skull.

I shadow-judges the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

Having headed up the social media for the Women’s Prize for Fiction before moving down under, I’ve always loved the idea of judging a literary prize, and thus was thrilled to be asked to help shadow-judge the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. The shortlist was an impressive one, and I loved meeting all the authors. Adam Weymouth was a very worth winner, and was also kind enough to take part in my Desert Island Books series.

I read lots of fabulous books

2018 was a great year for books. Mid-way through the year I seemed to read book after book, after book, all of which continued to blow me away. Firm favourites from the year have been Places I Stopped on the Way Home by Meg Fee, I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake, Putney by Sofka Zenovieff and The Party by Elizabeth Day.

Thanks to each and every person who’s been part of my 2018; every comment, email and retweet brings untold amounts of joy to my life. Here’s to a brilliant bookish 2019 for us all!

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