2018 round-up: Your favourites from the past year

2018 was a fantastic year for literature, with Milkman as the Man Booker Prize for Fiction winner, word-of-mouth hits such as The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, and a revival for some much-loved favourites that saw a new lease of life thanks to on-screen adaptations like Widows, Death and Nightingales, and the Patrick Melrose novels to name a few.

With so much to choose from we have gathered a reminder of Radio Times readers’ favourites from the past 12 months – tell us your thoughts in the comments below or click here to purchase any that you might have missed.

 The Wood: The Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood, John Lewis-Stempel

Written in diary format by acclaimed nature writer John Lewis-Stempel, The Wood chronicles the life of an English woodland throughout a year, managing to weave information and ebullience together to form a work that joyfully entices you in – Cockshutt is certainly a wood that you don’t mind losing yourself in… 

 

Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944, Anthony Beevor

From the bestselling historian and author of Stalingrad Anthony Beevor, Arnhem reconstructs the devastating battle that was an attempt for the Allied forces to capture key bridges leading to the Lower Rhine, ending with what has been called “The Last German Victory” of the Second World War.

 

Churchill: Walking with Destiny, Andrew Roberts

This international bestseller has been hailed as the most complete biography of Churchill ever, a truly magnificent telling of the legendary historical figurehead’s life. Andrew Roberts has used brand new archive material, including the private diaries of King George VI, to retrace the life of one of the most famous people of the 20th century, to celebrate Churchill’s character without failing to recognise his flaws in an honest, moving account of an astonishing life.

 

On this Day in History, Dan Snow

With a different story for each day of the year, Dan Snow travels back 3,000 years to tell the tale of events that helped shape the world – from the Ides of March to D-day, via Napoleon vs rabbits, the shortest war in history, and many more…

 

The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story, Christie Watson

The memoir of Christie Watson, a nurse for twenty years, is a beautiful tale of joy and despair, birth and death, and all the stages of life in between. A harrowing, tender read that shines a light on an often under-appreciated role, the nurse who is by our side as we experience what can be some of the most difficult periods of our lives. Overflowing with altruism and love, this book turns a hopeful gaze onto the world around us and inspires compassion in every reader.

 

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees, Thor Hanson

Telling the story of bees from their very beginnings 125 million years ago, this informative yet enchanting book will enthral you with its author’s enthusiasm for the subject. Not limiting itself to honeybees, learn about all species of these striped creatures and their roles in keeping our eco system thriving. An entertaining read that will give you a new appreciation of these tiny little workers.

 

21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari

From the bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, 21 Lessons takes a hard look at the world that surrounds us. In this ever-changing political, environmental, scientific and societal landscape it can be difficult to try and stay on track; Harari approaches his lessons with an aim to inspire critical thinking and debate, delivering his thoughts on the various issues of today with aplomb and encouraging a re-examination of why and how we came to be here, and what to do now that have arrived.

 

Bolder, Carl Honoré

After having travelled the globe to speak to people who are working on redefining what it means to grow older, Honoré offers us a completely new point of view on ageing. Exploring methods both medical and technological, as well as cultural, that are all reshaping the landscape of seniority, he posits that the societal conception of learning, working, then retiring should be cast off in favour of a much freer attitude to life’s journey. An inspiring read that will make you re-think your look at later life.

 

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Obama’s autobiography offers a new insight into one of the most famous families of the modern world. Opening up about her upbringing in Chicago and early relationship with the future President of the United States, as well as her successful career prior to becoming First Lady, Obama mixes her signature warmth and soul with captivating storytelling.

 

Born Lippy, Jo Brand

Jo Brand brings her signature sarcastic humour to this book in which she examines what it means to be a woman today. Speaking of things she has learned and her hopes for the future, her scathing wit and down to earth attitude make for a very funny, relevant read.


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