2018 in First Lines

Fountain penAccording to Lisa at ANZ LitLovers LitBlog it’s time once more to play A Year in First Lines.

The idea is to:

Take the first line of each month’s post over the past year and see what it tells you about your blogging year.

Let’s recap on the year…


Jan 2018: Reykjavík Nights by Arnaldur Indridason

Sometimes the brain just craves crime.

Feb 2018: Snapshot February 2018

Throughout 2017 I was making a note on the first day of the month of what I was reading and the level of what I call my personal library (otherwise known as the TBR mountain)

March 2018: Books to mark Wales’ special day

March 1 is St David’s Day in Wales —St David being our patron saint — so usually a day for celebration of all things Welsh.

April 2018: Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

One of the most memorable episodes in Alan Bennett’s series of dramatic monologues Talking Heads features an elderly lady who has taken a tumble in her home while doing a little illicit dusting.

May 2018: WWWednesday 2 May 2018

Currently reading: The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda. This is a book I picked up on my holiday late last year in South Africa when I asked a bookshop owner for recommendations of South African authors.

June 2018: An alternative Golden Booker Prize

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker Prize.

July 2018: New additions to the shelves

After months of admirable self restraint, the flood gates opened in the last few months and all my attempts to whittle down my stack of owned-but-unread books have been thwarted.

August 2018: Classics club spin falls on Mitford

The anticipation is over and the result of the latest Classic Club Spin is in.

September 2018: Six Degrees from film memoir to crime

It’s time for #6degrees which this month begins with a memoir: Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson. 

October 2018: Lullaby by Leïla Slimani 

It takes a brave author to begin a novel by revealing the ending.

November 2018: Non-Fiction November: favourite reads

I’ve taken the plunge and joined Nonfiction November which is an annual challenge to read, critique and discuss non-fiction books for a month.

December 2018: Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny 

How long can a series endure before it runs out of steam?

What does this tell me about my blogging year? 

  • I tend to write in short sentences
  • Like practically every other blogger I’ve come across, I buy far more books than I can possibly read
  • Even though I stopped doing the Top Ten Tuesday meme, I still seem to spend a fair amount of time on other memes like Six Degrees of Separation and WWW Wednesday
  • I managed to read a few books in translation (though not as many as in previous years)
  • I have an interest in literature from my home country of Wales.
  • I read crime fiction. I’m actually surprised by how much of this I did read this year  genre given it’s not a favourite genre
  • I am trying to read more ‘classics’. When I saw the August 2018 first line I remembered that, though I read the spin book, I never managed to write the review.
  • I keep an eye on the Booker Prize
  • I don’t write reviews very frequently (only 3 of these 12 months are a review post)

What does this mean for 2019?

I’m still mulling over my 2019 plans but this exercise has made me realise that I need to adjust the balance of reviews to other content like memes. I think I’ve been doing more of the latter because I’m slow at writing reviews, spending far too long trying to come up with the ‘perfect’ intro whereas memes etc don’t usually require as deep a thinking process. Consequently I am well behind with my reviews….. I feel a New Year’s Resolution in the wind….


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

27 thoughts on “2018 in First Lines

  • I think I’ll have to go check out your post where ‘the flood gates opened….’ 😀 Am also definitely guilty of buying more than I could possibly read. :p Wishing you a wonderful 2019, reading and otherwise.

    • Thanks for those good wishes Michelle. The year is going to get off to an exciting start with a 2 month holiday in Aus/New Zealand…

      • Sounds exciting indeed! Have the best of times and travel safe. 🙂

  • “Like practically every other blogger I’ve come across, I buy far more books than I can possibly read” LOL! Yup, me too! And I know what you mean about reviews – I end up posting pictures of books when reviewing is too much! I need to try to be slightly more organised in 2019….

  • Doing more memes and discussion posts definitely makes this a more interesting round-up, though. Any time I try to do it, I just end up with 12 first lines of blurbs – not very revealing or fun to read! Enjoy making your New Year’s Resolutions – always easier to make than to stick to in my experience… 😉

    • Something I saw the other day said that few NY resolutions last longer than six weeks….

        • Or I forget when I wake the morning of what is meant to be day one, that I had a new resolution I was supposed to be following

  • “the first line from each month’s post”? Do you pick any particular post from each month or does this assume a schedule of one post per month?

    • Hm, good point, I can see where the confusion lies. It should read, the first line from the first post in each month

  • My favourite: After months of admirable self restraint, the flood gates opened in the last few months and all my attempts to whittle down my stack of owned-but-unread books have been thwarted.
    See? Resistance is futile!!
    BTW Just wanted to credit here that though I discovered it via Jane at Beyond Eden Rock, the meme began with The Indextrious Reader.

    • My flood gates opened about the same time as yours. Thanks for clarifying the origin of the meme. I’ll add it in now

  • Nice list, not sure where I’d get time to slot this in as I’ve already got two posts today!

    • You’re just going to give up everything else you had planned for the day…

  • Such a striking one to start the year with, although a little worrying if taken out of context! And who can resist Six Degrees. Not me.

    • Do you think I’m revealing too much about myself with that comment?? Hope there are no police constables reading this blog

  • I’ve been low on decent reviews this year, as well. You’re right, they take much more thought than simply following a meme. I should take a leaf out of your book, and try and be more disciplined next year.

    • You’ve had plenty of other things to occupy you this year – so you have good reasons not to do many reviews.

      • True, but the trouble is that when you get out of the habit the quality of your writing dips and it takes a great deal of effort to get back to the standard of review you were doing before.

        • I am extremely confident you can get back into the swing and honestly I haven’t noticed any dip in the quality of what you’ve been posting

  • This sounds like a fun challenge. These year long ones, often show up some surprises. I tried a ‘When’ are you reading one. I was surprised by the books that I’d read in each of the historical categories.

    • The ‘when’ sounds a really interesting idea. Haven’t seen that doing the rounds – will go searching your site now

  • This is where I got the idea from – I’ve been attempting some kind of version of this for the past 3-4 years now! Except that yours is much more organised (no surprises there). Mine will be out tomorrow.


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