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Pushkin’s Picks of the Year

Posted 22nd Dec 2018

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the great reads of the last twelve months.

The Pushkin Press team has each chosen a favourite Pushkin book of the year (editors were banned from selecting their own commissions!), plus a title from the wider world of publishing. Read on to find out which books rocked our (literary) world in 2018.


Among the Living and the Dead by Inara Verzemnieks

India Darsley (Managing Editor)

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
An incredibly original twist on the classic crime genre, I am a bit obsessed with this book!

Among the Living and the Dead by Inara Verzemnieks
A fascinating, stunningly written, real account of two sisters torn apart when war comes to Latvia.


The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius

Sarah Odedina (Children’s Editor-at-Large)

The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelus.

A genre, format and story defying book that is just the most brilliant, creative and individual title with a wonderful central character. What is not to love!

Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay.

A wonderful, funny, strident, self-deprecating, wise clarion call for empowerment and change. I loved it. Then to top it all I got to see Roxanne Gay in conversation at the Southbank on Monday and now risk being a super fan!


Tabitha Pelly (Publicist)

Among the Living and the Dead by Inara Verzemnieks
It all starts in a lost village in Latvia: expect tears while reading this luminous, heartbreaking family memoir.

Idaho by Emily Ruscovich
A horrific act leads to a young family’s decline: unflinching, poignant and enthralling.


Only Killers and Thieves by Paul HowarthDaniel Seton (Commissioning Editor)

Normal People, Sally Rooney
I loved this intelligent, well-observed modern love story. One of a number of books this year to show that literary fiction can be popular too.

Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth
It’s hard to believe this literary thriller set in the Aussie outback is a debut – it’s so polished, shocking and supremely page-turning too.


Mollie Stewart (Publicity and Marketing Executive)

The Legend of Sally Jones by Jakob Wegelius
This gorgeous book is sharp, hilarious and woke in equal measure – for the young and young-of-heart!

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
I don’t know if a final page has ever affected me quite so much as this one.


Browse by Ali SmithEve Hutchings (Intern)

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
A gloriously rich, dark and eerie tale of an estranged mother and daughter. Be warned, Johnson’s words will creep under your skin and remain.

Browse: A Love letter to Bookshops Around the World by Henry Hitchings
Further proof that bookshops are the best places in the world.


Anna Morrison (Designer)

The Unhappiness of being a Single Man by Franz Kafka
It’s a selection of wonderful short stories, some strange, some funny and some desperately, highly recommend. (And that delicious cover too…)

Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill
A collection of dark and discomforting tales of dysfunctional relationships in 1980s New York. Gaitskill is an incredible writer.


Through the Water Curtain and other Tales from Around the World byLaura Macaulay (Deputy Publishing Director)

Through the Water Curtain
Selected and introduced by Cornelia Funke is a beautiful collection of fairytales you’ve never heard before – surprising, refreshing and lovely.

Kudos by Rachel Cusk
Kudos concludes her Outline trilogy which has made me excited about the creative and transformative possibilities of fiction all over again.


Rory Williamson (Editorial Assistant)

Evening Descends Upon the Hills by Anna Maria Ortese
A fascinating collection of short fiction and journalism that captures the beautiful, unsettling chaos of Naples so vividly. ‘Family Interior’ is one of the best stories I’ve read this year.

White Girls by Hilton Als
White Girls is inventive, provocative, beautiful, wise, hilarious and occasionally maddening. Als is a dazzling stylist: he reinvents his voice in every essay in this collection, providing richly nuanced slants on race, queerness and art of all kinds.