This year I’ve picked my very favourite 5 reads and then a smattering of other recommended reads. I tried and tried to come up with a top ten but it was much too hard to trim it down this year!
If I had to pick my top book of the year, I would be terribly torn between this and the George RR Martin book. This is a structurally brilliant novel giving an account of life from 1910 to after the second world war. I haven’t read anything else quite like it.
The book which introduced me to the wonderful, awe-inspiring Game of Thrones series. I took book one on holiday with me, became so savagely addicted I had to buy book two while I was away and then read all the remaining published titles over a few months. I cannot wait for the next installment in the series.
Mysterious and unsettling tale of the honeymoon of an older professor and his very young, just graduated wife. Best described as a mash-up between Nabokov’s Lolita and T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Simply the best collection of short-stories I’ve ever read. All set in the flat-lands of East Anglia and Lincolnshire this wonderfully written & subtle collection repays careful reading.
The link above isn’t my review- someone else got there before me- but I too loved this twisty, nasty, thriller with its perfectly evil villain.
Other books I particularly enjoyed:
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan– hard-hitting, heart-breaking, bleak, funny and even hopeful; Diving Belles by Lucy Wood– a magical collection of short stories; The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith– J K Rowling’s crime debut under an assumed name; The marrying of Chani Kaufmann by Eve Harris– a really affecting book with great characters, set in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of London; discovering the marvelous Georgette Heyer some years after everyone else; The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan– another book with a very interesting structure; and When nights were cold by Susanna Jones– a dark and sinister tale of repression and obsession, set in Edwardian England.
And finally, 3 non-fiction picks: Chavs by Owen Jones– an insightful look at the class system of the UK; Feral by George Monbiot– on the successes and failures of conservation; and Fifty shades of feminism, compiled by Lisa Appignanesi, Susie Orbach & Rachel Holmes– a very readable series of essays on feminism.