Saturday, 12 December 2015

Books of the Year 2015

Books of the Year 2015

Maybe it’s early in December to do this, but if I post my top ten now, it might encourage you to go out and buy these for presents for people..?

Here’s my top ten – in chronological order…

A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler
2015 was the year the whole world seemed to cotton onto Anne Tyler at last.

The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat – Edward Kelsey Moore
A great big warm, flashbacky saga, full of formidable ladies, ghosts and gossip.

Five Children on the Western Front – Kate Saunders
Fabulous follow-up to E Nesbit’s timeless trilogy, taking us fearlessly into WW1.

An Invisible Friendship – Joyce Grenfell and Katharine Moore
The late 1950s till the late 1970s in the form of thoughtful, tender, funny letters sent between a star of stage and screen and her bookworm fan.

Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World – Janet E. Cameron
An enthralling YA gay romance that I knew I was going to love from the first page.

The Murdstone Trilogy – Mal Peet
Turning the epic fantasy genre inside out in a scabrous, satirical instant classic.

My Life in France – Julia Child
Memoirs of a giantess who was a dab hand with sauces: one of the most life-affirming and deliciously slow books I read this year.

Space Dumplins – Craig Thompson
Whizzy and free-wheeling space fantasy graphic novel about a child trying to reunite her family and creating a new one along the way.

A Snow Garden – Rachel Joyce
A set of succinct and loving thumbnail sketches, dropping us into a series of connected festive days.

A Dog So Small – Philippa Pearce
A proper old-fashioned kids’ book about the awkwardness of being young and small and also, the awkwardness of love.

‘The Awkwardness of Love’ sort-of describes my favourite subject matter, whatever the genre or age-range of a book, and it might also make a good title for a book of mine one day..?

These are my choices for 2015. It was a quieter year for reading, perhaps, than other years. I spent longer with books I loved, I think, and spent less time hunting out the new and spectacular, or wasting time on the things I realized I wasn’t enjoying.

In this list there are six authors new to me, but ones who already seem like old and reliable friends. In this list there are no books that started dull and I had to keep persevering with. Also, almost all of them are books I loved from page one. That ought to tell me something…

Reading plans and ideals for 2016? I think, with my new study taking shape, and the upcoming unpacking of my books from storage… a bit of rereading and always-meant-to-reading might be taking place in the new year…

How’s your reading year been..? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Paul, an interesting list as I havent read any of these. My reading has suffered this year as I have slowed down so much in my reading due to my mental health it seems ( BiPolar II diagnosis ) so Im always looking for stuff I can get through. Im finding dense fantasy novels impossible now where as I used to just devour the likes of Stephen Donaldson, Tad Williams etc. I've varied this year into stuff by Jon Ronson, Matt Haig, Adam Marek, Yourself, Robert Shearman and I have really enjoyed ( enjoyment being something difficult for me ) Sherlock Holmes pastiches though they can be hit & miss