Monday, 8 February 2016
My top ten reads of 2015
This novel tells the story of Matt, a teenage schizophrenic, living with the guilt over his part in the death of his younger brother. It is a brilliant exploration of a descent into serious mental illness but also full of humour and hope.
8. A Death in the Family. Karl Ove Knausgaard.
I bought this book purely on the basis of the cover and the fact that it is set in Norway. It is the first in a series of autobiographies, which are not brilliantly written but strangely gripping nonetheless. Not a lot happens either (I'm really selling this one!) but I think the power is in Knausgaard's absolute honesty and ability to capture the essence and utter fallibility of human nature.
9. A God in Ruins. Kate Atkinson
Kate Atkinson is my favourite author. This book is the sequel to 'Life after Life', in which we are introduced to Ursula and Teddy, and follow their lives through wartime Britain. Amazing set-pieces, characters who are drawn so intricately that you feel you know them, and a devastating twist that still makes me cry if I think about it.
10. The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt.
Very, very long. But I know it's a good book because I read it all the way through without jumping to the end. Donna Tartt's 'The Secret History' is one of my favourite books of all time, and this is gripping in a similar way. A dense and well-sustained plot, amazing characters and a story similar to Great Expectations, but without the irritating character names.
So what does 2016 hold for reading? My aims are to continue reading non-work books every day, to slow myself down and focus on the journey rather than the end, and to discover as diverse a range of authors as I can. Here's a stash to start me off - but I'd love more recommendations so please tell me your favourites. With any luck I can make this pile so big it takes over my bedroom :)