The ‘Why didn’t I read this author before!’ book of the year: The Lie Tree
I really liked The Lie Tree. Although it’s a Young Adult book, it has such strong subtext and tells a lot about what women in ‘olden’ times had to endure!The story is engaging and the books make you think about things.. What a find! I can’t believe I have not read her before and look forward reading Frances Hardinge again. She paints a faultless picture of the time the book is set in.
The ‘What the heck just happened in the end??!’ book of the year: Company of Liars
Absolutely enjoyed reading this book until the end. It is a novel about plague, set in middle ages – my favourite historic setting!
The characters and story was interesting but the ending was quite weird. I think it was designed to make a ‘shocker’ however it was a bit out of nowhere and would have been more elegant if there were at least some clues of what’s coming. It felt like the story have finished but been dragged a bit more to an ending which really confuses the reader. I wish the last chapter wasn’t there. Still like this book though and will read Maitland again as she painted the picture of middle ages very good.
My absolute favourite of the year : Station Eleven
Hell is the absence of the people you long for, wrote Emily St. John Mandel in Station Eleven and I got an arrow stuck in my heart – emotionally.
I have a weak spot for the novels which have novels (or other stories) in them. I love layers. This is a short book but it is so strong and dense. It is not a novel about survival, but about remembering and forgetting, and becoming.
This is one of my absolute favourites ever and I would recommend this to anyone!
Also see my full review here.
The “As beautiful as it’s cover” book of the year : The Bear and the Nightingale
I judge books by its covers- I know, I am ashamed but can’t help it. There had been so many books I’ve bought because they had beautiful cover art and they let me down. This book is an exception. The cover grabbed my attention when I was wandering in Blackwell’s at Oxford, but I resisted the temptation and didn’t buy it until the mid-2017.
I am glad I’ve read it, very well written, rich story with lots of Russian folkloric elements, strong female protagonist and the evil lurking in the woods- what do you expect more from a fantasy book?
The epic horror novel of the year: The Silent Companions
I loved this book. I still get the creeps when I remember the parts telling the silent companions and the things they were doing! It’s been months I’ve read this but still gives me goosebumps. And it’s not your average horror story- it’s written elegantly and have lots of secrets buried within.
A definite must read for the fans of ghost stories, horror and gothic novels. I feel very ‘hip’ to have read this book before most people as I think this will be a huge success and a modern horror classic…
Bring more books to me from Laura Purcell, please! The Corset will hopefully be out in 2018- can’t wait.
Best Audible Listen of the year : Her every Fear
I’ve read all Swanson’s books and liked all of them. I listened this one on Audible and it was such a tense and gripping listen. He is very good at building tension!!
I kept listening every minute in my day where I can: during my lunch break, whilst shopping in department store, or during a walk.
The story is about Kate, who exchanged flats with her cousin Corbin for a change after some traumatic events in her life. She is really fragile and looks forward for a fresh start in States. She arrives and finds the flat nicely- but before she could enjoy anything, she finds out that the woman who lives next door to her flat, Audrey, has been murdered. She meets Alan- a friendly neighbour and also Audrey’s ex-boyfriend. Does Corbin have to do anything with this murder? Who should she trust? It’s all very tense and a nearly one sitting read if you’re reading on paper or kindle. Swanson is super talented at character building and also the psychology between ‘the hunter’ and ‘the hunted’. I really shouldn’t say more!
His new book will be out this year so good for us!
The Best Memoir of this year : A Book of Untruths
Really liked the brutal honesty of Doyle’s memoir. I am not normally a fan of the genre but this book was so much more, it’s as if a settlement for the writer, it’s witty, sharp, funny and sad at times and full of emotions.
The ‘Worth the lenght’ Book of the year : Americanah
Strong story and clever dialogue about ethnicity, racism, feminism, being family, being lovers, falling apart with loved ones, being a migrant and much more.
This is a lengthy book but worth reading. Adichie is such a talented writer. She makes you think and question things.
The story is about two lovers- or friends I must say, to be more precise, who are raised in Nigeria and they are the bright youngsters of their country. However they are raised with the obligation to seek a future for a better life elsewhere. One moves to USA and the other tries luck in the UK. So they fall apart and each one gets their own take on being a black African immigrant in a strange, foreign land.
As a migrant,living away from my home country I loved this book. I’ve always wondered why some people are labelled ‘expats’ and some ‘migrants’… I guess if you’re coming from a less developed country you’ll never be an expat. Americanah, in a nutshell, is a story of being unable to be an expat- from my point of view. And it’s a good one. Read it.
The Re-Read of the year : Slaughter House 5
I love this book and it will always have a special place in my heart.
And so it goes.
We will all lose faith in humanity one day…Or maybe not?
Read it, if you haven’t already done so.
The Heart Breaking Heart Warmer of the Year : Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout has a style. She goes on and on about those ordinary people with their ordinary lives and you just can’t stop reading it. If another writer picked those characters, they’d be bland, boring old mops, but she has such a magical way of looking at people and telling them.
Olive Kitteridge consists of short stories that is tied to each other over the character Olive. I liked this book. It broke my heart but it also lightened me up too. I am so glad I read Strout and will look to read more from her.
The ‘Could have been better’ of the year : Into the Water
I really liked Girl on the Train and I remember just sitting down one night and finishing it. This book wasn’t bad, however there were too many things going on in it and way too many characters.
I would have loved to know more about some characters, but some didn’t really got my interest. Overall it was a nice book, but Hawkins set the bar so high with her first one, who really had 4 or 5 characters overall in it, so wish she tried something similar with this one.
This was my year in books…
What were your most memorable ones from this year?