I read 57 books this year, lots of them were very good books indeed.. Here in alphabetical order are my favourites.
John Boyne- The Echo Chamber-I really enjoyed this funny, cleverly observed satire of modern day cancel culture. The Cleverley’s lead a wonderful perfect life, until it all goes wrong in full public gaze. A book of our times.
Louis de Berniers- The Autumn of the Ace– Daniel Pitt, former Ace pilot in both world wars, is in the Autumn of his years. He travels to France and South Africa to lay his brothers to rest before embarking on one last epic journey and ventures in Canada. Returning to the England he rebuilds his relationship with his son, and discovers the joys if being a grandparent. Beautifully written, and really resonated with me. Just to say it’s the third in a trilogy of equally enjoyable books. This one went on my top 100 books list which I have been compiling for a very very long time.
Tana French – In the Woods Such a terrifically good book. A pyschological/ murder mystery novel. 600 pages long which slowly takes you through the case. What was truly excellent was seeing how the relationship between the two detectives developed, and the discriptions of a wonderful idyllic summer for three children. So good it made me cry for my own childhood and friends.
Claire Fuller- Our Endless Numbered Days-Eight year old Peggy is taken by her father to live off grid in a remote hut in Bavaria following the death of her mother and the end of the world as we know it.They eke out an horrendous existance, for nine years before the mysterious Reubin enters their lives. Thoroughly good, dark tale. Read over just two days.
Rachel Kadis-The Weight of Ink-added to my Top 100 book page. A wonderful book and winner of the National Jewish book awards. A secret stash of 17th century documents is found in an old Manor house. Two sets of academics compete to translate and interpret them from Latin and Portugese. Gradually the identity of the writer is revealed. Nothing is as it first seems. There is Religious debate, love, intrigue, persecution, the plague, a kibbutz. Layer upon layer upon layer. Brilliantly researched and so well written. Best book of the year. Loved it.
Carolyn Kirby- The Conviction of Cora Burns- very good book, described as Victorian Gothic. Cora was born in a prison, grew up in a workhouse, went to goal, worked in an asylum, then as a servant in the home of a criminologist interested in examing tne nature, nurture debate. Thoroughly enjoyable in a slightly macabre way.
Jessica Moor-Young Women– Set in the present day, examines, female friendship, power dynamics, gender roles, #metoo, societal norms, values and activism. Gave me food for thought.
Kate Sawyer- The Strandng– Really very good indeed. Told by Ruth alternating chapters of her life in London, unsatisfactory teaching job, relationships etc, and after in New Zealand with Nik, in totally different circumstnaces. On my top 100 list.
Sam Selvon- The Lonely Londoners– A story of tbe Windrush generation finding their feet in London. Reminded me a lot of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, with a cast of characters struggling to get by , happiest when they get together for oldtalking of the country they left behind. One for my top 100.
Tom Rob Smith- The Farm Excellent read. Daniel’s father says his Mother is crazy, accusing him and the neighbours of all sorts. His mother says his Father is a liar and in cahoots with a group of bad men. She tells Daniel a strange tale with trolls, elks and a missing girl. The plot is skilfull. The characters believable, despite the trolls. Loved it,read it in pretty much one go over a cold grey weekend.
So there we are, some terrific books. I have quite a pile of library books that I doubt I’ll finish in January, and |I thought I ‘d read them all over Christmas too. And I really want to read some of the books I actually paid good money for, or borrowed from family, who keep asking me if I have read them yet. Oh dear.
And that’s a wrap for 2022. Back next year.
Happy New Year,
Now where’s my book….