My best and worst books read in 2015

Some more lists – sorry!

I have a penchant for reading loads of things at once, generally novels and poetry collections. Sometimes some of them fall by the wayside – this past year more so than usual. (I could blame Unbound and the pleasures and perils of crowdfunding, but that would be a little harsh.)

Many of the following books weren’t published in 2015, I must stress – they are what I got through this year.

Started and finished – my favourites

In no particular order:

cover The Twins

  • The Twins by Sargia Saskinson (an engrossing psychological mystery/coming-of-age novel)
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner (first read at school and enjoyed  years later for its mystery and atmospheric spookiness)
  • Letters From a Shipwreck in a Sea of Suns and Moons (I’ll just slip this one in – I downloaded this months ago from Authonomy.com… thank you HarperCollins. It’s not yet published, I believe, though ought to be. A time-travel literary adventure/mystery/romance/quest??? Rather than try to categorise this novel, I’ll just admit that I love it. For its originality and playfulness, for the love story and the peculiar Etruscan stuff along with a collection of dead-or-perhaps-not gods.)
  • The Book of You by Claire Kendal (somewhat on the dark side for my taste with the ominous, ever-present threat of violence but I couldn’t put it down)
  • Fauverie by Pascale Petite (brilliant, disturbing poems shortlisted for 2014 T.S. Eliot prize)
  • Ethiopia Boy by Chris Beckett (evocative, distinctive poetry collection)cover If I lay on my back
  • If I Lay on my Back I Saw Nothing but Naked Women by Jacqueline Saphra (inventive, lushly suggestive and sometimes humourous prose poems, illustrated by Mark Andrew Webber)
  • More Tea, Jesus? by James Lark (thoughtful, laid-back humour. Jesus returns – to a gossipy English village with a dreadful choir)
  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (finally got round to reading this)

Started and want to finish

These are in various stages of reader-unfinishedness but all wait patiently on my Kindle or hog the space under my bedside table:

  • The Art of Letting Go by Chloe Banks
  • Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
  • You Don’t Know Me by Mandy Lee (a suspenseful erotic romance, not what I’d normally read – yes, I know, but it’s true – but this is very enjoyable)

cover Until our blood is dry

  • Until Our Blood is Dry by Kit Habianic (passion and drama set in 1984 during the miners’ strike)
  • The Hundred Years’ War – Modern War Poems edited by Neil Astley
  • House of Small Absences by Anne-Marie Fyfe (poetry collection)
  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (lots of good reviews and looking forward to this – dentist details excepted)
  • Wilberforce & Grace by Peter Turner (wry, understated humour)
  • may we be forgiven by a.m. homes (not sure about this, though have heard great things)

 Started and don’t want to finish

Ok, to be brutally honest… Dare I?

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (borrowed from a friend – nice to read a hardback for a change – but haven’t yet managed to get beyond chapter 2). Update Sept 2016: Now I’ve finished reading TGOTT and really enjoyed it, which just goes to show how misleading first impressions can be 😉
  • The Gamal by Ciaran Collins (I enjoyed the inventive style and format, littered with illustrations, but it’s so damned long! Got halfway through and now I’ve forgotten too much to get back into it)
  • A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Einear McBride (a gift from a friend – read a few pages at random and intrigued by the writing but just know I won’t get through this)

 


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