29th Feb 2016 in Books
January and February are always big reading months for me. Blame the terrible weather and general post-festive blah, but all I want to do is escape into new worlds. For 2016, I decided to branch out and try new genres. So far I’ve read literary fiction, children’s novels, romance, horror, magical realism, nature non-fiction, memoir and essays. Here are my favourites of the year so far:
- The Deep, Nick Cutter – The perfect horror novel for claustrophobics, Event Horizon meets Stephen King’s It.
- The Accident Season, Moïra Fowley-Doyle – This magical realist young adult novel is atmospheric, vivid, poetically-written, and just the right amount of weird.
- Best Laid Plans, Lauren Gallagher – This was my first proper romance novel, and I loved it. It’s romantic and hot (which is what you want in a romance, really), as well as considering serious issues in a thoughtful way (Islamophobia, non-traditional relationships), and presenting sexuality as a spectrum rather than a strict binary.
- Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce – Fantasy meets reality when Tara goes missing for twenty years, then reappears claiming she’s been in fairyland the whole time. I can’t get enough of books that mix realism and magic.
- But What If We’re Wrong?, Chuck Klosterman – Entertaining and thought-provoking. Klosterman asks how we will value and think of today’s arts in the future.
- Coyote, Colin Winnette – A big subject (the loss of a child) handled beautifully in a small book (96 pages of tight, precise prose).
What are the best books you’ve read so far this year?
I love Some Kind of Fairy Tale, it’s one o my favourite books. I’ve only read two new books this year; that’s completely not like me. That said, they were Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, a collection of advice columns that she wrote as Dear Sugar, and Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.
Tiny Beautiful Things is gorgeous and uplifting but very, very hard to read. Strayed calls on her own experience of child abuse, addiction and losing her mother to answer questions in a newspaper agony column.
Zen in the Art of Writing is just joyful.