My Top 5 Reads of 2015

What another great year of reading! The great books didn’t seem to stop this year. My favourite read of the year was nearly tipped out by a trilogy and my big discovery of the year was Ben Aaronovitch and the Peter Grant series. As I usually do I have listed my 5 next books just outside my top 5 and number 5-10 were all nearly inseparable. So here it is my top 5 reads of 2015 (plus 5 more).

97803856187171. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson has written a novel that fits perfectly with her previous one. Each novel can be enjoyed on their own or together and read in any order. I can’t wait to go back and revisit Ursula’s lives with this new layer to enrich it. I was in awe of Kate Atkinson after Life After Life and am further dazzled by the follow-up. A writer truly at the height of her powers and what a pleasure it is to enjoy. Read more…

onehundredtrilogy2. The One Hundred Years Trilogy by Jane Smiley (Some Luck, Early Warning, Golden Age)

One of the best reading experiences of the year. Beginning in 1920 on a remote farm in Iowa this wonderful trilogy tells the story of The Langdons. We follow each new Langdon as they make their way in the world, their ups and downs and how each deal with history’s big moments. There are triumphs, there are tragedies, lives are changed and lives stay the same. An extraordinary trilogy that made me laugh, made me celebrate, made be worry and made me cry; just like a real family! Read more…

IMG_16343. Touch by Claire North

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August announced the arrival of a very special talent. Claire North maybe the pseudonym for Catherine Webb (and Kate Griffin), who has already published a number of books, but Harry August was something else entirely. It was bold, intelligent, gripping and mind-blowing. Before the real identity of the pseudonym was revealed I was prepared to believe that Claire North could have been any already majorly established author, the writing was that good. With her follow-up novel, Claire North not only confirms that she is worthy of comparison with established authors, she leaves them all for dust. Read more…

97804340235544. The Cartel by Don Winslow

Ten years ago Don Winslow wrote the thriller of the decade. The Power of the Dog was an epic thriller that detailed America’s thirty year war on drugs on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Ten years later he has done it again. Winslow blows The Power of the Dog away detailing the next ten years of the so-called “war” on drugs taking everything that was groundbreaking, epic and mind-blowing to a whole new level. Read more…

97814087065585. Girl At War by Sara Novic

Sara Novic’s writing is incredible and she completely shattered me a quarter of the way into the book. She also structures her story perfectly jumping backward and forward from the war in 1991 to ten years later and its lasting aftereffects. This is a coming-of-age story which happens far too early. It is about how history defines us and haunts us. It is about trying to make sense of an unexplainable conflict and how in war innocence is so easily lost. Read more…

Honourable mentions go to The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall (how this didn’t get shortlisted for a swag of awards is beyond me), Preparations for the Next Life by Atticus Lish (an exceptional debut, we will be hearing more great things about Atticus Lish), The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra (wish this had been released locally, Anthony Marra confirms himself as an author of exceptional talent),  Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt (Wes Anderson in prose form, this was spectacular) and Soil by Jamie Kornegay (a distinctive new voice in American fiction).

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