Thursday 29 December 2022

Books I Enjoyed This Year

Book lists are ubiquitous but mine aren't lists of best-sellers - although one or two may feature. They aren't prize winning lists, although maybe a couple of titles are on those lists too. They aren't only books published this year, although some may be.  

This year I've read 77 books, most of which I've enjoyed. I select books not necessarily because I consider them to be the best written but because they're the ones I have most enjoyed reading. Those that have given me food for thought, pleasure, education and, in several cases, the delight of something refreshingly different. 

The books I've read this year have taken me to a number of different locations in the UK, USA and Australia plus Ireland, Sweden, Mustique, Guyana, Spain, Botswana, Zimbabwe, India, Crete, Hungary, Germany and New Zealand. I've been back and forward in time!

I couldn't decide on a Top Ten so it's a Top Twelve in no particular order.

Femlandia - Christina Dalcher. The author's third dystopian novel.  Like all in this genre, it is not so far-fetched as we might initially think. Thought provoking to say the least.

Still Life - Sarah Winman. I found this book of unlikely friendships compelling and delightful. It's also a love letter to the city of Florence.

Remember Me - Charity Norman. The story of a daughter and father and learning the truth of a twenty-five year old mystery. Sad and beautiful to read.

The Secrets of Elephants - Vasundra Tailor. A story of three generations of a family spanning two continents with courage at the story's heart. 

Dinner With the Schnabels - Toni Jordan. Funny but examining difficult issues with a few twists along the way.
Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray - Anita Heiss. An historical novel on displacement and the clash of cultures between Wiradjuri people and white settlers. 

Small Pleasures - Clare Chambers. Capturing the 50s beautifully, as well as the character of Jean who feel life has passed her by, the story revolves round a real article about parthenogenesis and a woman's belief that she had a virgin birth. 

The Crimson Thread - Kate Forsyth. A wartime novel focusing on bravery of locals and hidden soldiers during Nazi occupation of Crete.

The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes. Women of the packhorse library on East Kentucky in late 30s. Female friendship and resilience. 

The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison - Meredith Jaffe. Quirky and feelgood. 

Once Upon A Camino - Matthew S Wilson. Tom's pilgrimage on the Camino Santiago takes the reader on an adventure as surprising as Tom's.

After Story - Larissa Behrendt. After grief and trauma comes healing and understanding. Plus a literary tour of the UK and stories of one of the oldest story-telling cultures of the world.