Wednesday 20 December 2023

This year's favourite books.

The end of year book lists are ubiquitous - I often wonder whether those by literary figures really do feature the books they liked the most or ones they want the public to think they liked the most because their lists always feature books that have won lots of acclaim. But many good books don't get much of a look in!

My year's reading has been good - I've read 61 books
with only one prize-winning novel abandoned as I couldn't stand the characters. This has been my reason for giving up on several books - they've been well-written and have often won prizes or the acclaim I mentioned above but the characters are just so annoying I don't care what happens to them. 

I'm perfectly able to like books with irritating or unlikable characters because something else is at stake and that keeps me reading. Just like life, sometimes we bear with people who annoy us because there is a reason to persist but if there is no upside why keep them in your life? 

Anyway here is my list and because I don't mind if people don't consider me a literary force, I have chosen the books I enjoyed the most - not all from this year - and yes, some are those major prize winners! Of course there are loads of excellent books that I haven't read yet (some of which, I'm sure, are on my TBR pile.)

Thanks to library loans, community book shelves, gifts and purchases, here is my top ten in no particular order.:

Shankari Chandran: Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens (independent bookshop purchase)

Vicki Petratis: The Unbelieved (bought at author event)

Bonnie Garmus: Lessons In Chemistry (online purchase)

Barbara Kingsolver: Demon Copperhead (independent bookshop purchase)

Celeste Ng: Our Missing Hearts (library loan)

Toni Jordan: Prettier if She Smiled More (chain bookshop purchase)

Lisa Genova: Left Neglected (op shop purchase)

Pip Williams: The Bookbinder of Jericho (chain bookshop purchase)

Christian White: The Nowhere Child (gift)

Kerryn Mayne: Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder (library loan)