1/ Pattern Recognition by William Gibson I really enjoyed this book, it’s the first in a three part Blue Ant series. Unfortunately I could get into the other two!
2/ The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Loved The Testaments just as much or maybe even more than Handmaids Tale. I liked seeing the story told from multiple perspectives.
3/ Tears For Tarashiha by Olfat Mahmoud This was an incredible read about the life and accomplishments of a Palestinian Refugee, told by herself. It was pretty brutal at times and I had multiple nightmares while reading. But it was also inspiring and I will never forget her story.
4/ Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton Absolutely loved this book. Couldn’t put it down until I had about 10 pages left when I abandoned it because I didn’t want the story to be over. Missed the book and the characters so much after finishing.
5/ Fight Like A Girl by Clementine Ford I didn’t enjoy this one very much. I didn’t hate it though. I never finish a book that I’m hating. Clementine Ford is a pretty famous feminist in Australia and I myself am a feminist so I could resonate with a lot of what she was saying, however I feel like her writing and success is about the shock value of her delivery and not because it’s groundbreaking feminism. Fast food feminism.
6/ 1984 by George Orwell I didn’t see the big deal about this book when I first started reading, it has eerily predicted the future but maybe because I’m a millennial it doesn’t seem so significant. But when I explained the plot and world to my partner and retold the concept in my own words, the significance hit me. It’s a cool book and creepily describes a world not too far from what we’re living in now.
7/ American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins Sped through this book as it was very easy to digest and read. A bit fast fiction, a Hollywood movie version of a book. Despite that, I enjoyed it. It was a great little insight into what life is like for Mexican refugees crossing the border.
8/ Overstory by Richard Powers This is probably my favorite book of the year so far. So painfully, beautifully heart breaking. I adored all the characters and there’s a lot of non-fiction weaved into the story that makes it even more heartbreaking and real. For the love of trees and books and Mother Nature.
9/ Just Kids by Patti Smith A book I’ve had forever and only just picked up to read. Patti smith is a great writer and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work. Makes me want to listen to her music. A beautiful and then heartbreaking story of love and friendship.
10/ Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier Beautiful descriptive love story. Couldn’t put it down and loved everything about it. Such an adventure and I’ll miss the characters and nature.
11/ After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell Boring boring boring. I finished it only because I wanted to discover the big reveal at the end, which turned out to be as underwhelming as the entire book.
12/ The Trial by Franz Kafka Another ‘masterpiece’ written by a man that falls short and only disappoints. The law is unfair? Duh. Justice is scarce? Yeah…and? Massive eye roll. Groundbreaking? Hmm not so much. This extremely boring book is suppose to be an allegory for the unjust power of authoritarianism but it’s pretty hard to empathize with the main character when he’s a 30 year old white dude with a highly esteemed banking job and who apparently can’t look at a woman without them ovulating on the spot and throwing themselves at him. Oh poooooor thing. I couldn’t even finish it. I will give Kafka one more shot but this book didn’t win me over.
12/ Property by Lionel Shriver I really really love the way she writes. This collection of short stories was like a delicious snack. Very relatable and fun to read. So different to the first book of hers I read, We Need To Talk About Kevin, but still great in a different way. Can’t wait to read more of her work.
13/ Killing Commentator by Haruki Murakami I’ve always loved Murakami and this book in particular was really easy to read over a few days. Hard to put down. It certainly has all the elements of a Murakami novel. I was disappointed and unnerved by the constant mention of the breasts of the 13 year old girl. But I’m a die hard fan so will try to ignore this and maybe read his earlier works.
14/ We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson What a sinister little story. I heard lots about this book before reading and I think instead of just enjoying the writing and soaking it all in I was constantly on the look out for a twist which may have taken away from the experience a bit. However, I really loved it and ate it up in 24 hours over New Years.