Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My recommended books of the year

I have read a lot of books this year, mainly fiction and poetry. Here are some of my highlights.

First fiction:

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot by David Shafer.
It's a story of a near future dominated by computers, obligatory internet, surveillance and super-corporations up to no good. A trio of great characters carry the action from Burma, London and Oregon via Stoneybatter. David lived for a while in Dublin and it's great fun to see how he uses Smithfield. A real page turner, scary and very funny.
Don't confuse this with the 2016 comedy set in Afghanistan with Tina Fey
Review here

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Post apocalyptic novel with an aging actor and a troupe of travelling players. Fantastic, scary and very funny.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Wonderful, moving novel from the point of view of an older lady suffering from dementia. Using an unreliable narrator like this to solve an old crime is brilliant.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I thought I had discovered this myself when I was in America. I came home to see it on the top of the bestseller list. It deserves it. A great read, page turning and another fabulously, painfully unreliable narrator.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
I also read this although it's not from this year. Very clever, alternate lives from the start of the 20th century like a series of Sliding Doors (that film with Gwyneth Paltrow)

Her new novel, God in Ruins is on my Christmas List.

As is the new David Mitchell book, Slade House

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguru
I also enjoyed the slow, quiet surreal book based in what I assumed to be the Dark Ages.

June by Gerbrandt Bakker
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer, this is a wonderful read set in a small Polder town after a traumatic event. beautifully written. If you like his Impac Award winning book The Twin, you'll love this too.

Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
Finally finished the wonderful trilogy by Margaret Atwood in a near future post apocalyptic setting with wonderful, sympathetic and flawed characters and genetically engineered food, animals and people along with some hippy eco warriors. Fantastic. Read them all.

No Irish books on this list I notice. I do have Kevin Barry's, Frankie Gaffney's, Danielle McLoughlin's and Sara Baume's books yet to read.

But that's enough for now. I'll try and post up some poetry books next. 

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