Without any further ado here are the five books that did it for me in 2015. To find the full reviews please click on the titles.
5. Dream A Little Dream – Giovanna Fletcher (Penguin 2015) (Read and reviewed in September)
Scores highly on the likeability factor. Whilst husband Tom together with McFly bandmate Dougie Poynter were ascending up the children’s bestseller lists with their books about pooping dinosaurs Giovanna produced her third novel, a slab of female-interest fiction which works well on all counts.
4. The Luminous Life Of Lily Aphrodite – Beatrice Colin (John Murray 2008) (Read in May and reviewed in June)
I was a bit slow getting round to this. One of two books in my Top 5 set in 20th Century Berlin this debut novel is a massive achievement with a totally captivating main character. A rich, rewarding read.
3. A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler (Vintage 2015) (Read and reviewed in November)
Man Booker Prize nominated and one which is appearing on a lot of “Best Of The Year” lists. The first book by American author Tyler I have read (I’ll hopefully be putting that right in 2016). A beautifully written family saga. Bags of appeal, an excellent choice for reading groups and a book I found genuinely hard to put down.
2. The Mark And The Void- Paul Murray (Penguin 2015) (Read and Reviewed in June)
Just pipped at the post by one of the last books I read this year. This is, nevertheless, my favourite book of those published in 2015. But what has happened to it? By now I expected to be seeing it appearing on Bestseller lists, end of year lists and awards shortlists. It was shortlisted for Book Club Book Of The Year at the Irish Book Awards but was beaten by Anne Enright’s “The Green Road“, which I didn’t think was as good. Could this be a case where marketing has let the book down? I feel this odd to say about a company such as Penguin but a bizarre decision might have occured here. I read a pre-publication e-book (thanks Netgalley) and did keep a look out for it in bookshops, but the only copy I’ve seen (and admittedly we are not inundated with bookshops where I live) was in a Waterstones and it was an odd, flimsy looking two volume paperback affair in a slip-case which was already looking tatty on the shelves. I would not have bought it. Now, this may have just been some limited special edition but I hope it hasn’t damaged Murray’s chances of getting the big bestseller this very funny novel deserves to be.
So drum-roll time…………….The reviewsrevues Book Of The Year 2015 is………..
1. Alone In Berlin – Hans Fallada (Penguin 2009) (Read and reviewed in December)
Rightfully published by Penguin as a Modern Classic. Not published in the UK until 2009 this translation of a 1947 German novel is an important book. The tale of one couple’s attempts to undermine the Nazi regime through postcard writing is chilling and gripping and an extraordinary read.
Well, that’s it for another year. Time to wipe the slate clean and start reading for 2016. Congratulations to the writers, publishers and other bloggers who have had me enjoying my reading so much in 2015. And the prizes for the winners…… All of the top 10 authors will have another title of theirs put on to my To Be Read list. Where it’s a debut or where no other book is available I’ll take a punt and see what Amazon suggest in their “Customers who bought this item also bought” and stick one of them on my list. I’ve been reading recently about how other bloggers keep their “To Be Read list” and mine has been a haphazard affair, but I’ve been bowled over by how some organise this and I’ve been inspired to follow along similar lines. The spreadsheet as revealed by Fiction Fan is an inspiration! Happy Reading! For my next post I’ll be revealing which of the books I re-read this year confirmed by original impression…………………..
See my Top 10 Books Part 1 – numbers 10-6 here