2015 has been a busy year, indeed. I finished my first year of uni, and have started my second; I went to Istanbul and Barcelona; I got a student job as a librarian; I got published in several publications for illustrations and articles; helped design a May Ball at my college; and discovered an addiction to mulled wine!
Uni has managed to cut down my time for pleasure reading, but here’s my roundup of which books were good enough to get read during all the madness!
#1 GONE GIRL – Gillian Flynn
I devoured this book. There’s no other way of putting it. Full of twists and turns, Gillian Flynn knows how to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. Just read it.
#2 THE ACCIDENTAL – Ali Smith
I tried to start reading ‘How to be Both’ after I read about it’s nominations but uni definitely got in the way of that. However, once summer started I realised I had this Ali Smith novel on my shelves at home. A quirky, sometimes unsettling, sometimes endearing novel about how one person can have a big impact on others, and about facing the truths that come out of it.
#3 BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP – S.J. Watson
So I only just finished reading this yesterday, but – just like Gone Girl – it had me on tenterhooks throughout. Memory is something we often take for granted, but for Christine her memory vanishes after she goes to sleep, so that every day must be started all over again. Some brilliant twists and turns which I didn’t see coming.
#3 THE GIFT – Hilda Doolittle
Okay, so this was part of my dissertation reading, so it shouldn’t really count as pleasure reading but I’m including it anyway. This is a very strange novel, but wonderfully so. Autobiographical of H.D.’s childhood, the majority of the narrative is written from her child perspective which doesn’t always comprehend time and reality in a normalised, linear way. Together with the superstitions of her mother about a foretold ‘gift’ in the family, if you’re a fan of Virginia Woolf or experimental narrative styles, I would give this a read.
#4 MERCHANT OF VENICE – Shakespeare
Also part of my uni reading, but forever one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. In the summer I also saw a brilliant adaptation at the Globe, which confronted the moral complications of Shylock’s contract of conversion. Instead of avoiding it as the original play does, the Globe’s production ended their version by depicting the unwilling Shylock during his conversion, which was difficult – but necessary – to watch. A wonderful, mature production from the Globe for a brilliantly written play.
Bit of a patchwork collection of books here, but by far my favourites of the year. My new year resolution is to get back into reading contemporary fiction regularly, so here’s to more reviews to come!
Hope you all have a wonderful 2016 x