Before we set out in trying to somehow distil this year into five books, I’m going to say:
- Each author can only appear once
- It must be a novel (i.e. fiction, one story, mainly words)
- One book per place
Now, without further ado, here’s my top five.
1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – I kept going back and forth between this one and The Virgin Suicides, but in the end, this one won out. All I have to say is READ IT.
2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – I didn’t expect the book to tear my heart out, but it did. Multiple times. I love the narrative style, and the concept, and the twist. Oh man, the twist.
3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab – I honestly did not know whether this book was going to live up to the hype or not, but it exceeded expectations, and I want a movie. Or a sequel. Or both.
4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Another one with a lot of hype, and for a good reason. This story combines fairytales and messy, wealthy families and gorgeous prose and it is probably the best young adult fiction I have read this year.
5. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson – I could not exclude this amazing, spectacular, wonderful ending to a superb fantasy trilogy. I was so blown away by how well everything was wrapped up, and the bravery of the choices made in this series.
Unlike last year, I have quite a few honorary mentions.
In the non-fiction sphere, I fell in love with Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, and I have not ceased to recommend this book to absolutely everyone.
In the graphic novels category, the winners are Blankets by Craig Thompson and The Arrival by Shaun Tan, which are both well worth your time. There were a lot of strong competitors in this round but I did my best to narrow it down to those two which have gorgeous art styles, really interesting themes, and brilliant choices in telling their stories.
Amongst the short story collections, I chose Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro, which hit me hard in the heart. So hard, in fact, that I have a hard time rereading that collection because it makes me so damn emotional.
Hope you guys all had great reading years, and we will see you in 2015!