So the crew met on Friday night to sup on some fine wine and food while arguing over our best book for this year and indeed whether or not it’s been a good, vintage or poor year for the books that we have read. As always we had different opinions on this but for me it’s been a cracking year, there were a couple of books that I genuinely didn’t like but these were balanced by two or three that were simply astonishing and there was also Against Nature which although none of us really liked will live long in the memory.
We’ve covered different genres, countries, styles of writing and ages this year although we have only read one female author so we’ll need to redress that balance a bit perhaps in 2016.
Andrew our resident statto did some number crunching and we had five books that had an average combined score over over 7 out of 10 which is pretty high marks for us. Our top three books when we went back over them were :
- Falling Out of Time by David Grossman
- A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
- Kafka on the Shore by Murakami
Falling Out Of Time was the overwhelming winner and it was one of the most incredible books I’ve read, part fable, part poem and a taut, heart rending piece of writing on grief from the Middle East reflecting on the regions families who have suffered too much for too long. I’d urge you to read it if you have not come across it.
Although it didn’t make the top three I personally also loved Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan, a beguiling swirling masterpiece and an honourable mention also for The Humans by Matt Haigh a far subtler book that it’s simplicity suggests and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
We are kicking off 2016 by doing something new for us reading two books in one, both of the Harper Lee books in a bit of a compare and contrast exercise. I’d love to know what you think of our list this year, together with what your favourite books were and what would you recommend for us to read in 2016.