As 2015 draws to a wordy end, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on all the things we’ve enjoyed this year. What better thing to reflect on as a writer, than books? At a push I’ve probably managed to read near 100 books this year. Not bad going. Each one is considered “research.”
Here are some of my favourites:
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
A beautiful example of a book that works multiple narrators and varied tone of voice to provide a rich tapestry of character. Based around the tragic events of the titular character, the book carries you along on a rollercoaster of hormones, love and adventure with a truly engaging and believable atmosphere of the difficulties of growing up.
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
The very definition of an action packed romp. Angelmaker is a part noir mystery, part thriller, part steampunk tour de force of imagination and delight. If you want to read a book that’s just that little bit different but impossible to put down, it’s a great place to look.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield
Equal parts uplifting and fascinating, this reflective look on life and his experiences in the space program brings the wisdom of rock star astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield right down to Earth. It’s an inspirational look on what shared human endeavour, hard work and guts can deliver.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
A true ode to geekery. With its epic easter egg filled tribute to late 20th century geek culture, this awesome dystopian future meets adventure gaming novel was a shot straight to my nerdy funny bone.
The Martian by Andy Weir
I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but if you want a hilarious sci-fi look at man’s determination in the face of interplanetary adversity, I highly recommend this. A book that makes science sort of sexy, with potatoes.
The Girl With all the Gifts by Mike Carey
I’m not sure what I expected from this. I happened to pick it up in a charity shop having heard some buzz online. It was a good decision. This fascinating dystopian YA book is equal parts charming and blood thirsty, yet offers a compelling look at what it means to be human.