Books of the Year

My favourite books through the years. From the year I read them rather than the year they were written

2015

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet My favourite book of 2015 by some margin. Like Star Trek, only better.

Iain Pears – Arcadia  A patchwork, looping, dystopian future fantasy.

Mark Charan Newton  – Retribution  Murder and thoughtful mayhem in a fantasy whodunnit

Daniel Kehlmann – F – Existential crisis, faith and whimsy

Karim Miské – Arab Jazz  – A violent murder in a vividly realised Paris district

2014

My full 2014 review can be found here

Lavie Tidhar – A Man Lies Dreaming – A story within a story, the Holocaust and Hitler as a gumshoe

Ned Beauman – Glow – Off kilter, drug thriller set in inner city London

Andy Weir – The Martian – Science has never been this exciting.

Joshua Mowll – Operation Red Jericho – Children’s adventure story, with maps!

Tim Leach – The King and The Slave  – Follow up to the Last King of Lydia. When Kings go bad.

Rebecca Levine – Smiler’s Fair – Old school fantasy given a 21st Century reboot.

Jo Walton – Her Real Children – Gentle and affecting ‘sliding doors’ alternate history.

Elliott Hall – The Rapture – Wise-cracking PI speculative fiction sequel.

Elizabeth Moon – Speed of Dark – Slow burning near future SciFi about what makes us human.

Octavia Butler –  Kindred  – Time travel, slavery and oppression.

Jim C Hines – Libriomancer – Vampires! Wizards! Librarians?!

Richard Ford – The Shattered Crown – Fantasy sequel channels vintage Gemmell.

Jo Walton – What Makes This Book so Great – Vintage SciFi fantasy reviewed and recommended

Matthew Crow – In Bloom – The Fault in Our Stars, in England.

Rene Denfeld  – The Enchanted – Bleak but beautiful analysis of death row.

Jen Williams – The Copper Promise – Scintillating fantasy debut.

Julianna Baggott – Burn – Grown up Dystopian finale.

Ian McDonald – Planesrunner – Fast furious and highly inventive YA alternate realities.

 

2013

For my 2013 round up click here

Tom Winter – Lost and Found – A wonderful book about love, loss and Croydon. 

Gavin Extence – The Universe Vs Alex Woods – A heartbreaking tale of an unlikely friendship.

Graham Rawle – Woman’s World – A melancholy tale that redefines the novel.

Jonathan Trigell – Genus – A disturbing near future dystopia where science is God.

Kate Atkinson – Life After Life – Groundhog life replays twentieth century history.

Frances Hardinge – A Face Like Glass – An imaginative riot and consummate storytelling.

James Smythe – The Machine – Frankenstein for the twenty-first century.

Patrick Ness – The Crane Wife – It’s better to have loved and lost…

Louise Erdrich – The Round House – Dark Native American coming of age tale.

Matt Haig – The Humans – Brilliant examination of what makes us Human

Tim Leach – The Last King of Lydia – Happiness in Mesopotamia (Maybe)

T L Costa –  Playing Tyler –  Virtual War?

Patrick Ness – More than This – What happens next?

Kim Curran – Control – Strong Follow up to last year’s Shift 

J W Ironmonger – The Coincidence Authority – Africa, Love, Fate or Chance?

Anders De La Motte – Game – Thrilling conspiracy with cat and mouse games

Sarah Pinborough – The Language of Dying – Heartbreaking tale of grief and loss.

William Alexander – Goblin Secrets – Wonderful immersive children’s fable

2012

Noah Hawley – The Good Father – How does it feel when your son is a notorious assassin?

Julianna Baggott – Pure –  A fractured world.  Hard hitting, bleak and brilliant realised dystopia.

Shalom Auslander – Hope: A Tragedy – Survivor guilt with irreverent humour.

Anna Raverat – Signs of Life – Fragmented analysis of love gone sour.

James Smythe – The Testimony – Subtle yet thrilling apocalypse novel

Brandon Sanderson – Warbreaker – Impressive magic system and thrilling political fantasy.

Laurent Binet – HHhH – The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich laid bare.

Lavie Tidhar – Osama – Sci Fi Noir of the highest order

Thomas Taylor – Haunters  – Boys Own adventure with time-travelling ghosts

Yousef  Zeiden – Azazeel  – The history of early Christianity, the perils and power of faith.

Adam Roberts – Jack Glass  – Murder mystery in space.

The Legion of Shadow – Michael J Ward – The Spirit of Fighting Fantasy Lives On

The Card – Graham Rawle – Collectible Card Geekery and mysterious spy mystery…

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ben Fountain – Catch 22 for the War in Terror

The Transformation of the Bones – Francesca Kay – Religion in modern middle Britain.

Jo Walton – Among Others – Terrific ethereal coming of age story

The Explorer by James Smythe

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Shift by Kim Curran

Wool by Hugh Howey

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