So 2017 has been properly awful but PUBLISHING HAS BEEN AMAZING!!!!!!
Compared to last year this 2017 has seen a crazy amount of outstanding debuts and brilliant new work from much loved authors. On twitter I post my top five for this year but it got me thinking about the other books that I couldn’t stop thinking about from the year.
First off I can’t end the year without mentioning The United States of Absurdity by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds (from The Dollop, one of my favourite podcasts). This book is ridiculous, gross, funny and the illustrations by James Fosdike are so, so, so, awesome. You don’t have to be a listener to The Dollop podcast to get massive enjoyment from this look at the weirdest parts of American history.
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman is unavoidable at the moment. Voted Waterstones book of the year and loved by so many, I couldn’t wait to get read The Book of Dust. You know what? It was so much more than I wanted or expected. Pullman has a way with words that rivals the best storytellers and every sentence broke my heart and fixed it back together. I spent the last few pages of The Book of Dust in denial about the fact that this book would end and I would have to wait to read volume two. Haven’t read His Dark Materials? The get yourself a set of these books immediately. IMMEDIATELY.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King, I keep thinking about this book. I want to re-read it, I feel like I rushed this book and hastily compared it to The Stand. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I took it in fully. 2018 will be the year of the Sleeping Beauties re-read (when it’s in paperback and easier to carry).
Annhilation by Jeff Vandermeer. Just read it.
Strange Magic by Syd Moore. This book is so much fun! Sharp, sassy writing and a main-character that you just want to neck a bottle of wine with. I haven’t had a chance to read Strange Sight yet but I can’t wait to find out what happens to Rosie Strange. It’s one of those books that I have had so many genuinely lovely conversations about and I’m excited to see where this story goes.
Do you have a child? Then you need to buy Mopoke by Philip Bunting. Don’t have a child? Then you need to buy Mopoke by Philip Bunting. It was upon my 487th read of Mopoke that I really felt the frustration of the poor little Boobook owl, he just wanted to chill on his branch BUT no he has to put up with a whole lot of nonsense. Mopoke is totally genius and look forward to the next 487 reads.
Finally, Ms Ice Sandwich by Meiko Kawakami. It’s a strange little novella about a young boy who is smitten with a woman working behind a deli counter he called ‘Ms Ice Sandwich’. This story is pure, sweet and off-the-wall. If you’re a fan of Japanese fiction then appreciate the translation of this novel, Louise Heal Kawai has done an outstanding job with this beautiful piece of fiction.
So that’s it. Everything I’ve read recently is due to be published next year and so far 2018 is looking impressive.