It’s not quite the end of the year, but here are the books I read in 2015 (so far) that I loved the most. But first, some statistics.
I finished reading 81 books this year, which doesn’t include the two terrible books I didn’t finish, the novel I’m currently halfway through, or the small pile of books I brought home from the library for the holidays.
I read lots of non-fiction books this year, because I was researching 1960s England for a series I’m planning to write. This would also explain the following information:
Women writers dominate, yet again.
Now for my favourites.
My Favourite Adult Fiction
My favourite novels this year included The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor, The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, The Watch Tower by Elizabeth Harrower and A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark. I also became hooked on Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series.
My Favourite Non-Fiction
I found myself engrossed in Sylvia Townsend Warner’s biography of T.H. White, Rebecca West’s The Meaning of Treason, and Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I also liked Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia, edited by Amra Pajalic and Demet Divaroren, a collection of autobiographical stories by twelve Australian Muslims. And for sheer entertainment value, I can’t leave out The Years of Grace: A Book for Girls, edited by Noel Streatfeild.
My Favourite Books for Children and Teenagers
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart was an exciting middle-grade novel in which four gifted children foil the plans of an Evil Genius. It reminded me of the early Harry Potter novels, except it was science fiction rather than fantasy and had fewer jokes (although it did contain lots of fun puzzles, codes and riddles). I also enjoyed Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead and Friday’s Tunnel by John Verney.
My Favourite Picture Books and Graphic Novels
Shaun Tan’s The Arrival was a beautiful wordless story about a refugee starting a new life in a strange, confusing country, with a message particularly relevant to the world right now. On a lighter note, I enjoyed Kate Beaton’s The Princess and the Pony, about a young warrior princess who hopes to receive a noble steed for her birthday but instead finds herself stuck with a small, round pony with some unfortunate traits.
Thanks for being part of Memoranda in 2015. I hope you all had a good reading year and that 2016 brings you lots of great books. Happy holidays!
More favourite books: