It’s not actually the end of the year, but if I don’t post this now, it may not get done at all. I only read 37 new books this year (new to me, that is) – even fewer than last year. I did immerse myself in blogs and newspapers, trying to make sense of the political turmoil here and abroad, but I also re-read a lot of old favourite novels. This year was not an especially relaxing year for me, so I often felt a need to escape into familiar comforting reads and I don’t count those books in my annual book count.
So, what type of new (to me) books did I read this year?
Lots of Australian writers this year.
Women writers dominate, yet again. And so they should.
Now for my favourites.
I really enjoyed Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson and How Bright Are All Things Here by Susan Green – both, as it happens, novels narrated by elderly Australian women who had to escape to London to fulfil their artistic dreams.
But most of my favourite reads this year were non-fiction. These included:
Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne
Indonesia, Etc: Exploring the Improbable Nation by Elizabeth Pisani
Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith
I didn’t have time this month to blog about Beyond Veiled Cliches: The Real Lives of Arab Women, but this was a thoughtful, nuanced exploration of the challenges faced by Arab women in the Middle East and in Western countries, by Australian-Palestinian journalist Amal Awad.
My resolution for next year is to blog more about the books I enjoy, or at least to mention these books on Twitter. In the meantime, I have this book on the top of my reading pile for the holidays:
I foresee an Antonia Forest read-along in the near future.
Thank you to everyone who read and contributed to Memoranda in 2017. I hope you’ve all had a good reading year and that 2018 brings you lots of wonderful, interesting books. Happy holidays!