Given that lots of people like to delve into a good book around this time of year, I thought I would share some recommendations of my own. (And no, Gone Girl will NOT be featured on this list!) For me, the holidays are a time both to sink my teeth into a challenging book I may otherwise not pick up, as well as the complete opposite — quick and frivolous reads that can be finished in an afternoon by the fire! This year I will be home in Nova Scotia and will use the time to catch up on books that haven’t made their way to British shelves yet.
May We Be Forgiven, AM Homes
I have recommended this at least twice before on this blog as well as to friends, and it’s pretty much on every ‘best of 2013′ list, but the hype is worth it. This was the best book I read in 2013. It is serious, silly, hilarious (laugh-out-loud-on-public-transport funny), slightly weird, and so human all at the same time.
Capital, John Lanchester
Capital follows the lives of different inhabitants in London. It is a Big London Novel that is down to earth and accessible, and both sad and funny at the same time. Thoroughly recommended.
Bring up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel
I read this book in Alaska this summer and loved it. In my opinion it is easier to read and better than the first in the trilogy, Wolf Hall (which I also enjoyed, but found the style challenging at times). The writing is so damn good, and the subject matter fascinating.
NW, Zadie Smith
I have been a fan of Zadie Smith for a long time. Funnily enough I bought NW almost 6 months ago and only got round to reading it recently. It’s not (in my opinion) quite as good as White Teeth or On Beauty, but it’s close. To me, what is most impressive is the way Smith writes so confidently and knowingly about such a huge range of characters. It’s as though she’s lived a thousand lives.
Caught, Lisa Moore
I read two of Moore’s books this year, February and Caught, and recommend them both. They’re very different: the former lovely, sad, and heartbreaking; the latter a lot punchier, adventurous, and more daring. What links them is Newfoundland — not the physical setting, because most of Caught does not take place there. But the island echo is so strong that in both books I’d almost argue that Newfoundland becomes a character itself.
Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre
It’s a bit cheeky and premature to recommend this when I’m not even halfway through, but I adore this book so far, and I loved The Bishop’s Man as well. It’s so good that I didn’t want my tube journey to end — that does not happen very often!
Finally, view my all-time favourite books on Goodreads here. Happy reading!