And here we are. Here I am. Ten years on. A whole decade’s slipped by and I didn’t really notice. But at the same time, so much has happened. I’ve made friends and lost friends. I’ve done stuff I regret and I’ve been treated horribly at times. I’ve become a writer and an author. I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I know better what I think about things now and I know to listen to my gut more. I’ve fallen in love with the wrong person. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve been lonely, but I’ve been elated at times too and I’ve achieved things I quite simply didn’t think were in my league.
Those regular vistors among you will know how much of a fan of Etgar Keret’s work I am; a lot of things have changed this year but that certainly hasn’t. Last year I signed off with a video of his (I’m still dying to see the film) and I see no reason why this year should be any different (assuming there’s nothing I have to say before the new year that is).
(And it was lovely to read that someone else is a fan now too – reading that made me very, very happy.)
This time from the very lovely Annie Clarkson.
Thanks for being with me this year, folks, you’ve been terrific company. I’d like to wish each and every one of you a wonderful and peaceful time over the hols. Have fun.
It’s a shame I’ve already listed my books of the year because The Elegance of The Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery would certainly have featured in it. (It’ll have to go into next year’s list.)
Because I’m off to teach my writing group shortly.
Right. I’ve thought long and I’ve thought hard about this. I even went back to some of the books listed yesterday and dipped into them for a reminder, in case I’d missed something.
And I have come to my decision.
Here are my top 3 books of the year.
At number 3.
I read this right at the beginning of the year and it’s stayed with me since.
Haunting, heart breaking, brave, believable and brilliant.
Along with Aimee Bender, Keret’s work has changed how I write and what I write about. This is an amazing collection of short fiction.
Different, funny, sad, brilliant and written by someone with the most wonderful of imaginations.
When I finished this I remember saying that it could be my favourite book ever. So, well, it must be my favourite of the year.
Brilliantly imaginative, in terms of story and structure, brilliantly written, moving and funny. It’s a classic.
And a few honourable mentions.
An A-Z of Possible Worlds, by A C Tillyer for being a brilliant short story collection and brilliantly packaged.
Heaven Can Wait, by Cally Taylor for being funny and incredibly moving and for making me love it despite it being outside of what I normally read.
Elephants in Our Bedroom, by Michael Czyzniejewski, for having superbly crafted stories, written by someone with an imagination up there with the best.
Dear Everybody, by Michael Kimball, which could be the American companion to Black Boxes.
And Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout for being a brilliant and moving story about a life and having just about the perfect opening chapter I’ve read.
So there you have it. Anyone else going to share?