2015 has been a big year of reading for me. I got to review plenty of new releases, as well as tear into some of the greatest books from the last few decades. Nothing makes me happier than engaging with great literature, so if nothing else, this is a list of happiness. These are some of the great books I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year, books that have stayed with me since reading them. Of course, I didn’t get to read every book that I wanted to this year, but I think if I spent the rest of my life trying to, I’d never be able to get close to scratching a percentile of some of the fantastic works of art in this world.
These are the books. If I reviewed them for this site, there will be a link to take you to the review so you can see my thoughts. But know that each of these books are something unique, and deserve your attention. The list is numbered, but only to keep track, and are listed in no particular order.
1.F250 by Bud Smith
Bud Smith’s latest novel is a wild ride that is as grimey as it is enjoyable. It’s a tale of the people we know that haunt dive bars, with the ambition to get out of the bad habits they often relapse into but are often unable to do so. I was lucky enough to get a copy before it came out, and read and reviewed it while the snow was melting in Maine. It’s a novel that will appeal to the people who managed to leave the small time drama behind them, but wondered what happened to the people who stayed back there. Rich with wonderful sentences, characters that feel like parts of us as well as parts of the story, and a passion that charges throughout the novel, F250 is a fantastic novel.
2. Binary Star by Sarah Gerrard
Binary Star is less of a novel and more of an experience. It follows a troubled woman, whose life is chaotic, coupled with some of the best imagery that I’m sure has existed in a novel this year. It’s a small book, with sentences dotted
around the page and can easily be consumed in one sitting, but that just makes it more powerful. It’s a tough novel for the faint of heart, and doesn’t necessarily portray the positive side of life as much, but shows that their is beauty and worth in all those people who fight a battle just to smile everyday.
3. ‘Hospice’ by Gregory Howard
Howard’s debut novel exists in a Lynchian anxiety induced suburb that exists in our minds. It’s a book full of complications, surreal elements and beautiful words. A missing brother, bizarre rituals and a neighbourhood that is not quite as normal as it seems. If that doesn’t hook you, then the rest of the book will, only these hooks will stay in there when you’ve finished reading, and will work it’s way into your subconcious.
4. The Only Ones by Carolla Dibbell
Since I read this novel, it’s always found a way of crawling back to my attention. One of the strongest voices that I’ve
read in a long time, and a scenario that makes Children of Men look like basic sci-fi. This is an example of how world-building should be done in literature. This is a book that is smart and strong in so many different ways that it should become a staple in any kind of literature.
5. The Strangest by Michael J Seidlinger
Seidlinger’s The Strangest is a modern day retelling of the Camus classic, and is one of the better books to be released in the latter part of the year. Not only is it a clever homage to one of the most iconic pieces of literature (and on top of that, done extremely well) but it’s a damn fine novel on top. It shows us the narcicism of the 21st century, the kind that we all passively or inpassively take part in. It shows us itself, and what we could become.
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