Book of the Year 2015 (so far...)
Thursday again. Where do the weeks go? I guess this one seems shorter because I was travelling on Monday. I spent the weekend in Lewes with my pal Emma. There was baking and eating and walking and Netflix and it was generally just a really lovely time. It also means that this week is only a 4 day working week. Hurrah.
This week I’m throwing back Thursday in a different way, because we’re halfway through the year, so I’m going to talk at you about my Top 5 of 2015…so far! This year has been super actually from a bookish point of view, because I’ve read stuff I might not normally have picked up and pretty much all of it has been excellent.
There’s still some crazy exciting looking stuff on my TBR for the back end of the year too so as ever it will be interesting to see how many of these 5 books still make the cut at Christmas.
Naomi Novik’s Uprooted is a book I discovered via Netgalley, and that I was drawn to by the cover. I totally judge books by their covers, I’m not even ashamed to say it. Cover art is so amazing these days, how could you not? Anyway, I read it and loved it and have m own shiny bought-and-paid-for copy on its way to me because as marv as these e-ARCs are, I kind of feel like when I love a book, I ought to show that love by you know, buying it. So I did. Uprooted is amazing. It’s about this little village on the edge of an evil forest. The villagers are protected from the ways of the wicked woods by The Dragon who lives in a tower and who every ten years takes a girl from the forest to live with him as payment for his service. It’s amazing. Did I say that already? Italk about it in more detail here.
I cannot tell you enough times how much I loved The Gracekeepers. I already reviewed it, but, seriously: this book ticked all the boxes for me. It has it all. It’s just incredible and I love it and I wanted to read it forever and I swear to you if you are not reading this book then you are doing life wrong. It’s sort of part fairytale and part dystopia and completely utterly glorious.
Last Night in Montreal is a book I probably wouldn’t have read (yet) because let’s be honest, when you hear Emily St. John Mandel you think Station Eleven. Everybody has been all about Station Eleven for ages and I really really want to read it but I was sent a copy of Last Night in Montreal around about the time of the UK publication earlier this year and figured it was probably polite to read that one first. I’m so glad I did, because eurgh, so good. So very very good. It’s about this girl called Lilia who has spent her entire life leaving her life and the people in it, behind, never looking back. When she leaves her latest lover, he’s not quite so cool with it, and he follows a trail of breadcrumbs to find her only to discover there’s so much more to Lilias story than he ever thought. It’s so beautifully written and so intricate and there are all these threads to the story that weave together perfectly and it’s just a stunning piece of writing, and I talk more about why I love it so much in this post.
I talk all about Sarah Pinborough’s The DeathHouse here, but I’ll just tell you quickly again now that this book blew me away. It got right under my skin and broke my heart and just made me feel all the things and I absolutely loved it. Loved it.
And finally we come to The Girl WhoCircumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making which, well, I don’t really know what to say. I’m planning a proper post about the Fairyland books at some point, but basically: every person ever needs to read these books. This is the first in the series and holy smokes it’s been a long time since I fell in blooklove like this. Jen pointed me in their direction, I say pointed; it was more on a very insistent demand that I read them. Which I did, because Jen has yet to rec me a book I didn’t love, and I fell. I’m talking Alice levels of love here, I’m talking his Dark Materials, I’m talking Harry Potter. That’s how much I loved it. It’s amazing.
It’s all about twelve year old September who meets The Green Wind at her window one day and is taken on an adventure to Fairyland. Fairyland is being ruled by the fickle and mean Marquess and only September with her friends, A-through-L, the Wyvery (his Mum is a wyvern; his father is the library) and a wonderful mysterious boy by the name of Saturday, can save it.
The story is clever and moving and funny and playful; the language is all kinds of incredible, smart and pretty and whimsical; the characters are characters you want to put in your pocket and keep there forever( SATURDAY!!!!); and the illustrations, I WANT THEM ON MY WALL. There is so much going on in this world and it feels like a modern day Wonderland. This book, I swear. It’s like if Through the Looking Glass and His Dark Materials had beautiful perfect babies (and then read book 2, read book 2 and we’ll talk about Coraline). I can’t wait til I have children and I can read them this book. It deserves all the accolades. It deserves to be on every bookshelf ever. It’s so amazing it makes me want to cry tears of happy.