It’s that time of the year when everyone starts publishing lists of their favourite books from the year. So it seems only right to share my own top ten books of the year. In no particular order they are
Set on the last “normal” day in Belfast just before the start of the Troubles, Patterson paints a picture of city which would be torn about and what would be lost in the years of conflict. It is undoubtedly one of the best books about The Troubles.
A stunning debut by a new Irish author, Only Ever Yours should be a must read for all teenagers. Set in a dystopian future it satirises modern society with its obsession on image and celebrity. I already have O’Neill’s second book Asking For It sitting on top of my reading pile.
Spanning 3 decades, The Green Road, follows one family as Ireland moves from a poor country on the edge of Europe to the wealthiest country in the EU.
Irish bookshelves have groaned under the weight of books about institutional abuse of all varieties for the past decade, however A History of Loneliness is the first to examine the issue from the perspective of someone within the Church but not involved in the abuse. Someone who may have known what was going on but choose not to see (as opposed to those who knew and covered it up). It is an interesting perspective and considering the subject matter surprisingly easy to read.
The only non-fiction entry, The Undertakers Daughter is a biographical account of growing up in a small town in Americas south during the 1960’s and 70’s. Full of colourful characters, including Mayfield’s undertaker father, it will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
One of the big successes of 2014 I finally got around to it this year. Dystopian novels are everywhere these days, but this falls into the entirely plausible verity of the genre. It examines the role of art and culture even when all else has been lost
Undoubtedly one of the most popular books of the past two years, it is a touching look at war from the perspective of two unusual children. It is only a matter of time before this is made into a movie.
As a general rule I don’t read books about the collapse of the Irish economy. Living was quite enough thank you very much!! However Kilroy’s book is an interesting and funny take on the madness of the Celtic Tiger and it all came to pass.
Split between Nigeria and America, Americanah is a coming of age tale exploring the implications of the decisions we make and the impact of emigration on people and relationships. A film adaptation has recently begun production. I would urge everyone to read it before the film comes out.
I read a lot of historical fiction but I can safely say I have never read one set during the Middle Ages as the Plague ran rampant across Europe. Part historical fiction, part thriller it will keep you guessing until the last page.