Inspired by various reading challenges I decided for 2015 to track my reading. Thinking of myself as a fairly avid reader I wanted to know how many books I would actually read and more specifically, if that number would reach fifty.
A curiosity rather than a bet I would keep track but not push myself to read more than came naturally.
The year started well, I logged, gave marks out of 5 and wrote one line reviews in my diary, and not so well, as the first stack barely scraped a generous 3/5 and were ultimately forgettable.
As the year wore on the organised tracking gave way to irregular rummaging though piles on my library floor to see what I’d gotten though.
By the end of the year (its mid December now) I had hit fifty (with another twenty odd cookery books.)
The highlights of my reading year were –
The simple moving construct of Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
As a fan of dystopian future vision I ate up Margaret Atwood’s 2015 arrival The Heart Goes Last and her MaddAddam series –The Year Of The Flood, Oryx And Crake and MaddAddam.
Irish best reads included The Closet of Savage Mementos by Nuala Ni Chonchuir and both Louise O’Neill’s novels. If you are looking for book club books Only Ever Yours and Asking For It would have you leaping over each other in conversation for an evening. The latter was so harrowing I finished it one sitting (a lesson learnt from We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver in order to avoid weeks of nightmares.)
Another one sitting read was Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill and I was delighted to discover the pacy Patricia Highsmith.
It is only in looking back on my list that I realise these are all female authors. This is in anyway intentional, I ready plenty of male writers though out the year too, but it handily brings me to one of the most important Irish published books this year The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers. Not only one by my books of the year but my Dad loved it too.
With my 2016 diary at the ready I look forward to the reading year ahead.
– The Artist