I’ll start with some thoughts on my choice for January, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This was an excellent book to kick start my challenge for 2016. I read it in mere days, which is no mean feat with two typhoon-like boys running about, and from the moment I picked it up I was hooked. I found myself trying to steal a few minutes here and there, even if only to read a few more paragraphs.
At it’s heart this book is about secrets. You can think you know someone but there are always tiny fractures where secrets and thoughts are hidden. You can never really know someone. But it’s also about family, about wanting to fit in, and to please your loved ones. I loved that the pace of the story didn’t falter at all and that the author was able to depict events, places and even emotion with such precision, such care and without wasting any words. It’s intelligent and witty and heartbreaking and it’s sure to join the handful of books which I so love that I re-read from time to time.
Because I finished my January choice so quickly I was able to go back to a book that I started last year but didn’t quite finish. Admittedly I ran out of steam last year, for one reason or another my reading fell by the wayside and Life after Life by Kate Atkinson was one of the books I neglected. It often pops up as a favourite on the monthly #theyearinbooks twitter chats so I was keen to read it. Although I found myself getting confused (easily done!) at times with the flipping between lives, it didn’t disappoint. It was a clever and brave book and I think I’ll have to add the follow up to my list for 2016.
And so on to February. Please forgive me if it sounds like gloating, it’s not! But I was one of the lucky winners of Laura @circleofpines giveaway to win a copy of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. Laura wanted to try something different for one month and suggested that anyone who was interested could read the same book. I was pretty amazed when I received Laura’s email but I was genuinely excited when I received my copy in the post. It’s such a rare treat to receive real post these days instead of the endless leaflets and bills and invitations to apply for a credit card. I’ve already started and so far so very good…I’m really looking forward to chatting about it with my fellow #theyearinbooks tweeters.