2020 may not yet be over but, as in previous years, I’ve chosen to put out my annual roundup before Christmas. Books make the perfect gifts, especially as they are easy to wrap and mostly not too pricey. These are my personal recommendations from the titles I’ve reviewed over the past 12 months. It’s not a ‘best of’ list – who am I to judge what is best when so many titles exist and I have only managed to read a few? Rather, this selection highlights some of my favourites – books that I enjoyed reading and that continue to resonate. I hope those who share my literary tastes may find it useful, or at least of some interest.
I posted reviews for just over 100 books on my blog in 2020. Since Robyn took on the role of my intern in June, she has contributed many more. Robyn’s recommendations will be listed in a separate post to be published next weekend.
As with my monthly roundups, click on the title below to read my review and on the cover to learn more about the book.
Let’s start with fiction. These first two books tell compelling stories that bite.
The next two selected are, on the surface, more everyday tales but contain pleasing depth.
Two that hold a darkness within their pages but not one that overshadows the fine storytelling.
For those who want straightforward but still fully rounded stories that are both engaging and entertaining (also proof that I do not only read books from my beloved independent presses!)
More challenging to read but well worth considering.
I also enjoy short stories and these two collections delivered plenty of food to satisfy a variety of literary appetites.
Micro story collections offering short tales that are cleverly complete – they also contain a generous dollop of humour.
Single story chapbooks that pack a punch – so much conveyed in just a few pages.
Poetry with the potential to appeal to all readers.
On then to non fiction. Two books that encourage the reader to look at our world anew.
Proving that non fiction prose can be piercing yet written with poetic beauty.
This illustrated book has been widely publicised with captions quoted as offering help in adversity – something that can put me off a title – but was exactly what I needed in this difficult year.
The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy, published by Ebury Press
23 books that particularly impressed me – all but 3 published by small, independent presses. Whatever your choice of literature over the festive season and coming year, I wish you many hours of satisfying reading.