Christmas once again approaches and with it the excuse, should one be needed, to buy books for family and others we care for, including ourselves. The titles selected here represent just some of my personal recommendations from my reading over the past year. I posted reviews for well over one hundred books in 2021 so choosing just a few from the many enjoyed wasn’t easy. I hope those who share my literary tastes will find this post useful, or at least of some interest.
As with my monthly roundups, click on the title below to read my review and on the cover to learn more about the book.
We start with fiction likely to appeal to a wide variety of readers.
Beautifully told stories dealing with just one of the shameful periods in Irish history.
Short stories that capture the Irish mindset with aplomb.
An academic study of contemporary Northern Irish writing that is fascinating and written to be accessible to all.
Northern Irish Writing After The Troubles by Caroline Magennis, published by Bloomsbury
Exploring areas of Great Britain – fine non fiction.
Non fiction with bite.
Chauvo Feminism by Sam Mills, published by The Indigo Press
Fiction with a darker edge.
Fiction that shines a light on our less than admirable behaviours, beautifully told in imaginative ways.
Poetry that powerfully explores our present situation, living through a time of plague.
Should have, at least, made the Booker shortlist if not gone all the way.
An Island by Karen Jennings, published by Holland House Books
Deliciously dark short stories.
Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy, published by Dead Ink
Reminders that I should read more translated fiction.
For when we need a laugh, within damn fine storytelling.
Domestic Bliss and Other Disasters by Jane Ions, published by Bluemoose
Encourage children to pick up books by giving them compelling reads.
So there we have it, 23 books that particularly impressed me, many published by our wonderful small, independent presses – do please support them when you can. Whatever your choice of literature over the festive season and coming year, I wish you many hours of satisfying reading.