Follow Me Back · Lay Me Down · Reading

2015: A Year In Books

Well. Another year of reading has ended; I have another stack of Christmas books just waiting to soak up my January days.

I read 122 books in 2015, which is one less than in 2014 – but in my defence, this time round I was working in a job where there wasn’t ninety minutes naptime built into each afternoon.

There was loads of good stuff, quite a bit of mediocre stuff, very little outright awful stuff. I’ll take that as a win. If you want to see the full list, it’s here – bear in mind that I only do star ratings on Goodreads if I LOVED something or REALLY REALLY LIKED it. No star rating means anything from ‘I thought it was great’ to ‘I totally hated it’. That’s just how my system works.

Anyway. Here are my five favourite things I read this year:

Wallflowers by Eliza Robertson
This short story collection is utterly exquisite. Truly beautiful portrayals of small moments in everyday, extraordinary lives – with sentences to drool over.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This is the kind of book that reminds me why I wanted to write as a teenager. It’s funny and smart and honest and heart-burstingly moving.

The Ecliptic by Benjamin Wood
I love this book. It’s meticulously crafted, with gorgeous writing that manages to feel effortless, dreamy locations and precise, thoughtful meditations on art and its creators. Plus a headspinner of a plot that I did not see coming.

All The Rage by Courtney Summers
This novel is unflinching, brutal and yet, in unexpected moments, almost unbearably tender. It deals with an extremely important issue and it does it in an unapologetically visceral, searing way. I felt hollowed-out on finishing it – but not drained enough to stop me immediately buying everything else she’s ever written.

American Housewife by Helen Ellis
Another short story collection – but this one is caustically funny, aggressively brilliant and pitch-dark in places. The titular story has my favourite opening line ever, I think.

The rest of the year was pretty ace too. I gave quotes for two brilliant books: Rebecca Wait’s The Followers and Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood. Please read them both, they are great.

2015: A Year In My Books

In February my second novel, Lay Me Down, was published by Vintage, who are bloody wonderful. I had a great time doing bits and bobs for that, including my very first festival event (at Wilderness, which was SO much fun).

Meantimes, I was working on edits for my debut (can you call it a debut if it’s a new genre? Well I’m gonna) YA thriller, which was signed by Hot Key back at the end of 2014. It’s coming out on February 4th, 2016 (SOON) and is called Follow Me Back. Look, there’s loads of info here, including the first chapter…

And now, as the new year dawns, I’m tentatively getting towards a full draft zero for the next one, which I’m pretty excited about, and I’ve got 20k words of the next adult novel waiting for me to get on with it too.

Here’s to another word-packed year…

 

 

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