I’ve already written about most of my Favourite Reads this year. (Reminder: Himself by Jess Kidd, Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory, and The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill.) There were a few other books that stood out for me, but rather than posting long and involved essays on each one, I’ll just provide a few teasers. Lazy? Maybe. Efficient? Definitely. December is a busy month! You don’t have time to read deep literary musings any more than I have time to think deep literary thoughts. I’m just trying to accommodate your hectic schedules, people. Don’t say I never think about you.
These were a few of my favourite things…
Born a crime by Trevor Noah:
The Daily Show host’s bio of growing up in South Africa in the eighties. Fascinating, compelling, and funny.
The Daily Show: an oral history by Chris Smith
You don’t need to have been a regular viewer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to appreciate this book. Stewart transformed late-night television and not only paved the way for dozens of political comedians but was instrumental in highlighting political absurdities for over sixteen years.
Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar
If you liked Too Big to Fail and Flash Boys, then you won’t be able to put this one down. Examining the hedge fund shenanigans of billionaire Steven Cohen and SAC Capital, this book follows the huge insider trading investigation on Wall Street and the high-flying, back-stabbing, track-burying scoundrels involved.
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Book One of the Expanse series, an epic space opera about civil war in a colonized solar system. If this genre is your cup of tea, you can rest easy knowing there are now seven books in the series, with a further five supplemental stories. Your reading list for the next year is now taken care of.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
I like everything about Neil Gaiman. I like his voice, I like his hair, and I like his books. He wrote Coraline and Stardust, he wrote American Gods and The Graveyard Book, he wrote The Sandman graphic novels and an episode of Dr. Who. He even wrote a book about Duran Duran. (This last might not be an endorsement, but my point is, Gaiman puts the multi in multi-talented.) Norse Mythology is a collection of (wait for it…) Norse myths, told with Gaiman’s subtle humour and penchant for gory details.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Socially awkward Willow deals with stress by counting by sevens and researching medical conditions online. When her parents suddenly die she is forced to face a confusing world and create a family out of the disparate group of people who surround her. All the feels.
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen
An anxiety-ridden, craft-obsessed teen deals with guilt and a budding romance with a one-armed boy who has dark, guilty secrets of his own. Quirky, plus crafts. Nielsen also wrote Word Nerd, if you prefer quirky plus Scrabble.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Rachel and Henry work in a bookshop where people leave notes for each other within the pages of the books. Cute, plus bookshops. (As you know, I can’t resist stories that take place in bookstores.)
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
This book was first published in 1995, so yes, I am behind the times. When I recommended it to someone recently they waved it away, saying they’d already watched the movie. Trust me: the book is waaay better. (Even if you loved Aidan Quinn back in the day.) And now Hoffman has just come out with the prequel: The Rules of Magic. I know what I’m doing over the holidays, what about you?
What were your stand-outs for 2017?