I made a conscious decision to read more books written by women this year, so it’s hardly surprising that my best books of 2015 list is comprised solely of women.
I’ve read and enjoyed many books, both fiction and non-fiction, but these six affected me the most. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Some did both. They all made me think. They all made me want to seek out people who had read them so we could discuss the stories at length. They are all books I know I will re-read and that’s the sign of a great book for me.
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
Sara Baume’s debut novel is about one man and his dog, except it is about so much more than that. It’s a haunting look at loneliness, isolation and ageing in our society. Spill Simmer Falter Wither broke my heart in the best possible way.
One by Sarah Crossan
I don’t read books out loud, but I would make an exception for One by Sarah Crossan. Written in glorious free verse this tale of conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi, is a moving look at sisterhood, friendship, love and identity.
About Sisterland by Martina Devlin
In Sisterland women and men live separate lives. Every woman has their role within Sisterland and men are necessary only for hard labour and breeding. But when your thoughts and emotions are tightly controlled just how perfect can this world be? About Sisterland explores the devastating effects of extremism and Martina Devlin’s words will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget by Sarah Hepola
Blackout by Sarah Hepola affected me in ways I wasn’t fully expecting. I finished reading it a few weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. Hepola’s memoir is the story of a woman who realised that she should probably have stopped drinking long before she actually did. It balances humour with honesty making for a compelling read.
Tender by Belinda McKeon
Tender is an exploration of friendship, youth, love, obsession and sexuality. Catherine Reilly and James Flynn are my favourite characters of the year. I don’t always agree with their actions, but I want to spend time with them. Belinda McKeon’s writing manages to be both raw and nuanced.
Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
Everyone needs to read Asking For It, particularly teenage boys and girls. Louise O’Neill painfully and skilfully explores the aftermath of a gang rape in the age of social media. It may be a difficult read, subject wise, but it is essential. The conversations it will lead to about consent, rape culture and victim blaming are extremely important.
Best Books of 2015 Giveaway
I am giving one person the chance to win the book of their choice from my best books of 2015 list.
The competition is open internationally and will run until midnight (GMT) on December 31st 2015.
To enter simply use the widget below. You don’t have to complete every step, but the more you complete the more chances you have of winning.