Best Books of 2017

Some Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), via Bookbridgr, Netgalley, authors and publishers, included. They will be marked with an *. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Best Books of 2017

Now that we’re in 2018, it’s safe to talk about my best books of 2017. I made the mistake of sharing my favourite reads of 2016 before Christmas and then read All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan, so lesson learned; do not write end of year favourites when there is still time in the year.

In keeping with my previous yearly round-ups, most of the books I read were written by women. What started as a conscious effort has become second nature. I rated more books five stars on Goodreads (you can find me here) this year, than the previous two combined. I’ve been more selective with my choices, especially when it comes to advance reader copies, which explains it. I read less crime fiction than I have in a long time, which is something I’ll be writing about soon.

Some of these books made me laugh. Some made me cry. Some managed to do 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.

2017 – A Year in Review

2017 - a year in review

2017 was a strange old year. The world continued to come apart at the seams, my health, both mental and physical, wasn’t great (again) which affected my writing and I spent a not insignificant amount of time trying to figure out how, y’know, to do life. It wasn’t all bad, mind; I wrote some stuff I am proud of, dedicated even more time to activism and met some brilliant people.

Here is a whistle-stop tour of my year, totally inspired by Grace Latter’s 2017: a year on the blog.

5 questions with Olive Collins

The Tide Between Us by Olive Collins. Advance Reader Copy from the publisher, Poolbeg, included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Well crafted and well researched, The Tide Between Us* doesn’t shy away from the harshness of indentured servitude while, also, highlighting the preferential treatment they received compared to chattel slavery. It is an absorbing story about family connections, in all their complicated glory.

Thank you to Olive Collins for taking the time to allow me pick her brain about all things writing and research.

5 questions with Olive Collins

Me too

Me too. Yet, I hesitated typing that because maybe it wasn’t a big deal or I was overreacting. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s all those moments combined.

It’s the fact it starts when we’re so young. It’s the fact we second guess ourselves or consider it “not a big deal”. It’s the fact we don’t talk about it every time it happens to us. It’s the fact I’ve had women pretend to be old school friends while interrupting men who thought “I’m not interested” meant try harder. It’s the fact this happens regularly. It’s the fact I have also pretended to be an old school friend. It’s the fact we’ve likely been warned about certain men or warned other women about certain men. Because that’s what women do. We share information to keep each other safe.

And, yet, here we are sharing our stories and traumas again in the hopes that things will be different. That women are finally believed. That things will change.

Here’s the thing about “Me Too” and “Yes All Women”; we can’t change things on our own. We need men to speak up. Rape culture isn’t going to dismantle itself. Will you have a chat with that friend of yours who is fond of telling rape jokes? Will you stop your friend from getting “too friendly” with the woman in the pub who has already told him she isn’t interested? Will you help prevent future “me toos”?

So, yes, me too because yes all women. But I’m tired of all this talk, that doesn’t lead to action from men.

Recent Reads – September Kindle edition

Some Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) included. They are marked with an *. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Recent Reads - September Kindle edition
Original photo: Viktor Hanacek from picjumbo

I wish I could say I’m making a decent dent in the amount of books I have on Kindle waiting to be read, but for every one I finish another three attract my attention. And so my never-ending to-read list grows longer.

Recent Reads – September edition

Some Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) included. They are marked with an *. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Recent Reads - September edition
Original photo: Viktor Hanacek from picjumbo

Trips to Cork and Dublin this month meant lots of reading time, thanks to long bus journeys. It was an excellent reading month because two of my favourite books of the year are among this bunch. 

Why I am a feminist

Why I Am A Feminist
Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash

I haven’t always been a feminist. I don’t think I mean that in the ‘I’m not a feminist, but [insert feminist belief here]’ way. Yes, people called me a feminist long before I called myself one but they didn’t know the reason I knew the word ‘feminist’ didn’t apply to me. I haven’t always been a feminist because I haven’t always been pro-choice.