Some Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) included. They are marked with an *. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
I rounded out 2017 nicely; with some new favourites among the one(s) that didn’t capture my attention as much as I thought they would.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
I don’t know how I first came across Dolly Alderton, but I’m glad I did. Her podcast The High Low, with Pandora Sykes, is one of my favourites. Everything I Know About Love* treats us to a deep-dive into Alderton’s experiences with romantic love, love in its other forms, drugs and alcohol, growing up or not growing up, as the case may be, finding the right work-life balance and figuring out how to be, well, herself.
If you enjoy memoirs of smart and funny women add Everything I Know About Love* to your to-read list. It’s out in February.
First Person by Richard Flanagan
Kif Kehlmann is an aspiring writer in need of money, so he agrees to write the memoir of con man Siegfried Heidl. As Heidl becomes more and more uncooperative, Kehlmann finds himself drawn deeper into his web of lies.
A fictionalised account of Flanagan’s experience ghost-writing John Friedrich’s memoir, First Person* asks us, to question the lines between fact and fiction, to rethink what memoir does or doesn’t mean and view the publishing industry with more than a little side-eye.
There is no doubt, it’s well written. I just didn’t click with the story the way I thought I would based on the blurb.
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell
I already know I’m going to struggle to do I Am, I Am, I Am justice. That’s how good a book it is. Maggie O’Farrell takes us through her 17 “brushes with death” and their impact on her life. From her childhood illness, to an encounter with a man while out walking on a holiday when she was 18, to the birth of her daughter; O’Farrell chooses not to relay things in chronological order, instead offering readers snatched glimpses of her life, at various stages, which builds to an overall narrative allowing us to reflect on human nature and our own lives a little differently.
I Am, I Am, I Am is beautifully written, evocative, thought-provoking and packs an emotional punch; a joy to read.
Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
Bo Luxton is a writer who, seemingly, has it all – a family, beautiful house and multiple bestsellers to her name. When she meets Alice Dark, an aspiring writer, things change.
We know from the outset that things haven’t ended well and one of them is in prison, what we don’t know is how things ended up this way. This unfolds, slowly; through alternating perspectives which keeps us guessing (at least initially) as to whether Bo or Alice’s version of events is what actually happened.
Exquisite* is full of love, obsession and manipulation. A must read!