So here is a list of the top five books I read in 2015. These books were not all published in 2015, it’s just when I happened to find them. I am now adding these novels to my Christmas shopping lists for others, recommending them to friends and lending them to family.
Helen Garner follows the Australian murder trial of Robert Farquharson where he was charged with drowning his three sons on Fathers Day. Over seven years, she witness and documented this intimate and tragic court case. THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF is as powerful as it is crisp and clear, as much about the Australian legal system as it is about the psychology of grief and the bonds of family. Her ability to read people and dissect their mannerisms, body language and presense makes this book stunning. Garner is an observer of the purest form, seeking out both sides of the argument, wanting to extract the truth.
As I continue to read novels more critically and learn how to articulate my responses to them, I find it easier to review books I didn’t like. I enjoyed reading CLADE so much that to review and critic it was difficult. Set within the changing world of a warming planet, the story spans three generations, beginning in the near future and ending with long arm of story reaching into the galaxy. It is a gentle, literary science fiction novel. I feel gushy, stupid and just want to tell everyone, I loved it!
I have read and loved all of Kate Morton’s novels. She is a literary power house, one of Australia’s most successful writers. Currently taking in million dollar advances for her books, she is being compared to Collen McCullough as Australia’s successful export. THE LAKE HOUSE hit the best-seller list as soon as it was released. When I was reading The Lake House in public, people openly asked if they could borrow the book when I was done.
The novel begins in 1933, with the mysterious disappearance of a young boy at a midsummer party. The unsolved tragedy drives the family from their home and into separate worlds. Seventy years later, Sadie Sparrow retreats to her grandfather’s cottage in Cornwall and stumbles upon an abandoned house. When I was reading The Lake House in public, people openly asked if they could borrow the book when I was done.
This book was defiantly my funniest, most challenging read of the year. The starting point of HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE is that a great novel can be nothing less than life-transforming. This is an unusual claim: our education system while stressing that novels are highly worthwhile, rarely investigates why this is so.
When asked what this book is actually about, there is no clear answer. It is about everything, and it is about Proust. Although Proust was rarely happy himself, Alain de Botton delves into the writing, life and times of Proust to bring humour and insight into the benefits he might bring to our lives.
AMAZING BABES is a celebration of innovative, brave and world-changing women. It is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that inspires little girls and boys alike. Each page features an incredible woman from history, focusing on their achievements bravery, intellect, creativity and spunk. When I first read this book I felt a little tingle run down my spine. It’s a really inspiring book, for grown-ups as much as little people.