With the year 2014 drawing to it’s close, I thought it would be appropriate to give you my top five books of the year.
Reading is a keen recreational hobby of mine but it is also one of my jobs; to read and review books, mainly from new indie authors. Of course I will point out a few of the books I’ve read wont necessarily have been published this year, they are purely books I’ve picked up either through interest, through word of mouth or through my book review sites. So here is my list, beginning with the winner.
1. Humans by Matt Haig
It was a tough choice choosing my favourite book of the year, I’ve read close to thirty over the past twelve months and some can become easily forgotten. Although I picked this book up right at the beginning of 2014 it has remained in my thoughts since page one.
Humans is a wonderfully written novel from the point of view of an alien. This alien has overtaken the form of a human body in order to prevent the discovery of the Riemann theory and thus the end of our existence. Written in first person, the reader is taken on a journey of discovery on our own species. The book is quite simply hilarious, there are not many books I can say I have read that have had me laughing out loud in front of many strangers. Aside from the hilarity that is us as a species, the novel takes on a deeper meaning as the alien begins to learn what makes us human and what it means to feel the indescribable; love.
If you haven’t picked this book up yet, then I cannot recommend it enough. Do yourself a favour and begin 2015 with a cracker.
2. I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
This book was piped and I really mean it only just shaded second place to Humans. Quite simply superb.
Without giving too much away, the book is about the story of an American super spy who is out to stop a genius Jihadist planning to destroy the ‘West’ using a pandemic of small pox. It is a very long book compared to the simpler to read 300 or so pages that publishers tend to throw at us these days, so this could seem quite off putting, however I can tell you that the read flows so well and quickly that you will be surprised you finished.
This book might not be for you if you have anything against James Bond or the Jason Bourne series, it is action packed, intelligent spy thrilling at its very, very best.
3. Dust by Hugh Howey
Although I’m a little biased on this book, Hugh Howey being one of my literacy heroes (especially modern day), this was a fantastic read.
Dust is the third and last instalment of the critically acclaimed Wool series. The book itself certainly wasn’t published this year, I held onto it for as long as possible before finally giving in; just like a really good television series that you enjoy so much.
The Wool series is based in the nearby future where we live in Silos underground, only stories are our understanding into the past of how Earth used to be. The only vision of outside life is through a small outside camera that gets cleaned by criminals sentenced to their death.
Throughout the series there are many twists and turns, I found myself begging for answers just as badly as the characters in the book. The answers didn’t disappoint and I was left with sadness inside as the story came to an end.
Dust and the whole of the Wool series is Sci-fi brilliance, don’t be a fool and wait for a cinematic release and read now.
I have read many Indie books this year and a lot of them came very close to contention for my top five, the standard of books coming through the self publishing market is outstanding, it is up to us as bloggers to uncover the real gems that help you, the reader find something you might not find on your local bookshelf. There was one stand out book in the indie category for me, Networked by L K Chapman.
The story follows a basic concept of game developers that have been working on a game for years of their life, only to have it all wiped and then replaced. Sounds simple enough, until this story spins into a real page turner that battles a whole variety of issues.
I will be keeping a close eye on future Chapman books; she is a raw talent that will eat this industry up.
5. The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North
This book was recommended to me by a friend, the blurb alone had me intrigued.
Harry August is a kalachakra , one of a very few extraordinary people who die only to be reborn at the same point in history, to live parallel lives that loop perpetually through the same course of historical events, albeit experiencing changes in their own lives. What’s unusual about Harry August is that he remembers everything, every time he is reborn. The end of the world is coming and it is up to Harry to stop it.
I found the story gripping from beginning to end, Miss North has an exceptional gift. My only downside was the use of ‘bigger’ words, when I felt there was no need, almost felt a bit peacock showing off everything it has, perhaps too ‘in your face’. The story alone was enough to break my top five, definitely worth a read.
I would like to say a big thank you to all readers. I hope you have a wonderful 2015!