January 01

Book Ends

I think I might have lost some friends in 2016. Actually, I feel they were more pilfered from me than lost, but I’m determined not to sound bitter. There was that one friend I ran into at the bookshop nose deep in Ms K’s reviews to choose her next book and another friend who hopefully enquired when I turned up at a party whether I bought Ms K with me or not?   What are we…Laverne and Shirley?  I’m sure there are people asking Ms K the same thing about me and she just isn’t mentioning it to avoid over-inflating my ego….right?

Point is, we have different taste in books and that is OK. In fact it’s good and it means we avoid arguments about which books we want to read and review and Readhead followers reap the benefits. Ms K likes to be moved and entertained whereas I prefer to be worked…preferably with a compelling story-line of course.

So whether your loyalties lie with Ms A or Ms K (or maybe even both of us) we have set out this helpful end of year wrap up to keep you reading this summer.

Top 3 books of 2016 

Ms A – 

  1. His Bloody Project by Colin Macrae – Without doubt my favourite book of 2016 is going to be hard to beat in 2017. It’s clever, cold, creepy and cool and utterly original in the simplest way. Masterpiece.
  2. Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos– this small and precious book tells the story of two holocaust survivors that fell in love at the end of the war. With no teeth or clothes (let alone money or ID) they forged a new life and gave me goose bumps in the process.
  3. Barkskins by Annie Proux – When I list the things I accomplished in 2016, reading this book is one of them. Like running a marathon or building a house, no one can take the mere act of finishing this incredible book away from me.

Ms K –

  1. Hope Farm by Peggy Frew – I called this as my book of the year early on in the piece and I stand by it.  A dark book full of sadness that had me hook line and sinker so I promise  this one will stay with you. A story of a mother and daughter told cleverly and with a deft touch and deserving of its place as a Miles Franklin Literary Award and Stella finalist.
  2. Between A Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain – This was quite the surprise. I picked it up because of the cover ( as I do) and discovered ( I’m so late to this party!) that Georgia Blain is one hell of a writer. Sadly I now need to add, she was.  She passed away last week just days shy of her equally talented mother Anne Deveson left us.  This one is the story of Ester, her estranged husband Lawrence, estranged sister April and mum Hilary. It’s complicated but splendid from first word till last.
  3. The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks – This one is the golden trifecta of books – historical ( think David and Goliath old), grandiose and sweeping and lastly, it’s penned by Geraldine Brooks, Queen of my literary loving heart. Tick tick tick.

Notice a theme ? All female authors listed here AND every review I posted this year was of a book written by a women. You draw your own conclusions.

Books to kick off 2017 

Ms A – 

  • Fight like a girl by Clementine Ford – because I have two daughters….actually, just because I’m a human being.
  • The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose – because Hannah Kent loved it and I love her.
  • A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute  – because my friend gave me an old copy and I love an Australian classic.

Ms K – 

  1. Anything and everything by Georgia Blain.
  2. Something written by a man….stay tuned.