So it’s the end of the year. And at the end of the year we look at the
books we read and pick our favourites. I have listed these in no order. Just in
the order I remembered them. If I have reviews I’ll link to that. I picked ten.
I could have picked more, but I made myself pare it down to ten books.
My life on the road by Gloria Steinem – I listened to this on audiobook,
and I loved it. It was amazing. It’s a memoir of Gloria Steinem’s life. She
grew up on the road, her mom and dad sold antiques from their car when she was
little. Then when she got older she started working on political campaigns, and
travelled around the world lecturing on feminism and history, and that kind of
stuff. And it was just beautiful and magical. Review.
Now and Then by Gil Scott-Heron – I read some poetry this year,
including this poetry collection by Gil Scott-Heron. He was a jazz musician and
writer, but primarily known as a spoken word poet. He wrote a lot of
politically minded poetry, and it was incredible. More poetry for 2016. Review-ish.
I know why the Caged bird Sings by Maya Angelou – This is the first
memoir Maya Angelou wrote. It’s about her life from when she was like… 4 to 19.
She writes so beautifully, and for a while I sort of forgot that it was a memoir
and sort of thought it was a fiction book, it was just so beautiful. I really
want to read more of her books in 2016. Review.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck – This book broke me. Oh my God the
beautiful awesomeness of John Steinbeck. His characters are just so amazing and
complex and horrible and incredible. I also read Of Mice and Men, and I’ll read
more of his books next year, because they were amazeballs. Review.
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – This was amazing. I feel like I’ll just
be using the same adjectives over and over again, but they’re my favourite
books of the year, so yeah. I’ll try to do better. It was weird, and it was
fascinating to see Clarissa Dalloway through her own eyes, and the eyes of
others. I really liked the writing style, and the sadness in it, and it was
Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick – Conrad of the JustADustJacket
channel on the youtubes recommended this at the end of a video, and I just
thought; that’s a good enough reason to read something. So I got it on Kindle
and read it and it was incredible. It’s just a sort of semi-autobiographical
story of a woman looking back on her life and the nights in her life and the
people she talked to and met. And it was beautiful and vulnerable and I want to
Zami: A New Spelling of my Name by Audre Lorde – Audre Lorde is a poet
as far as I know, this is her memoir from her childhood in Harlem in the 30s
and her coming of age in the 50s. It’s sort of centred around the women who
affected her life, her strict mother, her sisters, her friends, her mentors and
her lovers, and how they changed her life. It was really sad, and beautiful and
it was wonderful.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville – This is the best thing that ever
happened. Moby Dick is about a man called Ishmael, who walks onto the Pequod
lover friend, Queequeg, and they go whaling with the slightly
crazy captain Ahab. Ahab is hunting the white whale that ripped off his leg,
and he gets more and more frenzied the longer they hunt. It’s so crazy and
beautiful and there are chapters upon chapters on whale anatomy and whale
history, it’s great. Review-ish.
The Smartest Book in the World by Greg Proops – This is just indulgent
on my part, but it’s my list, so fuck it. Greg Proops is a comedian. He is on
Whose Line is it Anyway? he appears on @midnight and he has a podcast called
the Smartest Man in the World. This book is basically just a book version of
his podcast, and it’s glorious. It’s glorious.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – This was one of the first books I
read this year. It was gorgeous and amazing and wow. It’s about a young woman
called Holly. It’s told from various perspectives, her own, and people who meet
her, or know her. She seems to be the centre of this weird war between two
immortal races. It’s very David Mitchell, and it’s very good. Review.