Best Picks 2015

As an eclectic reader I read whatever takes my fancy. The following are my personal top 10 picks of 2015:

1. Wilder, Laura Ingalls (2014) Pioneer Girl: The annotated autobiography. South Dakota Historical Society Press. Pioneer Girl was the foundation for Wilder’s fictional world. This volume inclusive of primary sources provides new insights into Wilder’s life and times. Remarkable.  March Picks 2015.

2. Tyler, Anne (2015) A Spool of Blue Thread. Chatto & Windus. From the veranda the myths, shared stories and secrets of the Whitshank family  are chronicled. Warmhearted and poignant. April Picks 2015.

3. Sullivan, Rosemary (2015) Stalin’s Daughter: The extraordinary and tumultuous life of Svetlana Alliluyeva.  Fourth Estate. Epic biography of Svetlana, from beloved child of Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin to a nomadic existence. Combines compassion, history and tragedy, worthy of a Russsian novel.  Extraordinary. September Picks 2015.

4. Enright, Anne (2015) The Green Road. Norton. Spanning thirty years this Irish family portrait is told through gritty personal stories.  Stark and subtle.  Stunning. July Picks 2015.

5. Barrows, Annie (2015) The Truth According to Us. Macedonia’s sesquincentennial is to be celebrated with the publication of the town’s history.  As Layla delves into town legend, new truths start to emerge.  Heart-warming atmospheric story, with significant charm. August Picks 2015.

6. Haynes, Natalie (2014).  The Amber Fury.  Corvus. Alex Morris uses the Greek tragedies to engage with five troubled teenagers.  As they become enthralled they are involved in a Greek tragedy of their own. Dark psychological mystery.  Gripping. April Picks 2015.

7. Nordberg, Jenny (2014) The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan. Crown.  In Afghanistan the birth of a son is a celebration and the birth of daughter is a misfortune. A bacha posh is the third kind of child. Exposes the profound impact of gender prejudice on a nation.  Compelling and insightful. June Picks 2015.

8. Gregory, Philippa (2015) The Taming of the Queen. Simon & Schuster. Kateryn Parr, Henry VIII’s last and surviving queen is an independent woman with a mind of her own. Cleverly wrought political novel. September-October Picks 2015.

9. Blume, Judy (2015) In the Unlikely Event. Picador. During the winter of 1951-1952, over a 58-day period, three aeroplanes fell from the sky over the historic city of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Weaves fact and fiction in a moving commemoration. November Picks 2015.

10. Bivald, Katarina (2015) The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. Chatto & Windus. Sara leaves her native Sweden for Iowa, to visit her friend Amy. The only problem is, Amy has died. The eccentric people of Broken Wheel rally around Sara. Delightful pleasure. December Picks 2015.

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