You see what I did there? Top Five & Top Ten book lists are great don’t get me wrong, but what happens if I can think of six standout books of the year or can only get up to say four, or nine? and how do I say one is so much better than the other that it deserves to be No 1 and the other No 5?
So here in no particular order and of no significant number are the books I read this year that have left enough of an impression on me that I consistently recommend them to anyone who asks what they should read.
The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald
To paraphrase an old catchphrase when it comes to The Cry, “Ignore what it says on the tin.” I’ve recommended this book to a lot of people, even lending my own copy out several times. Most have read the synopsis on the back and said “it’s not for me.” To them all I have said one thing, “trust me, just read the first few chapters…” It’s all I’ve ever needed to say. The book has been devoured and enjoyed by everyone. It’s one of those times when the old adage rings perfectly true.
“never judge a book by its cover.”
Dead Gone by Luca Veste
I was privileged enough to be given a copy of Dead Gone by Luca back in July and whilst the paperback isn’t out until next year, the e-book is already available so I’m personally classing it as a book of 2013. Don’t be surprised however to see this touted around everywhere next year as a ‘book of 2014.’ Expect to hear it talked about a lot, it is simply that good.
Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason
If this is the only Indridason book you ever read you’ll be disappointed, not at the book per se as it’s a decent standalone but at the fact I recommended it. The reason for that is simple, this is a book for hardened Indridason fans, only if you’ve followed this series from the beginning can you appreciate it in its fullness for its completion of a story. Compare it to being a devoted fan of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot then finally reading ‘Curtain‘ and you’ll have an inkling at just how great this book really is.
The Stranglers Honeymoon by Håkan Nesser
Apparently The Stranglers Honeymoon is book nine of ten Inspector Van Veeteran books and the latest translated into English. I say apparently, because I’d never read one before. The good point is I really didn’t need to have read them to enjoy this. The better point? I’m now in the middle of sourcing the other eight.