Hi again! I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas and the end of the year. In celebration of this, today’s topic is our top books of 2017
Top 5 Wednesday was created over on BookTube by the wonderful Laniey at gingerreadslaniey and run by the lovely Sam of Thoughts on Tomes . Also you can check out the Goodreads page for past and future topics.
These books are listed in no particular order.
This is such a fun and whimsical series. I have a full review here if you want to know all my thoughts. Nevermoor might just be the Harry Potter for this generation of young readers. I adore everything about this book. Nevermoor, Morrigan, Hawthorn, Jupiter, The Hotel Deucalion and even Fen. Nevermoor has all the magic and whimsy of our favourite worlds like Wonderland and Whoville. I really hope they adapt this into a movie or tv series because I would love to see Nevermoor come to life.
I adore this book so much, which was a big surprise for me since I’m not a fan of WWII fiction. I have a full review so I won’t ramble on too long. I love Mayer’s writing. It is beautiful. So much so that I found myself slowing my reading pace and rereading sections just to savour it. I could have the whole novel wallpapered in my room and I would be so happy.
The narrative is beautifully crafted. It takes the dangers of living during WWII, twists them with the whimsy of fairytales and lets you deep inside a broken family who are trying to hard to be ‘normal’. I’m in awe of the way Mayer was able to balance to historic elements with the fairy tale threads. And I loved that the fairy tales were used to explore the relationship between Mother and Son. Seeing what each character got out of the same story broke my heart. Safe to say I want everyone to read this! Pretty please!
I picked this book up because it was the winner of this year’s Stella Prize. I’m not into the whole art scene so I was surprised with just how much I loved this book. The story centre’s around performing artist, Marina Abramovic and her MOMA exhibit called The Artist is Present. Along the way we meet Arky Swann, a local film composer, Brittika, a PhD student from Amsterdam writing her thesis on Marina’s art, Jane, an art teacher on holiday from Georgia, and we even hear from Marina herself. Through these characters and the exhibit, Rose explores all the different facets of love—what it’s like to be love and to love—, mourning and loss.
Rose’s prose is stunning it has a way of invoking strong images without overusing adjectives. For example, here the Arky, reflects on his life not only about love but about what it means to be an artist and to live creatively:
You would be amazed how rare it is for artists to feel moments of true satisfaction. When they’re inside their craft, inside colour or movement or sound, words or clay or pictures or dance, when they submit to the art, that is when they know two things – the void that is life and the pull that is death. The grand and the hollow. The best reflects that. To be such harbingers of truth is not without its cost. It’s no easy task to balance a sense of irrelevance with the longing for glory, the abyss with the applause.
I highly, highly recommend this one, even if you’re not into performance art—I wasn’t. I don’t think it’s something you need to get something from this narrative.
Random side note: I am so excited to see two non fiction pieces on my top books of the year. I’ve been trying hard to read more especially after reading these two.
I wanted to read this book even since I saw her Ted Talk – which is this an extension of. This is an inspiring guide for artists, creators and, really, humans everywhere. I’m in awe of the trust Amanda has in her fans and her ability to share her entire life with them. And I mean everything from raising over a million dollars on Kickstarter to marriage problem and crippling self-doubt. Amanda knows first hand that asking is scary but also that it’s a gift that’s in constant circulation. This is a story I will return to again and again, whenever I’m looking for a pick-me-up.
So if you need help, just do as Amanda say and take that doughnut!
Maxine Benabe Clarke is one of my favourite authors. I will buy anything this woman put her name too. She is incredible. I do have a full review
of this one so I’ll sum up my thoughts. Clarke’s prose is magical and still contains that innate rhythm and melody of her poetry. This book is heartbreaking. It highlights and showcases all the casual and everyday racism, which is embedded in our culture. Having this book is an invaluable insight into an experience I am fortunate enough to never have. I highly recommend. This book is significant in the fight against racism and a move towards an accepting and inclusive future.
That’s all for me. Comment down below and let me know if you’ve read any of these and which books topped your 2017 reading.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and until next time, happy reading!