So many books, so little time. Luckily, I did have time to read these 12 brilliant books, my favourites of the year…
All Involved by Ryan Gattis
This is one of the first 2015 releases I read, way back in September 2014, and it is still without doubt one of the best books of the year. Raw, unflinching, without a speck of judgement, Gattis’ brutal fictionalisation of the days following the LA riots is just so good.
Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy
This book made me sad, and it made me angry, and I am beyond happy that I read it. A blistering indictment of how women are treated in the Middle East, Eltahawy’s book is a must-read for anyone even vaguely interested in equality.
Sophia by Anita Anand
A biography of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, goddaughter of Queen Victoria, it’s difficult to believe that 1) this isn’t fiction, and 2) that, until Anand, no one had really told Sophia’s story is great detail before. Gripping stuff.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
An utterly worthy winner of the Man Booker Prize, James’ novel is a portrait of Jamaica in the 1970s, a study of gender roles, an exploration of gang culture, but above all a hugely engrossing tale.
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
Probably the most heartbreaking book I read this year. Sahota’s novel of illegal immigrants in Sheffield is topical, but this book would have been as emotionally resonant in any other year.
I Call Myself a Feminist edited by Victoria Pepe, Rachel Holmes, Amy Annette, Alice Stride and Martha Mosse
A call to arms for young feminists, this collection of essays shows the depth and breadth of feminism, and how it’s not just a cause for straight, white, middle-class women.
Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman
Anyone who dares to say films don’t matter should read Freeman’s study of some of the best (and worst) films of the 1980s and what they taught us about gender, race, relationships and more.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
A masterclass in how to write a novel, A God in Ruins somehow succeeded in being better than its predecessor and companion novel Life After Life. Lucky us.
The Ecliptic by Benjamin Wood
I felt like my brain had melted after I finished this novel, in the best way.
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
A fabulous start to a fun yet dark crime series, set in Mumbai. Also, one of the main characters is an elephant.
One by Sarah Crossan
Told in verse, this tale of Siamese twins is stunning, beautiful and affecting.
Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
Not just a novel, this is also an examination of consent, body politics and the failings of the legal system when it comes to sexual assault. A book I want to press into the hands of every teenager.