I have great faith in translated international book prizes, only the best make into the English language market and choosing the very best of those is inevitable going to result in a list of excellent books. I’m thrilled to see Mend the Living and A Whole Life on the list as they are both amongst my absolute favourite recent reads. I’ve also just finished the wonderfully quirky The Vegetarian, unlike anything I’ve read before. And then there is Elena Ferrante’s books, three of which I’ve reviewed on this blog (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name and Days of Abandonment.) If the quality of those I’ve read is anything to go by, all of these should be amazing reads.
Kate Atkinson won the Costa Novel Award 2015 earlier this week for the novel A God in Ruins. Not bad considering she’s won the prize twice before: in 2013 for Life After Life and in 1995 for Behind the Scenes at the Museum. A God in Ruins follows Teddy, one of the characters from Life After Life, and his struggle to live a ‘normal’ life after his career as an RAF pilot during the Second World War.
The best books of 2015 lists are being published in the newspapers these days and I have collected the best of the ‘best lists’. I don’t necessarily agree with all their choices, but there are lots of interesting books here.
A list doesn’t come more high-brow than this. If you’ve ever had the urge to get to the bottom of understanding books this offers an excellent selection of literature for you. No light beach reads here, but enough to keep you going for years and come out a scholar, and probably enjoy reading even more. Go on and tackle the literary heavyweights: Roland Barthes, Lucian Freud, Harold Bloom, James Wood, Michel Foucault etc.
While some may say it’s ‘cheating’ to have a book read to you, others would argue it needn’t be instead of reading words on a page. But whether you choose to re-read these books on paper or are content to ‘only listen’, here are some of our favourite: good books read to us with great talent.
The Man Booker Prize short-list 2015 is out with what looks like interesting books on a wide range of themes – child abuse, technology, immigration – and geographic settings – Nigeria, Jamaica, Sheffield. Take your pick!
A good literary prize brings to light books that you’ve not necessarily heard of before. This year’s Man Booker Prize longlist is an eminent example, pulling together a selection of 13 books from all corners of the world: Jamaica, New Zealand, India, the US, Ireland, Nigeria and the UK.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the summer holidays to begin. They’re just around the corner, so perhaps it’s time to start thinking about which books to read? We have loads of ideas on Bookstoker from light beach reads about Russian oligarchs to non-fiction books about death and poo (!). The blue links are to Bookstoker’s full reviews or snap judgements while the green links are to outside reviews.
While piling up summer reading for yourself, make sure you throw in a few books for your kids too. Summer is the time to make them love reading as much as you do, while there’s no homework and eons of time. I’ve been trawling the internet for good children’s summer reading lists and here’s what I found.
German author Jenny Erpenbeck has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 with her book The End of Days, a story about five possible alternative lives of a girl born in Austria-Hungary at the start of the 20th century.