So here we are, at the end of another unusual year. I’m guessing many of you have sought solace in books as I have, although, at times I’ve found it challenging to concentrate and engage with books. The good news is that when the floodgates of publishing opened post-lockdown (take two), the quality of books published really picked up and recently we’ve enjoyed some fabulous novels which bodes well for Christmas and beyond. So here they are, our best reads this year.
We here at Bookstoker wish you all the best for a happy holiday season!
Can’t tell you how excited I am about the choice of Damon Galgut’s The Promise as this year’s Booker Prize winner. It’s an exceptional book, written by a hugely talented author. The story of the disintegration of the South-African Swart family will stay with you for a long time. Read our review here.
On the week Mark Zuckerberg announced his plan for a metaverse, attending the deliciously analog Letters Live at Royal Albert Hall was like balm to the soul. Letters Live, inspired by the best-selling book series Letters of Note, is a live, bi-annual (more or less) event in which famous actors read letters dealing with anything from a customer complaint to Virgin Airlines (which made it all the way to Richard Branson for its hilarity), a sublime love letter, to a heart-wrenching post-humous letter written by a 19 year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan and many more. A packed Royal Albert Hall (with an encouraging number of 20yr olds!) was treated to readings by Benedict Cumberbatch, Gillian Anderson, Toby Jones, Matt Lucas and many more, interspersed by music performances. Exquisite!
While you wait for the next one, visit the Letters Live archive.
The court case of Elizabeth Holmes of health-care start-up Theranos is in the news these days. If you’re curious about the whole story, I highly recommend Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, investigative journalist at The Wall Street, who exposed Holmes’ fraud. Addictive reading! Read our review here.