Tuesday 17 December 2019

Books of the Decade

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As 2019 draws to a close thoughts turn not just to reflecting on the year that’s passed but to the decade we’re leaving behind. ‘Books of the decade’ lists are of course hugely subjective but here are a few that stood out for me. Looking forward to delving in to everyone else’s lists and bringing my reading a bit more into the modern world.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
This book is definitely a love it or hate it read. Some dismiss it as being unrelentingly bleak, others feel deeply the suffering it depicts, not enjoying it but being moved by the emotion. I’m definitely in the latter camp. It broke my heart several times over but the characters linger years after reading. It follows the lives of four college friends as they try to find a place in the world for themselves, each dealing with their own challenges, none more so than Jude who takes centre stage, his traumatic story unfolding in front of us, flashbacks revealing the horrors of his youth.

Pick up a copy here.

The book that launched Haig into fame. A funny yet touching tale that raises some big questions and offers advice for those who feel lost in the dark. When an alien takes over the body of a pre-eminent mathematician who has just had a major breakthrough we get to see the human race from the point of view of a visitor to our planet. Although to start with he treats humanity with disdain he comes to see the bravery and beauty in our fleeting lives and the art we create to make it all worthwhile.

Pick up a copy here.

Harry Potter (Illustrated Editions) by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay
Fans of Rowling’s bestselling series have been delighted by the illustrated editions over the past few years. The tales of ‘the boy who lived’ are given a new lease of life with the gorgeous new illustrations by Jim Kay.

Pick up a copy here.

A breathtaking debut, with a protagonist who will stay with you long after turning the last page. Matthew Homes suffers from schizophrenia and he narrates his own story - the trauma of his childhood in losing his brother, his relationship with his parents, and his opinions on those looking after him. It is unsettling, moving, and humorous in parts.

Pick up a copy here.

Non-fiction at its absolute best. Incredibly readable although the subject can be difficult to sit with. Bloodworth worked in low-wage jobs around Britain for six months – in an Amazon warehouse, as a carer, in a call centre, and as an uber driver. He admits that his experience is different because he’s there out of choice and knows at the end of it he can go back to a more comfortable way of life but this is nonetheless an incredibly important read and one I would encourage everyone to pick up.

Pick up a copy here.


  1. I love the new illustrated Harry Potter editions!! I'm slowly collecting them as they're released.

    1. They're beautiful aren't they. I'm hoping Father Christmas will bring me The Goblet of Fire next week hehe.