Thursday, 11 May 2017

Book of the Year

As is tradition, every year in May I tot up how many books I've read and more importantly how many I've read since the start of this blog page. It makes it a bit weird to count from May to May, but its a tiny piece of nostalgia that I like to do.

May - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
June - The Old Man & The Sea, Queenie, The Signature of All Things, The Guernsey Literature and Potato Peel Pie Society
July - The Moth, Binge, The Widow, Armada
August - The Man in The High Castle, Eat Pray Love, Leaving Atocha Station
September - Look Who's Back, Queen of Shadows
October - The Box of Delights
November - Blackass
December - Love Letters to the Dead,

January - Captain Corelli's Manolin, Othello, Playing With The Grown Ups
February - Half of a Yellow Sun
March - The Essex Serpent, The Vegetarian, Anil's Ghost
April - The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, A Little Life, The Colour Purple, The Sultan's Organ

Book of the Year May 2016- April 2017 has got to be Love Letters to the Dead.

Love Letters to the Dead
Ava Dellaria
Hot Key Books 01/05/2014 Paperback
Movellas Haul

This book was perfect to get me out of my depressed, I'm-not-even-reading-right-now, slump. It was aimed at teenagers, so lacks the pretension that might make my head hurt, but has beautiful writing elements that would wake me up to my love of reading and language - something I needed to find again.
As an epistolary novel, the protagonist relates her daily struggles of high school to her heros. They are cleverly chosen, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Eirehart, John Keats; the people that you discover for the first time at that coming of age stage of life. As the story comes out, the people that she writes to the most come to the foreground and reveal something of the character and her friends in what they have in common. For example she only write to Amy Winehouse a few times, and she is inspired to do so because her new friend sings Amy Winehouse music. As it transpires Amy and the best friend have a lot in common, and it speaks to the moulding of the character as well as the protagonist discovering the musician.
It is very clever.

More than anything I will cherish this book because in a world where my depression had leaked into every aspect of my life, colouring even my happy times with darkness and bitterness, I reclaimed reading as mine. People see me as a reader and without books I wasn't myself.

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