Last year I listed the books I read in 2014 and it was a surprise to me to learn that from the total of 43 there was a gender bias in favour of women writers with me reading only 15/43 male writers.
I was interested to see how 2015’s list compared.
I didn’t make a conscious effort to read more male writers and I also felt I hadn’t read as many books this year (before and after my own book launch, ma heid wis mince, and I found it hard to concentrate on reading) so haud me back, the figures were almost identical to 2014’s stats! This time the total was 13/44 male writers – women win again.
I finished all of the books on the list apart from one book, a huge best-seller which I was very late to the party in reading (what’s new? trailblazer I am not!). I might struggle to find anyone who agrees with me but I abandoned it out of boredom and not feeling engaged with the characters.
All others on the list are well worth a read but if I had to choose my top read of 2015 (which is really hard!) then I’ve got to thank Naomi Frisby for recommending Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers. This book appeared on my radar as I expressed an interest in writing using regional dialect and it blew me away with its powerful prose.
You can read more of Naomi’s suggestions for other books using dialect and accents in her excellent article for Fiction Uncovered. Need more recommendations? I rate Isabel Costello’s suggestions featured On The Literary Sofa and I also follow A Life in Books for more ideas for 2016, as well as being swamped by book reviews on the fantastic Book Connectors group on Facebook…
On the X Factor, they announce the results “in no particular order” but here’s my list in the order I read the books.
- Us by David Nicholls
- Baracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
- The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
- The Fields by Kevin Maher
- Academy Street by Mary Costello
- Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (abandoned)
- The Humans by Matt Haig
- Rise by Karen Campbell
- The Vacationers by Emma Straub
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- Mixing the Colours anthology by Glasgow Women’s Library
- The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester
- Elizabeth’s Missing by Emma Healey
- A Book of Death and Fish by Ian Stephen
- We Are All Called to Rise by Laura McBride
- A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
- The Last Days of Disco by David Ross
- The Good Son by Paul McVeigh
- Find Your Thing by Lucy Whittington (non-fiction)
- Sane New World by Ruby Wax (non-fiction)
- Haus Frau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
- Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers
- How To Make A Friend by Fleur Smithwick
- Alight Here: An Anthology of Falkirk Writing
- 4a.m. by Nina De La Mer
- Island of Wings by Karin Attenberg
- As Easy As A Nuclear War by Paul Cuddihy (short story collection)
- The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal
- Outline by Rachel Cusk
- The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink
- Jellyfish by Janice Galloway
- Dead Babies and Seaside Towns by Alice Jolly
- The Rocks by Peter Nichols
- The Vigilante by Shelley Harris
- The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah
- Ridley Road by Jo Bloom
- Truestory by Catherine Simpson
- The Reel of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
- Paris Mon Amour by Isabel Costello (publication date TBC)
- The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey
- The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
- Fishnet by Kirstin Innes
- The Beautiful Game by Emma Mooney
- Stop What You’re Doing and Read This – 10 essays (non-fiction)
Did you have a favourite book in 2015? How many books did you read this year?