Best books of the year

cafeTime to quickly move on from twee punk. Make yourself a coffee, and let’s take a look at the best books written over the past 12 months, at least according to the Folio people who have just announced their contenders for the 2015 prize of book of the year. I find this easily the most interesting award of the year, whereas more traditional book prizes like the Booker Prize every year seem to become more of a joke seemingly giving the award to those who cozy up to the bookish editors of certain newspapers and ignoring those out there writing anything originbooksal.

The Folio Prize, thankfully,  isn’t like that. It features a lot of independent publishers and seems to really look at the quality of writing (rather than heavyweight names to guarantee media coverage). It only began last year  and they give the first award of 2014 to George Saunders “Tenth of December”, a brilliant collection of short stories. This year their shortlist looks ace too, every one of those books I want to read. I remember writing here about that Jenny Offill last spring, and I’ve just started the Ali Smith book too which I’m really trying (and failing) to get into. Maybe I’m just not smart enough? 😉

Folio Prize 2015 Shortlist

  • Rachel Cusk Outline
  • Ben Lerner 10:04
  • Jenny Offill Dept. of Speculation
  • Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor  Dust
  • Akhil Sharma Family Life
  • Ali Smith How to Be Both
  • Miriam Toews All my Puny Sorrows
  • Colm Toibin Nora Webster

Still none of those are as good as the books from the last century :

“She liked dogs, horses, sailboats, airplanes, climbing apple trees, staying up late at night, walking in the rain, driving around and around in an open car on a summer afternoon, sitting by a beach fire at night, lying on the ground and looking up at the underside of leaves and at lightning bugs and falling stars dividing her attention between a book that she had read many time and an apple, watching the sun go down and the moon go up” – William Maxwell “The Folded Leaf”

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