I was pootling through my 12 Books of Christmas list when my dad went into hospital and I abandoned it. I did say I’d finish it in the New Year, but it’s almost the end of Jan now and I find that I… can’t be arsed. So here’s a summary instead:
Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale by Russell T Davies & Benjamin Cook
Probably the best book on writing I’ve ever read and you don’t have to be into Doctor Who to enjoy it. I couldn’t stop reading it, but didn’t want it to end. Totally inspiring and very funny.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Incredibly sweet, funny and, I think, important YA book. Plus the setting is fabulous and highly entertaining. (I don’t want to say anything more about it because I think the fun is in discovering all the odd little details.)
Grace, Eventually by Anne Lamott
I love Anne Lamott’s books so much. They make me feel joyful and tearful and appreciative. As with all of Lamott’s writing, these essays are beautifully written, filled with humour and compassion. I read this sitting in Northumberland with a cup of coffee and a beautiful view, which was the perfect way to read it. Like Lamott’s other books, Grace (Eventually) made me feel glad to be alive.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I didn’t think this YA book was for me at all – it’s a dystopia and quite violent – but I was utterly gripped. In fact, I read some of it on the train and caused other passengers to look at me oddly because I was squeaking with fear and trying to read without actually looking at the book…
Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie books
Me and Harry love Mo Willems books and the Elephant & Piggie books are hilarious. They’re so quick and easy to read (Harry loves deciding if he’s going to “be” Elephant or Piggie) and the books all have brilliantly simple and subtle messages about sharing, self-esteem, etc. Genius.
Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn
I was sent this book when it came out in the US a couple of years ago and couldn’t get into it at all. I decided to give it another go when it came out in the UK, mainly because I loved Sarah Dunn’s first book, The Big Love, so much. I’m glad I did because I ended up loving it. (FYI: It’s a modern interpretation of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, which I had no idea about when I first tried to read it.) (And this is the US cover; the UK cover’s rubbish.)
The Dating Detox by Gemma Burgess
Gemma Burgess’s debut novel was easily the funniest novel I read last year and probably one of the funniest I’ve ever read. The main character, Sass, is strong, cool and hilarious and I really wanted her to get her happy ending. I can’t wait to read Gemma’s new one, A Girl Like You.
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
Love Nora Ephron. Love, love, love. I loved her first collection of essays, I Feel Bad About My Neck, which I actually reread on the Kindle last year just before buying I Remember Nothing. Loved it. And it gave me lots of ideas for places to go, things to do and, most importantly, what to eat next time I’m in New York. Love. (I also reread her novel, Heartburn, and… I expect you can guess what I thought of it.)