Favourite reads in 2014
January 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
In terms of pages read, it was a below average year for me. I’m not quite sure what happened, but it did (or didn’t) and there’s no going back now. Despite the smaller number of books read, there are a few gems worth recommending:
The Woman who Dived into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Translated from Spanish, this story about tuna fishing as told from the perspective of Karen, a young woman with autism, is completely engrossing. Written in a truly unique voice that casts light on high-functioning autism, as well as the fish industry, The Woman who Dived into the Heart of the World is clever, insightful and hits all the right emotional notes, despite its protagonist’s apparent apathy.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
Maugham has a beautiful way with words that, while concise, effortlessly transports his reader to far off places. This time, it is 1920s Hong Kong, where English ex-pats have forged their own rules. It is in amongst this exotic and unfamiliar hustle and bustle, almost unreal in its liberties, that Kitty loses touch with herself and her marriage. When her husband insists she escort him to the heart of a cholera epidemic, Kitty is forced to consider the decisions that led her there, as well as her future.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
This Australian debut novel from Graeme Simsion has been a runaway hit since its release in January last year and it’s clear to see why. Eccentric academic, Don Tillman has developed the perfect plan to find himself a wife. Dubbed ‘The Wife Project’, the survey is a surefire way for Don to separate the worthwhile candidates from the rest, but it’s hit a snag: Rosie. A laugh-out-loud page turner.
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
Convinced my travel adventures would be few this year, de Botton offered the perfect alternative with his 2002 collection of essays. De Botton’s thoughtful musings on the nature of travel and why it sometimes falls short of our expectations have inspired me to look with fresh eyes at the places I find myself in.
What were your favourite reads in 2014?