BOOKS I HIGHLY RECOMMEND

In no particular order (though I bet if you pay attention you'll be able to tell which are my very favourites) here are the books I've most enjoyed over the last few years.
  1. Astonish me, by Maggie Shipstead
    Ballet, Cold War, doomed love, lovely writing.
  2. Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
    Subtle, heartbreaking, complex psychology, dysfunctional family.
  3. We Sinners, by Hanna Pylvainen
    In this linked short story collection, members of a large, very religious family each figure out whether to stay in the cult or leave it. It's excellent, and deserves to be better known.
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
    A charming epistolary novel.
  5. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
    He is always leaving her to go to the past or the future. If you like your love stories with good writing and a dose of heartbreak, this one's for you.
  6. One Day, by David Nicholls
    Will they? Won't they? We check in with Emma and Dexter on 15th July every year for 20 years. Not just a great love story - also social commentary. I related to Emma on a deep level.
  7. Come to the Edge, by Christina Haag
    An achingly beautiful memoir of Christina's time with JFK Jr, first as friends and then as more
  8. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
    The story of an American missionary family in the mid twentieth century. Each of them has a very distinct voice. It's utterly absorbing.
  9. Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Chiaraipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
    The meanest of mean girls at an elite ballet school. Who says fiction about teens is only for teens?
  10. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P, by Adelle Waldman
    I always suspected the inside of a young, commitment-phobic man's brain was a scary place. This book skilfully confirms it.
  11. The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer
    A long term view of a group of friends who meet as teenagers at an arty summer camp.
  12. The Walls Around Us, by Nova Ren Suma
    More ballet, but also prison and maybe murder and maybe ghosts. Way darker than my usual reads but the ballet theme got me and I'm so glad. The writing is fantastic, too.
  13. The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg
  14. Tenth of December, by George Saunders
  15. We the Animals, by Justin Torres
  16. The Song Is You, by Arthur Phillips
  17. The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
  18. Jazz, by Toni Morrison
  19. The Cranes Dance, by Meg Howrey
  20. Dept of Speculation, by Jenny Offill
  21. Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
  22. Frances and Bernard, by Carlene Bauer
  23. One More Thing, by BJ Novak
  24. The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka
  25. American Rust, by Phillip Meyer
  26. The Rehearsal, by Eleanor Catton
  27. Everything Everything, by Nicola Yoon
  28. Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
  29. Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe
  30. The Mothers, by Brit Bennett
  31. The Nest, by Cynthia d'Aprix Sweeney