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Welcome back for 2022!

Hi all, 

Welcome back and Happy 2022!

I'd like to know who your favourite authors were from 2021, perhaps a new debut or someone who you'd been meaning to read for a while? Comment down below!

Emily x 

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Replies (12)
    • Checkout 19 is Claire-Louise Bennett's debut novel. It's brilliant and wonderful. Using autofiction she describes discovering literature as a child through library books and what it's like to start thinking like a writer, playing around with your imagination. The main character loves E M Forster's Room With a View which I also finally read for the first time this year. I love Forster but it has taken this long to get the film version out of my head. Checkout 19 is about growing up and the writing is really distinctive. 

      Flickerbook is a memoir by the children's writer Leila Berg, republished a year or so ago. Berg grew up in Salford in the 1930s in a dysfunctional family and she uses short discrete scenes to show efforts to understand life and herself. As with Claire-Louise Bennett, I think the writing is outstanding.

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      • I loved Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. I’m now planning to read some of her other writing 

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        • Authors whose work I've particularly enjoyed in the last year have included...

          Tamsyn Muir (Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth). Josiah Bancroft (Arm of the Sphinx, The Hod King and The Fall of Babel). Sarah Moss (The Fell and Ghost Wall). Mark Lawrence (The Girl and the Stars). Rachel Joyce (Miss Benson's Beetle). Menna van Praag (The Sisters Grimm). Ann Leckie (Ancilliary Justice). Patricia McKillip (Heir of Sea and Fire and Harpist in the Wind). Eva Dundas (Goblin). Elizabeth Moon (The Deed of Paksenarrion). Sosuke Natsukawa (The Cat Who Saved Books)...

          ...and our very own Holly Seddon (The Hit List).

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          • This year I fell for Mikhail Bulgakov - A Country Doctor's Notebook and The Master and Margarita and Bernadine Evaristo's Mr Loverman plus several book I heard about through JW webinars eg Girl A by Abigail Dean and I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood. Though there were an awful lot of comfort reads too eg Ann Cleeves, Donna Leon & Simon Brett. And I read quite a few memoirs about dying - eg Caitlin Doherty's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (about working in a crematorium) - It's amazing what you can find through your local library.

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            • Two of my favourite reads of the year have been debuts — Miranda Cowley Heller's The Paper Palace and Anna Bailey's Tall Bones. I've also loved Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's The Girls are all So Nice Here, Ashley Audrain's The Push, Caleb Azumah Nelson's Open Water and Chris Whitaker's The Forevers.

              I also got to read some great books coming out later this year, especially Catriona Ward's Sundial coming out in March and Hervé Le Tellier The Anomaly.

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              • Hi Emily, for me 2021 was one of the best years for finding books I'd not heard of before, most recommendations where via Twitter, by the authors themselves or other writers. I'd urge anyone who wants to read outside their comfort zone to try this. My favourite book of the year was Natasha Pulley's The Kingdoms. I hadn't read her other books (but am going to rectify this!!). Historical fiction isn't my first go to genre, but the promotional video for her book just captivated me, and reading it kept me awake to the early hours. It's one of the best books I've ever read. Simply a stunning story. 

                Other books were The Girl A (seeing Abigail Dean on one of the JW webinars), thank you for that, the book was superb. Also loved My Dark Vanessa (recommended by L on here), also loved Dog Rose Dirt, The Sanatorium, Foe (Iain Read), and especially my last read of the year the superbly dark and comedic, Seven Nights at the Flamingo Hotel by Drew Gummerson.  I could go on all day, but these were my highlights. Thank you everyone else, will be checking out the other suggestions. 

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                • So pleased you've discovered Natasha Pulley, Jane. I haven't read The Kingdoms yet but have loved her other books.

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                  • I had heard of her but not read the first ones, The Kingdoms is honestly the best book I have read for years, if you have read or seen the film of Cloud Atlas, that's the nearest I can compare too. You're going to love it.

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                  • Hi Emily and all - Happy New Year!

                    I've really enjoyed The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh (which I believe was a debut) and You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood, who I was introduced to on a JW webinar - loved this debut book, he was bold with framing the entire story as a defence speech, and the voice I thought was extremely convincing and compelling (I felt both worked better in print than in Beeb adaptation). I also loved (in a rubber-necking kind of way, as it was very dark) Will Carver's Good Samaritans - good use of the multi-perspective style. I'm about to dive into Elizabeth Day's Magpie and based on what I have read about it, I can't wait!

                    In terms on nonfiction I'm currently enjoying Will Storr's The Science of Storytelling - a fascinating take on why and how human beings tell stories - I highly recommend! 🙂

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                    • Oh my gosh, Will Storr's The Science of Storytelling blew my mind. It's incredible isn't it? It sent me off on all sorts of paths with my own writing.

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                      • Totally agree, Rosie. I've learned so much from it, it's incredible. I've made pages of notes relating to my characters! But it has also given me so much insight into myself and into the human psyche full stop. I'm so glad I've read it. Can't recommend it enough.

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                      • Happy New Year! This is most first post to the Jericho Community so, hello! 

                        2021will be remembered for me as the year I discovered Olga Tokarczuk, whose deceptively simple and beautiful prose has changed the way I look at fiction. I also read a lot of Cynan Jones, loved Kiley Reid's debut 'Such a Fun Age', Daisy Johnson's second novel 'Sisters' and Kevin Barry's 'Night Boat to Tangier'. I also tried Sarah Moss and John Boyne for the first time with 'Summerwater' and 'The Heart's Invisible Furies' which were both brilliant. I read lots of non-fiction as well and last years highlights were Kathleen Jamie's 'Surfacing', Lamorna Ash 'Dark, Salt, Clear' and Helen Macdonald's 'Vesper Flights'.  

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