Before my time off started, I had big plans to spend the long weekend reading and nothing else. As always happens in these situations, that didn’t happen. I’ve barely read anything of Birnam Wood so I knew there was going to be no way I could finish it in time for today’s review. Although, it’s not all bad. I did finish a book. The fact that it was only a 122 pages long is something I’m happy to overlook. A book is a book no matter the length. As I said in my review, Shy was one of my most anticipated reads for 2023. I think Max Porter has quickly become one of those writers who I would instantly buy without knowing anything about a book. I don’t think I’ve ever had a favourite author because it’s a difficult questions. However, there are several contemporary authors that I would pick up regardless of the book. In lieu of a review, I figured I’d list them. Everyone loves a list, right?
As you will know from my recent review of Shy, I love Max Porter’s writing style. His approach is so refreshing despite having strong links with modernist fiction. I’ve read his 4 books so far and loved all of them. Even The Death of Francis Bacon which I’ve just found out wasn’t as well received as the others. I knew that I had to buy a copy of Shy as soon as it was announced and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Whatever Max Porter brings out next, I’ll pre-order it again without even thiking.
Unlike Max Porter, I haven’t read every book that Sarah Moss has written so far but I am certainly going to track down the ones I’ve not got. After reading Summerwater and The Fell, I knew that I had to go back to her older books. So, I picked up Ghost Wall and that pretty much confirmed it. Sarah Moss is a wonderful writer and I’ve already recommended her to so many people. The fact that she’s written a book about Covid lockdown that I wanted to read should show how amazing she is. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.
Graeme Macrae Burnet
Like most people outside of his native Scotland, I first heard about Graeme Macrae Burnet when His Bloody Project was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It sounded like such an amazing read that I knew I had to read it. I say this about so many Booker nominees and so rarely follow through. His Bloody Project was different. So it went without saying that I would read Case Study when that came out in 2021. It was the perfect book to read during the pandemic. Having now read his other two novels, I can safely say that Burnet’s writing style really works for me. He’s another unusual and different voice. The way he manages to mess with the line between fact and fiction just adds so much to his books. He’s a really exciting writer.
Not only do I really enjoy Anne Tyler’s novels, I think she just seems super nice. I wouldn’t necessarily want to come face-to-face with every author I enjoy but I’m sure I’d enjoy meeting her. Equally, her books are just wonderful to read. She never really tackles anything too dark but she manages to present humanity in all its glory. One of the reasons I love Agatha Christie is the way she understands people. I think Anne Tyler could rival Christie with her characterisation. Every Anne Tyler book I’ve read has felt so warm and comforting.
I feel like all of my choices are way too basic and obvious. Like I’m only picking the most beloved and prolific authors. Although, I guess they’re beloved and prolific for a reason. I guess Neil Gaiman doesn’t really need to be included on this list because it goes without saying. His books are so good. Despite the fact that I haven’t read American Gods yet, I would easily order every book he publishes. Reading it might take some time but that’s true of everyone.
I almost didn’t include Atwood on this list because I have no interest in buying her latest book, Old Babes in the Wood. Not because I don’t think it will be any good but because I don’t really enjoy short story collections. I’m too greedy. Still, it can’t be denied that Atwood is an author who always seems to get it right. Although, I did think The Testaments was a bit weak but that had so much to do with the TV show it doesn’t count. She’s a powerful writer and is always worth checking out. She’s one of man reasons why I really want to buy Fourteen Days when it comes out/.
This is a bit of a different one because Richard Ayoade’s writing isn’t really fiction, so he doesn’t quite fit with my usual tastes. He’s also quite a divisive writer. You really either love his books or hate them. I’ve loved everyone of them so far and hope he writes more. It definitely helped that his last book for adult readers, Ayoade on Top, was about an obscure romantic comedy that had been haunting my dreams since I watched it in my teens. I can see why that one didn’t necessarily resonate with everyone. Ayoade has such a unique and funny voice. I want to see him tackle fiction. It would be interesting.
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