This category came to life when I was looking over the books I read in 2018 and realized how many were written by people I knew in real life. Having done a Writing degree and worked in the book industry I’ve worked, learned, and been taught by some fantastic writers. I did not include writers who I’ve simply met at readings or literary festivals (and so disqualified Richard Wagamese and Michael Ondaatje) but these are writers I’ve had actual conversations with.
Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains – Yasuko Thanh (Hamish Hamilton, 2016)
A Mariner’s Guide to Self-Sabotage – Bill Gaston (Douglas & McIntyre, 2017)
And The Winner:
It’s a tie!
Washington Black – Esi Edugyan (Patrick Crean Editions, 2018)
Our Animal Hearts – Dania Tomlinson (Anchor Books Canada, 2018)
This was a tough one. These are both beautifully written and compelling books from kind, thoughtful, and smart women. Washington Black has received a lot of well-deserved publicity and it was one of the best books I read this year. Our Animal Hearts is Tomlinson’s first book and I bought it from a sense of curiosity and a desire to support a former co-worker. I was really blown away by the book’s history and imagination and am pleased to see it receive some recognition.
7 thoughts on “Best Book Written by Someone I Know”
I fear I didn’t get on with Washington Black – it fell victim to my year of abandoned books! And Our Animal Hearts, which really appeals, still isn’t available over here – have a word with her about it, would you? 😉
Peter is reading Washington Black right now and he wasn’t initially enjoying it that much but just this morning he told me it seems to be getting more exciting. But you can’t love and/or read everything.
I’ve been abandoning a lot recently – finding it had to persevere with books that don’t grab me at the moment. But some of them I may revisit in the future, and this is one of them.
Sometimes it’s the right book at the wrong time. Hopefully you’re reading plenty else that’s grabbing you!
I still have Our Animal Hearts on my bookshelf-I should give it read, if your recommending it!
Do you feel nervous when you pick up a book written by someone you know and admire?
I do! To be honest, if I didn’t like a book by someone I know I probably just wouldn’t review it. It’s nice when the book is really good and then I can feel honest in supporting their work!