………….Last year, choosing my book of the year was really straightforward for Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child” was the stand-out book of the year for me by some distance! This year I’ve not read anything that comes near to that but I have read some great books.
In addition last year I set up my own “Col’s Costa At Victoria Station Prize” for my book of the year. I offered the winning author a coffee at the Costa Coffee Stall in Victoria Station – what a place! Having announced to great fanfare and much media coverage that Eowyn Ivey had won the free skinny latte, I waited patiently for her day after day throughout 2013 – she never showed! So in spite of twelve months of fervently hoping “this will be the day”, it’s been a constant round of coffee for one! Sad I know!
Anyway to this year! As I mentioned I’ve read a lot of good, even great stuff. I loved John Le Carre’s “A Delicate Truth”, Matthew Hollis’ story of the poets Edward Thomas and Robert Frost in “Now All Roads Lead To France”, the wonderful “Silent House” by Orhan Pamuk and the fantastic poetry of Sharon Olds with “Stags Leap”! But during the summer, lying on a Greek beach, I read a truly great novel. And so………………………the winner is………..
Canada by Richard Ford
Even though I read this back in the summer, it’s powerful enough to have stayed firmly in my memory – I loved it! However I never reviewed it as it was during a time when I’d fallen out of love with my blog – now that we’ve patched things up and are reconciled, I’ll make sure I get around to reviewing it. But if you’ve not read it – I thoroughly recommend it!
Alas I don’t expect Mr Ford will be at Victoria to collect his prize because (a) he lives in the US and (b) he might not be too enamoured in hearing that while his book was my book of the year, it wasn’t anywhere near as good as The Snow Child! (It’s a bit like the Booker announcing that Eleanor Catton has won for 2013 but only because there wasn’t a Hilary Mantel option this year!). So it’ll be “latte for one” again when I go back to work. Ah well…….there’s always the excitement of seeing who will win for this year to look forward to!