Our reading this year was characterised by a string of strong personalities. Though unintentional and though the books were written and published over many different decades, it was curious that we should chose such a line-up, at a time when personality hype abounds.
The international world was certainly influenced by powerful and strong willed personalities this year – both socially and politically. Is it the way of the future or is it more the social media hype that surrounds them that highlights their supposed unyielding tenacity?
Whatever the case, our reading list tended to replicate this reality.
From abusive and neglectful husbands (When I Hit You, Five Sons) to the egotistical traveling companions in On The Road, through to the power hungry in Oryx & Crake, there were many types of domination on display.
Cassandra Mortmain in I Capture The Castle, Frances Wray in The Paying Guests and Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys all also had ultimate control in mind as they manipulated those around them. Even the settings in these books were strong and character-like in their influences.
However, there was plenty of balance and so while sometimes overwhelming and disconcerting there was often a strong sense of reason; the personalities suited the plots and gave us strong sentiment to share at bookclub meets.
Our end of year get-together was held at sushi bar Wafu, where we shared in our love of raw fish and good books!
There were some commonalties in our thoughts: The Paying Guests had the most disappointing outcome and The Bridge of San Luis Rey had the best one liner: “On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below”.
But suffice to say the least liked character list was complex and fraught with discussion!
Here are a few more of our thoughts from the past 12 months:
Most memorable setting:
Sonya: The apartment in Breakfast at Tiffanys
Jodie: The castle in I Capture The Castle
Jo: The house in The Paying Guests
Rachel: The castle in I Capture The Castle
Becks: The bridge in The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Sonya: Sunja in Pachinko
Jodie: Cassandra Mortmain in I Capture The Castle
Jo: Cassandra Mortmain in I Capture The Castle
Rachel: Cassandra Mortmain in I Capture The Castle
Becks: Unnamed narrator in The Nine Chambered Heart
Runner up best book:
Sonya: The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Jodie: The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Jo: Oryx & Crake
Rachel: When I Hit You
Becks: When I Hit You
Book of the year:
Jodie: I Capture The Castle
Jo: I Capture The Castle
Rachel: I Capture The Castle
Becks: The Bridge of San Luis Rey