Looking for an escape from reality is a primary reason why many people read: to forget the worries of the world, the stresses of work, the demands of family and to take a moment to indulge in a fantastical world that stretches and opens the mind.
Our books choices for 2023 seem to be a telling sign of how we all felt about 2022, for there is little that resembles the reality we once knew. Instead there is a selection of magical realism, horror, dystopian, mythical, psychological fiction, and absurbism. There are asylum residents, zombies, talking magpies, mysterious aliments and cannibals.
There are realms where realities and personalities alter, revealing other sides of ourselves as a humanity. This seems to be the most alternative selection of settings, plots and genres in all our bookclub years, though it will be interesting to see if these radical worlds remain escapism attempts or if we find connections amongst the strange and the imagined that link us right back to actuality.
We circumnavigate the globe too, reading literature from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the US, Japan, Argentina and China.
Here’s the reading list:
Lessons – Ian McEwen
The Axeman’s Carnival – Catherine Chidgey
The Girl WIth All The Gifts – M R Carey
The Swimmers – Julie Otsuka
The Foundling – Ann Leary
Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata
Sorrow & Bliss – Meg Mason
Tender Is The Flesh – Agustina Bazterrica
Dairy Of A Void – Emi Yagi
The Last White Man – Mohsin Hamid
Cocoon – Zhang Yueran
The Rabbits – Sophie Overett