This was a real challenge. As an extremely indecisive person, my list of all-time favourite books changes on an almost daily basis. Instead, I have chosen the five I enjoyed most in 2018, a year when I read strong female voices and relished every moment.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton (2018)
A funny, touching and sometimes heart-breaking series of essays about The Sunday Times columnist’s life so far, I found it both relatable and refreshing. In fact, I loved it so much I gave four copies to each of my closest friends for Christmas – a selfish gift, I’ll admit, because I wanted to be able to talk about the book with them.
The Power by Naomi Alderman (2017)
The plot, in a nutshell, imagines a world where women have all the power. Starting with teens, women around the world wake up one day with electricity running through their bodies. Naturally, the world changes overnight, with women in a position of power and men afraid to walk alone at night for the first time. It is a fascinating reimagining of the gender dynamic.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (2017)
This was one of the most distinctive narrative perspectives I have encountered in a long time. The story considers adult loneliness in a busy modern world, with the unlikeliest of friendships being struck up along the way. My need to know more about the titular character had me devouring this book in fewer than 24 hours.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (2017)
Managing to dart between laugh-out-loud funny and tear-inducingly touching in a matter of pages is no mean feat. A coming-of-age story with family – and all the deep complexities that come with it – at the heart. The novel charts the not always easy life of one man, Cyril Avery, as he endeavours to get to know himself and where he has come from.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)
This is a book that champions the power of friendship throughout a human’s life. Another coming-of-age story about four conpanions and all that their camaraderie endures in the decades that they know each other. Not shying away from the heavy subject of abuse, it’s not always easy to read, but at more than 700 pages long, it’s a story that you will want to get to the bottom of.
Farah Andrews is an assistant features editor for The National