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Last week I decided to count up how many book I have read this year so far – it came to a very satisfactory 35 books. And since we are half way through the year I have picked out my five favourite books so far. NOTE: this is not a list of the 5 best books published in 2017 so far – this is a personal list of my favourite reads as I came to them. Here we go:

In no particular order:

1/ Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier – And behold I have discover another favourite author. This bunch of short stories are as creepy as they are clever and I was especially pleased to see my homeland of CO. Antrim in Northern Ireland getting a mention in there.

2/ The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – I along with a crowd of others have discovered this book and read it as a reaction to the television show. Gladly I was able to read it before the show started and so far have been very impressed by both. It is a brilliantly written dystopian novel which is a modern classic and worth picking up if you haven’t already.

3/ Nutshell by Ian McEwan – I picked this up in the supermarket following two heavy, serious reads and Nutshell was the perfect antidote. It focuses on an unborn child in its mothers womb who narrates the story of his fathers demise. Yip, it certainly is unique and darkly funny.

4/ The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma Jane Kirby – This book is a beautiful and shocking all at once. It starts with a promising day off where friends head out on a leisurely boat trip. the afternoon takes a turn when the holidayers realise that the ocean is full of people – people displaced by conflict who are desperate to find safety and a new home. An unforgettable true story which is brilliantly told. If you read anything this year make it this.

5/ Perespolis by Marjane Satrapi – A graphic biography which introduces us to a girl growing up in Iran during the years of the Islamic revolution. An incredible account which is charming and informative and a quick and easy read. The illustrations are gorgeous.

So there you have it. The best five books which I have read this year so far. Honourable mention to Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal and The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie.