At this time of year, there’s always a rash of round ups about the year that was. People write about the best books they’ve read, the best films and the best television shows. And then there’s the plans for the coming year, a raft of New Year’s resolutions and a general sense of taking stock.
Who am I to buck a trend?
Except for the resolution part. No resolutions for me. I never keep them, so I’ve given up making them.
So, books. I read 78 this year which is down on previous years and indicates I’m watching far too much TV. But television is so good! More of that later.
My favourite non-romances are (in no particular order):
The Whites by Harry Brandt
Fall by Candice Fox
Eden by Candice Fox
Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found by Francis Larson
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Life or Death by Michael Rowbotham
You by Caroline Kepnes
Livia Lone by Barry Eisler
The Trespasser by Tana French
The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon
Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner.
I’ve listed romances separately because … I don’t know why. Just because.
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie
Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin
Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
Scoundrel by Moonlight by Anna Campbell
Goodreads has a little breakdown of my books and you can see my Christmas novella Festive Deception was the least popular with other Goodread readers but the highest rated (sigh – the curse of the self-published author – discoverability). The longest book was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara which in some ways I should have put on my list, but it was so flawed and drove me mad even though I couldn’t put it down.
I read less romance this year and more crime and thrillers.
I did watch a lot of TV. TV is the new cinema for me, full of great writing and acting. I’m a great fan of Sally Wainwright so I watched (and re-watched) Scott and Bailey, Happy Valley and The Last Tango in Halifax. Homeland, Trapped, Midnight Sun, Black Mirror, Sense8, The Fall, Bloodline, The Crown, Glitch, The Honourable Woman, Broadchurch, Vera and when I was confined to my couch for four weeks with my leg elevated, pumped full of antibiotics, I watched cosy British crime like Miss Marple, Foyles War and Poiret. Truly, I don’t know how I got any reading done. I certainly did very little writing.
Partly this was because I was ill for a substantial part of the second half of 2016. In the first half, I started a novel and wrote a Christmas novella (the afore mentioned least popular of my Goodreads books. Don’t let that put you off. People do like it.)
After I got back on my feet in October, I then went to the USA for about a month. That was great and I came back rested and refreshed even after witnessing the crazy American election. It was a weird experience getting on the plane in Sydney with the pundits saying Hillary had a 95% chance of winning, then getting off the plane fourteen hours later in LA to see she had tanked after the FBI letter was released. So, 2017 will be a year when we all will be living in interesting times.
I’ll be re-engaging with my novel, another Blue Mountains crime with romantic elements about a forensic psychologist and a serial killer who is not all he seems. I also have a mainstream romance on the go and I’ll probably write another Christmas novella. I did enjoy writing Festive Deception.
So, what about you? Was 2016 a bit of a disaster for you? What’s coming up in 2017?