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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 11:15

The year in books: 2019’s recommended reads

It has been yet another fantastic year for the written word, with many tremendous literary offerings hitting shelves in 2019.

Reviewing books is one of the best parts of my job. As part of that job, I’ve read dozens of books over the course of the past year. I freely admit that I tend to seek out works that I know will resonate for me – and hence usually enjoy the books I review – but even with that degree of curation, there’s no denying that there are always some that particularly stand out.

This is not your traditional “best of” list – that’s not my style. Instead, consider this a collection of recommendations. These are suggestions; I enjoyed them, so I thought that you might as well. I’ve also included selections from my writings about these books (please note that the full reviews are available eslewhere on our website). Bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. I’m just one man – there are scores more books out there, exceptional works that I simply never got a chance to read.

So are these the best books of 2019? I don’t know – it’s all subjective. What I can say is that every one of these works captured my imagination and my attention … and perhaps one or more of them will do the same for you.

Here are my recommended reads from 2019.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 24 April 2019 12:45

Machine à trois – ‘Machines Like Me’

“What if?” is the one the most entertaining questions that literature can ask. Whole sub-genres have been built around books asking and answering that single query. From pulpy paperback novels to elegant literary fiction, the power of what might have been can serve as the foundation for thought-provoking narrative.

Ian McEwan has turned his writerly eye in that direction with his latest novel “Machines Like Me” (Doubleday, $26.95). It’s a quirky and enthralling work of alternate history, a counterfactual conflation that brings forth a world quite different than our own, albeit populated by personalities that will ring all too familiar. It’s an exploration of relationships – our relationships with technology, our relationships with society … and our relationships with one another.

Rendered in McEwan’s indomitable and inimitable prose, “Machines Like Me” takes the reader inside a love triangle unlike any our world has ever seen, a romantic tangle involving a man, his upstairs neighbor – and a machine.

Published in Style

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