Spectator’s Books of the Year

NagasakiFrom the Spectator’s Books of the Year, based on recommendations by their regular reviewers, we’ve just picked out half a dozen.

 The Broken by Tamar Cohen – a novel about best friends and the disintegration of a middle class marriage.

 The tell-tale heart by Jill Dawson – Patrick, a 50-year-old professor of American Studies, drinker and womaniser, has a heart transplant and the life of the donor — a rebellious, Fen teenager — becomes relevant in bewildering ways.

Nagasaki by Eric Faye –  In a house on a suburban street in Nagasaki, meteorologist Shimura Kobo lives quietly on his own. Or so he believes. Food begins to go missing. Perturbed by this threat to his orderly life, Shimura sets up a webcam to monitor his home. But though eager to identify his intruder, is Shimura really prepared for what the camera will reveal?

AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – From the award-winning author of ‘Half a Yellow Sun, a powerful story of love, race and identity. Ifemelu and Obinze, teens in Lagos, fall in love. Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race

Inside the dream palace: the life and times of New York’s legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins The place where icons of American culture hung out from Jack Kerouac, Janis Joplin to Leonard Cohen & Sid Vicious – the glamorously seedy Chelsea Hotel in New York. Not just a biography of a building, it amounts to an alternative history of 20th-century culture.

 

Ten Cities that made an Empire by Tristram Hunt. ‘A stylish history of the British empire, told through its cities in sunny, civilised prose. He begins with the bungling of the American colonies and ends with Britain’s bewilderment as its own cities in turn become ‘colonised’

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