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January 2, 2014


 I read lots of great books this year; so many that deciding which I liked best was hard.  Many others were excellent in one way or another, but I decided to define “the best” as those that moved me.  Perhaps neither you nor I should be surprised that those I chose were from a variety of countries and deal with issues of diversity.  It is because I like such books that I read so many of them.



A Persian Requiem, by Simin Daneshvar. Iran.

Americanah, by Chimamanda Adichie.  Nigeria and USA.

Evening is the Whole Day, by Preeta Samrasan. Malaysia.

Far and Beyon’, by Unity Dow.  Botsawna.

Fish-hair Woman, by Merlinda Bobis. Philipines.

Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi. Ghana and USA.

 Memory of Love, by Aminatta Forma. Sierra Leone.

So Long a Letter, by Mariama Ba. Senegal.

The Hamilton Case, by Michelle de Kretser. Sri Lanka.

 This Earth of Mankind, by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Indonesia.

BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION:  The Swan Book, by Alexis Wright.

BEST GLOBAL HISTORY:  Before European Hegemony, by Janet Abu-Lughod.

BEST INDIGENOUS HISTORY:  Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman’s Life on Oyster Bay, by Llyn De Dannon.

BEST HISTORY/MEMOIR/REFLECTION ON DIVERSITY:  Kayang and Me, by Kim Scott and Hazel Brown

BEST POETRY: Limen, by Susan Hawthorne.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2014 11:24 pm

    Great list Marilyn, with three that I read before 20

  2. January 2, 2014 11:27 pm

    Oh bum … trigger finger. What I meant to say was that I love your list. I’ve read four of your choices – Bobis, de Kretser, Toer before 2013, and one, Hawthorne, this year. I agree that they are all great reads. I’m sorry I that I haven’t yet read the one that you sent me. My OS trip later in the year has really set me back big time. All the best for 2014, and thanks for your support of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I hope we see you there again this year.

  3. January 3, 2014 10:56 am

    Happy New Year, dear Marilyn! I knew yours would be a fascinating Best-of list and so it proves to be. My eyes immediately go to The Hamilton Case, as I own a copy of that. And then to Aminatta Forma who is a writer I’m hoping to read this year. I will doubtless be looking out some of your other favourites from this year, too!

  4. January 3, 2014 3:14 pm

    I’ve only read Far and Beyon’ from that list (which I agree was great!), but there are so many others on your list I want to read.

  5. aartichapati permalink
    January 4, 2014 12:50 pm

    I’ve got Ghana Must Go out from the library right now, so will hopefully get to it soon!

  6. January 6, 2014 6:46 am

    Oh yay! I’ve read 6 of these and loved/found worthwhile most of them (didn’t care for Hamilton Case or Memory of Love), so now I want to read the rest. And I haven’t read any of your bonus picks!

  7. January 6, 2014 6:48 am

    Forgot to add, have you read Banana Heart Summer? Fabulous Filipino novel that I definitely recommend and probably won’t manage to blog about.

    • January 17, 2014 11:41 pm

      I think that’s also by Merlinda Bobis isn’t it? It rings a bell as one my daughter recommended. Must try to read it. (Sorry for butting in Marilyn.)

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