Most people do these kinds of lists at the end of the calendar year but I have a strange fascination with a new advertising phenomenon called End Of Financial Year (EOFY) marketing. Consumers are being urged to grab bargains before the end of the financial year because...there won't be any good deals available in the new financial year. It used to only apply to vehicles and the businesses who bought them in order to write off the purchase for taxation purposes. Now everyone's getting in on the act. Nevertheless, I digress.
I review most books that I read unless they are "bad". If I like it I review it. I review on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2380830-d-a-cairns?page=1&shelf=read and on purchase sites where applicable. Sometimes, I post reviews here on Square Pegs as well. I rarely award five stars and it is equally rare for me to not finish a book or, having managed to finish one I didn't really like, to not review it. Writers have a much different appreciation for books. I'm fussy in the sense that I am hard to impress, but not picky when it comes to what I read. I'll give just about anything a go, and I'll do so with an open mind.
What makes a "good" book for me, and I suspect for most serious readers, is emotional connection to at least one of the characters. If I don't care, the best a writer can hope for from me is three out of five. If it makes me laugh or cry, if it makes me lose track of time, if I re read a line or a paragraph because it was so good, if it teaches or inspires me, if it challenges me, if it speaks to me about myself...now we're talking. All of this is entirely subjective of course, and the interesting thing is that the book does not have to be especially well written, although strangely all of the books I give high ratings to are, in my opinion, very well written.
Without further ado, here are, in no particular order, the top 5 books that I read this financial year.
1. Above his Station by Darren Craske
2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
3. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
4. No Regrets: A Rock and Roll Memoir by Ace Frehley
5. The Gallant (vol. 8 of The Australians) by William Stuart Long
What is the best book you have read this financial year? What makes a book 'good" ?