2020 was a Cracker!
Ok, sure there was a pandemic and general mayhem but on the bright side, Pocket Book Club read some mighty fine books.
This is how the votes came in!
A yellow or blue dot is a yes vote and a red dot is a ‘I like it less’ vote. We rarely hate anything.
The winner this year Lucy Treloar’s Wolfe Island. Our March read, we met outdoors, because we had just been told shit was getting real and to keep our distance.
Wolfe Island is about hope in a hopeless world and its timing was perfect. Also, I want a Makings Room because no matter how hard life is there is always Art.
Tying for second-most liked was The Weekend by Charlotte Wood. I think we saw too much of ourselves in these ageing characters to not be entertained, delighted and a little embarrassed.
Also in second place, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens mostly for its deep sense of place. The swamp is a complex and intriguing character in the book and trumps the plot (at least for me).
Also scoring with lots of love, and my favourite of the year, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. I listened to this being read by the author and there it made my heart sing. Ocean is a poet and this book is poetry.
Another favourite of mine that got plenty of group love was Carmel Bird’s meandering and thoughtful Field of Poppies. It is difficult to get hold of Carmel’s older books but worth the effort. More Australians should know about her and be reading her books.
Another Australian writer we should seek out is Amy Witting. It is only that it is among such stiff competition that I for Isobel did not get more votes.
My Abandonment by Peter Rock was intriguing but some members couldn’t quite ‘believe it’
Less by Andrew Sean Greer won the Pulitzer Prize and sure its was funny, I laughed out loud, and the whinging was meant to be ironic but I guess we just hear enough men whinging.
The lack of votes for Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo might be surprising. It won the Booker and people love it. Women love it. Book clubs love it. The words preachy and didactic came up when we spoke about this book.
Last of all there is The Safe Place by Anna Downes. I think when it comes to thrillers the Pocket Book club is rather hard to please. The food that night was rather good though. A book set in France is bound to please the sweet lovers.