\An A – Z Why Choosing the Best Book of the Year is hard…
Part 1. Yep, I got carried away. Bear with me. Growl.
a) A book you read mid-hype and enjoyed will have you shouting it out from the rooftops, gushing and slapping five stars all over it. But think back now. Several months later. Did you get swept away with the hype? There are equally good books out there by self-published indie authors without the backing of a major publishing company. Throws hands in the air exasperated.
b) Book boyfriend crushes. You can fall in and out of love with them, just the same way you can your real life boyfriend or husband. Only less frequently. Five star crushes don’t always last forever. Especially when a new one comes along. Fickle I know.
c) Choosing between new favourites and old favourites is like picking your favourite child and shouting to the world, “Hey look at my one and only special child. The one I love the best.” It’s awkward. And not really the most PC thing to do. Our other children can be damaged for life with this news. Luckily for me I only have one child, but still. You get the gist. I’ve definitely got more than one favourite book. Don’t ask me to pick between them!
d) Differences in favourites. A book can be your favourite book because you were down and it made you ‘Laugh Out Loud’, whilst on the bus in front of frowning strangers. Or it can be your favourite book because it reduced you to tears, and left you begging for more as it was such an emotional read and it finished on a cliffhanger. See what I mean? Book bloggers have a hard life.
e) Ever been asked to divulge your innermost secrets to the whole world? That’s how I feel when asked to pick my overall one single title best read. It’s tough and can sometimes lead to an awkward shame that you left so many other equally great and well-written books out for no other sensible reason than you were forced to make a choice. You’re making a masochist of us all! Give me a slap. I need it.
f) Finalising a decision, for some book bloggers is just hard. It’s that simple, but at the same time, so very complex. There are so many decisions to take into account before announcing the overall winner. Or should that be winners? Will my choice make me look like a complete dick? See? There’s no easy answer.
g) Goodreads. For when you’ve read a 5 star book in January and now it’s December and you can’t remember a thing about that favourite book all those months ago. Does that book have an unfair advantage against a favourite new and fresh 5 star read you’ve just read, seconds before writing up your ‘Best Book’ choice? Or have you only just realised this is an issue, and now can add that worry to your stress? In which case I’m awfully sorry, but now you can definitely see my pain!
h) Have I read enough? What if my most favourite book is just around the corner? And even worse, what if I started reading it in December, but only finish it in January? Okay, I’ve read 83 books so far, but what if my 84th book is even better? How do I cope when I’ve already announced my book of the year? Believe me, this is a real thing. For me, at least.
i) Introspection: I’ll always be analysing myself afterwards. Did I make the right choice? Were my emotions different when I read that book, to what they are right now? Would I have liked this book better if I wasn’t feeling so angry having just been trampled over in the Boxing Day sales, and had my book bargain (the last one left in the whole shop) snatched out of my hands right before my very eyes? Heck, anyone know what the meaning of life is, whilst we’re contemplating things here?
j) Just when you’ve read the best book of the year, and wish you could give it a six star rating (which doesn’t exist) another fantastic read pops up to blow your mind. “But I’ve just given this book five stars and this book I’ve just read is even better?” What to do? Go back and change your rating? Cruel. Give your current new favourite read a five star hug and tell it the truth. “You’re my bestest best book so far, but there’ll be more on the horizon even better than you coming up”. Equally cruel. Okay. panic.
k) Killer reads come with killer decisions. Honestly, I’ve read so any great thrillers and crime books this year I wouldn’t know where to start separating them from each other. And that’s just one genre. What’s the answer?
A nice murder. That’ll cheer me up.
l) Late night panics: When you can’t sleep because a good book is keeping you up all night and you realise it should have been your overall favourite of the year. Too late now. In more ways than one. You’ve already published THAT post.
m) More than one book can speak to more than one parts of your soul for so many different reasons. This book spoke to my soul. But then again, so did this one, and this one, and this one… None of them are equal for the same reasons.
Stay tuned for #Part2 coming to a screen near you – tomorrow.
Stressed now? You should be. Let me end Part 1 on a happy note: