It’s been a busy year for Indie writers with many challenges and setbacks, not least due to Amazon deleting reviews and decreasing our visibility. So I decided to give out some Awards for the Best I have read this year. It was tough and I’m aware of a lot of fantastic books that didn’t make it to the final shortlist.
I’ll start with the Best of Non-Fiction for 2015. Four excellence Awards and one winner for outstanding Non-Fiction:
Have Bags Will Travel by DG Kaye is an outstanding and hilarious travel memoir. You can’t help loving this author with her honest and witty approach to anything she writes about. This is a great read.
Paulyanna: International Rent Boy is another memoir, very honest and insightful. Paul Douglas Lovell is simply a natural story teller. There is no other way to explain the flow and beauty of his language. He aims to instill hope in other victims of circumstance, who like him are clinging to the dream of coming into their own.
“Rupee Millionaires” by Frank Kusy is a fascinating and highly entertaining life story of a London trader and life artist and his travels, business ventures, friends and life philosophy at home and abroad.
Written with great wit, humour, realism and honesty this is a reflective travel memoir that reads smoothly and easily and will make you think as well as smile.
Be warned, there are some adult themes and ‘language’. Very enjoyable.
“Ooh Matron” by Sarah Jane Butfield reminded me of the Carry On Films tempted me into buying this one. I used to work in care homes in my youth and was interested in that aspect of the memoir, too.
The book is written with a wonderfully human spirit: caring, humorous, upbeat and full of life. Where other memoirs drift into documentary style and dry facts, Butfield knows how to spice things up. Great anecdotes, warm-hearted humour and accessible writing make this as an entertaining, interesting and enjoyable read as the title promises.
On a more serious note, the author reflects on many aspects of nursing with great empathy and honesty, particularly the parts about working with mentally ill patients and those with Down Syndrome were moving and informative to me.
There’s a lot you can learn from this book. An all round winner.
“Adding Fire to the Fuel: Challenging Shame and the Stigma of Alcoholism” by Scott Stevens turns the spotlight on some very important, yet lesser known or discussed aspects of alcoholism: Shame and Stigma.
We all know some about recovery and the 12 Steps programme but we probably do not emphasize enough or know about the many ways that society and its attitudes prevent people from seeking recovery.
Be that the advertising industry that tempts people into drinking and glorifies it, or the shame of drinking or not-drinking. Blaming and prejudices.
In this brilliantly written book so much is said that rings true. I am an ex-smoker and I feel that Stevens does to alcoholism what Alan Carr did to smokers: Intellectualising the problem, educating people and using statistical data to prove his points.
I personally know of two people whose lives have been changed by Stevens’ books, one of which even has been in direct contact with the author.
Read this book, for it will make you understand more about a very common problem that is often brushed under the carpet. Here is a man who lived and survived the problem. This intellectual dissection of the problem is disarming and unique. A remarkable book – highly recommended.
And drum roll…
Finding the Rainbow by Rachel McGrath: a fascinating and honest insight into a world that most would find difficult to understand, and many would be quietly thankful not to need to. McGrath tells the story of her battle to conceive and carry a baby, with unrestricted honesty, leaving the reader in no doubt as to her thoughts and feelings, and the courageousness with which she deals with a very difficult period in her and her husband’s lives. This emotive account draws attention to some of the otherwise unknown aspects of infertility and miscarriage, whilst still leaving room for humour, happiness and philosophy.