Top Ten General Fiction Books for 2015

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2015 has been a good year for those books which you just want to enjoy reading and we think that we've found something for everyone's taste. Here they are, alphabetically by author:

One Hundred Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi

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Sometimes Serendipity coerces Fate into making sure you read a particular book. I picked One Hundred Days… off the shelf on the back of the blurb from an author of a book I haven't actually read. I confused the title of their book with one I adored. Make of that what you will, I'm going to call it a happy accident, because this is a book many of us really need to read. Full review...

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

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At Black Rabbit Hall, time goes syrupy slow. None of the clocks work properly, but an hour at Black Rabbit is said to last twice as long as a London one, and you don't get a quarter of the things done. Every holiday, the Alton family swap the hustle and bustle of London life for this secluded Cornish retreat, a place that is theirs and theirs alone. Full review...

The Artificial Anatomy of Parks by Kat Gordon

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One morning in 2002, twenty-one year old Tallulah Park is woken in her depressing bedsit by the phonecall announcing her father's heart attack. From this bleak beginning springs Kat Gordon's gripping debut novel of a dysfunctional upper middle class family with a history of papering over the cracks and ignoring the uncomfortable and unfitting. Tallulah has been doing her fair share of powering on and pretending things don't exist, but it seems like this might turn out to be the time to stop running away. With the reluctant help of two aunts, an old family friend and her own imperfect recollections, and with a vivid imagining of her late grandmother as the voice of conscience, Tallulah sets out to answer some long-standing questions about her family and her own past. Full review...

Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife and Her Alligator by Homer Hickam

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Elsie and Homer Hickam were West Virginians and knew how to make their tales as tall as the hills that surrounded them on all sides. There is a Hickam family legend that has been told and retold so many times over the years that the lines between myth and reality have become well and truly blurred. Carrying Albert Home is the story of a man and his wife, a sweet pet alligator and a very lucky rooster who decide to take a road trip to Florida in 1935; the year of the Great Depression. What follows next is all completely true, well, except for the parts that are made up... Full review...

Ghosting by Jonathan Kemp

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Grace Wellbeck is 64 - living on a canal boat in London with her second husband, she lives a relatively settled life of routine. A chance encounter with a man in the street changes everything though - a man who is the spitting image of her first, deceased husband. Is he a ghost? Is Grace going mad? Full review...

Esperanza Street by Niyati Keni

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Joseph's parents send him to work for Auntie Mary and her B&B business on Esperanza Street. Over the years there life for Joseph goes on the way it has for countless other youngsters from this Filipino town of Puerto. His mother may have died too young and Joseph only sees his father one day a week (and has to suffer church for part of that!) but there's a rhythm to the market outside and foreign visitors within Auntie Mary's walls that's familiar and comforting. It's a rhythm that's been there for generations but things change, sometimes with catastrophic results. Full review...

Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem

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Rose Zimmer, a feisty American communist radical, takes on many good and great causes. These include everything from feminism and racism to the changing course of Stalinism in the American C.P. but most of all; her biggest causes are the people around her. The effects upon them are diverse and devastating. She often propels them to success but at the same time they feel battered and must escape according to their own needs. Her affections are real but invasive. Rose keeps a shrine to Abraham Lincoln. Rose’s self-assertion within the perimeters of the German-designed 20th Century New York suburb of Queens, a multi-cultural suburb and a planned housing development similar to Hampstead Garden City provide the setting for Jonathan Lethem’s Tour de Force. Full review...

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

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In a future in which the sea has flooded the world, Callanish is a gracekeeper – administering shoreside burials and sending the dead to rest in the depths of the ocean. The solitary life of tending watery graves serving as penance for a long-ago mistake. Meanwhile, North is a circus performer – living with a flouting troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers and trainers, and with only a bear for a friend. An offshore storm leads to a chance meeting between North and Callanish – and a chance to change both of their lives. Full review...

Bitter Sixteen by Stefan Mohamed

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Stanly Bird is about to turn sixteen - a solitary teen in a small Welsh town, he has few friends. Unless you count his talking dog, Daryl... Full review...

Boo by Neil Smith

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Oliver Dalrymple is dead. He realised this the moment he woke up in the rebirthing bed. His friends and tormentors had always called him Boo because of his ghostly pale complexion and now he's finally earned the nickname fully. What he hasn't realised is the way in which he died; he thinks he died of holey heart problems in front of his locker while reciting the periodic table. The location is correct but, meeting Johnny (an equally dead former classmate) reveals, he was actually murdered. What's worse, their murderer has been spotted there in 13 year olds' heaven. Full review...

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