Should Have, Would Have, Could Have Read/s 2015

I thought I would sneak in a quick post before my final book review of the year and my posts on my top reads of the year go live over the next few days before a shiny new year opens before us. (I love a new year, have I mentioned this before, it is like the epic version of a night of new bed linen.) Anyway, I have been having a small sorting out of the shelves before the new year begins and discovered, to my slight horror, that I there have been lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of books that have come out this year that I have meant to read, haven’t and have that slight ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ feeling about them all. There were about 50 – just a small amount – but I whittled it down to 22 (I am rubbish at whittling down, very good at whittling on) and here they are in no particular order…


I Saw a Man – Owen Sheers
Girl at War – Sara Novic
Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
Delicious Foods – James Hannaham
The Year of the Runaways – Sunjeev Sahota
The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood
The Shore – Sara Taylor
The Fisherman – Chigozie Obioma
Devotion – Ros Barber
Daydreams of Angels – Heather O’Neill
Did You Ever Have a Family – Bill Clegg
Before the Feast – Sasa Stanisic
Beatlebone – Kevin Barry
Public Library – Ali Smith
Music for Wartime – Rebecca Makkai
Trans: A Memoir – Juliet Jacques
An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It – Jessie Greengrass
I’m Jack – Mark Blacklock
The Loney – Andrew Micheal Hurley
The Not Dead and The Saved – Kate Clanchy
Mislaid & The Wallcreeper – Nell Zink

I am not a believer in regrets or of ‘what if’s’ so I have simply decided to be excited about the fact that a) books don’t go anywhere unless you remove them from your life yourself b) these will all be out in paperback over the next year so I can talk to you about them all then. Plus I am 95% sure I am going to love these as people I know who read them really, really did.  Are these going to be my first reads of 2016? No. I have decided I am going right off on reading tangents next year, more on that in the next few days. I just thought I would share these ones with you in the interim. We all love a selection of books and a bookshelf to nosey at don’t we?

Have any of you read any of these and what did you make of them? Which are the books you should have, would have, could have read?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

27 responses to “Should Have, Would Have, Could Have Read/s 2015

  1. And here I thought I was the only one that got excited about new bed linens!

  2. David

    I’ve probably got about as many unread 2015 books as you, Simon: 50-ish. And that was me making an effort to really only buy stuff I was sure I’d read!

    Of your list I’ve read five: you’d love ‘Daydreams of Angels’, right up your street I should think. I’m not normally a fan of “adult fairy tales” but that and Patrick DeWitt’s ‘Undermajordomo Minor’ almost won me around this year.
    Kate Clanchy’s story collection is one you really should make time for if you can – I liked her first novel but it felt like an author playing it safe whereas her stories are in a different league. I love Ali Smith’s novels but I’m never wowed by her stories – they have the same playfulness and erudition but to me tend to feel too academic, too much like exercises, which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy ‘Public Library’ but I could take it or leave it. I had a similar lukewarm reaction to ‘Music for Wartime’ – they were decent stories but a few months later I struggle to recall any of them in much detail.
    ‘Fates and Furies’ is a book that everyone seems to love and one I suspect I didn’t really do justice to as it took me forever to read (too much work, too little reading time) – it was the first time I’ve read Groff and for the first half of the book I absolutely loved the way her writing fairly fizzed off the page, but by the second half (when the narrative’s perspective changes from the husband to the wife) I found my interest waning and I was glad to be done with it.

  3. Alex

    The Year of the Runaways & The Loney are both on my wish i had read already list/shelf, not being the fastest reader out there always have a shelf of unread books bought this/last year. That said I have not had any real clangers so a great reading year. can’t complain at that

  4. You have a lot of books on your list that are lingering on my own…namely Fates and Furies, Did You Ever Have a Family, and The Heart Goes Last. Cheers to getting to them…sometime.

  5. sharkell

    I can recommend The Fishermen – a story told in a unique way (to me anyway). I have The Loney on my bedside pile to read and I’m hoping to get to that before it’s due back at the library. I made a list of 26 books that I wanted to read at the beginning of the year but only made it through 13 of them (I choose my books by whim but sometimes it is nice to have a list to narrow down the choice).

    • I’m really looking forward to The Fisherman. Have heard many many good things. Getting through half the 26 is better than none! I don’t tend to do lists of future reading as it freaks me out… Or I rebel.

  6. Did you ever have a family has been very popular in Hobart. I have it and plan o. reading it in 2016.

  7. You’ve got a lot of joy ahead of you in 2016 – while I share lots of your ‘should have’ titles (they’re going straight onto the list for next year) I can vouch for ‘The Shore’ and ‘The Fishermen’, both of which are utterly stunning.

  8. Does it count to have written one of them? Hell, yes!


  9. Louise

    I have The Fisherman – Chigozie Obioma and
    The Year of the Runaways – Sunjeev Sahota on my to read list too,

    Other books I bought, and would have liked to read in 2015 are
    Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie &
    The Chimes by Anna Smaill

  10. I’ve given up fretting about what I didn’t read and focus on kore of what I did read. Two of my favs for 2015 were recommendations I picked up from you because of the Jerwood prize. Redemption pf Galen Pike and A Man Lies Dreaming were superb and I wouldn’t have known about them if yiu hadn’t championed them. So thank you

  11. I’ve been hearing about Fates and Furies EVERYWHERE. Interested to see your thoughts on it!

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