Reviewing the Last Decade

A happy new year of reading and exploration to you all. I hope Santa brought you some interesting books and that you have been extending your range over the holiday – the holidays are such a great opportunity for settling down to a good read, without the same pressures of homework.

At this time there are always lists published in various publications of the top picks of the previous year, but the end of a decade provides even more of an opportunity for review. If you are an A Level student, of course this decade started when most of you were 6, 7 or 8, so your reading habits were perhaps not as mature at that stage as they are now. It might be particularly illuminating for you to review the last 10 years, then, as you wouldn’t necessarily have been aware of books when they were published. The following list of suggestions is an interesting one, and goes beyond the realm of literature, including economics, anthropology and politics. Your wider grasp of ideas involves an exploration wider than literary fiction – you need to be aware of the context of changing times and changing thoughts, so all of these could be of interest.

Of course politics of a certain kind have consumed public debate and government action over the last couple of years. Inevitably, literature will often reflect concerns of public interest and Jonathan Coe’s novel Middle England has won the Costa novel prize. It has been described as the perfect Brexit novel. Reviews can be found here (The Guardian) and here (The Literary Review).

Coe himself talks about the issues of the novel here: