Chris Judge’s best books of the year

Author of The Brave Beast

I generally await the release of new Douglas Coupland books the way I used to with new albums by favourite bands way back when. Some I love and some are a letdown, but I keep buying them. Worst. Person. Ever. (William Heinemann) is very much a return to form. It had me laughing out loud on the bus to work.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Headline) is the first Neil Gaiman novel I have read since Neverwhere, and I wasn't disappointed. A novel that seems to straddle young-adult and adult fiction, it's wonderfully dark and magically captures the pure terror of childhood fears.

I am sucker for hard sci-fi, and Andy Weir's The Martian (Kindle) is one of the best I have read in a long time. A hilarious, nerdy documentary of an abandoned astronaut's struggle for survival on Mars, it is compelling and fun.

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