Just a few notes on my best reads of the year from all the books I’ve read, regardless of when published. I’ve read 111 books, just 3 short of last year, but slightly more pages at just over 32,000, and near enough 50/50 male to female authors. I had two themed reading periods, tackling books for older children and young adults over the Easter holidays, and then my Season of the Living Dead in October.
Best re-read of the year – The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. Let’s face it, this was my only re-read of the year, but it is one of my desert island books. Click here to read my review and thoughts about my literary hero.I intend to re-read more books that I haven’t read for years in 2010, joining in with the LOTR re-read over at Shelflove, and revisiting one of my other desert island books The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx having asked for and got a luxury hardback edition for Christmas.
Best undead – I read half a dozen vampire novels in my ‘Season of the Living Dead’ back in October, plus several books featuring zombies, ghosts and assorted other living dead monsters during the year. The Swedish vampire novel Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist was possibly the highlight of these – both gruesome and tender. It should be noted that I was pleasantly surprised by the whole Twilight phenomenon and Sookie Stackhouse too!
Best contemporary novel – The Juggler by Sebastian Beaumont. Beaumont’s first novel was one of my favourites from last year, and his second is even better. His books really mess with your mind, the Juggler is a psychological drama about a man’s mid-life crisis. Read my review from back in March here.
Best memoir – A Taste of My Life by Raymond Blanc. Although he had help writing it, this memoir is the authentic voice of the wonderful self-trained chef – and he was as nice in person as he appears on the box (whatever you think about this year’s series of ‘The Restaurant’) – signing for four hours at my local bookshop.
Best author I discovered this year that I should have read years ago – Elizabeth Taylor. I read In a Summer Season earlier this year and was amazed by this dissection of middle-class mores written in the early 1960s. I have plans to read much more by her. Click here for my review from last June.
Best debut novel – The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw. Astounding modern fairy tale and even better, he’s coming to Mostly Books in January to talk about it. This also wins the prize for the most beautiful book too with its lovely cover and silvered page edges. Click here for my review.
It’s been a great year’s reading, and I’m looking forward to 2010 immensely. What has been great is that many of the titles I’ve read this year have come from recommendations made by other bloggers. My list of other blogs that I visit regularly has expanded hugely too, and it’s been truely lovely making more new blog friends. A huge thank you to everyone who has ever visited my blog, and thank you especially to those who’ve left comments – they are such confidence builders and make you feel part of a real community.