Everybody else is doing ‘Best Of’ lists so I thought I’d contribute my own – here’s a list of the best books I’ve read this year. They might not be books that have been released this year but they’re books I’ve happened to discover this year.
Book of the Year
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I have not been so thoroughly absorbed in a book for a long time. Give it a few chapters so you get used to the voice and the style and then I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. It’s long, so only start reading when you have the time to be lost in a book.
Short and Sweet
Karen Hitchcock’s collection of short stories, Little White Slips, is funny and serious and covers everything from Freud to the overwhelming sense of isolation that you can feel in the first few weeks after you have a new baby.
I loved A.S. Byatt’s Possession and picked up her latest, The Children’s Book, with a sense of excitement. It’s not as good as Possession but that’s probably an unfair comparison. If you like a historical fiction with an ensemble of characters, then I recommend this to you – just skip over some of the tracts of facts if you need to.
Chris Womersely’s Bereft is the kind of book that you read both for the writing and for the story. I love to read books that inspire me to play with language and this one definitely has.
Best Twists and Turns
I am a late discoverer of Kate Morton – somehow I missed her fame and fortune and publishing success story. I began The Shifting Fog when stuck in bed with a chest infection and almost wanted to stay sick so I could finish it! Historical fiction set in an English manor house with a dash of mystery thrown in – a great read.
Best from the West
Sara Foster is not only a great friend but she’s also a great writer. Come Back to Me, her debut novel, is a page-turning mystery suspense novel set in England and Australia. I’m looking forward to her next book, Beneath the Shadows, published in February 2011.
Next week I’ll post my list of best kids’ books. Till then, happy reading!