But I’ve read some wonderful books of the year posts over the last few days, and when I did put my own list together I realised that a few of my favourites hadn’t appeared in any of my other lists.
And so here, in no particular order, are my top ten books of the year.
Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks by John Curran
“I find myself reminded of books I’d quite forgotten. Happily recalling others. noting a few that I don’t think I’ve read yet. I want to read and re-read every single one. And then I want to look again at what this book had to say – I’m definitely going to need a copy of my own!”
Rambles Beyond Railways by Wilkie Collins
” And I love my native Cornwall. So imagine my delight when I found a book by Wilkie Collins in the library’s Cornish room. Joy!
Rambles beyond Railways: Notes in Cornwall taken a-foot. A travelogue visiting so many places I know so well. Bliss!
And it gets better. The book I picked up was the original 1851 edition. And a bookplate at the front advises me that it was found, in tatters, in 1933, restored and then presented to the library. What a wonderful thing to do! And so I was holding the same edition that the author himself must have held. Wow!”
“Her story is strangely charming. And strangely charming is something that Margery Sharp does particularly well. This book, and indeed the whole of Martha’s story, is populated with wonderful human characters, who maybe didn’t behave and talk quite how I might have expected, and yet what they did and what they said was exactly right. I couldn’t help warming to them, understanding them, those ordinary, but somehow very special people.”
“It is impossible not to care: the man and the woman are utterly real, and every detail rings true.
We make life complicated, when it could be so simple.
Love in the Sun is simply lovely.”
Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
“The storytelling is lovely. I read about Mrs Harris’s adventure in the same way that I read the books I loved as a child. I was completely captivated, living every moment, reacting to everything, wishing and hoping…”
Marjory Fleming by Oriel Malet
“Oriel Malet creates a child – a bright child, but a child nonetheless – so beautifully, with such empathy, with such understanding that you really can see what she is seeing, feel what she is feeling.
The quality of the bigger picture is just as high. Every detail that makes up a child’s life – people, places, events – in such lovely descriptive prose.”
Joanna Godden by Sheila Kaye Smith
“I have met many remarkable women between the covers of green Virago Modern Classics. And now that I have met Joanna Godden I have to say that she is one of the most remarkable of them all.”
Beside the Sea by Veronica Olmi
“It is a quite extrordinary piece of writing. I reacted to it physically and emotionally, and it made me look at the world differently.
Several days after I finished reading it is still in my head, and I am utterly lost for words.”
I wish you books that you love as much in the new year.