I know, I know, it isn’t the end of the year, how in the world can I choose my top 10 for the year? Easy, I know the four or five books I hope to finish by midnight on 12/31 and none of them, while being enjoyable, will make it into the top ten. (Sorry Simon, Frank Baker won’t make the cut, but Richmal Crompton will!)
I really liked a lot of the books I read this year, but it was still pretty easy to separate ten from the herd that particularly rocked my reading world in one way or another.
Not surprisingly for me, only one of the ten was published even remotely recently. Besides the Niffenegger, the “newest” title is about 17 years old. This is why I don’t fear the e-book. Plenty of old books for me to read.
So, in no particular order…
Stoner by John Williams
Happily this book has been getting lots of attention in the blogosphere this year. The novel has an academic setting, but you don’t have to like that kind of thing to like this one. Amazing book.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
A classic that I had never read before. There are some novels where the writing just feels right. This one grabbed me instantly.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
This is NOT normally my cup of tea. And I do NOT think it is a fine, or amazing book. And I will NOT want to read anything else by Niffenegger. But boy did I enjoy reading this one. I picked it up in the resort library last January in Thailand and it was perfect vacation reading.
A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O’Brien
Such a smart, funny novel about a child of hasbeen movie stars trying to grow up normal.
As We Are Now by May Sarton
A devastatingly tragic novel about being old.
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
The novel I wish had been expanded to Trollopian lengths.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
Delightful comfort read. Sigh.
The Closed Door by Dorothy Whipple
I love Dorothy Whipple’s work. I read two novels of hers this year that I loved, and I am reading a third right now. But this collection of short stories are brilliant in a way that her longer fiction is not.
A Closed Eye by Anita Brookner
I love every novel Anita Brookner has ever written, but there was something about this one that I really liked.
Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton
Out of the ten, this is the one that I most wish I could discover again for the first time.