Sunday, 2 January 2011

Belated Books of the Year

I am a couple of days late posting this because I wanted to finish the books that I was reading just in case they became contenders for that coveted place of top book of the year.
They didn't - they were good and I will probably write about them later but they weren't BotY (for me).

I read 194 full length books in 2010, I obviously found the mojo that vanished in 2009! A lot of these books took me out of my comfort zone, particularly when I was reading for the Writer's Centre Norwich Summer Reads and for Banned Books week.

I read less books written for children and teenager last year than I have for years and I really enjoyed the recommendations from friends. I do still miss having to be right up there with my knowledge of what is new in the children's book world but the selfish pleasure of being able to read (or not read) exactly what I like is wonderful.

I am setting myself 2 challenges for 2011. To complete my World Book Night project (I've now read 3 1/2 of the 25 books - thoughts to follow) and also to read one classic novel at least a month. By 'classic novel' I mean things like Austen and Dickens etc., works from pre-1900. I've read shamefully few of these and mean to rectify this before the year is out. As I have read so few suggestions are gratefully received - all I ask is that they were originally aimed at adults, my knowledge of the children's classics is pretty good!

Right on to my books of 2010...

My top adult fiction book was easily The Help by Katherine Stockett:

There were a few other close contenders but this one really did blow me away and although it was at one point reviewed everywhere I found it to be excellent and not over-hyped at all.
The whole time I was reading this book I was mentally pinching myself to remind me that the book was set in the 1960s not the 1860s, it is powerful, scary and a great testament to how single actions can change views.

My top children's / teen book was Matched by Ally Condie

I blogged about it briefly here but in all honesty no other teen book has blown me away as much this year. There has been plenty of good stuff out there but I found this truly innovative and gripping. For once I am hoping there will be a sequel rather than lamenting that it is another series.

Non Fiction choice has to be Storyteller: the biography of Roald Dahl.

Again this is a book I blogged about earlier and even though I have read some tremendous history books and biographies in 2010 none of them come close to the quality of this one. I've recommended it to so many people it is untrue (and most of them have agreed that it is good, if a little daunting in size) it is one that I can see myself returning to and I really must buy myself a copy soon as the library waiting list is still huge!

Let's hope that 2011 is another stellar year for books - and please do always feel free to recommend books to me, I really will try most things once.

Happy New Year!

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