Friday, 4 January 2013

Top Tens from 2012

Better late than never...

Due to my Christmas lurgy I'm later than I planned in posting my personal top 10s from the last year.

I've been thinking about them for a while but I don't like to list them until the year has turned - there have been times when the book I've finished as New Year's Eve ends have been the best of the year, The Book Thief in 2006 for instance. This wasn't quite the case in 2012 but I did read one of my favourite books late on in the month.

None of these lists are in any particular order and all of them seemed a lot hard to pick this year!

Top 10 Books 2012 

Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal - this is the book that made me understand how to read the plays of Shakespeare and enjoy them as much as seeing them performed.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver - very late to the party on this one but despite this it blew me away.

The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Haflon - a rare book that despite *having* to read for book group I loved.  I was wary of the book because it listed so many translators but it was beautiful if odd.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr - another book that I liked enough to blog about.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce - a very gentle book that just swept me along.

Strange Meetings by Harry Ricketts - I loved this one so much I blogged about it!

The American Wife by Paula McLain - I like Hemingway's collection of stories called A Moveable Feast a lot and this novel captures his lifestyle at this time wonderfully.

These Wonderful Rumours by May Smith - a recently discovered wartime diary of a female teacher in the midlands.  A real insight into a young woman's war and terrifically funny at times although possibly this was not intentional.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window by Jonas Jonasson - I only finished this book between Christmas and New Year but I've already been recommended it to several people. It is deliciously dark and funny although just occasionally the history isn't quite accurate.

The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton - this was another book group novel that I'd probably never have picked up otherwise.  It was a dark, unsettling war novel but unlike my favourites by R F Delderfield this was not a comforting read - it was the language and style that made it stand out.

Top 10 Plays of the year

Richard III - The Globe & Apollo Theatre
Henry V - The Globe
The Recruiting Officer - Donmar Warehouse
Cabaret - Theatre Royal, Norwich
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Cottesloe Theatre at the National Theatre
Noises Off - Novello Theatre
War Horse - New London Theatre
Taming of the Shrew - The Globe
Hymn and Cocktail Stick - The Lyttleton Theatre at the National Theatre
Berenice - The Donmar Warehouse

Worst 5 Books of the year 

Care of Wooden Floors by Will Willes - a book on a longlist I was reading, found it a real chore to read and by the end was ready to throw the book at the wall in frustration. I think it would have made a great  short story or novella but as a novel was just dull.

Paddington Races Ahead by Michael Bond - it pains me to put this on the list but as I blogged earlier in the year the updating of classics rarely seems to work.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov - I know it is supposed to be a classic but by the end I was willing them to tie the lead charcters to the trees and then set fire to the orchard. Perhaps I should see this on stage and see if my opinions change?

The Descendents by Kaui Hart Hemmings - this was a hit film so I thought I'd try the book. On finishing it I decided not to bother with the film...

The Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James - I confess I read all three of these (on an eReader so that no one could see that I was doing so). They were dire and for me and about as erotic as toothache. The real problem was that there was just enough story in the trilogy that kept me reading to the end as I had to know how it finished - badly, don't bother!

Worst 2 Plays of the year

Love and Information - Royal Court Theatre
What the Butler Saw - Vaudeville Theatre

1 comment:

  1. All the right plays in slightly the wrong order; except Richard III in which Mark Rylance was awesome as were the rest of the cast.