Saturday, 29 December 2012

Most Memorable Books of 2012 - Part 2



I'm back with the second half of my top 20 books of the year. Again, they're only in the order I read them through 2012. I really would have problems putting them in order of preference!

THE TALE OF HOLLY HOW - BY SUSAN WITTIG ALBERT
The third, I think, in this delightful, witty Cosy Mystery series featuring Beatrix Potter and her friends in Hawkshead and its environs. I thoroughly enjoyed the volumes in this set that I read this summer - but this one most of all - coinciding with our trip to Hawkshead this June.

THE BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA - BY KATHERINE PATERSON
A YA novel i'd been unaware of - and that felt like something I already knew well, as I sat down to read it. One to return to, i think - on long summer afternoons in the future.

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE - BY MITCH ALBOM
A book I was aware of - and it had always looked like a mawkish gift book. But it's wonderful.

DOCTOR WHO : DARK HORIZONS - BY J. T COLGAN
My favourite Doctor Who book in a long time. A complete story in itself (for once!), with a vivid, interesting, human cast and a great setting. Some lovely set-pieces and action; a perfectly-rendered Doctor - and even some strange flash forwards and writerly games going on. Bliss.

LUCIA ON HOLIDAY - BY GUY FRASER-SAMPSON
A fantastic E.F Benson continuation / pastiche. Really, really funny. All favourite characters present and correct. Camping and whooping it up like mad.

THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY - BY JULIE COHEN
She never seems to let me down! Two by Julie Cohen this year to choose from - and this one was my favourite.

WITH LOVE AT CHRISTMAS - BY CAROLE MATTHEWS
Similar with the fab Ms Matthews - I loved both her summer book and her Christmas book. But the Christmas one is *so* seething with life and fun that it's got to be in my list of the year's favourites. Definitely one to reread.

WHEN I FALL IN LOVE - BY MIRANDA DICKINSON
There's always an undertow of sadness in Miranda's Dickinson's novels - and this novel about a young widow setting up a choir is particularly moving in places, amongst all the froth and bubbles. It becomes a lovely, touching ensemble piece about connecting with new people.

CRANFORD - BY ELIZABETH GASKELL
Funnier, sharper, tarter and *shorter* than I was expecting. A lovely end-of-year surprise.

THE PINK FAIRY BOOK - BY ANDREW LANG
As was this return to fairy tales, which I made over Christmas. The jostling tales - from all over the world - every colour, every character, every kind of story possible. It's like falling into a whirlpool of stories at the source.

So - they were the highlights of my reading year! Of course, i've had to miss out many favourites. And I won't spoil the festive mood by bringing up the disappointments and the duds...

Looking back on the year and the list, it seems I've enjoyed books with a lot of strong emotion - but also with a bit of lightness, romance and froth. It's been a year of looking for fun - with a bit of excitement and adventure chucked in. (But isn't that true of every year..?) i think I've been enjoying books in which the writing hides itself - allowing the reader to enjoy sheer story - and to feel as if the writing was somehow effortless.

(interesting to  note - 9 out of these 20 i read on my kindle....!)


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