This is always a difficult task, but also one I enjoy, because it reminds me of all the wonderful books I’ve read in a year full of new discoveries. I have been incredibly lucky to be introduced to some great reads, one by reading the monthly recommended reads by bookseller Waterstones, taking part in blog tours and also by reading the reviews of fellow readers and bloggers.
I have broken it down into favourite fiction and non fiction reads and the lists are not in any particular order, except for Tin Man and The Gustav Sonata which were book that spoke to me and made my heart sing.
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
Some books are special, they remind me why I read books, Tin Man is one of those books. A beautifully written story about friendship and love, it will forever be one of my all time favourite reads. It’s both heartbreaking and uplifting.
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
This is another book about friendship and love and the fine line that divides the two. I adored it and the writing is simply stunning.
The Man Who Died by Antti Toomaineh
I have read a lot of Scandinivian and Nordic Noir this year and they have all been excellent. The Man Who Died was my favourite of an exceptional genre overflowing with talent, because of the darkly comedic element to it.
Holding by Graham Norton
I bought this because I liked his autiobiograpthical books and wanted to know if he could translate his warm and inclusive writing style over to a novel. I am happy to say that he can. It’s a gentle tale about the cost of secrets and lives frustrated by unfilled needs and ambitions.
The Muse by Jessie Burton
I loved not only the superb characterisation in this book, but also how Jessie Burton teases the threads that connect the past to 1968 and weaves them into story about love and betrayal.
The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor.
I love a good solid historical drama and this book is certainly that.
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
I feel in love with the flawed but easy to love Lucy Barton and the friends that are part of her life. It left me wanted to know more about them all.
Fifty Years of Fear by Ross Greenwood.
I really enjoyed all the books in this series, but not having room to fit them all in this list, I picked this one because of the way it dealt with some very dark issues, without the novel being swamped in clichéd drama.
Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech.
Louise Beech delivers a haunting and moving book, about the power of the human heart to survive through trauma and adversity.
The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler.
Robert Seethaler delivers a deeply moving and lyrical story about the power of the individual when faced with horrifying events, that threaten their world and those they care about.
********** My Top 5 Non Fiction Read for 2017 **********
H Is For Hawk by Helen McDonald
I had been meaning to read this for some time and when I saw this in a small independent bookshop in Monmouth with a stunning vintage cover, I had to buy it. The story within is a deeply moving story of grief and recovery.
So Me by Graham Norton
I like Graham Norton and found his autobiograpthy to be a funny and warm read.
The Life and Loves of A He Devil by Graham Norton
Yet again another honest and funny book from the king of chat show programmes.
The Durrell’s of Corfu by Michael Haag
Having loved reading Gerald Durrell’s books set in Corfu and watching the TV programme based on them, I found this look at the real Durrell’s behind the stories a fascinating read.
Poem for the Day One With A Forward by Wendy Cope.
I received this as a Christmas Present last year. It has been a joy to dip into it everyday. I have discovered a love of W Auden’s incredible poetry and will be reading book two in 2018.