I’ve been enjoying the top ten (or however many) lists which have been popping up all over the blogosphere recently. Making my own is always a highlight of the last days of December – scouring back through the wonderful reads I’ve been treated to throughout the year. As usual, far more than ten were worthy of being heralded, but I have whittled it down to just ten. And, yes, it is in order. The order is subjective, in terms of my appreciation, rather than objective quality – and would doubtless change if I made this list again next week, but I do love a list. Click on each title to take you to my review of them. Here it is, in reverse order:
10.) The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck
The first of two book group reads which made my list, this tale of a Chinese farmer and his family is told simply but so well.
9.) Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
And this is the second. Having tried and failed to read this back in 2004, was pleased to try again – and was swept away.
8.) Being George Devine’s Daughter – Harriet Devine
A wonderful gift from a fellow blogger, and a captivating tale of childhood among theatre’s greats.
7.) The Man Who Planted Trees – Jean Giono
Enchantingly simple. Giono’s name is in the list, but it is Michael McCurdy’s warm, striking woodcuts which make this book special.
6.) The Loved One – Evelyn Waugh
I’m glad I persevered with Waugh, as this short, hilarious look at the American funeral industry is an absolute joy.
5.) The Vet’s Daughter – Barbara Comyns
Comyn’s surreal but poignant style never lets you down, and this spectacular novel is no exception.
4.) Wait For Me! – Deborah Devonshire
Mitford mania continues apace here at Stuck-in-a-Book, as you’ll have seen in my recent review. Don’t forget to enter the draw for a copy.
3.) Travelling Light – Tove Jansson
The only book to appear on both this list and Project 24, Tove Jansson’s gentle touch and incredible insight into human nature is nigh-on flawless. More translations, please.
2.) Loitering With Intent – Muriel Spark
My favourite novel read this year, told so cleverly and with inimitable talent.
1.) Nella Last’s War – Nella Last
An early read in 2010, but my lasting favourite – a very talented writer who, but for Mass Observation, would never have had courage to put pen to paper. I’m looking forward to reading her later diaries in 2011.