Have had time to think about this list as I have spent the last few days in bed with hacking cough and sore throat and now that I am back in the land of the living, decided it was time to get myself going again even if Random Towers is snowed in, which it is. I have just watched a neighbour park his car and it took him about twenty minutes of slipping and sliding before he managed it. Don't think I will be venturing forth for a bit.
So, here we go. My books of the year are those I have enjoyed the most in varying ways. They have to keep me pinned to my seat, give me hours of sheer reading pleasure and just grab me. There is no critical analysis here, no deep thoughts on motivation, no stream of consciousness, no high falutin' descriptions - not that you ever get that anyway, but just thought I would make that clear....
I am spreading my thoughts out over a few days as I am still feeling a tad wobbly and not sure my woolly brain can encompass all my choices in the next hour or so. I will link each title to my review, fingers crossed that it works. These are in NO particular order at all.
- The Woodcutter - Reginald Hill. A stand alone book by this author, not part of the Dalziel and Pascoe series and quite quite brilliant.
- Mr Rosenblum's List - Natasha Solomons. A quite delightful book. Sags slightly in the middle but heartwarming and has that feel-good factor.
- Tapestry of Love - Rosie Thornton. The sort of book that makes the reader want to abandon everything and go and live abroad and live off the land and weave and potter until you realise, or I do anyway, that I would be useless at this kind of life as I like my creature comforts. Happy to read about it though.
- The Whicharts - Noel Streatfield. Her first novel, now happily back in print, and a must for all lovers of htis author and, in particular, Ballet Shoes as this book was obviously recylced later on by Noel Streatfield, only the characters in this version are a little bit naughtier than Pauline, Posy and Petrova and their lives not as clear cut as in the later book.
- Butterfly's Shadow - Lee Langley. So what happened after Puccini left us all with Madame Butterfly committing suicide and the dastardly Pinkerton taking his son back to the US with his American wife? The author took up this idea and gives us a fascinating read.
- The Wasteland - Simon Acland. A first novel by this author, enormous fun as well as a serious historical novel about life in the Crusades. A second is planned and I am looking forward to it already.
- Henrietta Sees it Through - Joyce Dennys. One of the books republished by the Bloomsbury Group and a follow up to Henrietta's War. Sheer delight from start to finish, funny and sad and witty. Please note that this review was prior to its reprinting - I had purchased an old copy via the internet but my comments are, naturally, the same.
- The War Workers - EM Delafield. An imprint available through Amazon (oh bless their name) of one of EMD's earlier novels. Lovers of Diary of a Provincial Lady, of which I am most definitely one, will recognise characteristics and behaviour of some of the protagonists some of which are very similar to The Provincial Lady goes to War. EMD has an eye for human foibles and conceits and is quite merciless.
- My Last Duchess - Daisy Goodwin. Simply loved this book, a great chocolate box lush read. Anyone who has read The Shuttle by FH Burnett or the Buccaneers by Edith Wharton will recognise the Edwardian scenario of American heiresses arriving in search of a title.
- Evil on the Wind - Diney Costeloe. Had to psych myself up to read this one as it is set in WW2 and tells of the awful trials and tribulations of the Jews in Germany, a subject I always find deeply disturbing to see or read about. A fine book.
OK more to come but that is it for today.