Sunday 30 December 2007

Top... er... 15

I've tried hard, I really have... but I couldn't get my favourite books of last year (see previous post) down to ten. So here we have my top fifteen, not in any particular order.

1. The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak. Young adult, set in Germany during WWll, and is about how a young girl survives during the war. Narrated by Death.

2. The Earthsea Quartet - Ursula K. Le Guin. Young adult fantasy. The travels, trials, and tribulations of the wizard, Ged.

3. Saplings - Noel Streatfeild. Persephone novel. Charts the disintegration of a family during WWll. Focusses on the children.

4. Dissolution - C.J. Sansom. Historical crime. The first of the Matthew Shardlake series set during the reign of Henry Vlll. Lots of monks. I wasn't quite sure what they were all up to...

5. Family Roundabout - Richmal Crompton. Another Persephone novel. Concerns the dynamics and the interactions of two families, the Fowlers and the Willoughbys, during the 1920s.

6. Redburn - Herman Melville. Classic lit. Serving aboard ship in the 1800s. Was it fun? Not really...

7. Mistress of the Art of Death - Ariana Franklin. Historical crime. 12th. century Oxford. Adelia, a female doctor from Italy, has been sent to solve the murders of several children.

8. The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova. Horror. Vampires, but also a nice jaunt around Eastern Europe.

9. The First Casualty - Ben Elton. Historical Crime. WWl whodunnit but also much about conditions at the front. Not Elton's usual.

10. The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton. Classic Lit. New York around 1900. Charts the fall of Lily Bart, born to a life of ease and luxury but suddenly without the means to support such a lifestyle.

11. Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters. Historical crime. First in the Amelia Peabody series of books set in Eygpt.

12. The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R. King. Historical crime. First in the Mary Russell series, charting the beginnings of Mary's relationship with Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

13. Still Life - Louise Penny. Crime. The first of the Armand Gamache series set in the village of Three Pines, Quebec. Wonderfully atmospheric.

14. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Historical crime. What can I say?

15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling. Young adult fantasy. Again... what is there to say? Other than I wish it wasn't the last book...

A few facts and figures:

Fiction - 59, non-fiction - 11. That's not so great. I thought I read more non-fiction than that.

Female authors - 33, male - 37. Funny how you deceive yourself. I would have sworn I read and liked female authors much more than male.

Re-reads - 4. Yeah, well... I knew I didn't reread much.

I clearly have a taste for Young Adult fantasy - 17, plus a couple more I wasn't sure of.

I've also clearly discovered a real liking for historical crime books!

All in all I count the year a success. I've read more than ever, blogged more than ever, and made some delightful new reading friends. I can't wait to see what 2008 brings.



DesLily said...

yep, your list sure shows you like historical crime lol.. I think that's why you are being taken by the Mary Russell novels.. oh boy, I do think you would like her new book Touchstone, (not holmes or russell) but very British and alot of intrigue!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I saw the new Laurie King novel at Borders yesterday and just about bought it. However, I was trying to get more books for the buck and it is hardcover. I'll have to look for it soon.

Cath, you have a great list. I have not read very many of them but the ones I have read rank up among my favorite books. I love CROCODILE ON A SANDBANK, THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE, STILL LIFE AND HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. I am planning to read MISTRESS OF THE ART OF DEATH AND THE HISTORIAN in 2008 (maybe). Great list and have a lovely new year!

DesLily said...

stopping back to wish you and yours a healthy and wonderful NEW YEAR!!!!

Cath said...

Pat, it's odd because I rarely ever read any historical crime until the end of this year. LOL. I will try Touchstone when it comes out... how strange that it's set in Cornwall... another reason for me to get it.

And a HUGE Happy New Year to you too!

Kay: I hope you manage to read Mistress of the Art of Death this year. I thought it was an excellent read and so well written. Likewise The Historian. Btw, I have the next Gamache novel, Dead Cold, on my library tbr pile. Happy New Year to you!

Tara said...

I really need to try The Book Thief one of these days - it seems everyone is just raving about it! Someone else just mentioned The Beekeeper's Apprentice to you think someone who's never read SH would like this series?

Cath said...

Hi Tara. The trouble with reading a book that everyone has raved about is that I sometimes find it doesn't live up to all the hype. And that makes me reluctant to try it. Do you find that?

I would think that as long as you have some small knowledge of Sherlock Holmes from watching a movie, TV series or something, you should have no problem with The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I haven't read all the stories myself but have seen the Jermemy Brett TV series.

Tara said...

Cath, I couldn't agree more. It feels somehow more personal as well, knowing that all these people who have similar taste to you liked a book and you didn't vs. a book being on the bestseller list. Thanks for the information.