Well, it's that time of year and everyone seems to be doing it so here's the run-down of the books I've read this year. In one way it's been a good reading year for me, numerically anyway. I've read 76 books and that's the most I've managed since I started keeping a record I think. And I did read an awful lot of good books this year. 'Good' and even 'very good'. But the number I would call absolutely 'wonderful' were not that many. I suppose that's just the way it goes... wonderful books are, after all, a bit rare and I am in no way complaining. I enjoyed most of my reads this year and there were very few actual disappointments.
Anyway, this is what I read from 1st. January to date:
1.. City of Illusions - Ursula K. le Guin
2.. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
3.. In the Woods - Tana French
4.. The Jewel of Seven Stars - Bram Stoker
5.. Runemarks - Joanne Harris
6.. Moon Called - Patricia Briggs
7.. The Valley of Secrets - Charmian Hussey
8.. The Reaper - Peter Lovesey
9.. Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella
10.. Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs
11.. Larklight - Philip Reeve
12.. A Fatal Inversion - Barbara Vine
13.. Truckers - Terry Pratchett
14.. Crossed Wires - Rosy Thornton
15.. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
16.. Here, There be Dragons - James A. Owens
17.. The Sedgemoor Strangler - Peter Lovesey
18.. Morrigan's Cross - Nora Roberts
19.. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
20.. Diggers - Terry Pratchett
21.. The Good Thief - Hannah Tinti
22.. Touchstone - Laurie R. King
23.. Solomon Time - Will Randall
24.. The Circle - Peter Lovesey
25.. Daughter of the Blood - Anne Bishop
26.. Over Sea, Under Stone - Susan Cooper
27.. Wings - Terry Pratchett
28.. Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurdardottir
29.. The Corinthian - Georgette Heyer
30.. Infernal Devices - Philip Reeve
31.. Snow Blind - P.J. Tracy
32.. Henrietta's War - Joyce Dennys
33.. New Moon - Stephanie Meyer
34.. Grey Souls - Philippe Claudel
35.. The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
36.. Trains and Buttered Toast - John Betjeman
37.. The Accidental Sorcerer - K.E. Mills
38.. Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton
39.. The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilleri
40.. The Stolen Child - Keith Donohue
41.. Skulduggery Pleasant - Derek Landy
42.. The Terrcotta Dog - Andrea Camilleri
43.. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
44.. The Rubadub Mystery - Enid Blyton
45.. Birds, Beasts & Relatives - Gerald Durrell
46.. The Rat-A-Tat Mystery - Enid Blyton
47.. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
48.. Endless Night - Agatha Christie
49.. On Hitler's Mountain - Irmgard Hunt
50.. Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror - Chris Priestly
51.. Inspector Ghote's First Case - H.R.F. Keating
52.. The Cruellest Journey - Kira Salak
53.. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
54.. A Christmas Journey - Anne Perry
55.. Good Behaviour - Molly Keane
56.. The Man in the Picture - Susan Hill
57.. The Ring O' Bells Mystery - Enid Blyton
58.. The Alchemyst - Michael Scott
59.. Relics - Pip Vaughan-Hughes
60.. The Coffin Trail - Martin Edwards
61.. Tales of Terror from the Black Ship - Chris Priestley
62.. Howards End is on the Landing - Susan Hill
63.. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies - A. McCall Smith
64.. Blue Shoes and Happiness - A. McCall Smith
65.. No Such Thing as Dragons - Philip Reeve
66.. Not So Quiet - Helen Zenna Smith
67.. The Snack Thief - Andrea Camilleri
68.. The Cruellest Month - Louise Penny
69.. A Gathering Light - Jennifer Donnelly
70.. The Sunday Philosophy Club - A. McCall Smith
71.. The Cipher Garden - Martin Edwards
72.. The Sea of Trolls - Nancy Farmer
73.. A Christmas Guest - Anne Perry
74.. Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
75.. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Kate Dicamillo
76.. The Land of Silver Apples - Nancy Farmer
I haven't quite finished the last book but expect to today.
As usual with me it's rather an eclectic mix of fantasy, horror, crime, YA, novels, and a very little non-fiction (though not nearly enough.)
I went through and picked out my favourites and ended up with 15. Which are:
1.In the Woods by Tana French - terrifically atmospheric crime yarn.
2.The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - beautifully written YA horror.
3.The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - scary but brilliant dystopian tale.
4.Touchstone by Laurie R. King - historical crime, complicated and clever.
5.Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve - book 3 of his fantastic Mortal Engines series.
6.Grey Souls by Phillipe Claudel - WW1 story, beautifully written.
7.The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue - changeling fantasy.
8.The Secret History by Donna Tartt - psychological type crime yarn but much more than that.
9.Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley - YA horror along the lines of M.R. James.
10.The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - gothic yarn that is creepy, atmospheric and very nicely written.
11.The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards - first of a crime series set in the Lake District. Excellent.
12.Tales of Terror from the Black Ship by Chris Priestley - most ghostly stories from this author.
13.Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith - what life was like for the female ambulance drivers in WW1. Everyone should read it.
14.A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly - coming of age story set in the forests of New York state in the early 1900s.
15.Night Watch by Terry Pratchett - Sam Vimes triumphs again!
If I absolutely had to pick a favourite from those 15 it would be:
A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly. This was one book I really did *love* this year. Beautifully written with a main character, Mattie Gokey, who was engaging, loyal and intelligent. A wonderful read.
Non-fiction favourite - a tie:
On Hitler's Mountain by Irmgard Hunt
Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill
I loved both of those too.
Favourite new author:
Closely followed by Nancy Farmer and Martin Edwards.
There weren't many to be honest but this one really did not live up to my expectations:
Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts
So that's it. Another reading year has come and gone and I'm happy with what I read. I feel like I want to do something a bit different next year but I'm not sure what. Perhaps read a few less books but concentrate more on what I'm reading. I especially would like to read a few more classics, some Victorian 'gothic' style lit perhaps, get into the crime genre a bit more. And then there's my massive tbr pile...
HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all!