We’ve reached 2018 and I’ve been flicking through the list of books I read during 2017. The numbers are down and that’s due to a number of things – mainly working full time and the mesmerising pull of social media, but I still clocked up 72 books. Of those, I didn’t finish 3 (it felt like more) and I started a few more that didn’t even merit writing on my list because I didn’t get to the required 50 pages to show that I’d given it a decent go. Mostly I read fiction, but there are a few on my list that are memoir (Ann Patchett: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and Monty Don: Nigel – My Family and Other Dogs). I’d also recommend The Glass Wall by Sue Unerman and Kathryn Jacob. It’s not fiction at all but very interesting reading about the strategies women have for circumventing, you guessed it, the glass wall.
I read about 8 books from Netgalley (thanks very much, Netgalley for Eve Chase: The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde, Lucy Foley: The Invitation and Marian Keyes: The Break) and I’m not very commendable because I haven’t got around to reviewing them all, although I always mean to. I read most of my book group selections (Nina George: The Little Paris Bookshop in January, Anthony Trollope: The Warden in March and Joanne Harris: Different Class in September).
As always, I interspersed my general reading with a few thrillers (Peter James: Love You Dead, Shari Lapena: The Couple Next Door and Fiona Neill: The Betrayals) and I even fitted in a couple of ‘horror’ novels (Kate Murray-Browne – The Upstairs Room and Simon Lelic: The House, both in November). Back in October, I visited the very lovely Holt Bookshop in Norfolk and picked up a couple of Dorothy Whipple books that I haven’t been able to get from the library (They Knew Mr Knight and Because of the Lockwoods both published by Persephone). One’s read, the other I’m saving for 2018. I also bought books for other people – mostly my daughter, and a couple for my husband. And I reviewed books for East of England Online
I went to a couple of book festivals: the first, in May, was the Charleston Festival, where I saw Anne Sebba talk about The Parisiens and Lauren Elkin talk about Flaneuse, her interesting take on wandering through urban spaces for it’s own sake. Then, at the beginning of July I saw Tracy Chevalier speak about New Boy, her take on Othello transposed to a 1970s Washington schoolyard.
I’ve got lots on my TBR list for 2018, but in the meantime, my top picks for 2017:
Anita Diament – Day After Night (January)
Adrian McKinty – The Cold Cold Ground (February)
Tessa Hadley – The Past (March)
Jessie Burton – The Muse (April)
Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca (May)
LP Hartley – The Go Between (June)
Charles Elton – Mr Toppit (July)
Anna Quindlen – Miller’s Valley (August)
Marian Keyes – The Break (September)
Imogen Hermes Gower – The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock (October)
Mark Lawson – The Allegations (November)
Salley Vickers – Cousins (December)
I’ll be checking other blogs with interest and seeing what other people have been reading over the past year so if you have any suggestions let me know and I’ll add them to my TBR…
Happy New Year everyone.