Monday, December 31, 2007

the end of the affair

Just time for a little round up, as we depart the festive season and get ready to enter a new year.

As hoped there were many pleasing parcels under my Christmas tree, including a bounty of new books to add to my sagging shelves. I’m pleased to welcome -

Found: the best lost, tossed, and forgotten items from around the world (Davy Rothbart)

Wall and Piece (Banksy)

A Winter Book (Tove Jansson)

How We Became Human (Joy Harjo)

Storm Damage (Brian Patten)

Capyboppy (Bill Peet)

Bogwoppit (Ursula Moray Williams)

Survivor - My Story, the next chapter (Sharon Osbourne)

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke)

A little something for the poet, the dreamer, the artist, the collector and the child in all of us.

As the last days fade I annually compile a summary of the best albums, films and books of my past year, to circulate among like-minded friends. This year I share part of that list with you, my virtual but well-read friends.

With the help of Goodreads it would have been all too easy to pick ten books with a 5 star rating - but looking back perhaps at times I was too generous with those stars - you just finish a book, you enjoyed it, you give it 5 out of 5, you look back months later and some that only got 4 now seem stronger and more lasting given a bit of distance. I’ve therefore picked 10 books (out of the 93 that I read this year) that appealed for different reasons -

In A Fishbone Church (Catherine Chidgey) - my favourite Compass Journey Page read of this year

Encyclopedia of Snow (Sarah Emily Miano) - my favourite form messing book, and probably my favourite cover too

The Road (Cormac McCarthy) - for seeing my old cowboy loving friend trying his hand at something different

The Gift of Rain (Tan Twan Eng) - for being the Booker novel that most surprised me by how much I liked it

Number9dream (David Mitchell) - for making me feel so excited by a book, jumping around and smiling and all

Fred and Edie (Jill Dawson) - for being my favourite new author of the year

Do White Whales Sing at the Edge of the World? (Paul Wilson) - for being picked from a charity shop on the title alone but being thoroughly splendid

This Side of Brightness (Colum McCann) - for bleak beauty and making me care about tunnels under New York

The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) - for allowing me yet again to prefer the voice of the retard

Tori Amos : Piece by Piece (Tori Amos) - for being my favourite non-fiction, and for making me love her even more, despite not really understanding a thing she is on about

See you all on the other side.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Joy Harjo should be good reading. I haven't read anything by her in ages. And what a nice list of favorites from 2007. Happy New Year!