Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week we’re looking at our favourite books of the year (not counting rereads like Our Mutual Friend).
In true Top of the Pops style, here’s my top ten countdown in reverse order:
10. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. I can’t say whether it was due to the contentious subject matter or the lively, chatty way in which it was written but I really couldn’t put this down. It consumed my life for three days.
9. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy. If you’d told me last year that only one Brit was going to make it into my favourite ten I wouldn’t have put money on it being Hardy. I’m as surprised as you are.
8. On Tangled Paths by Theodor Fontane. Lovely, short and sweet. Much like this review.
7. A Very Long Engagement by Sebastien Japrisot. This was the ideal book for restoring my reading mojo when I was finding my job and general lack of spare time really demoralising. I think it came along at the perfect moment for me.
6. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. The Neapolitan books are tumultuous and kind of exhausting but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like them. I’ve been dead pleased with them so far.
5. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. It’s not the most engrossing or the most accessible of novels – in fact I’m pretty sure I’d have hated it if I’d found it on my school English syllabus – but there’s something about the starkness of the writing that I really like.
4. A Country Doctor’s Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov. Hilarious, gruesome and unnerving; I loved it.
3. The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante. Let’s hear it for the Ferrante double whammy! It’s not often I’m keen to pursue a series of books past the first couple but I’m really looking forward to discovering how this story plays out.
2. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. Nafisi writes with real passion about the sanctuary that books can offer in dark and oppressive times. This stayed with me long after I’d turned the last page.
1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Yup. We all saw this one coming. It was far and away the best thing I read last year and for ages afterwards nothing I read felt quite as good. It’s almost a shame I peaked so early in the year.
I’ve not yet formulated too many plans for next year but I’ll try to come up with some sort of [very] loose idea of what I’d like to focus on in 2017. I expect this will lead to some sort of New Year’s resolution style post in the near future but we’ll see how it goes.
Happy new year all 🙂