Monday, 26 December 2011
Top Ten Books I've Read in 2011
Well, I know a lot of you are away on mini-hiatuses for Christmas but apparently I love the Internet just that little bit too much. Also, as we all know, I can't resist a good ol' list so I'm using my Boxing Day to take part in Fiktsun's Week of Looking Back.
It was left pretty open-ended so you can choose how to list your books. Personally I'm going to only list the books I read for the first time this year. For example, I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this year (and adored it, naturally) but I can't use it because I read it before.
So, in no particular order...
1) How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
This should be recommended reading for every woman (and man - they might learn something) over the age of 18 or so. It's absolutely hilarious and deals with all the little things that women don't really talk about. It's not a self-help book by a long chalk - it's just a very personal biography of Ms. Moran's growing up as a woman.
'It also turns out that husbands do not read Grazia, and no matter how magnificent or loving they may be, they can't help themselves from sporadically saying '£225! For a purse! JESUS CHRIST,' as if you've just stabbed them quite violently in the balls with a fork, left the fork there, and then hung your coat on it while you go and have a bath.'
2) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
No review for this one because I read it pre-Booking In Heels. It is wonderful though. Written in 1905, but much more accessible than you might think. Percy and Marguerite Blakeney are two of my all-time favourite fictional characters and I really can't recommend it enough. I had no idea there were about fifteen books in the series until I picked it up!
3) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I know, I know. Everybody and their dog has this on their lists. But hey, it's popular for a reason. I think this (and Mockingjay) are the books that made me start reading YA. I very rarely did so before, but now I've seen how good they can be.
I'm really, really not bothered about the film though. Maybe I'd be interested if they'd cast a decent actor for Peeta but hey, they haven't. It also annoys me, which is very silly, that it's going to be as mainstream as Twilight when the film comes out and it deserves better.
4) Divergent by Veronica Roth
Another book everybody has got on their list, but with the addition of a beautiful cover. It's so shiny and pretty. I loved Divergent at least as much as The Hunger Games and it doesn't have a crappy third book (yet) to ruin it all!
Another example of wonderful a Young Adult novel.
5) The Prestige by Christopher Priest
I read this about a month or so ago, and I'm still nagging Mr. Booking-In-Heels to go get the film out of the garage. The book was so amazing that I desperately need to see how they've managed to do the film. I'm even considering buying a second copy and whacking him over the head with it until he consents to watch it with me.
All threats aside, it's a wonderful book. Gloomy, Victorian magicians and dark secrets. What more can you want?
6) Emma by Jane Austen
Funnily enough, I watched the TV movie of Emma today, the one with Gwyneth Paltrow. It seems to be one of those books that annoy the hell out of people, but I loved it. My Grandma told me she wanted to throttle Emma every time she spoke, but I felt that she always meant well at least, so she endeared herself to me.
I was going through a few personal problems when I read this, so it will always be special to me for taking me away from all that.
7) Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
One of the first books I reviewed on Booking In Heels and yes, it's just as cheerful as it sounds.
It's the beautiful prose that really does it for me. Veronika decides to end her life, but her thought process is spelled out so clearly and calmly that you can't help but understand. It's a tiny little book, but I loved every minute of it.
8) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I'm cheating a little bit with this one because I haven't finished it yet. Still, I'm only a third of the way through and I already adore it. Like, to the bottom of my heart. I'll definitely finish it before New Year but I'd feel horribly guilty about not including it on the list, so here we are.
9) Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
I'm not usually much of a autobiography reader, but this is absolutely hilarious. It details her rich and crazy parents, her Star Wars fame and her psychological and alcohol problems in a genuinely self-deprecating manner.
It's a tiny book because large portions of her memory are missing, but the anecdotes that are present made me giggle like a maniac.
'I'm a PEZ dispenser. True story. Which not only has really made my life great, but it's enhanced the lives of everyone I run into. If you can get someone to make you into a PEZ dispenser, do it. And my daughter loves it because like I told you, she's a teenager, and they love to humiliate the parent for sport, so all she has to do is flip my head back and pull a wafer out of my neck.'
10) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I nearly forgot about this one because it was pre-BIH again but God, I loved it. I wouldn't shut up telling everybody I knew (and some that I didn't) how wonderfully, fantastically brilliant it is. It haunted me for weeks afterwards and it still does now.
I'll get round to watching the film at some point but I don't see how it can be anywhere near as good.