I seriously can’t believe that we’re nearly at the end of June 2017. An awful, awful lot has changed since January in both positive and negative ways, but we’re more interested in books, so let’s talk about that!
It was actually sort of a struggle to put this list together. It’s not that I haven’t read some great books this year, because I have, but several of them have been series and I only really count them as one entity. I couldn’t actually come up with ten individual books to make up this list, so I clearly need to up my reading game for the second half of the year!
I’ve clearly re-read an awful lot this year! Such is the advantage of reading whatever the hell I want. Not so much non-fiction, but that’s fine, and I’m happy with my average publication date as well. I’ve read more newer releases than I normally would (See What I Have Done, for example) which has dragged my average date forward a bit. Ah well.
‘I CRIED. I actually sat there and properly cried. It’s an actually perfect ending that suited all the characters. I loved that it wasn’t perfect, that not everybody got a happy ending and that it wasn’t what I had hoped would happen – it was better than that. It was brave and awful and amazing and… ARGH.’
‘This is not a book for those of a sensitive disposition. We read about decay, leaking and mechanisms for keeping the eyes of the deceased firmly closed (spoiler alert: they use caps with spikes on). I like that about this book though. I like that it goes slightly beyond the realms of propriety to explain the details that I had never considered were an issue.’
4) The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
5) The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
‘The beauty with this novel, however, isn’t the plot, it’s the beauty and ingenuity of the prose. It’s sort of meta, or it would be if that didn’t seem an inappropriate word to use regarding a setting of 1867. The narrator spends a lot of time talking directly to the reader, with phrases such as ‘you’ll have to excuse Charles, he was merely a product of his time.”
The ending was sort of bizarre in this book as well (it’s a theme of 2017 apparently) but, like I said above, you don’t read this novel for the plot, you read it for the wonderful tone and beautiful prose. It’s as if you put Crimson Petal and the White and The Collector in a bag, and then shook them up. Absolutely wonderful, if slightly meta.
6) Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
‘I particularly appreciated that when The Person In Question obtains new magical ability, she is not suddenly an expert, contrary to the Mistborn series and honestly 85% of all fantasy novels I’ve ever read.’
Another Brandon Sanderson. This is a standalone novel (or so I believe) that I think I sort of liked more than the Mistborn books, but considering that most of my issues with that series were in the latter books, it isn’t really fair to judge Warbreaker and that series on the same standard. Anyway, I loved this book and would happily read the remainder of the books if it did turn into a series.
7) The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
‘I love how the characters all now know who stole the diamond as they’re writing their narratives but have been forbidding from setting it out. It results in them sort of bickering amongst themselves as they criticise decisions that have already been made and indignantly rant about accusations levied at the time. It’s so petty and clever and perfectly done.’
This is the first time that I’ve ever included a re-read on a ‘Best Books’ list, but I don’t care. I just had to talk about The Moonstone some more. I originally read it as part of a read-a-long but reading it in one large chunk just makes it wonderful. It’s hilarious, clever and ingenious, so I really, really recommend picking this one up.
Well, it makes a pleasant change to have actually already reviewed almost everything on one of these lists! Fingers crossed I’ll be back in December with a complete list, actually making it all the way to ten books!