2017 : HITS & MISSES

Here it is: my 2017 Hit Parade. I hope you find some inspiration for your future reading.

BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Gallery of Vanished Husbands – Natasha Solomons *

BEST SOUTH AFRICAN BOOK
The Miracle of Crocodile Flats – Jenny Hobbs *

MOST UNFORGETTABLE BOOK
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara*

BEST MEMOIR
Books, Baguettes, & Bedbugs – Jeremy Mercer

BEST TRANSLATED
The Reader on the 6.27 – Jean Paul Didier Laurent *

BEST FANTASY
Uprooted – Naomi Novik *

BEST BRITISH NOVEL
The Dark Flood Rises – Margaret Drabble

BEST THRILLER
Beside Myself – Ann Morgan*

BEST FOODIE BOOK
Picnic in Provence – Elizabeth Bard *

BEST TRAVEL
A Year of Living Danishly – Helen Russell

FUNNIEST
Razor Girl – Carl Hiaasen *

MOST ORIGINAL
The Raw Shark Texts – Steven Hall

NOT TO BE MISSED
The Book of Joy – His Holiness the Dalai Lama &
Archbishop Desmond Tutu *

TERRIFIC READS
Tannie Maria & the Satanic Mechanic –
Sally Andrews*
Call the Midwife – Jennifer Worth *
How it all Began – Penelope Lively *
The Cold Dish – Craig Johnson

BEST NON-FICTION
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
21 at 21: the Coming of Age of a Nation –
Verwoerd & Ngcowa *
My Life with Bob – Pamela Paul
A Field Guide to Getting Lost – Rebecca Solnit
A Life Full of Holes – Driss Ben Hamed Charhadi

THE MISSES
Palm of the Hand Stories – Yasunari Kawabata
Die Laughing – edited Joanne Hichens *
Hunger Eats a Man – Nkosinathi Sithole *

EAGERLY AWAITED READS IN 2018
La Belle Sauvage – Phillip Pullman
More Walt Longmire Western crime novels by Craig Johnson

* = available at Milnerton Library

16 thoughts on “2017 : HITS & MISSES

    1. I gifted Tannie Maria Recipes for … to both my daughters this Christmas and they are loving the book. Two more fans. #1 daughter bakes and entertains, and has plans to tackle some of the recipes.

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  1. Fascinating list! Great inspiration indeed!
    This year, my best travel book was also Living Danishly. My best humour book was probably The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groenen. Best historical was definitely Berlin by Antony Beevor. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was memorable. Favourite all round read of the year was The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiessen.
    If you had to decide who is your favourire author, living or dead, who would that be? Mine would without doubt be J B Priestly. Though Tom Robbins would come a close second! Its a very difficult question, isn’t it! Different authors suit my differing moods. Curling up with Priestly on a cold winters day is a luxury to me. Tom Robbins gladdens my heart when I feel low. And of course there is…….but no…..the list of authors who have enriched my life is too long to go into here! I suspect its the same for you, Alison, and indeed most of us reading this wonderful blog.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your top reads. I tried the Secret Diary of Henrik and hated it with a passion! how tastes do differ. I enjoyed Salmon Fishing … am always up for a quirky novel. I read Mathiessen’s Leopard a thousand years ago … vaguely recall beautiful prose. I see you remain faithful to Priestly & Robbins!

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  2. I see you remain faithful to your old faithfuls: Priestly & Robbins. I don’t know that I could nominate my favourite author – I keep on discovering new ones. I read recently that 300,000 books are published annually in the USA. Eeeeek. Incomprehensible.
    Thank yo9u for your kind words about The Booksmith – much appreciated.

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  3. The only one on your list which I have also read this year is A Little Life. I agree it is unforgettable – and very disturbing. I felt my face muscles were locked in a grimace of horror as I was reading, but i’m Glad I got through it. I feel I have a better understanding of what might drive a person to self-harm for example. I’ve also read one that you haven’t – La Belle Sauvage. Not as good as the earlier trilogy but I still enjoyed it.

    Thanks for visiting The Glasgow Gallivanter.

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  4. A Little Life us completely unforgettable. I don’t think I shall ever forget it; I literally wept at the end. I am reading My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent right now, which reminds me of A Little Life in its beauty and sadness. The main characters from both books make me want to wrap my arms around them and bring them home.

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  5. Seduced by your review of A Little Life, the book is now on its way to me! Picked one up on Amazon, good condition second hand, for £3.50 including postage. Currently reading and loving The Dark Flood Rises, so thanks for this too, Alison!

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    1. I loved the Mercer book. Wish I had known about the Paris Shakespeare bookstore when I was younger. Would probably have abandoned my family – yes, I am indeed a wicked woman – & rushed off immediately to join the crew.

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