I always love going back over my year’s reading, and remembering all the wonderful books I’ve discovered. This year seems to be a particularly rich crop … I had a hard time limiting my favorites to ten, or even twenty!
A few of these never got a review on the blog, but definitely belong in this list. The Julian Kestrel mysteries by Kate Ross (Cut to the Quick, Whom the Gods Love, A Broken Vessel, and The Devil in Music) were a delightful set of four Regency-era mysteries with marvelous characters and a great sense of the period. Sadly, the author died before she could pen any more.
And towards the end of the year I got into reading biographies and autobiographies of three amazingly talented women: My Life in France by Julia Child (with Alex Prud’homme); Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin; and Manderley Forever by Tatiana de Rosnay, a bio-novel about Daphne du Maurier. Their creative drive and determination in the face of obstacles were impressive, and inspiring to me.
What books stood out for you this year?
Historical: Troy Chimneys, Scaramouche
Fantasy: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
Spirituality: Old and New Mysteries, The Book of Joy
Mystery: The Julian Kestrel mysteries
Romantic comedy: The Lark
Book everyone should read: Dark Money
Suspense: My Cousin Rachel
Fiction in Translation: Season of Migration to the North
Poetry (also in translation): Seasons of the Soul
Literary: The Gilded Chalet
Contemporary Fiction: Americanah
Classics: Excellent Women, East of Eden
Biography and Memoir: My Life in France; Manderley Forever; Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life