Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top ten books read so far in 2013

I must say I really struggled with this one. Mostly because of the fact that I have already forgotten what I've read this year. Fail. But thankfully I have been keeping track this year so I had a handy list to look back at. Seriously, it is not surprising that I have accidentally started to read a book I've already read on more than one occasion. My memory is the worst. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when I perused said list. Nothing jumped out at me as being completely knee-knocking, mind-blowing amazing but I have amassed a fair number of very good reads. To the top ten:
1.The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman
This has popped up a lot on this blog basically because of the giant lighthouse on the cover and the fact that it is set in a lighthouse and I love lighthouses. Great setting, great atmosphere, interesting story that brought up many questions about morality and parenthood. Thought-provoking and beautiful.
2. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
VW is my fave. At least, now she is. I did not like her at all at one point but To the Lighthouse (there I go again) and this short polemical piece swung my opinion. She is a babe and one I will be re-reading continually throughout my life.
3. Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley
I felt like I learnt something from this as well as being completely dragged in, shaken around and th spat back out by the story. In a good way, of course.
4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Paris, philosophy and an ending that cut me real deep. A surprising novel but ever so good.
5. Where D'You Go Bernadette? By Maria Semple
Epistolary and laugh out loud comedy? Need I say more really...
6. The Rime of the Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes 
This was my first foray into graphic novels and interested me because it is a retelling of my favourite epic poem. It is epic in graphic format too.
7. The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barbery
I read this during the Bout of Books readathon so it almost can't not be on my top ten. I love the conspiracy surrounding the authorship of Shakespeare's plays and this one is just so clever. And written in verse so Ros is just awesome.
8. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
KA has long been one of my favourite authors. She's a classic who I will always rely on a return to. This is no exception. Probably one of the cleverest books I've read this year but also the most entertaining. I would recommend this and all her other novels like a shot.
9. Ignorance by Michele Roberts
Set in the war but not set in the war. It had me cursing the world which is always a sign of a mighty fine book. Read it (if you get chance). 
10. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I'm cheating a bit with this one because I am still currently reading it but it is fast becoming my favourite of the year so far. Even though at times it teeters on the edge of becoming a mediocre soap opera. Maybe Tolstoy was the early and unacknowledged influence behind soap operas. We will never know. It's just the melodramatic looks and the fact that AK is always putting herself in sticky situations that gets me. But still, I love it and I hope I continue to do so until the end.

I realise I am a day, you know.



  1. I'm reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette right now, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH! I didn't realise it was epistolatory (because apparently I don't read reviews properly...) and I was all excited about that because it is my FAVOURITE and I haven't read anything like it for SO LONG. So yay!

    And I hope you carry on enjoying Anna Karenina! I'm glad everyone on twitter didn't BREAK IT for you by going 'OMG it's my FAVE!' because woah, pressure.

    1. Epistolary is the best. By a long shot. Although I find they are always very hard to put down. Which is either a negative or a positive depending on the situation. But, yes, Bernadette is the bomb!

      The pressure is there but so far it is living up to its reputation. I am loving it.

  2. Hah, Ellie, I can see some Women's Prize vibe in your list too :) The Light Between Oceans disappeared from my radar for a while then but no worries, it's back now (thanks!) And I'm glad you're enjoying Anna K (looking forward to your thoughts on the farming philosophy tidbits :D) And as far as I'm concerned (and my life experience goes) - there are plenty of women out there who put themselves into sticky situations as such (I'm not completely free of guilt myself there), so maybe that's what helped me "get" the character of Anna.

    1. It just goes to show how awesome the list was! I would be interested in your thoughts on The Light Between Oceans because it seems to have really divided opinion. I wonder if I ever re-read it whether my opinion would change. Don't know.

      I have reached sections where Levin is waxing philosophical about peasants so far and that is riveting stuff (hmmmm). I can't wait for the farming ;) I am one of those women too. Even quite recently I've put myself in the stickiest of situations and I think that whilst it makes me get AK, it also makes me dislike her a bit. I suppose that's because I can see what she's doing but she can't see it and won't until it's too late and that's how it is in life. Leo is a genius.

  3. Loved seeing your list. I had Life After Life downloaded from the library's digital collection right now, and I was afraid I wouldn't have time to read it before it goes back. Now I think I need to MAKE the time.

    1. Thanks :) You need to read it. Like, right now. Not that I'm being demanding or anything but, well, just read it. I will review it at some point unless all my thoughts on the book have fallen out of my head (my notes are sporadic at best).

  4. I missed TTT this week, and such a good week for it too!

    Life After Life would certainly be on my list, had I made one.

    I loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog when I read it a few years ago, I'm glad you liked it too.

  5. Yayyyy for keeping a list of books read! I forgot I wanted to read The Marlowe Papers! It does sound so good.

    Awesome that you're enjoying Anna Karenina so much! It will probably make an appearance on my list for next week's TTT (intimidating books) because for some reason I feel like it'll be so huge and hard to understand and get through. You've given me hope :) lol.

  6. Great list! Bernadette makes me feel ridiculously happy :)

  7. life after life is on my "to read" list! didn't care for bernadette though...


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