I really don't like the way the colour supplements at this time of year cop out with a review of the year, a year in pictures, this year A to Z etc. These articles are obviously written well in advance, I read one on Benazzir Bhuto that made no mention of her recent and shocking assassination though it was published several days after. I appreciate that journalists are entitled to their holidays too but I do resent paying full price for half a newspaper and an annual review.
Having said that, I now offer a review of my own fiction reading this year.
I used to think I didn't read enough so I started recording each book as I finished it and was surprised and pleased to find that I read at least 24 books a year. I won't bore you with the full list but some of my favourite and regular authors are Anne Tyler, Helen Dunmore, Rose Tremain and Margaret Atwood. I keep the list in my diary and rate the books with a system of ticks. The voting this year had my top three as follows
1 We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. A beautifully written, harrowing and haunting story that I read in January and is still with me
2 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
3 The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
Some books are so good I cannot part with them (usually paperbacks go to friends or charity shops), these three are still in the bookcase with some favourites from previous years that I may or may not read again but I need to own.
I'm already into my first 2008 book which is Mother, Missing by Joyce Carol Oates. She is an American author I have read and enjoyed several times and this book is no exception. I'm also delving in and out of The Gentle Art of Domesticity by my blogging/crafting heroine Jane Brocket, who never fails to inspire me to craft and tidy up.
We are all taking it easy today, reading, knitting and dozing in front of the stove, its heaven and good preparation for 2008, my retirement year.