The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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December 30, 2018

Looking backwards...


Hmmm... overall, I think I read less this year than I wanted to, and almost all of the books that stood out for me came toward the end of the year. But all in all, it was another wonderful year of reading, and especially of reading about reading, with all of you.  So thank you, and all the best in the new year!

These were my favorite books this year (in the order I read them) ...


Dorothy Whipple
{March}

This was a good year for Persephones! {and a special note of thanks to Jane, for her Birthday Book of Underappreciated Lady Authors, and many other pleasures during the year}


Diana Tutton
{June}

'This book was funny, and lovely, and wise, and I'm sure it will always rank among my favorite Persephones (as will its endpaper...).'


Queen Mary
James Pope-Hennessy
{October}

I'm not sure how this book ended up on my radar, but I'm oh-so-glad it did... more proof that a great biography (and a great biographer) transcends any lack of interest in the subject. :) And my enjoyment of reading this long, detailed and completely engaging book was increased by finding this one, which was a behind-the-scenes look at the writing of the biography.  How wonderful is that?




Susan Orlean
{October}

'...heartbreaking, fascinating and very very hard to put down.'  Probably the most memorable and meaningful book I read this year.


How the Light Gets In
Louise Penny
{November}

I love this series...I buy the books as soon as they come out, and then save them to read as a treat, which means (joy of joys) that I'm several books behind. This one was especially good.


What She Ate:  Six Remarkable Women and the Food that
Tells Their Stories
Laura Shapiro
{December}

I just finished listening to this yesterday {another book that I was foolishly  'saving'}, and it has already sent me in search of books about Dorothy Wordsworth and caused a craving to re-read all of Barbara Pym as soon as possible.


And I couldn't possibly end the year without a thank you and a big hug for JoAnn.  She and I have now read/listened to twelve, yes TWELVE, Trollopes together -- the Barchesters and the Pallisers. It seems we both liked the Barchester Chronicles more than the Palliser novels {though they had their moments!}, and the last one we read, The Duke's Children, ended (and now that I think of it, began} in a way that left us a little bereft, I feel so lucky to have found this author and the most wonderful reading companion.



6 comments:

JoAnn said...

What a year! It's hard to believe we've read a dozen Trollope novels together... and at least a couple Henry James that I can remember. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading with me!

My Persephone pile has been sadly neglected this year. I miss Dorothy Whipple, especially. My library hold of The Library Book just came in, but the timing isn't going to work out with our travels. I hate when that happens...

Wishing you all the best in 2019.. and I look forward to reading more wonderful books with you!

Lisa said...

Our library has What She Ate, and I've put it on reserve. I'm already in the long line for Susan Orlean's book - everyone must be keeping it for the full two weeks, but my turn will come eventually.

I think I will be re-reading The Duke's Children this year. You and JoAnn certainly inspired me.

Happy New Year, and happy reading!

Cosy Books said...

Happy New Year, Audrey! One of my favourite times of year in the blogsphere. I don't have a copy of Guard Your Daughters, but it's one to buy the next time I'm in the Persephone shop. Thanks for sharing your list of top reads!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

The Quest for Queen Mary was just released here and I can't wait to read it! And What She Ate sounds very intriguing so I'll have to look out for that, too.

Happy reading in 2019!

JaneGS said...

I'm a fan of the Louise Penny mysteries too--looking forward to reading How the Light Gets In soon.

Vintage Reading said...

I've only just read Guard Your Daughters and I really enjoyed it. Probably my favourite Persephone.

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