Tuesday 15 August 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

The Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday.
Each week they nominate a topic to encourage those of us who love a good list to get all listy.
This week it's all about book recommendations...

My Top Ten Book Recommendations for 2017 (so far)

I've had a bit of an odd reading (& blogging) year so far.
So much so, that I've just realised that I missed my 8th blogging anniversary last month!

So happy 8 years, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day blogging anniversary to me!

I've been trying to read more classics and reread some old favourites this year, which has been lovely, but most of my top ten book recommendations still seem to be new releases.

I tried to put these ten books in order from favourite to most best and wonderful favourite, but it was too hard. All ten of these books are very different and loved for different reasons. They also appealed to my different reading moods over the year in varying ways.

The list is chronological instead. The first book is the most recently read favourite stretching back through the months until January.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

What a delightful, slightly gothic romp through Victorian England!
A book about love, in all it's guises.
If you're in need of an easy to read, heart warming story to get lost in (like I did) then this could be perfect for you too.

The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius

Sometimes a book comes along that surprises you by how much it sucks you in and how much you love it. When that book is a soon to be released, for the first time in English, children's book from Sweden, you wish you could be a kid all over again discovering the wonder of this story for the first time with the innocence of youth.

Needless to say, Sally Jones will live in my heart and soul for a very long time.

What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

A glorious literary read about, well, love.
But also about art and New York and grief.

Insomniac City by Bill Hayes

I had a bit of an art, New York and love-fest in May which included this glorious memoir about Oliver Sacks....and New York, art and love.
It was also a beautiful produced book that was a pleasure to hold.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

I enjoyed this slim, but multi-layered book so much, that I was very tempted to reread it straight away.
Instead I ordered a copy of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

I really loved reading this book.
I learnt a LOT about modern art and Marina Abramovic in particular.
But I confess, I don't remember much else.
It wasn't a book that evoked strong or lasting feelings, but it was a fascinating experience at the time.

The Boy Behind the Curtain by Tim Winton

Such a wonderful insight into one of Australia's favourite and most well-known authors.
This collection of essays revealed so much about Winton's childhood, his beliefs and his approach to writing, that I slowly savoured each story over several months.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

This slight, slim book punched well above it's weight.
Strout knows how to tease out those painful, nuanced interactions that make up our daily lives and most intimate relationships.
I cant wait to get into her latest book of short stories, Anything is Possible.

The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola

The very first book in Zola's Rougon-Macquart series was a gem of a read.
Having read three of the other books (out of order) I was delighted to finally see how it all started.
I also read this during #Zoladdiction month with Fanda - I love a good readalong!

Speaking of readalongs....
My final pick is a bit of a cheat since it actually includes four books in one.
But I have never been able to read one without the others in quick succession.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien

The main point of difference with this (re)readalong has been the quick part.
I've been enjoying a leisurely and considered reread over the past 7 months, with the last part of The Return of the King still waiting for me to meander my way through.
I'm delighted that it still has the ability to delight me so much.
The Hobbit and LOTR are without a doubt one of my all time favourite reads that have stood the test of time.

What has been your favourite read of 2017 so far?


  1. Good list. I am heading over to my TBR list on Goodreads to add the first three books on your list. You always make great recommendations. Thanks.

    1. I hope you love all 3 as much as I did :-)

  2. Yaaayyy for err...8 years, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day blogiversary!! :D I like all the number ones XD
    First book has pretty covers, have to add it on my TBR :)

    Happy TTT!

    1. Very pretty cover and a wonderful story to boot!

  3. Happy Anniversary to You! I have been eyeing off The Essex Serpent, Insomniac City (so much so that I actually bought it, not read it yet of course) and Exit West. I've been thinking about Elizabeth Strout for some time too, but never read any yet. I've had quite a few 5 star reads this year, I think my stand out for the year thus far has been Sally Gardner's Maggot Moon (I listened to the audiobook- it's amazing, but not for a time when you're feeling a bit delicate, it's powerful).

    1. I've certainly enjoyed other Sally Gardener books in the past, so I'm not surprised to hear how much you loved her too.

      I think you will love the Murderers Ape too. It has the feel of a classic children's book already.

  4. Exit West was a fantastic story. I couldn't agree with that recommendation more. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were also excellent choices. I had never heard of The Murderer's Ape before, but the title alone makes me want to read it. I just requested it from my local library. :)

    Here is my TTT.

    1. Given your love of mysteries, I think you will adore The Murderer's Ape too.

  5. It's about time I did a reread-a-thon. We need to create one for the blogosphere. I rarely reread. I wonder if I fear disappointment?

    Thanks for this list. I just requested Exit West. I don't know why I haven't requested it before now. I loved Reluctant Fundamentalist.

    Here's mine: Can Books Improve Your Happiness?

    1. I love the idea of a re-readathon....lets!!

  6. Anonymous16/8/17

    Happy blogoversary! Great list :) Oh man, I've been wanting to re-read LOTR for a while now...My hope is to read a bit more from my TBR pile first just to get it a bit smaller before going back and immersing myself in Middle Earth again :)

    My TTT

    1. That was my plan for quite a while, but my TBR pile never actually grew smaller!
      Deb has planted the seed for creating a (re)readathon - maybe for next year's challenges?

  7. Love Top Ten Tuesday, and so glad to see Essex Serpent on the top of your list. I picked this up in the airport in Manchester on my way home after my trip to England--I needed to get rid of the remaining British money in my purse and I figured buying a book was the best use of it. I loved the cover and the premise and I think I read about it on your blog, so I was predisposed.

    I can't wait to read Anything is Possible also.

    I think the best thing about rereads is that you can savor them, not feeling like you're racing through for plot, you can enjoy the writing and characters and nuances and jokes and just sheer goodness of the book itself.

  8. Happy 8 years!!! Congrats on the blogoversary. The Murderer's Ape looks very interesting, I'll have to check it out. And yay for the LotR re- read- glad it has been going well. :)

  9. Eight years, wow! Congratulations :) Here's to another 8!

  10. Congrats on the 8-year anniversary! The Essex Serpent looks really good! And a LotR reread sounds amazing :)

  11. Firstly....a belated 'happy 8 yr blogging' wish!
    Secondly....of all you lists, this one is 10/10.
    I'd read everyone of them!
    Lastly, Zola, Rougons-Macquart....
    I followed the entire family,
    it seems like years ago!


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