Pulling together a post about my books of the year is always a task I really enjoy – it gives me the opportunity to look back over the year’s posts, and to relive the pleasure every single book has given me. It’s been an extraordinary year of books – the quality has been exceptional, and of the 102 books I’ve read, I gave 91 thoroughly deserved five star ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads. I would really have liked to list all 91, so it’s been quite a challenge to narrow it down to a final top 20 – if anyone was expecting this to be a top ten (or even a rather random top 18, as in previous years!) there was just no way I was ever going to get there this side of Easter. And I have agonised over every single wonderful book I’ve had to leave out – I really did have a top 91.
Here are the books I’ve chosen for my final list… they’re not in any real order (although I will own up to the fact that the first five were always the first five…), and all links are to my reviews.
And I really must add a couple of special mentions:
- There’s not a single book on that list that was published by Choc Lit – but that’s only because I found it absolutely impossible to choose. I just wanted to add that every book I’ve read that they’ve published this year – as in previous years – has been quite outstanding.
- You’ll also notice that there are no Christmas books on the list, although there were some really strong contenders. Every single Christmas book I read this year – and there were many – were of the highest quality ever, and could have made up a list of their own. Long-standing favourite authors and this year’s new discoveries, I salute you all – and thank you for making the run-up to Christmas particularly special.
Was anyone surprised that I only read just over 100 books? It’s all smoke and mirrors! Many blogger friends have read two or three times as many – and I’m really in awe of their achievement. I do need to apologise to several authors whose books I just haven’t managed to read within the timeframe I promised and hoped for – the books are still on my list, and I’ll get there as soon as I can.
It’s been an interesting year on a personal level – and not quite the new dawn and oasis of calm that I’d hoped for after the hell on earth of 2016. First there was the packing up and sale of my family home in Wales, and Mum’s move to sheltered housing here in Wetherby – followed by our aborted cruise holiday and the extended stay in Madeira, with Mum seriously ill in hospital with a pulmonary embolism. After our return – and her near miraculous recovery at the age of 91 – I’ve needed to adjust to a new kind of normal, with her vascular dementia diagnosis and my new role as carer. Books and reviews have sometimes had to become my secondary priority, but always my favourite escape from life’s realities – thank you everyone whose books have given me such joy when life has, at times, disappointed me a little.
Thank you too to those of you who’ve been unfailing in your support over the past year – blogger friends, authors, publishers and readers. I gave up on thanking people on Twitter some time ago, when I realised it was impossible for me to keep up – but I’ve really tried to reciprocate as much as I can, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
All that remains is to wish everyone – and those you love – a most wonderful Christmas, and looking forward to a New Year full of promise for us all… Being Anne will return on 1st January.
Much love, Anne xxx