Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

It’s usually hard to choose a top five favourite reads from the last year , but in 2017 five books made my top 100, so the task is easier.

5 Susan Hill- In the Springtime of the Year – an early novel from this author. A very young bride looses her husband in a fatal accident. Deals with the themes of grief, survival, but I loved it for its lyrical qualities in describing the countryside.

4 Joanne Harris- Blackberry Wine-an utterly charming book in the vein of Chocolat. Young boy Jay befriends an old man Joe, an ex miner, a whizz of a gardener, herbalist and wine maker. Years later Jay writes a best seller based around Joe. Then Jay moves to France, nearly spoils the idyllic life he finds there and discovers his soul.

3 John Boyne- A History of Loneliness- Irish catholic church, the abuse of power and the dangers of submission and wilful delusion. Excellent.

2 Ian McEwan- Atonement-  1935, a single very hot and languid day which takes half the book to describe, ends in a crime. Part two concerns a group of soldiers trudging towards Dunkirk in WW2. Part three, a London Hospital coping with the returning soldiers, so powerfully written. Part four- how it all ended. A very good read indeed.

1 Gerald Durrell- The Corfu Trilogy The trilogy of books on which the TV series The Durrells was based. I read this on holiday in Greece during  the” 30 days wild challenge ” in June. The books are laugh out loud funny. The nature content is superb but it must be remembered that the book was written in the 1930’s and Gerald was a naturalist, not the conservationist he is portrayed as on the telly. This was the perfect book to read in June, on holiday during the challenge. It was very Funny, and my absolute number favourite from last year.

Does anyone else have an absolute favourite book they read last year? I love suggestions for a good read as you know.

Comments on: "Five Favourite Reads from 2017." (29)

  1. In the Springtime of the Year is an astounding read and one of my favourite Susan Hill books, along with A Kind Man. She has an incredible talent in portraying complex human issues through well drawn characters and in so few pages!

    I just finished John Boyne’s riveting The Heart’s Invisible Furies and what a epic novel that is, one that should be more widely talked about, the way it exposes the impact of societal and cultural attitudes on how people are able or unable to live honest lives is unique and essential reading.

    Love your top 5, all excellent reads.

  2. From my reading last year, I really enjoyed Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. I’ve read Atonement and think it was one of McEwan’s better novels. I’ll look up the Durrell trilogy I enjoyed the TV series!

    • I read Elizabeth is missing, I think because you recommended it. It was very good indeed. The Corfu trilogy was very funny, but Gerald was not into conservation, the eway he behaved towards the animals was not the way people would nowadays.

      • If I read the Corfu books I will be mindful of the differences of conservation over the ages. I was shocked at how Chris Packham in his Fingers in a Sparkle Jar treated animals. I guess people’s attitudes to animals change with knowledge.

  3. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    What a nice idea doing your top five books. I have read a couple of them and enjoyed them so i will look out for others!

  4. What a challenge to list your five fave over a year. Well done! Susan Hill – only ever read one of hers, Woman in Black, you may have inspired me to pick up another one day. Atonement, have to say I enjoyed the film but not the book, which is the wrong way round for me mostly. Blackberry Wine – I loved that book – read it a few years ago (came free with a magazine, the mag was rubbish at the time!). I actually recently recommended Blackberry Wine to someone else, how funny that the title has popped up again here. Look forward to maybe seeing what future books you read.

    • I loved the Woman in Black and that made a great film. Susan Hill has written a lot of short novels and I have enjoyed them all. Hope you do.

  5. I’ve read Atonement and Blackberry Wine, but Blackberry Wine was so long ago I can hardly remember it. Think I might give the Susan Hill one a go, if I have time between book group books. My favourite book of last Year was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

  6. I made notes!

  7. I read ‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton last year and really enjoyed it. Plus, the T.V. adaptation on over Christmas was very faithful to the book.
    I think I may have been one of the people to recommend ‘Atonement’ to you so I’m glad to see it in your top 5.

    • Thank you for recommending Atonement, it really is very good. The slow build up is incredible and the part in France. I have now got the film recorded to watch at some point. I must watch the Miniaturist before it vanishes from Catch up.

  8. These sound like great books. Us Americans had no idea the Corfu show was from a series of books! (altho after all the books I’ve read from British shows I should have!) I will have to read those. Always love books better than the movie. :o)
    The John Boyne book sounds really good too.

  9. I love all Joanne Harris’s books.

  10. I loved the Durrell books–Gerald, not his brother so much–when i read them maybe 1980, so perhaps i will revisit them. Thanks for the reminder!

  11. I have read the first of the Corfu books and really enjoyed it. I should continue..as I love the show. Perfect Sunday night viewing! I have just re read Wuthering Heights which I think is stunning. A thriller I read last year and enjoyed was Arrowwood. At present am reading The little coffee hop of Kabul and liking that too. Happy reading. X

  12. I really struggled with Atonement when I read it. Last year’s favourite is probably Philip Pullman The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage, but I liked the latest Louise Penny book too.

  13. Pretty Little Liars. I don’t get HBO so I read the book and enjoyed it.

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