December 23rd, 2011


Books of the year?

NetGalley sent me links to the ‘best of' lists of The New York Times, Washington Post, various library magazines and sundry US critics. I’d barely heard of any of the books; why are we so insular? I think if I have a reading goal next year it might be to read more in translation.

Here’s some UK picks, none of which I've read.
Caitlin Moran won the Galaxy Prize
The Orange Prize went to Téa Orecht
Julian Barnes won the Man Booker prize

Click to see whole thing. Astonishing how the artist has hit off Julian Barnes!

As Private Eye points out every year, there’s a lot of back scratching amongst reviewers, who uncannily often pick a book from their own publisher or by someone who happens to have written a good review of their own effort.
Choices from The Guardian
Gaby Wood’s picks for The Telegraph
From The Telegraph again, an overview of The Literary Year

As for me, I can hardly pick one book, let alone a list. That’s rather disappointing. The best book I read in the past year is probably The Eagle of the Ninth, a children’s book first published in the 1950s and still outstanding. I also enjoyed

House of Silence, Linda Gillard.
Christopher Lloyd, his Life at Great Dixter, Stephen Anderton
The Earth Hums in B Flat, Mari Strachan.
Visions of England, Roy Strong
Puck of Pook’s Hill, Rudyard Kipling
Walking in Pimlico, Ann Featherstone