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Books of the year 2012

(31 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 24-Oct-12 09:56:58

Some of you will remember that we compiled a list of our favourite books last year and made a lovely page.

We thought it would be good to do the same for 2012. These don't have to be books that have come out this year - just books you've read, enjoyed and recommend. Fiction, non-fiction, literary, genre, Gransnet book club, unheard-of by any other gransnetter, doesn't matter.

OK, so I'm going to kick off. Bring Up The Bodies was, like Wolf Hall, brilliant. Stunning writing, unputdownable, and so rich and subtle that when I reached the last page I wanted to start all over again.

And now for something completely different - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is also difficult to tear yourself away from and very emotionally powerful. It hung around with me for days and days after I'd finished it.

Ana Wed 24-Oct-12 10:14:57

Can I just ask whatever happened to the summer reading list? confused

glassortwo Wed 24-Oct-12 19:18:35

One of my favourite books this year has been Secret life of bees, and Geraldine I also enjoyed Me before you, but thought that The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes was even better.

MrsJamJam Wed 24-Oct-12 19:53:54

I found Pigeon English an incredibly moving fictionalised version of the Damilola Taylor story. Really got inside the mind of the little boy.

Bring Up the Bodies definitely deserved the Booker, I just loved it.

Am off to get some Jojo Moyes on my kindle - I haven't come across her and finding a new author is always to be celebrated. Then I'll consult my book journal (yes, I'm becoming a nerd!) and add some more to the list.

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 25-Oct-12 11:24:39

This is the link to the Best Summer Reads.

Now we have quite a lot of content, we're making some pages that should make it easier to find older stuff blush

NonnaLi Fri 26-Oct-12 14:12:39

I really enjoyed The Help ( much prefered the book to the film) smile

graninfrance Fri 26-Oct-12 15:56:39

I've just read 'The Paris Wife' by Paula McLain and loved it! It's the story of Ernest Hemingway's relationship with his first wife, Hadley, as well as his early striving to become established as a writer. I found particularly fascinating all the descriptions of their life in various countries around Europe in the company of other 'arty types'.

ajanela Fri 26-Oct-12 16:51:35

An easy reads, The Company of Strangers, by Robert Wilson. Set in Lisbon/Estoril, Portugal in WWII. Not about Ian Fleming but based in the area where all the spying went on in neutral Portugal. The 2nd part of the book moves to 1960's and the cold war. Also has romance.

annodomini Fri 26-Oct-12 17:09:55

graninfrance, I have put 'The Paris Wife' on my wish list. Hopefully I will have some vouchers form my up-coming birthday. Long ago I read Hemingway's account of their life in Paris, 'A Movable Feast' which was entertaining and iT
nformative, especially about the Fitzgeralds! I might read it again before reading 'The Paris Wife'.

Fid Sat 27-Oct-12 17:12:32

Adored "Road Home" by Rose Tremain. Look at migrant workers now in a new light.
Close second was "Black Diamonds" By Catherine Bailey, Reads like non-fiction, almost.

nanaej Sat 27-Oct-12 17:28:31

I enjoyed Road Home too and Pidgeon English. In addition I thoroughly enjoyed Jeanette Winterson's Why be happy When You Can Be Normal.

annodomini Sat 27-Oct-12 17:45:59

Rose Tremain's 'The Colour' also involves migrant workers albeit on the other side of the globe - Chinese gold miners in New Zealand. A very good read.

coastwallker Sun 28-Oct-12 10:08:06

I've read three this year which I have given 10/10 to (I am a self confessed nerd and do keep a detailed reading diary smile.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce was just the loveliest story about a retired man who sets off to post a letter to an old friend and keeps walking - all the way from Devon to Northumberland.

Among Others by Jo Walton was a fantasy book (but not too unreal) about a girl recovering from the death of her twin sister and the subsequent estrangement from her mother. I think it is a young adult book but none the less readable fot that.

Non-fiction wise, I loved The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer which is written like a guide book and gives huge insight into the history of the real people of this time.

wisewoman Sun 28-Oct-12 20:43:09

I loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry as well. It is one of the best books I have read this year. Also enjoyed Vanishing Point by Val McDermid - a quite unusual crime book.

JessM Wed 31-Oct-12 21:32:21

The Colour is a wonderful book about NZ. Her best. Bump. I don't think i have read any particularly memorable books this year, but I need some suggestions.

gracesmum Wed 31-Oct-12 21:42:50

I am afraid Bring Up the Bodies (predictably) has to feature in there, but I also loved The Earth Hums in B flat" by Mari Strachan which is a very special book. I am enjoying "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" too - it reminds me of Candide?

Mamie Thu 01-Nov-12 10:50:16

I am going for The Seamstress by Maria Duenas. My DD loved it too. It is set in Spain and Morocco during the civil war and is the brilliantly written story of a young woman making a living as a seamstress and becoming involved in the work of SOE, as many of her clients are the wives of senior German and Spanish political and military figures. Wonderfully evocative of time and place, with a lovely human story at the heart of it.

gracesmum Thu 01-Nov-12 11:20:27

I have just finished "Harold Fry" and the tears are running down my face! It is a lovely book,and very moving - you must read it.

lucid Thu 01-Nov-12 11:22:46

I also liked The Help, Kathryn Stockett...haven't seen the film but the book is a good read.
Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson is a gripping psychological read....I couldn't put it down.
Fracture by Megan Miranda is a bout a teenger who has an accident and the impact on her life....took me a few pages to be drawn into the story but it was worth it.

glitabo Thu 01-Nov-12 11:43:44

My 2 best reads are Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. They are both cracking good stories. Cutting for stone is set in Ethiopia and The Kite Runner in Afghanistan.
Both books are very moving and at times made me feel uncomfortable, but they are inspirational must read books.

Greendorrie Thu 01-Nov-12 12:27:14

I really enjoyed The Island by Victoria Hislop, and then read her other two books, and enjoyed them also.

Alver1 Thu 01-Nov-12 15:59:01

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. Somtimes funny, sometimes sad, always thought provoking. Married, one son, retired teacher living in Maine trying to make sense of her life. This is a collection of short stories set in small-town America. Olive appears in every story and her life and character are gradually revealed.
Made me reflect on my own friendships and relationships.

nonnasusie Thu 01-Nov-12 16:05:42

same here!

nonnasusie Thu 01-Nov-12 16:08:27

NonnaLi I agree with you!

BoomerBabe Thu 01-Nov-12 18:07:20

Thanks everyone for all your lovely ideas. I won't be stuck for what to read next.
I've enjoyed Capital by John Lancaster and The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenburger. J K Rowling's the Casual Vacancy was an easy read and had it's moments, not as bad as some made out. But what I've just really, really loved was Oh Dear Sylvia by Dawn French. On the face of it another funny story but it gets progressively blacker and very poignant as you begin to realize what has been going on. I laughed. I cried. Marvelous.