The End of the Year Post, Part 2: Top 10 Lists

Previously: Part 1: Stats

I actually don’t have any trouble making lists of my favorite books, but I do tend to have a hard time containing myself to only two or three lists, mostly because I come up with really weird and arbitrary ways of picking which book should go where and I need about a million categories to get them all properly sorted, etc. etc. But I’ve tried really hard this time to not do that! So for this second part of my wrapping-things-up segment I’ve got two lists.

Personal Favorites

aka books I would reread (if I ever let myself reread books again)

  1. Boy by Roald Dahl. I love Roald Dahl’s nonfiction books even more I love his kidlit books (also I still do love his kidlit books a lot), and I know I’ll reread this again when I’m feeling down and need a pick-me-up.
  2. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. The ending was disappointing but the rest of it was fabulous!
  3. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. I really need to reread this again so I can go back and pick up on some of the things I missed before– plus it’s just an overall entertaining book!
  4. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. I love how this book was a swashbuckling adventure novel that didn’t throw the women characters under the bus. It’s also funny and exciting and much less irritating than some other adventure novels written around the same time.
  5. The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. It’s a sweet, marvellously enjoyable Pterry book that I can reread without crying all over it like with Nation.
  6. Dr Jekyll and Mr Holmes by Loren D. Estleman. This is probably my favorite Holmes pastiche at the moment, and that makes me want to cuddle it like it was my cat or something.
  7. Dreadnought by Cherie Priest. Loved everything about it (well, mostly). I’d reread this before I reread Boneshaker, though, and I suppose that’s saying something.
  8. The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt. This one was actually a surprise, I think because I didn’t realize how much I still think about this book even all these months later. But I DO still think about it so I suppose that’s good?
  9. Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun by Faith Adiele. Like I say below: one of my favorite memoirs I’ve read this year. Immensely inspiring and wonderful and I couldn’t read it enough.
  10. Blood of Ambrose by James Enge. I really like the characters in this one, so despite the slow pace I do think I’d like to reread it soon(-ish).

Recommended For You

aka books I think everyone should try reading

  1. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi. I probably WOULD have put this on the first list, but I don’t think I’ll reread it (at least not really soon) because it’s SCARY and I’m getting scared just thinking about it. Also, I’m a coward.
  2. Orlando by Virginia Woolf. This is the most light-hearted Virginia Woolf book I’ve read and I think it’s a good intro to VW overall. It’s weird and fun but also painfully truthful, which is what I associate with VW’s books the most.
  3. Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun by Faith Adiele. One of the most interesting, inspiring, and wonderful memoirs I’ve ever read.
  4. All the Fishes Come Home to Roost by Rachel Manija Brown. This does the “stranger in a strange land” theme really well, with respect and fairness. It’s also a good portrait on how living in a cult can affect a person, both young and old.
  5. Dreadnought by Cherie Priest. See above! Kick-ass book, for serious.
  6. Dr Jekyll and Mr Holmes by Loren D. Estleman. Again, see above. One of the best pastiches I’ve ever read; if you’ve never read a Holmes pastiche you’ll want to try this one.
  7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. More serious than Orlando but nonetheless powerful, I think this would be another good intro to VW for someone who prefers their books on the (emotionally) heavier side. It’s pretty short, too, which might help.
  8. It’s Too Late Now: The Autobiography of a Writer by A. A. Milne. It’s not on the same level of funny as Roald Dahl’s memoirs but it toes the line. It’s also useful to read if you have no idea who A. A. Milne is besides “that dude who wrote the Winnie the Pooh books,” because that isn’t just what he is.
  9. Mimus by Lilli Thal. A serious and thoughtful YA fantasy (sort of?) that has beautiful things to say about the nature of people (and jesters).
  10. Pirate Talk or Mermalade by Terese Svoboda. It’s fun, it’s in an interesting format, and it’s got PIRATE and MERMAIDS. C’mon!

16 thoughts on “The End of the Year Post, Part 2: Top 10 Lists”

    1. I had read a few VW books before Orlando, but I think it was that one that really cemented my love of VW and her books! It’s just wonderful. (I really should watch the movie soon, I suppose? Tilda Swinton is amazing, so the movie should be amazing too.)

    1. I also love Boy because you can really see where Roald Dahl got his inspiration for his kids stories, especially in the mischievousness that his characters always have. And the nicer parental figures– definitely seem to be based on his own rather nice family!

  1. i am reading The Whitechapel Horrors now and I Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes to read next, so I am glad that you are recommending it so thoroughly. i had flipped through a few pages and it looked like it would be good, so I am glad to have further confirmation on that.

    1. I hope you like it! I’m actually somewhere in the beginning of Whitechapel Horrors myself and I’m really enjoying that one as well. I think part of my fondness for these books are because I read some rather lackluster pastiches earlier in 2010 and having some better quality ones is just so refreshing, haha!

    1. Oooo, definitely start with the Virginia Woolfs! I think you’d like them. 😀 Or read The Amazing Maurice & His Educated Rodents if you prefer YA at the moment; I think you’d really like that one, too.

    1. I meant in 2011 I probably won’t reread things! (Except maybe Diana Wynne Jones books.) I have too many first reads to do.

      I’m not really a huge rereader anyway, though. I tend to mostly only reread DWJ and graphic novels. Er.

  2. It’s funny when books – such as with you and Court of the Air – stick in your head and you never expected to them to do that when you first finished them. I like that aspect of looking back at the year’s reads.

    Also I like your comment about cuddling the book like it’s your cat. 🙂

    Cold Comfort Farm is a book I really want to get around to reading.

    1. Court of the Air was truly surprising. When I finished I didn’t think I’d still be wondering about it months later. With the Virginia Woolf books I knew they’d be sticking with me, but the steampunk alt. history fantasy novel? Totally out of left field.

      Cold Comfort Farm was a lot of fun. The movie’s really great, too– plus it has Stephen Fry in it!

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