What is the best book you've read this year?

(65 Posts)
Stokey Tue 18-Sep-12 13:31:12

Am about to go on holiday and would like some recommendations.
I have read quite a lot this year with maternity leave and a new kindle, although have fallen into the kindle trap of buying cheap books and then feeling slightly dirty after reading them!
Books I've read and enjoyed this year include State of Wonder, Me before You, Before I go to Sleep, the William Nicholson trilogy, Perfect People, The White Lie.
Loads of 99p Kindle books that are a bit meh, quite good for when I was extremely sleep deprived, but not what I am after now that I get a reasonable night's sleep.
Anyway tell me what have you enjoyed please, thanks.

septembersunshine Tue 18-Sep-12 13:34:40

Well I don't know if they are the 'best' books I've ever read but I really enjoyed 'The night circus' and 'The song of Achilles'. I've recently re-read 'the time travellers wife' too - still love that book. Oh and.. 'The guernsey literary and potato peel pie society'. Try the Paulina Simmons books (The bronze Hourseman ect...) Still love them - they are my comfort books!

dotty2 Tue 18-Sep-12 13:39:57

Capital by John Lanchester and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell. Both pretty hefty, so good for a holiday. Also, I didn't particularly like State of Wonder, but loved Ann Patchett's earlier novels, so do try those if you haven't already. Enjoy.

Stokey Tue 18-Sep-12 13:56:49

ooh I liked the Jacob de Zoet one too so I will try Capital. Have read Bel canto, and Run. Will look at Paulina Simmons too, thanks September

DuchessofMalfi Tue 18-Sep-12 16:18:05

For me, I think the best reads so far have been The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young, and Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon.

LouMacca Tue 18-Sep-12 16:38:14

Off the top of my head I would say Room by Emma Donoghue, The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha and The Island by Victoria Hislop. Loved Me Before You!!

DilysPrice Tue 18-Sep-12 16:42:24

Wolf Hall, Rivers of London and 11.22.63

highlandcoo Tue 18-Sep-12 18:22:51

If you like Ann Patchett, The Magician's Assistant is well worth reading too.

I really enjoyed Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies - both hefty reads - and second My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, which is much better than the blurb and cheesy cover would suggest.

If you like crime, I've been enjoying Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series, set near Quebec. Fairly cosy crime, but interesting insights into the English/French Canadian divide.

Stokey Tue 18-Sep-12 20:16:19

I read Wolf Hall when dd1 was a tiddler, and liked it, so will definitely get Bring Up the Bodies. Have also read My Dear I Wanted to Tell You. Inspector Gamache sounds good, just started reading Dorothy Sayers. Room doesn't really appeal, the synopsis bit off putting.

Pinkforever Wed 19-Sep-12 17:35:29

The song of Achilles. Only bought it because it was the times read of the week but I really enjoyed it and have re-read it three times so far!!

snozzlemaid Wed 19-Sep-12 20:36:49

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. I was hooked and couldn't put it down.

dotty2 Wed 19-Sep-12 20:54:58

Fragrant Harbour (an earlier John Lanchester) is wonderful too. Looking forward to trying some of the ideas on here myself. Currently reading The Strangers Child by Alan Hollinghurst. Liking but not loving it, but bought it when it was on offer for 20p and definitely the best 20p I have ever spent!

Just finished The Last Werewolf and Tallulah Rising, couldn`t put them down.

itsallinmyhead Fri 21-Sep-12 01:38:12

The must read of the year for me has to mbe 'We need to talk about Kevin'. I couldn't put it down.

omfgkillmenow Fri 21-Sep-12 02:03:15

Jeffrey Deaver is my favourite author by far, try to read them in order though if you can. Next comes Harlan Coben, but can be guilty of being a bit "samey" IYKWIM. My best kindle buy was Arthur Conan Doyle the complete Sherlock Holmes collection, for free. I thought it would be stuffy not having read that sort of thing before, but actually amazing. Also "the facebook killer" really graphic if your squeamish then no, but try part one (free) and if you like then part 2 and 3 are only 99p each. I'm now onto Michael Connelly, also excellent, again read in order if possible. And totally agree with itsallinmyhead about Kevin, although I had the paperback...Lee Childs is also good, and if you are after a bit of comedy then you cannot go wrong with terry Pratchett, been reading him since primary school but he is one of those writers who makes jokes for the kids, and then the jokes that go above the kids' heads... Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO GREY worst crap ever written...

omfgkillmenow Fri 21-Sep-12 02:13:04

Also Ken Follett -amazing, unputdownable! And Conn Iggulden, he may not seem like a obvious choice for a woman, my DP was like WTF? But seriously, brilliant, was one on them (make your own tea kids there's microwave burgers in the fridge) type books, well 2 trilogies actually, one about Ceasar and one about Genghis, just AMAZING cannot tell you how good they were.

thelittlestkiwi Fri 21-Sep-12 02:23:22

I know what you mean about cheap kindle books. I loved Me before You too.

Not this year, but this is one of my all time fav books. I have gifted it several times and read it a number of times. It made my (male) boss sob.


Yamyoid Fri 21-Sep-12 04:13:23

The Shadow of the Wind. Also enjoyed We Are All Made of Glue by Marina Lewycka.

akaemmafrost Fri 21-Sep-12 05:02:11

The Help. Didn't want it to end and haven't found anything that has hooked me in as much. Loved it.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 21-Sep-12 05:17:14

If you are tempted by Grey but actually want a good piece of literature, Gordon by Edith Templeton is amazing

LouMacca Fri 21-Sep-12 07:28:21

Ah The Help, of course!! Don't know how on earth I forgot to mention that, a brilliant read....

DuchessofMalfi Fri 21-Sep-12 08:39:22

The Help was good, but I thought the ending was a little unsatisfactory.

5Foot5 Fri 21-Sep-12 13:25:43

"Dress Circle" by Laurie Graham.

Actually nearly anything by Laurie Graham but I read this a few weeks ago and found it almost unputdownable

madasamarchhare Fri 21-Sep-12 13:31:46

Loved me before you too, however also couldn't put down 2 Elizabeth Hayes novels -into the darker corner and revenge of the tide. Excellent reads.

Galaxymum Fri 21-Sep-12 13:35:58

I have loved "The Thread" best. It was so beautifully written and I learnt a lot from the author - completely transported me.

DancehallDaze Fri 21-Sep-12 13:52:17

I have been reading Mark Billingham in order. The first three were compulsive reading. Just finished the fourth which I found not so engaging, which seems to be backed up by other reviews. Am about to start the fifth which sounds more promising.

Makingmama Sat 22-Sep-12 16:46:13

Snow Child, beautiful!

LizzieVerekerGold Sat 22-Sep-12 16:56:41

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce - read it in one sitting, and Rivers of London. Have lovely hols!

Peeenut Sun 23-Sep-12 10:47:20

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I read it in one day on holiday.

I also loved A Monster Calls, it's a children's book but excellent. I was sitting by the pool trying not to cry.

tumbletumble Sun 23-Sep-12 20:55:51

This year I have enjoyed Room and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

BonnyDay Mon 24-Sep-12 20:41:33

100 year old man
gone girl

Stokey Mon 24-Sep-12 21:17:55

Have downloaded Gone Girl and Harold Fry, have read a few of the others The Help, Kevin, Incredibly Loud. Thanks for help Mumnetters, off tomorrow hoping the rain holds off.

Stokey Mon 24-Sep-12 21:21:04

Oh and just bought the first Mark Billingham, must put the kindle down now, too much temptation!

Game of Thrones was brilliant smile

NellyBluth Mon 24-Sep-12 21:32:51

Oh, Mark Billingham is amazing, I just devour those (while happily imagining the luscious David Morrissey as Thorne...)

I've just finished The Night Circus and it was wonderful.

noddyholder Mon 24-Sep-12 21:47:36

Gone girl was great
The Burial is brilliant

NurseRatched Tue 25-Sep-12 20:48:06

My unashamed fave so far this year -though it's relatively 'old': A Confederacy of Dunces - by John Kennedy Toole. Very very funny - though not politically correct in any sense grin

KlarkyKat Tue 25-Sep-12 20:52:43

My Mum gave me East of Eden by John Steinbeck recently and I loved it, best thing i've read for ages and inspired me to read more classics. I'll be pinching a few ideas from this list though...

NurseRatched Tue 25-Sep-12 20:52:55

tumbletumble ['Room'] Emma Donoghue's next book: The Sealed Letter is great too.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 26-Sep-12 13:55:53

Think if you liked Me Before You, you might like Life, Death and Vanilla Slices by Jenny Eclair.

Definitely one of my favourites for this year.

This Short Story is good too and it's free which is always a bonus smile.

lighthousekeeping Wed 26-Sep-12 18:20:55

Oh I live this thread. I read the The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox in one day on holiday and I adored it.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:35:32

Song of Achilles is also one of my favourites of this year, and I've just noticed that it's been reduced to a lovely 99p smile.

Toulouse Lautrec biog by Julia somebody.

And The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt.

mixedmamameansbusiness Thu 27-Sep-12 20:47:10

Forty rules of love by Elif Shafak. Cannot wait to read more.

chirpchirp Fri 28-Sep-12 12:11:50

Cold Hands by John Niven. Best crime thriller I've read in a long time.

chocolateshoes Fri 28-Sep-12 12:14:07

Alone in Berlin - brilliant!

milkshake3 Fri 28-Sep-12 12:14:14

People of the Book by Geraldine Brookes. Couldn't put it down!

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Blew me away (second reading and I was still utterly enthralled). W.O.W.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

the blue melon nibbles the bitter cheese.

rabbitonthemoon Mon 01-Oct-12 19:49:28

The language of flowers is currently my book of the year.

sieglinde Tue 02-Oct-12 12:08:46

Life and Fate, by Vassily Grossman
or on a lighter note, am loving At the Mouth of the River of Bees, by Kij Johnson.

Jusfloatingby Tue 02-Oct-12 16:04:01

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klausmann

janx Tue 02-Oct-12 22:19:23

Kite runner

CoteDAzur Wed 03-Oct-12 21:10:34

mixedmama - Do you read Elif Safak in English?

gokhuvegeta Thu 04-Oct-12 15:42:49

The darkness in the shadows, m.l. briers, it's the last one i've read and it kept me up all night, the little voice made me lol. I'm in two minds about Grave Witch has anyone read it?

BonnyDay Thu 04-Oct-12 15:50:47

christ not the tigers book

submisison was good
also LOVED LOVED LOVED the bernadette book

ContinentalKat Thu 04-Oct-12 16:09:47

I really liked the new John Irving, In one person. Also enjoyed The help as a good holiday read.

hoodoo12345 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:42:52

Karin Slaughter-Criminal.

BobbiThePanda Thu 04-Oct-12 23:27:52

So far this year, The End of Everything by Megan Abbott.

ArcticRoll Fri 05-Oct-12 10:53:55

My Policeman-Bethan Roberts, poignant story .

ginmakesitallok Fri 05-Oct-12 10:56:36

I just finished Bonfire of the vanities by Tom Wolfe - first book in ages that I've been sad to get to the end - it was fab. Just reminded me I need to go get another book today or I'll be forced to read some of DPs Murakami stuff!

elkiedee Wed 10-Oct-12 22:28:30

I looked up my reading for the year and was rather taken aback to find that while I'd only rated one book 5 * more than a third of my reading was 4.5*. That said, some of those books were more brilliant than others.

My best book of the year by that measure was Leslie T Chang, Factory Girls - the author is Chinese-American and spent some time living in China interviewing young women working in the factories there about their lives.

Of the others, I especially liked

P A Reilly, The Fine Colour of Rust - a single mother in a small Australian town tries to fight greedy developers

Kate Grenville's Secret River trilogy (also Australian, though that's a coincidence)

Sita Brahmachari, Artichoke Hearts - older children's/YA novel - a few months in the life of a 12 year old whose beloved grandmother is moving into a hospice and preparing for death from cancer - funny and sad and lovely

Marina Lewycka, Various Pets Alive and Dead

John Harvey, Good Bait (crime novel) and A Darker Shade of Blue (short stories)

Cathi Unsworth, Weirdo

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists

Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

Elizabeth Taylor, At Mrs Lippincotes, Palladian (and others) - am reading all her work this year - she was a 20th century novelist, not THAT Elizabeth Taylor

CoteDAzur Wed 10-Oct-12 22:45:06

By that same criterion, my 5*s of 2012 so far are:

Heart Of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
This Thing Of Darkness - Harry Thompson
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
Ender's Game - Scott Orson Card
Freakonomics - Steven Levitt
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Haruki Murakami

How do you all understand the * system? I take it to mean:
1* = I hated it
2*s = I didn't like it
3*s = It was OK
4*s = I liked it
5*s = I loved it

But I hear that some people think of it as:
1* = rubbish book
5* = perfect book

jellybrain Wed 10-Oct-12 23:05:14

I loved the Night Circus. Have a kindle copy but plan to buy a print copy as its one i will treasure.smile

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