Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Half Year Favorites

After my six month summary post the other day, Selena asked what my favorite books have been so far this year.  I thought it warranted an actual post so here goes!

The Glass RoomFirst, I would say The Glass Room by Simon Mawer.  If you remember, this one was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize last year.  It was complex and sad but satisfying.  The writing was amazing.  Plus, it has one of the most beautiful covers I've seen recently.

Next was Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer.  It was a fun idea for a book (the authors wrote back and forth as two different characters) and the premise was fun.  There's just something I love about magic in Victorian times.  Plus, the book had a very Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer feel to it which was enjoyable.

The Housekeeper and the ProfessorThe Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa was a fantastic novella that was incredibly unique.  The relationships between the housekeeper, her son and the professor with no short-term memory were surprisingly fleshed out for such a short story.

Brodeck by Philippe Claudel was incredibly thought-provoking and well written.  It ended up winning this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.  The translator definitely deserves credit as well.

I waited forever for Jasper Fforde's new series novel, Shades of Grey, and I wasn't disappointed.  The new world took a while to get used to but it was worth it.

The Agency 1: A Spy in the HouseY.S. Lee has created a very unique historical fiction/mystery/YA combo with The Agency: A Spy in the House.  I loved that she introduced some real issues of race, class and opportunity.  I hope that it's the start of a successful series.

I regret not reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith sooner.  It was just delightful.

And very recently, Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones and The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley were both amazing.

I was hoping to list about ten books and blindly I seem to have chosen nine which is close enough!  I would read any of these again but might wait longer on The Glass Room and Brodeck only because the subjects introduced (war and hate) are tough ones.

What are your top reads so far this year?  Which should I try and include in my reading for the second half of the year?

Remembering the good times,


  1. Shades of Grey was one of my faves too.

  2. Did I tell you I got a Jasper Fforde book to read because of you. I think it is called "The Big Overeasy."