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Old 5th Dec 2007, 13:57   #1
John Self
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Default Top 10 Books of 2007

Fire at will. Here's the place to sort out what you've read in the past year, rank them ruthlessly, and persuade the rest of us about what we've been missing... Tops with more or fewer than ten entries will be permitted.
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 14:01   #2
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

I'm going to have to spend a bit of time thinking about this!
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 14:07   #3
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

Top 10 Reads - never read before:

1. Parade's End - Ford Madox Ford - my read of the year.
2. The Good Soldier - Ford Madox Ford
3. Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
4. Independence Day - Richard Ford
5. On Chesil Beath - Ian McEwan
6. Mere Christianity - CS Lewis
7. On the Beach - Nevil Shute
8. The Unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro
9. The Ground Beneath Her Feet -Salman Rushdie
10. Twenty-Five - Beverley Nichols


Bubbling under: The Day of the Triffids; Mister Pip; Alas, Poor Darwin – arguments against Evolutionary Psychology - also added late in December The Power & the Glory

Children’s/YA Top 6 of 2007:

Bloodsong - Melvyn Burgess
Bloodtide - Melvyn Burgess
Before I Die - Jenny Downham
Larklight - Philip Reeve
Peter Pan in Scarlet - Geraldine McCaughrean
Goodnight Mister Tom - Michelle Magorian


Top Re-Reads: all five star and above

Down the Garden Path - Beverley Nichols
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Aquarius - Jan Mark
Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Fire & Hemlock - Diana Wynne Jones
The Phantom Tolbooth - Norton Juster
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Last edited by Colyngbourne; 30th Dec 2007 at 19:35. Reason: Added the Graham Greene
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 15:02   #4
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

  1. Light Years by James Salter. I hoped it was going to be great, and by jove it was. Read the opinions of other Palimpsesters (well, some of 'em!) if you don't believe me. The Hunters is terrific too.
  2. The Emperor of Ice Cream by Brian Moore. Just delighted me from start to finish with its solid characterisation and storytelling. Also Moore's The Luck of Ginger Coffey, funnier and sadder too.
  3. Gents by Warwick Collins. Small and perfectly formed - and this time everyone does seem to agree. A fine new discovery for me.
  4. The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton. A perfect mix of grim Englishness and sardonic bleakness. And very funny indeed. Have seven more of his novels lined up on the strength of this.
  5. Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie. It's taken a while, but at last a Rushdie I loved. Musical, angry and vivid.
  6. Animal's People by Indra Sinha. The surprise of the Booker list - funny and full of life, not the dreary tale of woe the cover (and media) suggested.
  7. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies. Quite traditional but expertly done, and looking forward to re-reading already.
  8. Twilight by Stefan Zweig. As perfect a story as I have read: wicked, tragic and inevitable.
  9. Watch Me Disappear by Jill Dawson. Lolita meets Gordon Burn. Child sexuality portrayed with honesty and artfulness.
  10. Exit Ghost by Philip Roth. Complex and rich, all the better I think for having read some of the other Zuckerman books beforehand. Roth continues to rise in my estimation.
Bubbling under: Gerard Woodward, I'll Go to Bed at Noon ... Don DeLillo, Falling Man ... Roddy Doyle, Paula Spencer ... Jeanette Winterson, The Stone Gods ... Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 16:23   #5
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

(not including re-reads)

1. Old Men in Love -- Alasdair Gray
2. Dr Haggard's Disease -- Patrick McGrath
3. The Female Malady -- Elaine Showalter
4. The Easter Parade -- Richard Yates
5. Trumpet -- Jackie Kay
6. The Corrections -- Jonathan Franzen
7. Darkmans -- Nicola Barker (despite it having a slightly lower rating than books below)
8. Gents -- Warwick Collins
9. The Penelopiad -- Margaret Atwood
10. Daughters of Decadence -- short story collection edited by Elaine Showalter

Other or books this year (all re-reads):

1. Bleak House -- Charles Dickens
2. Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte
3. Poor Things -- Alasdair Gray
4. The Woman in White -- Wilkie Collins

Meanwhile, the Award for Worst Book I Finished in 2007:

Be Near Me -- Andrew O'Hagan
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 20:06   #6
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

The Children of Men - P.D. James
Drawn to the story line by an unforgettable review here, the novel and film together are as satisfying an experience as one could wish for. Tremendous depth and significance for both personal and wide ranging themes.

Light Years - James Salter
Shatters with illustrious perfection

The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
So complex and fulfilling, a portrait of redemption and suffering. Paradoxically uplifting.

The Doctor’s Wife - Brian Moore
Haunting and magnificent portrayal of a woman’s awakening.

The Girl in a Swing - Richard Adams
Gothic, dark, swirling, and oh so physically and philosophically sexy. Tingles just thinking of it.

Dr. Haggard’s Disease - Patrick McGrath
What a terrific ride! What a penis!

The Blackwater Lightship - Colm Toibin
An intimate time with a ferociously unhappy family.

The Death of the Heart - Elizabeth Bowen
Oh, to be sweet sixteen forever? Nyet. Bowen’s careful revelation of a young girl crossing the threshold into adulthood.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne - Brian Moore
Utterly sympathetic telling of a sad woman and her relentless losses. Dark comedy that hits just the right spot.

House of Meetings - Martin Amis
End of life unburdening for a brutal, almost remorseless man.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 21:35   #7
Ang
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

Is nobody optimistic in December? I'm not answering until January 1.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 22:14   #8
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

Me neither. I've still got time for another half dozen.
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 22:37   #9
John Self
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

Well, me too, but I just can't resist the pull of the list...

A terrific rundown, Beth, and beautifully explained. "Shatters with illustrious perfection" - yes!
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Old 8th Dec 2007, 23:15   #10
Beth
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Default Re: Top 10 Books of 2007

I couldn't resist, either. The fun was in sitting down to make a stab at ranking them! I had to print my list and then make lots of notes on it. Hell, I may frame the list as it's been such a great year.
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