Top 10 Reads for 2006

Posted: December 18, 2006 in Lists, Lists and More Lists


Verrry difficult this year, as it is every year, but the more I looked at my list of books read in 2006 the more clear my Top 10 List became. Though I read a lot of really great books, the ones that stood out as stellar were really pretty obvious choices.

The books I chose as my “best of” were the ones that most likely blind-sided me by their sheer brilliance. A book that turns me inside-out, then rips out my heart for good measure, is very likely to make my Top 10 List. Also, a book that has deep, never-ending empathy, forcing me to look at things in my own life I may or may not be comfortable with thinking about but which I need to address, is a strong contender.

Then there are the classics, those books that set the standard for what a good story is, or should be. These stand the test of time, and often multiple readings, and every time I read them I find something entirely different within the very same pages (often the same edition) I’ve held in my hands before.

So, without further ado, here is:

My Top 10 Books Read in 2006:

(Not necessarily in order, mind…)

10. The Barracks by John McGahern

9. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

8. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson

7. A Lifetime Burning by Linda Gillard

6. Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal

5. The Stranger Next Door by Amelie Nothomb

4. The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

3. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

2. TIE: The Invisible Woman: The Story of Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan by Claire Tomalin, England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton by Kate Williams

1. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Honorable Mention Status:

1. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

3. Mother’s Milk by Edward St. Aubyn

4. Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor (no, not the actress!)

5. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls

N.B.: For the record, everything I read by Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine remains in its own special, separate category of books I read selfishly and with utter abandon, but which didn’t quite make the cut for the hallowed list. To her I tip my bonnet with deepest humility and thanks, and I’ll give her the title of the Writer Least Likely to Disappoint Me When I Need a Really Good Creepy Read. Without Rendell/Vine I don’t know how I’d fill this very vital (to me) void.

Last, but certainly not least, heartfelt thanks go out to everyone I’ve chatted with on all matters bookish, all who’ve been reading my blog or whose blog I’ve read over the year, and to all who’ve given me such outstanding recommendations for books I simply MUST READ. Also, a thankful nod to all the publishers who keep sending me your books to read, enjoy and review. You’re all completely invaluable to me, and I only wish there were some way I could mention all of you to repay your incredible kindnesses. Humble thanks to all of you, and long may we all continue to enjoy this free, open community of like-minded souls communing and sharing our thoughts and feelings on the subject nearest to our hearts…



Here’s to more of the same in 2007.

Happy Holidays to all, and all best wishes to you and yours in the New Year.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s