Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Top Ten Books Read So Far in 2017.

Galerie Bortier by Andrea.

We're almost at the half-way point of the year (can you believe it?!) and, appropriately this week's Top Ten Tuesday is Best Books You've Read In 2017 So Far. Here's my list:

To Walk Invisible written and directed by Sally Wainwright (2016).

In December 2016 the BBC aired To Walk Invisible by Sally Wainwright, a dramatisation of the lives of the Brontës. I adored it and when I learned it had used Juliet Barker's biography as reference (Wainwright referred to the biography as her "bible") I knew I had to read it. So, in January I began and I could not put it down, reading well over 100 pages a night and going to bed at 8 o' clock to do so! It's the best biography I've ever read, and so far the best read of 2017.

This is a natural history book, an account of the flora and fauna of Selborne in Hampshire. White shares not only the natural details of his area but also his love and enthusiasm for the subject. It's very readable and very beautiful (mostly; there is a grim account of a battle between a toad and a raven).

The Diary of a Farmer's Wife.
This is a charming account of the life of a farmer's wife in Herefordshire in the late 18th Century. It's also a bit of a mystery: it's authenticity is questioned, but whoever wrote it and whenever they wrote it, it is a lovely escape from the present back to rural England.

This is a collection of inspirational fables inspired by Sufism and Syriac Christianity. It's short, but very moving and very beautiful, and, yes, very inspiring.

This is a combination of a young man growing up and a snapshot of post-WWII Czech Republic. Aside from enjoying it, I also learned a lot from it.

Yes, I loved a book by a Tory Prime Minister 😨! It's hard to judge a man by his autobiography but he did seem to be a decent chap and might well have been the last decent Conservative Prime Minister (don't know much about Ted Heath who followed him so I'll reserve judgement). Whatever the case it was a good read and I learned a lot from it, about him, politics, and the Conservative governments of the first half of the 20th Century.

7. The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon (10th - 11th Century).

I know when it comes to listing my Top Ten of 2017 at the end of the year this one will be on. A fascinating account of Japanese court life in the late 10th, early 11th Century.

I don't reach much Steinbeck because, stupidly enough, I adore the ones I have read and I fear that there will come a day when I'm disappointed. It was a massive four years between Steinbecks and I was overjoyed to see that this one didn't let me down. Cannery Row is an outstanding achievement.

I read this about a week before the General Election (in June: I better make that clear because there's bound to be another one) and it was the perfect antidote to the unpleasantness that surrounded the campaigns. I will always have fond memories of Heidi.

This I read after the General Election when there was no official government, the Tories appeared to be on the point of collapse, and no one knew what was happening (at this point they hadn't yet bribed the DUP with £1b to prop them up). Politics was all I could think about and I couldn't concentrate on anything. I began A Little Princess with the hope of winding down and ended up reading it in one go. I was absolutely lost in it, and this book brought me back from a mini reading lull.


And there is my Top Ten so far! I wonder what books the next half of 2017 brings...


  1. Beautiful list! I want to read the Barker. x

    1. I hope you do, I'm sure you'd love it. I'm sure EVERYONE would love it! :D

  2. Wonderful list! I feel exactly the same way about Steinbeck and I keep asking myself why? Cause whenever I have the nerve to pick up something I have not read, I fall in love with it, always and yet I am wary of picking the next book up!! Khalil Gibran is brilliant and has always been a source of wisdom since I discovered him at 19 , some 16 years back!

    1. Yep, exactly. It's ridiculous! I always love his novels :)

      Love Gibran, just thinking of it makes me want to read it again. Oh, and not that this is relevant, but we're the same age, by the way :)

    2. Hahhaaa...us the generation that grew up on the threshold of internet revolution, us who grew up in "the best of times" and depending on perspective "worst of times"...lol

    3. Indeed! Kate Bush, She-Ra, cool music, pre-internet, Hungry Hippos, allowed to go out (but not far!) unsupervised, lots of good points. But yeah, also Thatcherism ;)

  3. The Bronte bio sounds rather tempting.

    I'm in comfort read mode too (but no elections in Australia - just winter blues!) rereading Heidi might be a good next choice 😊

    1. Definitely - such a good book :D I'm still after some nice reads myself, planning on Peter Pan this evening :) And do read the Bronte biography - so so so good!


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