Monday 1 January 2018

Favourite Reads of 2017

At the end of 2017, we asked readers to nominate a favourite read of the year, and write a one-sentence review of their chosen book. The book could be from any time or genre - the only qualification was that it had to be a book the reader found particularly memorable, striking or enjoyable during the last twelve months. Here are the responses we received. Wishing everyone a happy new year of reading and books!

Barbara Cooke 

The Bees by Laline Paull: "1984 in a hive, with more eco-criticism, and a happier ending."

Laurie Cusack

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack: "It made me shiver with joy; should’ve won the Booker by a country mile!"

Sharon Eckman

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman: "long-awaited, every bit as wonderful as hoped for ... Glorious."

Peter Flack 

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell: "Life and love on a one track train line that eventually passes everywhere."

Simon King

The Little Demon by Fyodor Sologub: "Early twentieth-century Russian writing of the cruel and satirical kind, this tale of a sadistic and insecure provincial schoolmaster is as black as a diseased lung."

Kevan Manwaring 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: "Boldly genre-bending, defiantly imaginative, and beautifully-crafted, it seems eerily resonant - a novel about an alternative past that is really about now." 

Alexandros Plasatis

The Complete Short Stories by James Purdy: "A sensitive observer, his prose is gentle and, when needed, fierce."

Robert Richardson

The Road by Cormac McCarthy: "The magnificent 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner has a setting of the terrifying aftermath of environmental disaster while still affirming humanity."

Jonathan Taylor

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: "a masterpiece of storytelling. You feel like you're there, on the boat, with the old man."

Maria Taylor 

Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy: "I have nothing more to say than I loved reading this book." 

Miranda Taylor (aged 9)

Toto the Ninja Cat by Dermot O'Leary: "because it's fun and silly. It was fun to read and it took me only two days."

Rosalind Taylor (aged 9)

Rabbityness by Jo Empson "because it's my favourite book of all time."

Paul Taylor-McCartney 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: "A heart-rending and life-affirming journey into that purgatorial space between knowable historical fact and extreme creative invention."  

Harry Whitehead

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: "for making me see that industrial farming is the 'greatest crime in history' - now what the hell am I to do?"

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