It seems like only a minute ago that I was writing up my 2016 end of year post! 2017 has been a reasonably eventful year for me. I started a new job, turned 30, and got married. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the Czech Republic a bit better, travelling further afield than my local hangouts in Prague, which means I’ve done quite a lot of reading on trains and buses!
Most importantly, I’ve read some really fantastic books, even if I haven’t managed to review them all. Here are just a few of my favourites in no particular order:
M Train by Patti Smith
Patti Smith won me over with Just Kids, and I knew I’d love M Train too. It was everything I was hoping for – thoughtful, poetic, inspiring. In fact it was just perfect for a recent seven hour train journey!
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
This posthumously published collection of short stories and essays sends a shiver down my spine. It’s a brilliant book to awaken any long forgotten ambitions and dreams. I recommend it to anyone feeling unmotivated or down in the dumps.
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
Probably one of the most eagerly anticipated books of the year, La Belle Sauvage was the perfect return to Lyra’s Oxford, but of course I knew I’d be in good hands with Philip Pullman.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I’ve always been nervous about picking this book up, but I’m so glad I did. Anna Karenina has so much to offer on so many different levels. I think I’ll be able to reread it for years to come and always find something new to get out of it.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to read this, especially because I am such a big fan of the 1968 film Oliver! The book is grittier and more hard-hitting than I’d expected and probably now one of my favourites by Dickens.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
This Booker Prize winner is a real treat. Although lengthy and complex at times, I was immediately drawn into the plot, enjoying every single twist and turn. It’s a great book if you really want to get wrapped up in a good story.
Favourite Bookish Moment
Back in October I was lucky enough to briefly meet Margaret Atwood at a book signing while she was in Prague to receive the Franz Kafka prize. It was too good an opportunity to miss – after all, it’s not everyday you get to meet one of your heroes!
I haven’t discovered as many new bookshops as I would like this year, but I was very pleased to stumble across Armchair Books, which was definitely a highlight of my trip to Scotland! It’s got a good selection of books, but the friendly staff is what really made it for me.
6 thoughts on “My Bookish Highlights from 2017”
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him or her up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” -J.D. Salinger
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Nice quote! 😁 Happy New Year!
I’ve read none of these, but v keen to read Anna Karenina ONE day.
And oh, Armchair Books! I long to go back.
I was so pleased that I picked up the courage to pick up Anna Karenina, it was much more readable than I’d been expecting. I think it’ll still be a while before I try out War and Peace though! 😁
I also loved The Opposite of Loneliness. It’s tragic that such a promising literary voice was silenced so soon. I’d like to read what Keegan would have to say about the world today.
And as someone who lives just a couple blocks away from it, I’m thrilled to see Armchair Books made the list!
Yes, I’m sure she would have gone really far and it would have been really interesting to see her develop as a writer. It really is tragic 😦
If I lived that close to Armchair Books, I’d be in there all the time!
Happy New Year!
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