I keep a book journal, where I list all of the books that I read in a year; it got to the point where I was buying books I'd already read and needed to keep track (oh, if only I'd done that with my yarn stash; I still haven't found the two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino in Java...) Anyway, I thought I would share some of my favourite books of this year, just in case you are interested. They may not be books released this year, but just ones I've enjoyed.
Knitted Socks East and West
I'm slightly obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture and I am obsessed with knitting socks. This is gorgeous and I had to buy it; for less than £9 there are 29 patterns! All sorts of patterns are in here- lacy, thick, traditional Japanese. What I love about this is that Judy Sumner has named each pattern after some element of Japanese culture. I'm going to finish my 'vanilla' socks and then start the Tsunami socks. Almost like a Christmas present to me.
The Secret Scripture- Sebastian Barry- This book is amazing. I can't tell you exactly why, only that Barry has captured the atmosphere of Ireland in the 40s and beyond perfectly. The story covers the time in which I have been researching and the ending, although not totally unexpected, was surprising enough to make me cry. And I don't cry when reading novels.
The Owl Killers- Karen Maitland- I read this on my second journey to Ireland of the year and found it completely un-put-down-able. The story of a group of religious women settling into a strange and scary 14th century England wouldn't have been my cup of tea had I seen it in a bookshop, but a good friend sent it to me and I just thought it was amazing.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister- Helena Whitbread- I'm going to 'fess up- this is my grandma's book. She found a diary that had huge parts in code. She decoded it and found an account of lesbianism in Regency England that is fascinating (and maybe not as racy as many people expect!) It also gives an insight into how women were expected to behave at this point in time.
Desperate Romantics- Franny Moyle- I loved the TV series, but I loved the book even more. It's interesting how the artists seem on screen compared to how they do in the book; for example, I thought Holman Hunt was much more sympathetic in this book and you find out much more about one of my artistic heroes, William Morris and actually, what a nice chap he was, even to Rossetti who stole his wife. I also liked the infomation the reader is given about the women involved in the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, which, with the exception of Lizzie Siddall and Annie Miller, is kind of glossed over in the adaptation. Also? Aidan Turner is on the cover and that's never a bad thing.
So, this year, I read 40 books. Not bad going, I reckon!