Oct 14, 2010

Favourite Book For The Year

by Michelle Douglas

Reading: For The Sheikh's Pleasure by Annie West

Watching: The bird wars in my backyard

Listening to: Pink

Making me smile: The block of Lindt dark chocolate in my pantry

I made a big mistake earlier this year - a stupid mistake. I became so busy with my MPhil that I made a resolution not to read any more fiction until I'd waded through all the necessary academic texts requiring my attention.

Like I said, big mistake. You'll be pleased to know I've since broken said resolution. No one should ever give up reading for pleasure. The book that broke my drought was a birthday gift - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Believe me, this book was a gift in more ways than one. It was a delight and a joy. I read it twice. It made me realize what a stupid resolution I'd made. It made me realize reading is my life's blood. For all those reasons and more it has become my favourite read for the year.

Which got me thinking about my other favourite reads for the year.

And here they are in no particular order:

Fave category romance: This year I'd be lucky to have averaged one category romance a month. It hasn't stopped me buying them, though. You should see my tbr pile! However, what I have read has been brilliant. I have a tie for first place: A Special Kind of Family by Marion Lennox and Christmas Angel For The Billionaire by Liz Fielding.

Fave non-fiction: How To Suppress Women's Writing by Joanna Russ. This is a wonderfully angry book that made me feel righteously indignant.

Fave re-read: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I hadn't read this since I was a little girl. It now makes the list of my top 5 favourite books of all time.

What about you? What have been your favourite reads so far this year? (Go on, tempt me, make me blow that stupid resolution so far out of the water that I never make another one like it!)


  1. I haven't been reading as much as I'd like lately either, Michelle. But I need to, because as you say, it's my life's blood. I've been immersed in books since I was old enough to read.

    Favourite book so far: Maybe This Time, by Jennifer Crusie.

    Favourite category book: a tie between Kelly Hunter's Exposed: Misbehaving With The Magnate (so deliciously rich that I needed a lay down afterwards) and Karina Bliss's Mr. Unforgettable (light and fun but such a great emotional journey too).

    I was very interested to see you loved Jane Eyre again - I haven't reread the Brontes since my teens. I adored them then, but figured they might be a bit melodramatic for my tastes now. But you loved it?

  2. Okay, Rachel, am drooling at your description of both Kelly and Karina's books. Am going to HAVE to read them now. Do you know that altho I have several books by Ms Crusie in my tbr pile, I haven't made my way to them yet? I have a feeling that once I dip my toe in her waters (what an odd expression!) I will have to glom her at the expense of all else (and I definitely don't have the time for that yet :-)).

    Jane Eyre is wonderful. She is such a passionate heroine and feminist and angry too. I love that she fights for what is right for her despite overwhelming pressure to do otherwise. I adored Wuthering Heights more as a teenager, but I have to say Cathy and Heathcliff impress me less now I'm an adult :-)

  3. Michelle, I'm so glad you found 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. It was a magic find for me too this year and definitely one of my favourites. Smiled when I saw the Liz Fielding title you mentioned, which I also enjoyed, though I recently read her 'Wedding at Leopard Tree Lodge' and that was hard to beat. Just picked up 'In Christofides' Keeping' by Abby Green that's looking great so far. The other book that sticks in my mind at the moment is a ms by my crit partner Anna Campbell which I can't wait to see in print next year. It was tremendous.

    Like you, I have a tbr pile that's teetering and it includes a Michelle Douglas title! I'm saving it for when I get my draft written. You know, the draft I've yet to start work on today...?

    Thrilled, by the way, that you're reading 'For the Sheikh's Pleasure'. I just had some exciting news this morning about it - a version of the manga edtion going on sale in China and on Amazon!

    Hope you find lots more titles to enjoy this year.

  4. You know, you're probably right about Jane Eyre vs Wuthering Heights - it's WH that I think is putting me off revisiting JE. That and some bad movie / tv adaptations of JE that I made the mistake of watching. I shall go back to the source. :)

    You've never read a Jenny Crusie? Argh!

  5. Annie, it was a book review you wrote for the PHS (I think) that had me so eager to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. As you can see, the book didn't disappoint.

    Ooh, that Liz Fielding you mention is in my tbr pile -- I'll look forward to it. And I most certainly am enjoying For the Sheikh's Pleasure -- it's so lush and rich and to die for :-) (Am so jealous of the Manga edition -- how exciting!).

    Hope you find your way to your draft today :-)

  6. Rach, I'll make a deal with you. You revisit JE and I'll make sure I read JC in the not too distant future :-)

  7. Fav. book so far for 2010 - Rapture by Jacqueline Frank.

    Fav.non-fiction book: GMC by Debra Dixon

    Fav. Book of all time: more an author & her work than one fav. book - Anne McCaffrey & her Dragons of Pern series or The Ship Who Sang series.

    Fav.reread: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

    Reading Right now: Forbidden by Christina Phillips.

  8. Ooh, Kylie, there are loads here that I haven't read! Though, I am happy to say that GMC is one of them -- loved it!

    Have heard so many good things about Anne McCaffrey and the Dragons of Pern series that I'm going to have to explore that further, aren't I? Hmm... haven't heard of Rapture... am off to explore.

  9. Michelle, if you haven't read Jenny Crusie, you MUST! My favourite of hers is Welcome to Temptation, which I've read countless times.

    Um, fave new books this year would be the Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold.

    Fave non-fiction would be The Making of Pride and Prejudice, which I read avidly from cover to cover.

    Fave re-read would be a tie between Crusie's Welcome to Temptation and Georgette Heyer's The Grand Sophy or Sylvester, all of which I read about once a year.

    I work part-time in a bookshop, and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is incredibly popular. I can't begin to tell you how many copies I've sold! I must read it. And I must read Jane Eyre again!

  10. Emily, you and Rachel have convinced me that Jenny Crusie should be next on my reading list (and I have Welcome to Temptation in one of my many boxes). I haven't heard of the Sharing Knife series, but if it had such a favourable impact on you then perhaps I should go looking.

    Snap! I've re-read The Grand Sophy this year too. Love it!

    TGL&PPS is just delightful. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it. And if you read JE again, you must let me know what you think.

  11. My fav book this year was The Book Thief. Oh, to be able to write like Marcus Zuzak does in that book. The boy with 'lemon hair' is so simple, yet has stuck in my mind as a great description.

    At my book club we've just read The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. It's made me want to go back and read Jane Eyre because it's the story of Mr Rochester's mad wife (and I loved the story; not Mr R!).

    So many good books around, so little time to read!!


  12. Cath! I have The Book Thief sitting on my bedside table -- Marcus does amazing things with language. He is an author I will eventually get around to glomming :-)

    After I read The Wide Sargasso Sea I never thought I'd be able to look at Mr Rochester in the same way again. It's an amazing book.

  13. So many great books!
    Probably one of my fav authors still this year is JR Ward, just love the brotherhood, so gritty and dark.
    I also have some really old romances on my shelf, which I adore!

  14. Mel, Rach, Emily (and everyone else), will I get bombarded if I admit I haven't read JR Ward yet either.

    So many faults to correct!

    Mel, I'm with you on revisiting favourite old romances -- they are up there with bread and honey and cups of steamy tea for comfort.

  15. eeeek, Michelle, I just lost my whole post... trying to think what I pressed!

    Anyway... I still haven't read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society! Might have to put it on the birthday wish list.

    I have read lots of our gorgeous LoveCats' books this year - I've just finished Emily May's The Earl's Dilemma! Fantastic. I'm an historicals fan. I always love an Anna Campbell - My Reckless Surrender was excellent.

    And I do love revisiting a favourite old romance - continuing in the historical theme I re-read Amanda Quick's Surrender.

    And then there's my TBR which is sure to have more favs in there to be discovered!


  16. Sharon, you'll love TGL&PPS, I promise :-)

    Ooh, you mention some nice books here. I have Emily's on my tbr and a couple of Anna Campbell's too.

    Think I might have to spend the rest of the weekend reading!