December 19, 2010

My Top 5 Reads For 2010

I have been thinking lots recently about books.  I absolutely love to read.  Earlier this year I bought myself a Kindle which has been fantastic.  Not just being able to store so many books but also being able to buy books almost instantly.  I hate running out of things to read and The Farm isn't close to any shops, let alone a book shop.  So, while I love words on paper, the idea of having access to so many books from home won me over.  I really can browse Amazon and then download a whole book in a minute or so.  Love, love, love it.  Its screen is easy to read and the battery last for a week or so if I don't have the wireless thingy on.

My Kindle also has wonderful rotating pictures, of all sorts of things and people, when the screen is asleep.

Jules Verne On My Kindle

Anyway - I have, as always, read stacks this year and thought I would share my top 5 books for 2010.

They are in no particular order except for the first which is my all time favourite for 2010.  I will be honest and say, that for me, it stood out head and shoulders above the rest!

1.  Must You Go : by Antonia Fraser

I adored this.  It is Antonia Fraser telling her own love story.  The book is about her relationship with the Nobel Prize winner and poet/playwright Harold Pinter.  It is littered with stories about their own relationship and details their friendships with the likes of Salman Rushdie.  Fraser is very obviously completely in love with Pinter but is not blind to his faults.  The way she details these, but makes it so blatantly clear she adores him regardless, was a high point.

It also chronicles a thirty year period and Fraser's views on the historical and political events that occur make for fascinating reading.  First and foremost though, it is about their relationship.  It is told with tenderness and the little stories about the poems he wrote for her and their obvious closeness were what really made this book for me. And, needless to say, it is absolutely beautifully written.

2. Wait For Me!: Memoirs: by Deborah Mitford, The Duchess of Devonshire

Again an autobiography.  This time it is Deborah Mitford detailing her life. Interesting bits include her childhood/ young adulthood as one of the famous/slightly notorious Mitford sisters and her experiences in wartime England. I found her stories around her friendship with JFK, particularly her experiences at the inauguration and funeral, fascinating.

3. The Millenium Trilogy: by  Stieg Larsson

Now I know that technically this is 3 books, but it is my blog and my booklist so I am going to count them as one! For the simple reason that I read them consecutively whilst in bed unwell.  I had managed to let these books pass me by for several years. Eventually I bowed to the pressure and was so glad I did.  How amazing are they? I am not going to explain anymore because pretty much everyone else would have already read them.  If not, get reading I say!

4. Fallen Skies: A Novel: by Philippa Gregory

This was a wonderful and somewhat bleak novel. It is still historical but more recent than Gregory's normal offerings. It chronicles the story of an English dance hall girl and her subsequent marriage in the years after World War I. Without giving away too many details, it does challenge the romantic stereotypes often seen in English Literature about WWI. There is not much Rupert Brooke type material here.

5. Jump!: by Jilly Cooper

I wasn't going to put this in but I can't help it. I have never been the sort of person to hide away daggy CDs or slightly trashy books so people will think I am more highbrow than I really am. I adore Jilly Cooper.  I think she is hilarious and bang on with her social commentary. She writes well but receives a huge amount of criticism in the literary world. All the while I am certain that she is laughing all the way to the bank. (At least I hope so). This is admittedly probably not her best effort but is still Jilly and hence in my eyes still a wonderful read.


Sydney Shop Girl said...

You read my mind and thanks for this post.

I was just going to buy Jump for my Kindle.

There is always a place for light weight, of the moment yet intelligent prose,

SSG xxx

Fussy Eater's Mum said...

Do you think Santa will have room in his sack for a Kindle for me?

Marian said...

My sister just recommended the Antonia Fraser book to me AND she's shipping me a Kindle.....I can't wait. I just finished "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden about 2 Native Canadian Sharpshooters and really loved it. Thanks for your list - I love stuff like this.

A Farmer's Wife said...

SSG - Really did love Jump! Not as good as The Riders/Rivals era but still Jilly!

FEM - Instead of emailing Santa - email amazon, they were on special...

Marian - Thanks for visiting and commenting. I can't say how fantastic the Antonia Fraser book is.

Semi Expat said...

Am thinking about a Kindle too as I HATE running out of things to read - what does it cost to download a book or do you subscribe? Sorry, have no idea how these things work! Really want to read Must You Leave? and agree there is always room for the slightly trashy in life! x

A Farmer's Wife said...

Semi Expat - Love my Kindle. You can download wirelessly anywhere without a computer and it costs roughly $12 -15 per book. Don't worry I had no idea how they worked either but it is ridiculously simple to use.

Make Do Style said...

Am impressed by Kindle buying am slightly tempted but only just launched in UK. I'm actually commissioned to write a non fiction book so will be available hopefully March to April next year!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Hi Kate - I will keep an eye out for your book next year. The Kindle is fantastic, I love it!

Thanks for commenting.

MultipleMum said...

You are not the first to recommend Must you Go. I must give it a go! I love a good list of books (have never been tempted by Jilly Cooper but was interested in your perspective on her). Stopping by from the Fibro! x

Jo at BIG kids said...

Just the reminder I needed re 'Must You go', thank you! Hope is well on the farm - your blog looks great...funny to remember the first eye-opening day of initial take-off!

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Given my post earlier in the week, I'm ripe for this. All of these sound brilliant (I do love a Mitford and am a sad Jilly Cooper devotee).

Thanks for rewinding at the Fibro.

mamabook said...

You so need a kindle! We had one. I apparently was responsible for its breakage. But it was lovely. I love books too. And that Antonia Fraser book sounds like an excellent recommend.