My favourite books of 2007

Books-of-the-yearYes, it’s that time of year again, time to look back on 12 months’ worth of reading to see what stands out and to choose 10 titles as my favourite novels for 2007.

It’s been a weird year, not least because my professional life got ratcheted up a few gears in May and the pace has been fairly relentless ever since. This means my reading (and blogging) time has been seriously curtailed, but I’ve still managed to devour at least one book a week.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my top 10 (in alphabetical order by book title):

Between Two Rivers by Nicholas Rinaldi (2005)
‘One of those rare novels that takes a simple premise — the lives of the residents in a tower block in downtown Manhattan — and turns it into something truly special, in prose that is, by turn, elegant and shocking, eerie and mesmerising.’

Digging to America by Anne Tyler (2007)
‘While there is no real storyline to speak of, Tyler is able to explore two different views of America — the insider’s and the outsider’s — with tenderness and insight.’

The Gathering by Anne Enright (2007)
‘Amid the dark, often depressing, subject matter there are chinks of light that make the novel surprisingly witty and, in a perverse kind of way, uplifting.’

I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti (2003)
‘A delicious treat, one that transports the reader back to that time when the adult world was incomprehensible and the best thing about life was riding your bicycle throughout the long, hot school holidays that lay ahead every summer.’

The Other Side of You by Salley Vickers (2007)
‘A remarkable, utterly engrossing book that cannot fail to move any reader, no matter how hardened they might be to the myriad emotions associated with art, death, life, love and loss.’

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (2007)
‘A fascinating account of one woman’s personal growth as she learns that both men in her life are good people with character flaws and that no matter who you choose there will always be ups and downs.’

Saturday by Ian McEwan (2005)
‘A very cerebral book (quite clever when you consider that the lead character makes his living operating on people’s brains) until you come to the unexpected, and somewhat shocking climax, which takes the action up a gear or two.’

Strangers by Taichi Yamada (2005)
‘One of those beguiling tales told in simple, hypnotic prose.’

That They May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern (2003)
‘A beautiful, slow-moving book that mirrors the gentle rhythm of rural life and brims with a subdued love of nature.’

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa As Aswany (2007)
‘A powerful, thought-provoking and controversial read, but also an entertaining and enlightening one.’

What books did you fall in love with this year?

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12 thoughts on “My favourite books of 2007

  1. I finished the Gathering last week. You have to be in the right mood to read it. I didn’t find it uplifting but I like the sense of resolution in it.

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  2. I’d have to include Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go ( In know it’s been out since 2005 but I do get a bit behind now I’m in Spain).

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  3. From your comments about each book, the one I most want to read is “The Other Side of You” by Sally Vickers. Anne Tyler, I always read, have read her since 1978. I think I’ve reached the point with Anne Tyler where my expectations are so high, there is no way her new book can meet them. “Digging to America” was a great book, but is it as good as “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant” or “The Amateur Marriage”?

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  4. Raelha, that’s a fine book. You’re not that far behind — I only read it last year!
    Tony, I love love love Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, it’s an amazing book. Studied it at school in fact, about 20 years ago now!! Makes me feel very old all of a sudden!

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  5. My three favorites that I read this year are Blind Assassin, What I Loved, and A Long, Long Way (which I read after reading your review).

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  6. Valerie, The Blind Assassin is one of my all-time favourite´s. I´m constantly recommending it, and Margaret Atwood in general to my friends.

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  7. Will, it’s a great book. Was slightly put off by Michael Gove naming it as his “read of the year” on BBC Newsnight Review the other night, but you can’t have everything!;)

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