The end of the year is coming and I'm not reading anything too exciting right now so I think it's safe to comment on my favourite reads of 2007. None of them are particularly current as I rarely read new releases, but I loved all of the following:
The Orchid Thief (Susan Orlean): This work of non-fiction was a real revelation to me. I don't read much non-fiction and I had no interest in orchids so I was surprised at how much I loved Susan Orlean's tale of, well, just about everything to do with orchids. The book is a brilliant character study of the collector John LaRoche and a fascinating description of Florida. It's also ten times more interesting than my description of it. Just trust me on this one.
Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier): I raved about this book at the time and it has stayed with me. Just thinking about the ending has me on the verge of tears. Don't let the dodgy film version put you off. Wonderful writing and a beautiful story. An incredible first novel.
Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf): I've just written about this so I won't say much other than Woolf is a genius and this is deservedly a classic.
Special mentions also go to I Capture the Castle, the classic young adult novel by Dodie Smith, American Pastoral by Philip Roth and Disgrace by JM Coetzee.
It's a strange list of quite disparate books but probably a good reflection of what I've been reading this year. There are some big holes though, such as not reading many pre-twentieth century novels, so now I'm off to formulate my next post: reading plans for 2008...