This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is to post about our last 10 five-star reads (or something similar along those lines). I’ve been less free with my five-starring this year, so some of these date all the way back to the end of last year.
I read three ‘Harry Potter’ books during this time, but I decided not to count those and just went with new to me books rather than rereads. Here they are, counting down from ten to one, starting with the most recently read.
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. What didn’t I like about this? The art was fantastic, the writing was fantastic, and really that’s all you need in a graphic novel. There’s a reason this has been as popular for as long as it has and if you’ve been thinking about reading it for a while, stop thinking and start doing. If you want to watch the film you should do that too, but just as it gets towards the big reveal of the master plan you should switch off and read the novel because the ending is TERRIBLE.
9. Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the Brink by Stefan Zweig. I don’t think I could put into words again how much I loved this and how much it spoke to me. I think I elaborated on these points fairly well in my review of it.
8. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. This one was super contentious for me and could have easily been a three, four, or five star rating. I didn’t love most of the book – everything just sort of happened. But then it got to the end and there were a few pages that put everything before in a whole new light, and left me crying my eyes out. It was a really profound and heartbreaking moment, hence the five stars.
7. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Look. I don’t want to say that I’m obsessed with this book, but to say that I like it would be a complete understatement. Tom Ripley speaks to all the dark places within me, which I find both incredibly frightening and exhilarating at the same time (don’t worry, I’m not likely to go on a stabbing spree any time soon). [My full thoughts on the book are here.]
6. The North Water by Ian McGuire. This book blew me away and although I read it at the end of last year, it’s still the frontrunner for my favourite new release of 2016 (it came out in February). It’s dark, gritty, murderous, and just beautifully written. Highly recommended if you like tales set on the high seas and don’t mind loads of swearing. [My full thoughts on the book are here.]
5. Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man by Abdi Aden. Sometimes you read a book that just completely fills you with hope – this was one of those books. It’ll make you happy, sad and angry, and wonder what the hell is wrong with the world. But it will leave you with hope. [My full thoughts on the book are here.]
4. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. If I could shove this book into the hands of every single person I meet, I would. And the Australian public agrees with me – this book has had rave reviews from just about anyone who’s read it and it’s been shortlisted for a bunch of Aussie book prizes/won some of those prizes. Needless to say, you HAVE to read this book. [My full thoughts on the book are here.]
3. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith. This one has easily been my most favourite of the three ‘Cormoran Strike’ books so far. It’s much darker than the first two and thankfully rescues the series from the threat of going stale. A VERY highly recommended read. [My full thoughts on the book are here.]
2. Dear Reader by Paul Journal. This book was so lovely and so relatable to me as a reader – which means that you who are reading this will probably relate to it as well. [My full thoughts on the book are here.]
1. Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt. If I was going to rank these in order of which I liked the best of all my five star reads, this most likely would have been number one. I just adore Patrick deWitt’s writing – if I had to pick someone who I could write like, it would probably be him. I’ve only ever read two things by him, but he’s easily one of my favourite writers and I would pick up any new releases by him without any hesitation at all. [My full thoughts on the book are here.]