Monday, December 31, 2007

Favorite Books of 2007

I guess I'm just not a top ten type of person. As I read through my whole list today, these are the ones that I love the most. Seven of nineteen were re-reads, often perennial reads.

They are listed in the order read and there is a book report for those highlighted:

Little Christmas by Agnes Sligh Turnbull - fiction, 1947. This is a book I've read many times, and simply love.

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders by John Mortimer - fiction, 2004. A wonderful account of Horace Rumpole's oft-mentioned first case. Mortimer and his character, Rumpole are among my favorites.

Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler, unabridged audio - fiction, 2001. I love every word of this book and have listened to it several times.

Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, unabridged audio - nonfiction, 1955. This is one of my top five books of all time. I own both the audiotapes and the print version, the latter being signed by Reeve Lindbergh, the author's daughter, who is a fine writer herself, and lives in my area.

Celia's House by D.E. Stevenson - fiction, 1943. She is one of my favorite authors, and this was a terrific story of a family and their home.

In A Dry Season by Peter Robinson, unabridged audio - mystery, 1999. This was an excellent mystery, by an author I read several times this year. It has one of my favorite devices; a modern detective solving a decades old crime.

Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin - nonfiction, 1988. Wonderful beyond measure.

Cottage For Sale, Must Be Moved by Kate Whouley
- nonfiction, 2004. I loved this true story.

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith, unabridged audio - fiction, 2007. The latest in the Mma Ramotswe series, and I thought it the best thus far.

American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever
- nonfiction, 2006. I found these people to be very interesting, and the book a good introduction to what they believed and how they lived.

Apricots at Midnight by Adele Geras - juvenile fiction, 1977. Such a good idea and story.

No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin, unabridged audio - nonfiction, 1994. A tremendous account of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt during the Second World War.

The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy by P.G. Wodehouse, unabridged audio - fiction short stories, 1924. My favorite author, the one person I could spend my whole lifetime reading.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, unabridged audio - nonfiction letters, 1970. Just the perfect "bookish" book. I own the print version and have read it as well.

The Lion's Pride - Theodore Roosevelt and His Family in Peace and War by Edward J. Renehan, Jr., unabridged audio - nonfiction, 1998. A wonderful telling about this most remarkable man, one of my real heroes.

The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith, unabridged audio - fiction, 2007. The Isobel Dalhousie series is my favorite among all his excellent books. I am so fond of this woman who really thinks about how to live.

Dear Mr. Jefferson, Letters from a Nantucket Gardener by Laura Simon - unabridged audio - nonfiction gardening letters, 1998. I have listened to this so many times that this year I finally bought it so I can listen each year.

Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson - fiction, 1993. Another book, along with Gift From The Sea, which is in my top five of all time.

John Adams by David McCullough, unabridged audio - nonfiction biography, 2001. Such an excellent book about a man who isn't nearly as well-known as the others in his time. He is a new hero of mine.


  1. 84 Charing Cross Road was excellent. Happy New Year.

  2. You have some wonderful books on your list. I must write these down! I just adore Gift of the Sea. Brilliant - it's one of my top 5 of all time too. I never tire of reading it.

  3. Hi Nan -
    You've really gotten me interested in P.G. Wodehouse - should I start with The Rummy Affair, or do you have a different suggestion as my first book?
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  4. Authors--living and deceased--owe you much gratitude, Nan, for reading and relishing their works!
    I'm so very fond of 84 Charing Cross Road, the book and the film, which we watch every Christmas.

    I'm especially delighted to see Cottage for Sale on your list. It's a great favourite of mine, and not only because the author is a friend of a dear friend and it's so evocative of the Cape. The character Bruce is a real and recognisable person in my own life--is a nearly-lifelong chum. From whom I heard about Kate's adventures as they occurred. And from him I know the secret of which actress Kate hopes will impersonate her, should the story ever be filmed....

    Wishing you a new year of fine reading--

  5. Hi Nan. Haven't seen you around for a while so just thought I'd pop in and wish you a very Happy New Year. It's been so nice getting to know you this year. :-)

  6. I enjoyed your list very much Nan. I'm very interested in Celia's House, Home Cooking and I'm thinking I should look into reading an Alexander Mccall Smith book - any suggestions on what to start with?

  7. I would like to re-read more books in 2008. I always tend to think I'd like to do this, but other books call for a first read and I ignore those favorites. Maybe I'll pick one a month to read a second time. My own "Re-read" challenge of sorts.

    I listened to Gift From the Sea this year and am now reading the hard copy (for the second time). It's a marvelous book.

    I have an ARC of Peter Robinson's latest mystery (Friend of the Devil) that I'd be more than happy to send your way, if you like.

    One of my Christmas gifts from Rod was a copy of Home Cooking. I can't wait to dive into it!!

    Ah, 84, Charing Cross Road. One of my all-time favorites!! I've read it a couple of times and love it just as much as the movie. Definitely worth another read, as is Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast.

    Thank you for helping me compile a "Re-read" list. :)

  8. Like you, I couldn't produce a top ten sort of list and had to include re-reads amongst my favourites for the year. I've read two of Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie novels this year - would you agree Tara should start with The Sunday Philosopher's Club as an introduction to his writing? Rumpole's an old favourite too. I like the sound of Cottage for Sale...

  9. What nice and interesting comments! Thank you all. It is fun to see what others like.
    Alison, you could start most anywhere with Wodehouse. There are two main series: Jeeves and Wooster, and Emsworth. There are stories and books galore. The man was very prolific, lived a long time, and wrote all the way to the end.
    Margaret, what a great, great thing to say! And a wonderful story about the Cottage book. Lucky you!
    Cath, thank you very much, and I feel the same way. Looking forward to The Warden next month!
    Tara, there are three series I read. One is the Mma Ramotswe over in Botswana, the other is Isobel Dalhousie in Edinburgh, and then there are the people living at 44 Scotland Street, also in Edinburgh. I love every one. It depends where you want to visit. :<)
    Les, I love your reread challenge. Great idea. Thank you for the arc offer, but I read one this year and really didn't like the idea that it wasn't the finished book. I found things in it that an editor would have pulled. Plus, I intend to go back to the start of the series and proceed from there. Thank you, though. Now, how did Rod know you would like Home Cooking? :<)
    Geranium Cat, what a joy to hear from a fellow Rumpole fan! Gosh, I love those books, and just read there is a new one! He's almost as prolific as Wodehouse!

  10. Thanks for the suggestions, Nan and GC - I am making a note of them.


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