Sunday, 29 December 2013


Now that the smoke from Christmas celebrations has settled (oh, I’m SO sick of eating leftovers – and leftover leftovers is even worse!) it’s the time of year when I brazenly imitate all the really flash publications who issue their lists of Notable Books for 2013:  once again I say ‘well, I can do that!’
Thanks to Te Takere, our wonderful new (only a year old) library and community centre, I have read and reviewed some exceptional titles and it has been fiendishly difficult to pare the list down to twenty, let alone ten as I originally intended.  Then I thought ‘ Hey!  I’m not constricted to a deadline or space problems – I can recommend as many Great Reads as I like, so there! 
Here we go:
In the interests of keeping readers awake I shall list the title, author and month reviewed;  if you wish to read the whole review for a book just refer to older posts;  otherwise take a punt on the title alone – live dangerously!  You won’t be sorry.

Soon, by Charlotte Grimshaw                                                   January

The Dinner, by Herman Koch*                                                January

Merivel – A man of his time                                                      March
By Rose Tremain

Kind of Kin,                                                                                 April
By Rilla Askew*

Rubbernecker,                                                                             April
By Belinda Bauer*

Wash, by Margaret Wrinkle                                                      May

Girlchild, by Tupelo Hassman                                                   May

Olive Kittridge, by Margaret Strout*                                     May

A Delicate Truth, by John Le Carré                                       June

The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout                                       July

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini*               July             

Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld                                                July

The Son, Philipp Meyer*                                                          September

Dexter’s Final Cut, by Jeff Lindsay                                       October

Emperor of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence*                              October

The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride*                            November

Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King*                                             November

Longbourn, by Jo Cook*                                                          November

Daughters of Mars, by Thomas Keneally*                            December

Any children’s book by master storyteller Michael Morpurgo*

Those titles marked with an asterisk are in my humble opinion the crème de la crème, the very best of the best in which every book listed is a Greatest Read.

On behalf of the staff and volunteers at our beautiful Te Takere in Levin, NEW ZEALAND I wish all great readers Seasons Greetings and a most happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.

Last but not least, my apologies for the nasty little Blog Gremlins who wouldn't let my list and my carefully ordered columns be published as I set them out.  They are horrid little things and they hate me.  Well, I don't care - I don't like them either:  they can just sit on their thumbs and lean back on their fists.  See you all next year.  xxx 

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