This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to list our top ten books of 2021. I know there are still a few days of December left, but I’m confident that I’m not going to finish anything before the end of the year that would make it onto my list, so it should be safe to post it today!
From my review: “This wonderful Golden Age crime novel from 1936 was written by John Haslette Vahey; Henrietta Clandon was one of his many pseudonyms…I found this one so much fun to read, I will certainly be reading more of his books! The book is hugely entertaining and often very funny and although some parts of the story don’t seem at first to have much to do with the overall plot, everything falls into place by the end and the significance of even the smallest detail becomes clear.”
From my review: “I loved this! I’ve never read Kate Quinn before, although she has been recommended to me several times, so I’m pleased that my first experience of her work has been such a good one. The Rose Code wasn’t a perfect book, but the few flaws that I noted were quickly outweighed by the gripping plot, strong characters and interesting historical setting.”
From my review: “Like all of Rutherfurd’s novels, this one is clearly the result of a huge amount of research…I think anyone with even the slightest curiosity about China, its history, geography and people, will find a lot to interest them in this book – just be aware that it’s quite a commitment and will take a while to get through, even for the fastest of readers!”
From my review: ” It was lovely to be back in the Shallowford Valley and become reacquainted with Paul and Claire Craddock and their family, friends and neighbours…Although there’s plenty of action and always something happening in the Valley, the story moves along at a leisurely pace and the focus is on the daily lives of the characters and the relationships between them.”
From my review: “I thoroughly enjoyed reading it – both the domestic parts and the gothic adventure parts. The atmosphere is wonderful, there’s a suitably sinister villain and I loved the remote setting…I’m certainly planning to read more of Joan Aiken’s books and am hoping they’re all as good as this one!”
From my review: “The main focus of the story, however, is Henry’s younger half-brother, William de Valence, and his wife, Joanna de Munchensy of Swanscombe…There’s not much information available on the real historical figures, particularly Joanna, but Chadwick’s portrayal feels convincing and believable and I enjoyed getting to know them both.”
From my review: “I loved Andrew Greig’s last book, Fair Helen, a beautifully written historical novel based on a Scottish Border Ballad, so when I saw that his new one, Rose Nicolson, was going to be set in the same time and place I couldn’t wait to read it. Now that I’ve had the opportunity, I’m pleased to say that I enjoyed it just as much as Fair Helen and can highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about Scotland in the 16th century.”
From my review: “The Land Beyond the Sea is a fascinating novel. I have read a lot about Europe in the medieval period, but not so much about other parts of the world…As with Sharon Penman’s other books, this one has clearly been very well researched and her afterword and author’s note are almost as interesting as the story itself.”
From my review: “I had high hopes for St Martin’s Summer – and I’m pleased to say that it definitely lived up to my expectations. First of all, it’s a lot of fun to read…there are duels, disguises, impersonations and all sorts of other tricks and deceptions, some of which are obvious to the reader, but not to the characters, who repeatedly fall into each other’s traps!
From my review: “I would probably never have picked this book up based on the description alone as it didn’t really sound like my usual sort of read. And that would have been a shame, as I thoroughly enjoyed it…The setting is wonderfully atmospheric and Hughes creates an amazing sense of place…I loved this book and am so pleased it came up for me in the Classics Club Spin!”
So that’s my top ten…however, I have also read a lot of Agatha Christie novels this year for the Read Christie 2021 challenge and it didn’t seem right not to put any of them on my list – so I’m adding an eleventh book and highlighting my favourite Christie novel of 2021. I enjoyed all of them, but the one that particularly stood out for me was December’s read:
From my review: “My favourite thing about this book, though, was the setting; many of Christie’s mysteries are set in small villages, but the wintry weather gave this one a special atmosphere. I loved it and am glad the Read Christie challenge prompted me to pick it up this December!”
Have you read any of these?
What are your favourite books of 2021?