Hello, friends! If you celebrated Christmas yesterday, I hope you had a blissful, delicious, festive day. This year, I included brussels sprouts in the meal (using this recipe) and they were superlative – the highlight of the meal for me. Unlikely, but true.
But I’m not here to talk about cruciferous vegetables. I wanted to share my absolute favourite books of 2012 with you:
You saw this one coming, didn’t you? I’ve already blogged about Charles Dickens: A Life twice (once at the start, and again on finishing), and raved about Claire Tomalin many, many times. It was splendid. Highly, highly recommended.
May I jump on the Hilary Mantel bandwagon? And yes, isn’t it a rather crowded bandwagon? Nevertheless, my favourite two novels of 2012 were Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Each book haunted me for weeks after reading it, and every time I casually open the book to a random page, my eye lands on a perfectly pitched, devastatingly good sentence.
Am I the only person in the world who hadn’t heard of Jon J Muth? Nick picked out his telling of Stone Soup quite by chance, in a busy bookstore a couple of days before Christmas. It’s the Stone Soup story you already know, transposed to historical China, featuring three Zen monks. The illustrations are profoundly beautiful – this cover image I grabbed doesn’t begin to do justice to the light in the paintings – and the story is deeply, solidly rooted in a love for China and Zen Buddhism. It’s one of the few picture-books I want to gaze upon for a long, long time.
And these are my end-of-year selections. What were your favourite books of 2012?