|Todd's Warehouse, Stonegate, York|
The last Top Ten Tuesday of the year from The Broke and the Bookish asks us to name our top ten favourite reads for 2016. Of course, I thought I'd participated in this end-of-year meme every year but when I looked back, I could only find a post for my Top Books From The Last Three Years. Sigh! I guess it's better late than never to start!
|Reading A Book|
Sadly, I did not meet my reading goal of 60 books this year, reading only 45. However, there is a silver lining in the cloud; I read more pages than last year and I have a number of HUGE books that I'm still working on (think, The Faerie Queene, Don Quixote, The Gulag Archipelago, etc.) so no, I'm not weeping tears of regret.
So without further ado, here is my top ten list for 2016, set up as Brona did, to build the suspense.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
I think I've read this trilogy about 8 times. I just love it!
The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers
I had to include this play and what better place than with Tolkien, Sayers friend and contemporary. Her impeccable research into the life and times of Jesus, along with her detailed direction for this play was amazing. An excellent read!
Hamlet, the Prince or the Poem by C.S. Lewis
While not technically a book, but a lecture, C.S. Lewis brings to light some unique ideas and questions with regard to a play that has been studied to death. It's also the top viewed post on my blog, quite a feat considering I only read it this year.
The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
Thanks to Cirtnecce for introducing me to Indian history and this most wonderful writer during her read-along. I will definitely search out more of Tagore's works.
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
I've read this biography now twice and loved it equally each time. I'm continually blown away by Merton's insight into life and the human condition. Yes, I'll read it again!
The Oresteia by Aeschylus
Adultery, murder, betrayal, power, oppression, escape, judgement ..... What more could one ask for in a book? The Oresteia delivers it all, yet with many lessons that are as applicable today as then. Aeschylus is one of my new favourites.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Ah, I just love this book! Read for Hamlette's read-along my enjoyment of it was stretched out over months and I enjoyed reading it so much as this measured pace. My fifth read of it and just as good as my first!
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
I don't know why the brilliancy of Tolstoy amazes me. I didn't expect much of this short novella, but Tolstoy managed to capture the last days of Ivan with such poignancy .... his thoughts, dreams and regrets. The message was universal with many insightful ideas to ponder, as well as touching the heart. Tolstoy is a genius!
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I hadn't read this novel for decades and with this re-read I wondered how I could have been so short-sighted. I absolutely loved it. My wish is to read it every year. Lee captured her characters, life experiences and the effects on their development so brilliantly. I don't think I could ever read Go Set A Watchman after this.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Wow, I struggled while reading this book. I felt like I was swimming in a maze of ideas and philosophies that were quite over my head. Luckily I just kept reading. It was only when I finished that everything started to come together and I could appreciate what a masterpiece this book is. I know that I still haven't grasped even half of what's there, and I can't wait to read it again ...... and again, and again, and ......
Metamorphoses by Ovid
I almost gave The Brothers Karamazov number one position but surpisingly, even to me, I chose to give it to Ovid. While Metamorphoses was shocking and at times gross, the effort and aptitude of Ovid's work couldn't be ignored. His stories stick with you and somehow get into your soul. Bravo, Ovid. I wouldn't want to know you, but your poetry is sublime!