Books, oh my!

For the love of books…what was tops in 2017? Here’s a 5-4-3-2-1 of 2017 at the Masthead. Full reviews available via the review archive.


Top FIVE books overall

(as per my personal enjoyment; no surprise Rushdie and the classic Russians are here…)

1. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
2. The Enchanted Wanderer by Nikolai Leskov
3. It by Stephen King
4. Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
5. Shame by Salman Rushdie




Top FOUR books

for originality and depth of story

1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
3. Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
4. City of Thieves by David Benioff




Top THREE books

to make you think


1. Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
2. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
3. The Stranger by Albert Camus



TWO Books that surprised me

(because of my preconceived notions)

1. Othello by William Shakespeare

If you think Othello is a play about jealousy, read it again – there’s a lot more to it than that, and its final act bucks the trend for Shakespearean tragedy.

2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Fashion magazines make so many references to Capote’s novella or to Holly without really giving an accurate picture of either. As fashionable as Holly Golightly is, she lives a very empty life and doesn’t know where to turn in order to fill it. It’s so clear to me what she feels. As readers we’re put in the position of Capote’s narrator, Fred, and it’s like watching someone close to you fade away while knowing all the time that it’s their battle to fight alone – and that you also will never know whether they get on an even keel.



ONE Book

that has made this blogging venture worth my while


Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Maybe it’s because dystopia novels make me roll my eyes, but I’m not sure whether I would’ve picked up this book had I not set out to read and review what I’d normally pass up. Every faction in politics, Left and Right, is always trying to claim the big dystopias for itself (which is exactly why I’ve not yet read 1984 or Animal Farm; their original context is quite easily forgotten and they’re used to make hyperbole of whichever politics is disagreed with). Add to this the furor over Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and…well, I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this book.


→ What was tops for you this past year?


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