Getting very close to this year's list, but before I let you in on 2007's top ten, here's what made the grade last year. As always, it is ones I've enjoyed most, rather than those which are most meritworthy. Otherwise I might have some trouble justifying my choice of no.1 over my choice for no.5...
10. A House and Its Head - Ivy Compton-Burnett
ICB is a love-or-loathe author, and luckily I love her. Preferred Mother and Son, but this is quite wonderful too.
9. There Were No Windows - Norah Hoult
Another Persephone Book (not often they aren't good enough for my top ten) and one which is both heart-rending and very funny - about an authoress with dementia.
8. The Two Doctors - Elizabeth Cambridge
She appeared on my 2004 list, and this is a worthy follower.
7. Discipline - Mary Brunton
Jane Austen mentions Mary B a couple of times in her letters, quite sardonically, and she is certainly worth reading. The 1980s introduction to my copy kind of misses the point...
6. The Vicar of Wakefield - Oliver Goldsmith
Very funny, and finger-on-the-pulse theologically too. Nice combination.
5. All's Well That Ends Well - William Shakespeare
Saw this with Dame Judi Dench in it, which probably helped me choose this Billybob play. No two entries by the same author, doncha know.
4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
Lisa (Bluestalking Reader) sent this one in the dovegreybooks postal group - we don't often disagree on books. Brilliantly Gothic and a classy page-turner.
3. Evelina - Frances Burney
2. A Writer's Diary - Virginia Woolf
Leonard Woolf edited Woolf's diaries into this book, which deals mainly with her literary output. Good place to start with Ginny.
1. The Letters of... - Elizabeth Myers
Only from Myers side, these letters are to all sorts of people (including Walter de la Mare) and reveal a gentle, humorous and ultimately slightly tragic figure. Myers died quite young, and, as the letters are divided into sections for each recipient, you feel this death coming on again and again and again... Still, this collection has a fragile beauty which cannot be forged.