Why not the traditional 10?
Well, one per month , although they didn’t arrive that way, and 12 was the total of books I’d scored as 9 or 10. Rather than battle over which of the 9s should be dropped I’ve opted for a list of 12. They are listed in the order I read them.

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino[9]
Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury [9]
A big boy did it and ran away – Christopher Brookmyre [9]
Quite Ugly One Morning – Christopher Brookmyre[9]
In the Country of Last Things – Paul Auster[9]
Black Swan Green – David Mitchell(Ethelreaders)[9]
Brokeback Mountain – Annie Proulx [9]
Stuart – a life backwards – Alexander Masters [10]
Making Money – Terry Pratchett [9]
Michael Tolliver Lives – Armistead Maupin [10]
The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett[9]
The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill[10]

Applause for Christopher Brookmyre, this year’s find; a surreal, comedic, political satirist I was introduced to by my reading group, who is now making up a big part of my TBR list.

Three books scored 10.
 
“The Man in the Picture” was a classic ghost story by Susan Hill, as sinister as “The Woman in Black” but with a modern setting taking in Venice and England. I bought it just before Christmas from my favourite bookshop Topping & Co,  along with “Michael Tolliver Lives”. 

“Michael Tolliver..” and my other 10, “Stuart – A Life Backwards”, are the books that have most affected me this year. Both are, in their own way, about family and life changing events. Both have their joyous moments when you find yourself smiling or laughing out loud as you read and both bring you to tears at the end; for one they are of relief and the other despair. I recommend both heartily. They are not for the faint-hearted, they both depict real life and should carry an “Adult” rating for language, sex and in one case violence, but shouldn’t reading challenge us to look beyond the often cosy world we live in?

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