Monday, 28 December 2009

Book of the year

I have recommended forty six books this year in my book of the week slot, partly from the perspective of a collector and partly the perspective of a reader. Looking back on the list (at this very early stage), three have substantially increased in value. Q&A by Vikam Swarup appreciated due to the Oscar Success of Slumdog Millionaire, signed copies of The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell proved to be very uncommon, and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell went on to win the Man Booker Prize. Of course, this does not mean that long term value will be retained, and selling all three now would probably be a sensible financial strategy. Indeed, it is common for Booker Prize winners to show a large transient increase in value after winning the prize, before price falls to a more sustainable level, and other modern first edition prices can be similarly volatile.

However, my favourite book of the year has to be the book which I enjoyed most, and looking back on my choices one stands out - Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin. Toibin writes beautifully, and Brooklyn captures superbly the atmosphere of a small country town in Ireland, and the isolation and loneliness of an immigrant to New York torn between the experiences offered by a new world and the call of family ties at home. If you haven't read this book as yet, then I cannot recommend it more strongly.

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