Rather than talk about my highlights (in reading terms) of last year and there were plenty, I think I'll list my way through a stack of books I intend to read in 2011. I don't suppose it matters when they were published, but a calming gentle wander around Hatchards between Christmas and New Year has given me ideas:
1. Distant Hours - Kate Morton. Costumes, social history, houses and general nosiness. I'm sure I'll find plenty to like. This was a very welcome Christmas present and I only have one minor whinge that it's too heavy to take commuting which is when I have the most time to read.
2. Having discovered Phyrne Fisher (and the lovely fiction buyers at Hatchards are now stocking her) this year, I think I'll try more costume crime. Jacqueline Winspear can be good in parts, but there's also another striking Africa-based flapper-type called Jade del Cameron by Suzanne Arruda. Impressive blurb and cover art.
3. Death of a Radical - Rebecca Jenkins. Another crime novel, from an author I know nothing about. Always good to try something new.
4. A 'country house' novel. Or similar. These are very easy to find at the moment usually with green covers showing a garden and a door, probably a nod to those of us who read The Secret Garden too many times.
5. Finally, I'd like to read a little more non-fiction. I enjoy both Juliet Gardiner and Bettany Hughes, so their most recent books are on order at the library. After Downton and Upstairs Downstairs, it might also be useful to have a look at Keeping their Place for a glimpse behind the baize door.