Beginning with the fiction but in no particular order, here are the books I've awarded a 'Cornflower Blue' for being the best of the year* (click on the descriptions to go to the full post on each one):
Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd, a thrilling spy story and a portrait of Europe at a time of enormous change, a bildungsroman and a picture of the human psyche under pressure, a book springing from intellectual heft and virtuoso narrative technique - it's too good to miss.
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers, ingenious and cleverly plotted, great dramatic entertainment.
The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon, stands out for the sheer economy of its prose, its near-perfect idiom, and for the significance of its subject matter and the themes which are worked out so skilfully in so few words.
John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk, encompasses myth and legend, allegory and arcane knowledge, love, war and entrancing storytelling, combining these ingredients to make no mere culinary conceit or kickshaw but a readers' feast of the highest order.
The Knot by Jane Borrodale, an engrossing narrative moving with the shifting seasons makes this a fine work, and one whose atmosphere lingers in the mind.
Rook by Jane Rusbridge, an exquisitely sensitive story, an affecting work, closely woven, beautifully tempered.
Non-fiction to come next.
*That is, of those I've read this year.