Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Book List

Thought I'd get this up now since it's a quiet day on the IPYPIASM front - these are the books I've read since around this time last year - most were read while waiting for hospital and doctor appointments - yay for the slow health service. I've a feeling next years list with be a tad shorter.

1. KPAX trilogy – enjoyable sci fi read

2. In the skin of a lion – Michael Ondoatje – poetic, beautiful read, plot unsatisfyingly complex.

3. The behaviour of Moths – Poppy Adams – too many loose ends

4. The Dubliners – James Joyce – some outstanding writing, not sure it merits ALL the hype tho.

5. The very Man – Chris Binchy – depressing but compulsive read.

6. Fiesta, The sun also rises – Ernest Hemmingway – brilliant glittering characters though nothing much happened it read like it mattered.

7. Sharp Sticks, Driven Nails – Stinging Fly anthology – always well worth a read, some really excellent stories.

8. The Last Estate & Redemption of H – Conor Bowman Pullman, two very contrasting books set in same place but different times. Interesting and readable experiment.

9. The Idiot – Dostoyevsky – read more like a play than a book, a tad too long.

10. Looking for Leon – Shirley Benton – see review done at the time.

11. Taking Pictures – Anne Enright – some lovely writing – some endings were too sudden.

12. The captains and the kings – Jennifer Johnston – stunning writing, understated, brilliant.

13. The girls – Lori Lansens – irritating faux real style, tries to do too many things.

14. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – several stories tenuously strung together some way better than others.

15. Herzog – Saul Bellow – pompous miserable man struggles for recognition and understanding, some gems in it.

16. Melancholy Baby – Julia O Faolain – great short stories, alot of them shocking even today, a great read.

17. This is not a novel – Jennifer Johnston – probably the most dissappointing of hers I’ve read so far.

18. Ultimatum – Matthew Glass – chewing gum read, ultimately dissappointing.

19. Little Stranger – Sarah Waters – Sarah knows how to spin a yarn, unsatisfying ending sadly.

20. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote – took the longest time to read this on and off for years – definitely not worth the hype.

21. The hand that first held mine – Maggie O Farrell – sorta readable, tries a bit too hard.

22. Regeneration – Pat Barker – Really excellent piece of work, worth reading.

23. The Story of Plan B – Kate Dempsey – Enjoyable Romp of a read from Emerging Writer, check it out!

24. An evening of long goodbyes – Paul Murray – the ovaltine of writers – I adore Paul’s work and can’t wait for the next book – you may hate it though.

25. Clock Winder – Anne Tyler – another quiet family drama, beautifully described.

26. Women – Charles Bukowski – a most dislikeable narrator, and ultimately boring plot.

27. Before I go to sleep – SJ Watson - an alright read, kind of obvious at the end, but readable.

28. All the pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy – good cowboy wild west type adventure, he’s a great writer.

29. The Complete Short Stories of Evelyn Waugh – some innovative story telling techniques, but mostly dated and hard to get into for that reason.

30. The Masters – CP Snow – picked from a top ten books you must read list – I must disagree – it was alright, if you’re into Oxford / Cambridge history and ambience, missable if not.

31. Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi – networking bible that tries to pretend it’s not about using people, but kind of fails in the end to convince.

32. Pyramid and 4 other stories – Henning Mankel – interesting detective series set in Sweden, mostly seems to consist of the main character’s shock at crime happening in Sweden

33. Resurrection Men – Ian Rankin – the usual compulsive reading brilliance from Ian, love him.

34. The Method and Other Stories – Tom Vowler – really enjoyed alot of these, some punchline type endings though.

35. The Kill – Emile Zola – Spoiler Alert: No one gets killed! Otherwise brilliant read – so many parallels with today it’s scary.

36. The Walmart Effect – Charles Fishman – sort of interesting, but repetitive, and not saying much that’s new.

37. 3 cups of tea – Greg Mortenson – interesting read, but definitely a lot of poetic license taken, and there’s some scandal about it perhaps not being true – ie there’s another book out called 3 cups of lies.

38. The Grass is singing - Doris Lessing – a brilliant book, hard to read at times, but such strong insights into life etc. Really worth reading.


Peter Goulding said...

I think I read a book this year. It had a blue cover. I started about three.
BTW Pixies is Noddy Holdering away -

Rachel Fox said...

That's some list!!

I've never read any Jennifer Johnston (though I went to school with one of her kids at one point). Should amend that. Also I've never read any Ian Rankin (not one word!) and I live in Scotland. Very poor...

And yes, the Idiot - not FD's finest. He was a genius though. In places.


Niamh B said...

Tks for the heads up Peter.
Rachel, I know - "notes from the underground" had some real brilliance in it. Ian Rankin - OMG - that's a real shame, you're missing out... it's great entertainment. And yes, am usually pretty happy I've read a bit of JJ!

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks for the mention; the cheque's in the post. I devour Ian Rankin - brillant. Jennifer Johnson doesn't do anything for me.
I am scared to reread In Cold Blood as I loved it so much when I was young(er)
Love love love CLoud Atlas. Would read that again once a year.
Pat Barker - yes!
Doris Lessing - a gap in my library that I feel I should fill.

Dominic Rivron said...

I think there's only one there I've read and reread and now you've got me wanting to read it again and that's Dubliners. It's fantastic.

I keep meaning to read some Doris Lessing but still have to get round to it.