Wednesday, February 20, 2008

book list 2007

Haven't written a blog post in a while... And have been meaning to write up my book list from 2007, so in lieu of thinking of something interesting to say here it is: New books read in 2007

Puccinni's Ghost- Morag Joss
The Secret River- Kate Grenville. Good, but sad. Well drawn characters really make this book what it is.
Mister Monday- Garth Nix
Grim Tuesday- Garth Nix
Drowned Wednesday- Garth Nix
Sir Thursday- Garth Nix. Young adult fantasy, read on beach holiday, fun.
Enduring Love- Ian McEwan. Really very much liked this one. Well written, messes with your head a bit.
Daughter of Fortune- Isabel Allende. Pretty cool, sweeping historical adventure.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter- Kim Edwards. Why are so many of the books I read so sad?
Black Swan Green- David Mitchell A review of this made me start reading David Mitchell. Still like number9dream best.
Great Northern?- Arthur Ransome
Wieland- Charles Brockden Brown. For American Gothic course, one of few books I finished for the course.
Flowers in the Attic- V.C. Andrews. Also for American Gothic. Trashy, with horrible editing/grammar, but readable.
Wise Blood- Flannery O'Connor. Sam recommended it to me, but I didn't really like it because all of the characters were horrible.
The Labours of Hercules- Agatha Christie
Heart Songs- Annie Proulx. Beautiful short stories.
Chaucer's Constance and Accused Queens- Margeret Schlauch. A book about Chaucer and folktales, written in the 20s. I found it fascinating, came across it while writing a presentation.
Aunts aren't Gentlemen- P.G. Wodehouse
Hot Water- P.G. Wodehouse
Sam the Sudden- P.G. Wodehouse. I bought some second hand Wodehouse. Always highly enjoyable.
In the Woods- Tana French. Pretty good murder mystery, with somewhat obvious twist. Also sad.
Suite Francaise- Irene Nemirovsky. The saddest of all, but good.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- JK Rowling. Much hyped, satisfying end to a series, with fan-fiction-esque epilogue.
The Left Hand of Darkness- Ursula le Guin. Ursula le Guin is just so good at sci-fi and fantasy...
The Handmaid's Tale- Margeret Attwood. Why didn't I believe everyone who told me this would be good? Read this and Left Hand for Utopia course.
Snow Crash- Neal Stephenson. Also for Utopia. Very readable, fast-paced sci-fi with dubious history and philosophy.
Peepshow- Leigh Redhead. Murder mystery, somewhat trashy modern Australian noir/hard-boiled.
Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Deserves its classic status. What more can I say?
Making Money- Terry Pratchett. Always love a new Discworld book.
Atonement- Ian McEwan. Annoyed me intensely, but was well written.
Old Goriot- Honore de Balzac. I believe I've always known this as 'Pere Goriot', but my translation had 'Old', which is a pity as the whole father thing was pretty significant. Biting but amusing along the lines of Dickens.
Case Histories- Kate Atkinson. More murder mysteries. I thoroughly recommend Kate Atkinson, except for 'Human Croquet'. Mostly she doesn't write murder mysteries but when she does shes does them well and with originality.
Gentlemen's Blood: A History of Duelling from Swords at Dawn to Pistols at Dusk- Barbara Holland. Fascinating, but irritatingly American-centric and NRA friendly. Would have liked to hear more about swords in Europe as well as pistols in America.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The French Lieutenant's Woman- John Fowles. It had it's good moments, but the characters ended up annoying me and the central conceit could be a little wearing at times.
A Question of Death- Kerry Greenwood. More Phryne Fisher! Light and fluffy fun to finish off the year.

And that, my friends, was my year in books. Perhaps I should also mention the Old English narrative poem 'Andreas' here. I seem to be reading less every year, but I guess I can blame the thesis.

A lot of these books were very good, but some personal favourites were 'Enduring Love' and 'Heart Songs'. As well as 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Crime and Punishment' and 'Case Histories'. And I did enjoy 'Old Goriot'. I will keep an eye on Ian McEwan in the future, hope Kate Atkinson writes some more and dip into the occasional Annie Proulx. Because she really does have a beautiful writing style, and her stories are so well drawn and character driven and... I dunno, good.
Happy reading in 2008!

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