Tuesday, December 01, 2009

a year in books

I've been composing a blog post in my head about how I don't think Twilight is all that bad for people, even though I agree with most of the criticisms of it, but now that it comes to actually sitting down and writing a blog post I am already bored of my arguments. Feel free to call me out if you disagree with this, and I will outline my thoughts. I was going to include a quote (o.k., more a rough paraphrase) from Fahrenheit 451, which I think is an awesome book, if that helps.

So having said what I won't be talking about, here is what I will be talking about. Seeing as it's December, and 'tis the season, I will be doing a Year in Review- my annual reading list! Since I lost this year's diary and didn't get around to putting up last year's list, this will be the books I read in 2008, but I hope you enjoy all the same.

Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
Mister Pip- Lloyd Jones Kind of appropriate to read next to each other, good books but Mister Pip was fairly harrowing.
White Noise- Don DeLillo Really enjoyed this, have a post about this and Bright Eyes
When the Elephants Dance- Tess UrizeHolthe I chose this book for the whimsical title- it turned out to be about WWII in the Phillipines. Interesting, but again- harrowing.
Halowe'en Party- Agatha Christie Too many harrowing books=a run of Agatha Christie.
Towards Zero- Agatha Christie
Death in the Stocks- Georgette Heyer I was told Georgette Heyer was like Agatha Christie, but in reality nowhere near as good.
They Found Him Dead- Georgette Heyer
Destination Unknown- Agatha Christie
Nemesis- Agatha Christie
Listen- Kate Veitch Did not entirely warm to this...
Independent People- Halldor Laxness Something a little different, the story of Icelandic independence through a small farming family.
On Chesil Beach- Ian McEwan The story of a disastrous wedding night was possibly not the best choice for honeymoon reading, much as I love Ian McEwan's writing.
The Aunt's Story- Patrick White The writing quality of this drew me in and kept me going the whole way.
Arthurian Literature and Society- Stephen Knight Good, at least in the first chapters, but I thought that he undervalued TH White and overvalued 'A Knight in King Arthur's Court'. Made me feel better about not being at uni.
The World According to Clarkson- Jeremy Clarkson
Domina- Paul Doherty
Breath- Tim Winton Disappointing to me, I love a lot of Tim Winton but this did not grab me. Maybe it was too male? I don't know...
The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats- Jeffrey Masson
A Partisan's Daughter- Louis De Berniere This one I liked, although it was so ambiguous.
Persuasion- Jane Austen Very much enjoyed, loved the setting especially.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd- Agatha Christie Finally read the classic, but guessed the twist.
Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie
Murder in the Mews- Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot's Christmas- Agatha Christie
One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas- Gertrude Stein It was fun to see the artistic world of Paris in the 1920's in this way, an interesting perspective on a life.
The Whole Story and Other Stories- Ali Smith Well-executed collection of short-stories.
Kafka on the Shore- Haruki Marukami Very weird, loved the Japanese folkloric quest story, was bemused by the incestuous undertones.
Exile's return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920's- Malcolm Cowley Not quite what I expected, inspired by Phryne Fisher and Gertrude Stein.
Striding Folly- Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy L. Sayers = Love!
The Mystery of the Blue Train- Agatha Christie
When Will There Be Good News?- Kate Atkinson So darn depressing, though this is a good series with some black-ish humour and generally likeable characters.
Nightbirds on Nantucket- Joan Aiken Finally read these books, after reading a lot of Joan Aiken in my childhood. These are great, alternate history children's adventure. In a way reminiscent of the Philip Pullman Sally Lockhart series (mainly for the waif heroine).
The Stolen Lake- Joan Aiken
The Cuckoo Tree- Joan Aiken
The Castle- Franz Kafka In a word: baffling.
The Corrections- Jonathan Franzen This was amazing. I'd avoided it for years, but that just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I found the characters to be so human, if a little larger than life.
Dido and Pa- Joan Aiken
The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Milan Kundera Sad, but in a lovely way.
The Sunday Philosophy Club- Alexander McCall Smith Light as a feather, with philosophy!
The Comforts of Saturdays- Alexander McCall Smith
Romulus My Father- Raimond Gaita Heartbreaking, but also beautiful. More philosophical than the previous.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society- Mary Ann Shaffer Interesting, unlike what I expected, another facet of WWII- there are no end to the interesting stories that came out of that war. I liked it.
The Man with the Dancing Eyes- Sophie Dahl A picture book of love and New York.
Breakfast at Tiffany's- Truman Capote

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1/12/09 22:17

    Hmmm, so none of these for Christmas then...