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I knit, I sew, I run, I look after children and hamsters, I take truly terrible pictures, I cook, I complain.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Read it 2013

It's unlikely that I'll read anything else this year. Maybe an Agatha Christie or two, or perhaps I'll start "The Goldfinch". Anyway, here is the list of all the books I've read this year, with illuminating short reviews.

The Wild Places, Robert MacFarlane – gorgeous in every way
Bones are Forever, Kathy Reichs - rubbish
Tea Classified, Jane Pettigrew & Bruce Richardson - not very well written and too long
Falling Angels, Tracey Chevalier - too long
The Cleaner of Chatres, Salley Vickers – a bit soppy
The Testament of Mary, Colm Toibin – thought-provoking
The Labours of Hercules, Agatha Christie – proper Christmas reading
Tigers in Red Weather, Lisa Klaussmann – not sure what it wants to be
Wildwood, Roger Deakin – devastating and illuminating
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeannette Winterson – devastating, poor woman
Where D'You Go, Bernadette?, Maria Semple – loses its way towards the end
Mountains of the Mind, Robert MacFarlane – gorgeous, I love him
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn – gripping, but not good
Sense and Sensibility, Joanna Trolloppe – bad in every way
The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry – very Irish
The Book of Summer, Emliya Hall – not very good
The Patchwork Marriage, Jane Green – predictable
Casting Off, Elizabeth Jane Howard – super
Confusion, Elizabeth Jane Howard – super
Marking Time, Elizabeth Jane Howard – super
The Bad Cook, Esther Walker – supper
Lifesaving for Beginners, Ciara Geraghty – poor
The Sorrows of an American, Siri Hustvedt – desperate
Sparkling Cyanide, Agatha Christie – strangely comforting
Frost at Morning, Richmal Crompton – can’t remember (damns with faint praise)
The Novel in the Viola, Natasha Solomons – poor
The Morville Hours, Katherine Swift – incredibly reassuring
No One Has Sex on a Tuesday, Tracy Bloom – how did this get published?The Light Years, Elizabeth Jane Howard – super (I love her)
The Private Patient, PD James – satisfyingly horrible
Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle, Dervla Murphy – brilliant
Starlight, Stella Gibbons – not as funny as CCF, but good
The Dud Avocado, Elaine Dundy – can’t believe I’ve not read it before
American Gods, Neil Gaiman – funny and horrible
The Newlyweds, Nell Freudenberger – good, but a bit depressing
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson – pretentious
Vacant Possession, Hilary Mantel – desolate
The Gardens of Good Hope, Marian Cran – very much of its time
Dodger, Terry Pratchett – easy to read and funny
Hedge Britannia, Hugh Barker – leafy
Ines of My Soul, Isabel Allende – conquistador-y
Middlemarch, George Eliot – well worth an occasional re-read
The Rose Labyrinth, Titania Hardie – very bad indeed
Otter Country, Miriam Darlington - glorious
Raising Girls, Steve Biddulph - disappointing
In One Person, John Irving – riveting
Dead Heading, Catherine Aird – funny and satisfyingly gory

48 books. Not bad at all.


  1. of course not bad... hope you save more time in the coming year for books :P