Thursday, 19 December 2013

Some books from 2013

I’ve read loads of books since the last time I found time to ‘review’ one on here so here are a few lines on some of them.

 The title “Stoner” written by John Williams led me to believe the subject matter would be something entirely different when in actual fact the novel was nothing of the sort. If I had to describe it I’d say nothing really happens but that would sound like a criticism. It’s a strange book about a man named Stoner and his life as a child, a student and a lecturer.

 I’m sure it’s not for everyone but I really liked it. I’ve read a few by Ian McEwan and enjoyed them all. The latest was “Sweet tooth” which is about a middle class girl recruited to MI5 in the early seventies. As the story progresses the reader thinks he knows where it’s heading but its McEwan and we’re wrong. Another good read.

 I’ve recently discovered US crime writer Michael Connelly and have devoured two of his books; “City of Bones” and “The Black Box” both feature D.I. Harry Bosch who I would describe as Los Angeles answer to Rebus. I like Bosch and will be reading more in the future.

 I had high hopes of Phillip Pullmans “Grim Fairy Tales”, I expected more than just re-telling of the same old tales but I was wrong. A big disappointment.

 Finally “A Kestrel for a Knave” by Barry Hines has sat unread on my shelf for years as I’ve seen the film so know the story. I finally picked it up and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

 A few others from 2013.
 “The 100 year old Man who climbed out of the window and disappeared…” by Jonas Jonasson was probably the funniest book I read all year.
The best classic was “Far from the Madding crowd” by Thomas Hardy.
The most disappointing was Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” but the most unreadable was “Tom Jones” by Fielding.
My favourite‘re-read’ was definitely “Glue” by Irvine Welsh whilst Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” wasn’t as good second time around.
The most surprising was “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel for which I had no expectations but really enjoyed.

J.K. Rowling proved their is life after Hogwarts, " Casual Vacancy" was a really great read that was a great insight into British society.
 However the best, most enjoyable, moving, life affirming thing I read all year was “Shadow of the wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This will remain on my book shelf as a cherished favourite which one day I’ll read again. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for more from the author.

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