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Wrapping up 2007 (books)

 Well, I didn't manage fifty books last year, but here's what I did read...


  1.  Noel, Katharine.  Halfway House.  
  2.  Nicholson, Joel.  Bleeding London.
  3.  McCrea, Barry.  The First Verse.
  4.  Eriksonn, Kjell.  The Princess of Burundi.
  5.  Orwell, George.  Burmese Days.
  6.  Isherwood, Christopher.  A Single Man.
  7.  Beattie, Ann.  Follies.
  8.  Rankin, Ian.  The Naming of the Dead.
  9.  Rowling, J.K.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
10.  Fielding, Helen.  Bridget Jones's Diary.
11.  Crowther, Yasmin.  The Saffron Kitchen.
12.  Amis, Martin.  House of Meetings.
13.  Rendell, Ruth.  End in Tears.
14.  Hambly, Barbara.  Renfield:  Slave of Dracula.
15.  Berne, Suzanne.  The Ghost at the Table.
16.  Campbell, Rebecca.  The Marriage Diaries.
17.  Eugenides, Jeffrey.  The Virgin Suicides.
18.  Le Carré, John.  The Mission Song.
19.  Muir, Kate.  Left Bank.
20.  Rowling, J.K.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
21.  Rowling, J.K.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
22.  Jelinek, Elfriede.  The Piano Teacher.
23.  George, Elizabeth.  What Came Before He Shot Her.
24.  McEwan, Ian.  Atonement.
25.  Edwards, Kim.  The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
26.  Atwood, Margaret.  Bodily Harm.
27.  Kostova, Elizabeth.  The Historian.
28.  Fossum, Karin.  He Who Fears the Wolf.
29.  Lively, Penelope.  The Photograph.
30.  Blythe, Carolita.  The Cricket's Serenade.
31.  Pullman, Philip.  The Golden Compass:  His Dark Materials Book I
32.  Highsmith, Patricia.  The Blunderer.

Non-Fiction / Memoirs:

   1.  Ali, Ayaan Hirsi.  Infidel.
   2.  Mayles, Peter.  A Year in Provence.
   3.  Jamison, Kay Redfield.  An Unquiet Mind.
   4.  Turow, Scott.  One L.  (Reread)
   5.  Sarton, May.  Plant Dreaming Deep.  (Reread)
   6.  Klinkenborg, Verlyn.  The Rural Life.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
of the fiction what do you recommend--have read his dark materials and Harry potters
Jan. 22nd, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
I suppose it depends on what you're in the mood for.

If you want something light and entertaining, then Left Bank or Bridget Jones's Diary are good choices. Bridget the novel is much better than Bridget the film.

If you're a mystery fan, the Rankin novel is very good. You might also like Ruth Rendell. The book on the list is one of her Inspector Wexford novels. (See the comment I left below for luvmax1.) I'd love to recommend the Elizabeth George novel to you, but she's an author whose mysteries MUST be read in order; she works with a small group of core characters, and each book broadens and deepens our understanding of them and their lives. Technically you could read What Came Before He Shot Her as a standalone, because what she's done here is to take an incident that happened in her previous novel (With No One As Witness) and then craft an entire new novel explaining it. I don't know of any other author who's done that; it's a brilliant idea and made a brilliant (but terribly sad) book. The problem, though, is that if you read it, you'll know the fate of one of her core characters, and I think that would spoil for you all the earlier books in which this character appears. If you're curious about George, though, start with her first novel (A Great Deliverance) and then go from there.

The "literary" novels on the list would be Atonement and The Historian. Atonement is easier to get into; Kostova's book has three separate overlapping timelines and three separate narrators (a daughter, her father, and her father's mentor). Once you get into the story it's fine, but initially it's a little confusing.

If none of these fill the bill, then I'd also recommend The Memory Keeper's Daughter, or Renfield.

Happy reading!

Edited at 2008-01-22 02:28 am (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've read most of those! I love Ruth Rendell though, as well as her alter-ego, Barbara Vine. Anna's Book, which she wrote as Vine, is one of my all time favorites. I just finished her most recent book, though the tutle completely escapes me at the moment.

I have read The Historian, of course, one of my all time favorite books. And while I haven't read The Virgin Suicides, I did read Eugenides' Middlesex this year, which was just wonderful, too.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
I think you were the one who recommended The Historian to me. I enjoyed it very much. :-)

I'm also a big Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine fan; she's one of the few authors whose books I buy in hardback (Elizabeth George is another one). The Inspector Wexford novels don't do that much for me, which is why I'll just check those out of the library instead of buying them, but the psychological ones written both in her own name and in the Vine pseudonym live very happily on my bookshelves.

I haven't read Middlesex; will have to take a look at it.
Jan. 22nd, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
I don't read the Wexford ones, either. Years and years ago, I saw "A Dark Adapted Eye" on PBS. I loved it and needed to read it, and that started my love for the author. I just finished The Crocodile Bird, a slightly older book. It's pretty good, though not one of my favorites.

You're right, I think I did recommend "The Historian" to you. What an amazing book. And I'd read so many reviews of Middlesex, but I just never got around to reading it. I saw it on the library shelf last fall, and I thought, what the hell, I'll check it out. It was very strange, to say the least, but very compelling, too.
Jan. 20th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
It's an impressive list, I wish I could say I've read as many books as you - by the way your gift has arrived, thanks a lot, maybe now I'll finally learn to save money, *g*
Jan. 22nd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear the gift finally arrived! Most of the things I sent abroad arrived by Christmas, but there were definitely one or two stragglers.

What you might do is just take all the loose change out of your wallet/purse once a week and put it in the bank. Do that for a whole year, and you'll be surprised how much "extra" money you'll end up with. I did it last year, and had almost $300.00!

I have a long commute (2.5 - 3 hours in total each day), and since I take a commuter bus instead of driving, I use the travel time to read. If not for that, my list of books would be much shorter.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )