21 Books. It might be a new record.
I can’t say they were all hits, but a lot of them were very good.
This was the year of the historical novel for me. I read a book set in almost every decade of the 20th century. I think I’ve discovered my new favourite genre.
It’s a lot of reviews so I’ll keep it brief. Here we go. . .
Women – Charles Bukowski
Pathetic story and a terrible waste of my time. Recap: a sad old man wakes up, gets drunk, has sex with someone, (anyone), passes out, repeats.
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The author manages the impossible: formulating an extremely well written and intriguing story centred around the word CUNT.
Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
Picoult books. If you’ve read one you’ve read them all.
The Red Wing Sings – Tom Omstead
I read this because it was written by a local author. I appreciated his effort, but the writing was amateurish.
Left Neglected – Lisa Genova
Does the world need yet another clichéd story of the stereotypical ‘overworked’ woman who rediscovers the importance of family after a big accident? No.
Snuff – Chuck Palahniuk
Pro: I did learn a lot of facts about the porn industry. Con: It was so ridiculously over-the-top that I can only describe it by rolling my eyes.
Eating the Dinosaur – Chuck Klosterman
A fabulous series of essays reflecting on such critically important world topics such as the complexities oftime travel and the awesomeness of ABBA.
Moloka’i – Alan Brennert
Life as a Hawaiian leper ain’t so bad after all. I loved this story about how small pleasures make the long life in exile of a young leper worthwhile.
Before I Go to Sleep – S. J. Watson
I should read more great thrillers like this one. I’m now officially terrified of my family manipulating my memory when I develop amnesia. ‘Cause amnesia is super common. Soap operas say so.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
Weird. But also totally unique. A girl can taste people’s emotions in the food they cook and her brother has an equally bizarre power.
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Why is this book so acclaimed? Sal drives all across the country and does stupid things. That’s it. Am I missing something special?
The Given Day – Dennis Lehane
I wouldn’t have picked up this book if it weren’t on sale for $2 when Borders closed. I’m glad I did. Dennis Lehane is a great writer and a good story-teller.
Moonlight Mile – Dennis Lehane
Not as good as The Given Day, but still kept me interested.
The Bonesetter’s Daughter – Amy Tan
This might be my favourite book all year. An American woman discovers the scandalous and intriguing family history of her mother’s life in China in the 30s and 40s.
The Alchemist – Paul Coelho
It’s got a lot of good messages but I won’t give it the rave reviews it’s been getting for years. If I wanted a parable I’d read the Bible.
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Wasn’t convinced that I liked it until the very end. It’s creepy but not mind-blowing.
The Christmas Wedding – James Patterson
Hated it. It was like reading an author’s brainstorm (ie. incomplete).
Rules of Civility – Amor Towles
Love, love, loved it. Mostly because I feel a strange connection to 1930s New York. Maybe I was there in a past life.
The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
I liked it more than I was expecting. Now, if only J.K. can rewrite Harry Potter with just as much sex and swearing.
Fall of Giants – Ken Follett
Highly recommended. Well researched and well written historical novel about the first world war. My only complaint is that Follett’s sex writing is boring and dry.
Winter of the World – Ken Follett
This sequel to Fall of Giants didn’t spark me quite as much as book 1.
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