Saturday, 31 December 2016

A Year of Reading

I have spent much of the last year in a book.

Well, in a great many books, to be precise, the challenge that I had set myself in January was to read one hundred book in 2016.

It helped that I have not worked for the last twelve months, extended sick leave gave me the time to read and reading distracted me from worrying over-much about my health, so a win-win in my opinion.

It also helped that I spent so much time on cross-channel ferries, having taken six, or was it seven, trips back to Brittany meant that I spent the equivalent of a whole week on Le Bretagne, which gave me a lot of time to read.

So my 2016 book list...

It is, you will notice, heavy on Nordic Noir and twisted tales, having cancer will give one an appetite for such stories. And a few authors crop up several times; when I find one that appeals to me I tend to read as much of their work as possible, so several Sarah Addison Allen's magical feel-good novels and Val McDermid's serial killers are here.

Some books were a delight, some were disappointing and several taught me that having a story to tell is not necessarily a good reason to write a book. Time was when bad writing would be weeded out by the publishers, now anyone can put their words into print and there are some truly bad books out there. Enough said...

I have to mention A Little Life by Hanya Vanagihara, it is so uplifting and distressing and full of hope and of despair and will play your emotions like a finely-tuned instrument. I think that it should have won the Man Booker Prize.

And how is it that I had not read The Picture of Dorian Gray until last week? I suppose that leaving English Literature at the age of fifteen to focus on science meant that I missed out somewhat.

I am not sure that I will manage to read so many books in 2017.
I have some major changes to make in my life including an upheaval on the home front and, hopefully, a new profession to occupy me, and I really would like, finally, to get that horse that I have been requesting from Santa for the last fifty-five years, but who knows? Reading is addictive and in the tales told by others we can often find an escape from a world that is not always nice so...

Here are the books in the order in which I read them.        

The Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto   The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor   The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman   Dark As My Heart by Antti Tuomainen

Follow You Home by Mark  Edwards  The Healer by Antti Tuomainen    Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma  Healey    The Cambridge Curry Club by Saumya Balsari 

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler    The Widow by Fiona Barton  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt    Viral by Helen  Fitzgerald 

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware    The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen    The House at Midnight by Lucie Whitehouse  Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Disclaimer by Renée Knight    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen    First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen   The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

In Her Wake by Amanda JenningsTry Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon     The Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Papagianni   You Sent Me a Letter by Lucy Dawson   

The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir   The School of English by Hilary Mantel    Maestra by L.S. Hilton     Alpha by Colin F. Barnes

The Arsonist by Sue Miller    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara   The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen    The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie 

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel    Ordeal by Jørn Lier Horst   The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood    When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen 

Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood    The Vegetarian by Han Kang    Strangeness on a Train by Julia Crouch    Cuckoo by Julia Crouch

A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable    Human Acts by Han Kang     The Caveman by Jørn Lier Horst    See How They Run by Tom Bale   

 The Helper by David  Jackson   A Tapping at my Door by David  Jackson   Cry Baby by David  Jackson      Ruby by Cynthia Bond 

The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge     Only in Naples by Katherine  Wilson  Pariah by David  Jackson   Leaves from the Tree by Annabel Bailey   

 The Improbability of Love by Hannah Mary Rothschild  Her Last Tomorrow by Adam Croft     The Girl Who Broke the Rules by Marnie Riches  THE STREET by Bernadine Bishop

 The Ice House by Minette Walters    Nightblind by Ragnar Jónasson    The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda  Owen    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent     Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent      Tales from High Mountain by Tara Austen Weaver   Vacant Possession by Hilary Mantel   

 The Many by Wyl Menmuir   The Truth About Us by Simon Kettlewell     Untouchable by Sibel Hodge      The Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid 

 Becoming Human by Scientific American     The Last Temptation by Val McDermid   Siren Song by Erik Boman     Paris-London Connection by John Morgan   

 Diana's Nightmare by Chris Hutchins   A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi     The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid     The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn   

 You Are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza    Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski   Some Kind of Peace by Camilla Grebe    The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

Iceland, Defrosted by Edward Hancox     A Small Place in Italy by Eric Newby    The Little Book of the Hidden People by Alda Sigmundsdóttir   Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson 

Five Go On A Strategy Away Day by Bruno Vincent   Ashes to Dust by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir     The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton    The Magpies by Mark  Edwards

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley     What You Wish For by Mark  Edwards   Five on Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent     The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde   

 Becoming Magic by Genevieve  Davis   The Upanishads by Anonymous     Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid