Saturday, 22 December 2012

What I've read this year

I started by thinking I was going to do a top 10 of 2012 reads, but to be honest, it's been such a good reading year that I'd struggle to pick my ten favourites.

Perhaps the most surprising discovery of the year was the result of a book I picked up for 50p in a charity shop. I fondly remembered the first two Adrian Mole books, so when I saw Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, I thought it might be a pleasant distraction. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up wanting to re-read the first two (which didn't disappoint) and then go right through all the other books in the series.  I haven't actually read them yet, but I'm looking forward to reading The True Confessions, The Wilderness Years, The Cappuccino Years, The Lost Diaries, and The Prostrate Years in 2013.

As you can see from the list below, there have been a few other re-reads this year, all of which I have enjoyed just as much, if not more, second time around. When I know what happens at the end of a book, I love spotting how the author sets it up through the earlier chapters. It makes me think that we should read every book twice!

The only book I really struggled to finish this year was Me Cheetah, which I read for my book club.  I loved the first 50 pages or so, but once  you get but the joke - it's a spoof memoir full of scandalous gossip surrounding Hollywood stars of the 1930s and 40s - it all seems a bit repetitive.

The two books that stayed with me the longest were Archipelago (review of Archipelago) and the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which was one of the most unusual and touching books I've read for a long time. Other highlights were:  Hurry up and Wait, (review of Hurry up and Wait) Jubilee, (review of Jubilee) My Dear I Wanted to Tell You, God's Own Country, (review of God's Own Country) Tideline, (review of Tideline) When It Happens to You, The Hunger Trace,  Rook, (review of Rook) How to Be a Good Wife, and...oh, so many of them!! I've reviewed a few of them, as you can see, but sadly I just don't have time to review them all. 

Anyway, perhaps you'll find some ideas here, or maybe you'll decide to re-read something you've already read once.

Carry me Down by M J Hyland
Hurry up and Wait by Isabel Ashdown
One Day by David Nicholls

Jubilee by Shelley Harris
The War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 (re-read)
The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (re-read)
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young
Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson
A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Ordinary Thunderstorms By William Boyd
The Road Home by Rose Tremain (re-read)
In the Kitchen by Monica Ali

Gods Own Country by Ross Raisin
The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (re-read)

Tideline by Penny Hancock
A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale
When it happens To You by Molly Ringwald

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Hunger Trace by Ed Hogan
Rook by Jane Rusbridge
The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (re-read)
Me Cheeta by James Lever

The Leftovers by Tom Perotta
My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
The Untold Story by Monica Ali
Archipelago by Monique Roffey

Even the Dogs by John McGregor
Last Orders by Graham Swift
How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman

Secret History by Donna Tartt (re-read)
The Help by Katheryn Stockett

The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell (re-read)
The Believers by Zoe Heller
When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
TBR This is my read-over- Christmas treat: Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

So, I made it to 42 this year – I've been aiming for 50 for the last few years, so failed again. Oh well, another wonderful reading year beckons.

Merry Christmas to everyone, and happy reading!

 To find out more about me and my work, go to my website

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