Tag Archives: reading

MY 2015 READING YEAR IN REVIEW


Best Novel of the Year

A Man Called Ove – Fredrick Backman

Best Non-Fiction of 2015

Improbable Libraries – Alex Johnson

The Orchid Thief – Susan Orlean

The Mole People – Jennifer Toth

Best Literary Novel

Lila – Marilynne Robinson

Terrific Reads – Fiction

All the Light we cannot see – Anthony Doerr

Breath – Tim Winton

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

Best South African Novel

A Slim Green Silence – Beverley Ryecroft

Best Translated Novel

The Discreet Hero – Mario Vargas Llhosa

Best Indian Novel

The Story Hour – Thrity Umrigaar

Longest, most difficult read

Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon


Best Memoir

The Diving – Helen Walne

Best Thriller

I am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

Best Fantasy

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store – Robin Sloan

Best Avant Garde Novel

The Familiar – One rainy day in May – Mark Z Danielewski

Wittiest Book

Table Talk – A A Gill

Disappointments

The Little Paris Book Shop – Nina George

Zoo Time – Howard Jacobson
Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler

Leaving Before the Rains Come – Alexandra Fuller

The Ocean at the end of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

FOOTNOTE: . Try as I might, I just couldn’t limit my list to a measly ten books  … I hope my faithful readers have managed to struggle to the end of my l-o-o-o-n-g list.

 

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under BOOK REVIEWS

MY 2014 READING YEAR


imagesCAAXWIHW

2014 has not been a good Reading Year for me – I got off to a bad start with eyesight problems, which weren’t resolved until mid-May, so  I’ve not read as many books as usual. My list shows books which I read during 2014, and  is a mixture of Old & New. Some of them were published way, way before 2014; some of them in the late 1990s in fact, but I only had the pleasure of discovering them this year. One of my less obvious categories is ‘Books About Books’ : I’m hooked on books, and love reading  books about reading and books. We all have our quirks.

I hope  my list will introduce some new  suggestions for your own reading .

Best Book of 2014

The 40 Rules of Love – Elif Shafak

Not to be missed book : 2014

The Buddha in the Attic – Julie Otsuka

Most Original Book of 2014

We Are all Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

Books About Books:2014

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair – Nina Sankovitch

Funniest Book: 2014

Nature Girl – Carl Hiaasen

Most Challenging Read of 2014

Living by Fiction – Annie Dillard

Best Gothic Novel : 2014

Marina – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Best Non-Fiction : 2014

12 Patients (Life & Death at Bellevue Hospital) – Dr E  Manheimer

Best Travel Book : 2014

The Way of Stars & Stones – Wilna Wilkinson

Best short stories: 2014

The Barnum Museum – Steven Millhauser

Best Crime 2014

Diamond Dove – Adrian Hyland

Great Reads (Novels): 2014

The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

Big Brother – Lionel Shriver

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simision

The World We Found – Thrirty Umnigar

Epic Fail/unreadable  2014

The Infatuation – Javier Marias

Swann’s Way – Marcel Proust

 

5 Comments

Filed under BOOK REVIEWS, BOOK STATISTICS

I’D RATHER READ THAN …


 

Just about anything else you care to mention.  For example –

I’d rather read than go to the dentist, sort out my bank statement, weed my garden, wash dishes, clean windows, wash my car, give my cat a pill, take my cat in the car to the vet (ultimate horror experience),  or deal with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).  On reflection, dealing with SARS gets the Ultimate Horror Nomination, probably followed by visiting the dentist.  Clearly the aforegoing list is a complete no-brainer.  I mean, honestly now, who really wants to go to the dentist?  Really and truly? I challenge anyone to nominate dentist visits onto the My Favourites List.

I’d rather read than go to the movies or watch second-rate TV schlock; or listen to a worthy, improving lecture. I’d rather read than attend a music concert, classical, rock or pop concert, makes no difference. Reading for me!

I’d rather read than go sunbathing at the beach.  I’d definitely rather read than go hiking. I’d rather read than go to an exercise class.(Duh). I’d rather read than attend a formal dinner. I’d rather read than attend a cocktail party, or play Bingo.  What am I saying?  Bingo belongs in the first paragraph.  I have signed an oath in blood not to play Bingo. No-no-no-no: I refuse.  It’s official.

I might put down my book to go out and eat sushi. I would put down my book to rush to an annual book sale – can’t resist them. I would carefully close my book, drag out the glad rags, and go to the theatre. I would instantly snap my book shut to go and play Mah Jong.  I would pack my books, and possibly a few clothes, at the prospect of a family visit up country, or for an overseas trip. I would briefly abandon my book to play Bookworm on line, or Wordblox on Facebook.

I would happily close my book to receive a friend into my house. And I would cast my book aside with a wild shriek of abandon and head for my boudoir should my lover come calling. Erotica between book covers is no substitute for erotica under the covers. Prolonged, dedicated research on my part has proved this.

So there you have it. The bottom lines for my reading.  Re-reading this I realize that booze and chocolate have been left out of the lists. Perhaps I should slip them in somewhere.  And I notice I have left out shopping for clothes.  I could put my book down for an hour or two to torture myself in my favourite dress shop.  When you get older it’s a constant challenge to find garments that disguise the wrinkly, droopy, saggy bits. That’s the joy of reading: no matter how old and wrinkly you may be, you can always find a book that fits you; your book covers open obligingly and invite you inside for hours of companionable pleasure, no matter how over-weight you may be, no matter how spotty, greasy, sun-burned, blotchy or otherwise generally unattractive you might currently be.

I’m off to dust and sort my bookshelves, and then settle down with a cup of coffee and my latest book.  See ya later.  Much later.

6 Comments

Filed under SOCIAL COMMENT