Books 2017

January

  1. Blue Door Venture – Pamela Brown.
  2. Truly, Madly, Guilty – Liane Moriarty (audio).
  3. Dragon’s Claw – Peter O’Donnell. Because it turns out I didn’t want to read anything on my TBR pile, I wanted to read about Modesty Blaise instead.

February

  1. Real Tigers – Mick Herron. These are all fab.
  2. Amy & Isabelle – Elizabeth Strout.
  3. Snow Blind – Ragnar Jonasson. For me, this suffered from being a first novel and in translation. It was good but a bit thin.
  4. American Housewife – Helen Ellis.
  5. Daughter of the Wolf – Victoria Whitworth.
  6. Watch Her Disappear – Eva Dolan.
  7. A Dance to the Music of Time (vol 1) – Anthony Powell (audio).
  8. Haunted Castles – Ray Russell. A lovely collection of Gothic tales, how had I never heard of him before?

March

  1. The Last Voice You Hear – Mick Herron (audio). Second in the Oxford series and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. There’s always the nice Oxfordness, of course (namecheck of Borders! I liked that Borders), and Zoe is an indomitable character.
  2. Giving up the Ghost – Hilary Mantel. In a lovely, pale yellow, clothbound Slightly Foxed edition that is the perfect size for one’s hand. I feel, when reading it, that I should be on a steam train somewhere in the 40s, possibly at risk of getting a smut in my eye.
  3. All Passion Spent – Vita Sackville-West.
  4. Thus Was Adonis Murdered – Sarah Caudwell.
  5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John Le Carre.
  6. The Smell of Summer Grass – Adam Nicolson.
  7. Little Men – Louisa May Alcott.
  8. The Wrong Knickers – Bryony. In all honesty, I went to London and forgot to take a book and this was what I could find in Smith’s at Marylebone for the return journey.
  9. Diamond Star Halo – Tiffany Murray. I didn’t even know she’d written more than Sugar Hall. Loved the characters and the prose of this but actually would have liked more of it, as a great big sprawling family saga.
  10. Resistance – Owen Sheers. I heard the movie being discussed on Front Row years ago, but never saw it playing anywhere. Not a huge fan of counter-factual stuff but the small scale of this sounds interesting. And it was, although tending inevitably to tragedy.
  11. Harriet – Jilly Cooper. I don’t even remember when I last romped through all these quick romances. This was a junk food snack.
  12. Daughter of the Empire – Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts – Much as above. Surprised by how much I remember as I went along. Don’t need to read the rest of the trilogy.

April

  1. Night Waking – Sarah Moss.
  2. The Bird Tribunal – Agnes Ravatn. Lordy.
  3. Mothering Sunday – Graham Swift.
  4. St Clare’s – Enid Blyton. Picked up a three vols in one and had a happy hour or so on Sunday afternoon revisiting my youth. Remembered very little of it, I always preferred Malory Towers.
  5. Summertime, All the Cats Are Bored – Philippe Georget. A grand thing about a day out on your own is all the reading time you get as well as being out. Consequently, I read on the train, over lunch, during the interval at the theatre so there were only a handful of a pages to get through when I got home. Loved this, character driven police procedural.
  6. Madame Solario – Gladys Huntington. This is dragging for me, so I’m going to have to blitz it to get through it.
  7. Good Clean Fight – Derek Robinson.
  8. Skating to Antarctica – Jenny Diski.
  9. Spook Street – Mick Herron. Another outing for Jackson Lamb, another day survived for the Slow Horses. Well, most of them. I’m glad to see Catherine Standish back.
  10. And the Rest Is History – Jodi Taylor (audio). There are times when all the driving that my job brings with it is a good thing, and those times are mostly when there’s a good audiobook to be listened to.
  11. The Dry – Jane Harper (audio).
  12. A Dance to the Music of Time, 2nd movement – Anthony Powell. I listened to vol 1 again on audio and fell straight back under the spell, so I shall work my way through the rest.

May

  1. The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway.
  2. A Dance to the Music of Time, 3rd movement – Anthony Powell. On audio.
  3. Every Dead Thing – John Connolly. My first foray into the Charlie Parker novels, and I liked it but it didn’t quite live up to expectations.
  4. Die Trying – Lee Child. My second foray into Jack Reacher novels, and I’m firmly hooked on these.
  5. The Water Rat of Wanchai – Ian Hamilton. Which I had to import from Amazon US, which means that these are going to be tiresomely tricky to get hold of. I liked it, Ava Lee is actually a nasty piece of work, accomplished and ruthless.
  6. The Girls – Emma Cline. This one did live up to the hype, perfectly encapsulating that teenage need to be seen, and the blind gratitude that can go along with that.
  7. The Stopped Heart – Julie Myerson. God, it took me weeks to read this. It was the sense of impending tragedy that did it, which must mean the author was successful in building up the suspense. I just didn’t want to know what happened, so I resisted the book. So then that meant that I read it in a really disjointed way, so it never came alive for me. Effectively I read it doing there reading equivalent of sticking my fingers in ears and singing ‘La la la, I can’t hear you’.
  8. Full Dark House – Christopher Fowler (audio). The first in the Bryant & May series, and the last for me. I did like the idea that it started at the end, with one of the now elderly detectives investigating the presumed death of t’other one (I’m afraid I couldn’t remember which was which). Meanwhile, it also replayed their first case together, with the two stories intertwining. But blimey, there were some real pacing issues, at least to my ears. Bloody great long bits that went nowhere at all. Plus there were some really obvious overlooked clues (the door that’s always locked and yet you’ve got a mysterious character prowling around the theatre, oh give me a break).  And Fowler did that thing when, in order to avoid too much repetition of a character’s name, he used a noun instead. So, ‘the chorine’ or ‘the tycoon’. I hate that. Yeah. No.

June

  1. The Clocks in This House all Tell Different Times – Xan Brooks.
  2. A Dance to the Music of Time, vol 4  – Anthony Powell.
  3. Heliopolis – James Scudamore.
  4. Autumn, All the Cats Return – Philippe Georget.
  5. Boy A – Jonathan Trigell.
  6. Crisis – Frank Gardner. I was on holiday and ran out of books and had to read the boyfriend’s.
  7. Betrayal – Will Jordan. As above.
  8. The Power – Naomi Alderman (audio).
  9. Tripwire – Lee Child.
  10. The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett.
  11. Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? – Paul Cornell.

July

  1. Freya – Anthony Quinn.
  2. A Way through the Woods – Nigel Balchin.
  3. Maplecroft – Cherie Priest.
  4. Darkness Falls from the Air – Nigel Balchin.
  5. Rather Be the Devil – Ian Rankin. I’m enjoying Malcolm Fox’s gradual falls from grace the more time he spends with Rebus. Also, oddly glad to see Big Ger out of retirement.