Category Archives: 2015

Not much more of 2015

And only 31 books!

Hmm, quantitavely speaking this was very much a could-do-better year. However, I did read some cracking books. My top five were (in no particular order and ignoring re-reads):

  • Freedom and Necessity by Steven Brust and Emma Bull
  • Dr. Faustus by Thomas Mann
  • Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
  • Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  • The World we Have Lost by Peter Laslett

 

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Filed under 2015, Not about an actual book

Book 31 – The Man in The Queue by Josephine Tey

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Quite a period piece, this one – an early detective story (1929) by Josephine Tey.  Not a bad read, nice historical detail.

But don’t read it with 2015 sensibilities, you’ll only get annoyed, particularly with the persistent cultural and racial stereotyping. I’m struggling to give Tey a pass on this one, as it is so much worse than anything written by her contemporaries.

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Filed under 2015, Mystery / Crime

Book 30 – The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

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I have absolutely no idea why this photo is on its side, my phone app refuses to rotate it round and I can’t be bothered to boot up my pc to fix it (it’s Christmas Eve, people!). So the fantastical city of Diaspar will just have to stay lying down.

Quite a fun story, very readable. But I do find that sf dates far more noticeably than some other genres.

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Filed under 2015, SF

Book 29 – Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

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Well that was a long break, thanks to a busy new job, plus a nasty dose of reader’s block. I’m hoping to get back to some substantial reading over Christmas.

I had Bring Up the Bodies in my sights as soon as I’d finished Wolf Hall a couple of years ago. It continues with the career of Thomas Cromwell, dealing particularly with the downfall of Anne Boleyn. And it was just as well written and dramatic, though possibly, with Cromwell’s personality and the sheer horridness of nearly everyone already well established, less of a surprise. Would definitely recommend.

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Filed under 2015, Historical Fiction

Book 28a – The Booths Christmas Book 2015

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No ordinary Christmas catalogue. So beautiful, I just felt it deserves a mention. And I did read it from cover to cover.

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Filed under 2015, Non Fiction

Book 28-Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple

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Really enjoyed this novel, which describes the collapse of a happy family in middle class 1950s suburbia. I found the French villainess (the cuckoo in the nest) something of a caricature, but the book as a whole was beautifully written and paced. Recommended.

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Filed under 2015

Book 27 – Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon

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Now this is what I mean by enjoyable hokum (Dan Brown please note)

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Filed under 2015, Alternate History