Book 3 – The Intellectuals and The Masses by John Carey

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This one best categorised as an extended brainy rant, and reading it gives me a rationale for why I disliked this book so much. Essentially, modernists were completely up themselves. And they didn’t like other people very much either.



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Filed under 2018, Non Fiction

Book 2 – Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

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Jolly amusing tale of magical coppers in a London that really remembers where it came from.

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Filed under 2018, Mystery / Crime

A Century of Books

So this year I’m joining in a challenge posed by Simon over at Stuck in a Book to read one book from as many years as possible within the century 1919 – 2018. This could be fun (and I’d better go back and check when the Tove Jannson stories were published).

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Filed under 2018, Not about an actual book

Book 1 – The Invisible Child (and The Fir Tree) by Tove Jannson

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Moomins for Christmas!

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Filed under 2018

New Year’s Eve 2017

And here we are again at the end of another year. Only 26 books this year (some of them were long). Boo to work and life getting in the way of reading time, I say. Also boo to the distractability of modern social media. Hopefully in 2018, all those external contraints will be more manageable and better managed.

Top five books in the past year (excluding much loved re-reads)?

  • Things Fall Apart
  • The Plot Against America
  • A Room of One’s Own
  • City on Fire
  • David Copperfield


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Filed under 2017

Book 26 – David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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I honestly can’t remember if I’ve read David Copperfield before or not. I might have done, many years ago, but I also might just have picked up the basic storyline from watching a film or TV adaptation. It’s a long old read, but a cracking novel and provided a real Christmas treat. I know some people struggle with Dickens, but am not entirely sure why. He’s not a hard read (bit wordy maybe), the plot and (many) subplots race along with cliffhangers galore and the characters sparkle on every page.

And Dickens is the master of description. As an example, here is the introduction to Miss Murdstone, David Copperfield’s cruel step-aunt:

“It was Miss Murdstone who arrive, and a gloomy-looking lady she was; dark, like her brother, whom she greatly resembled in face and voice; and with very heavy eyebrows, nearly meeting over her large nose, as if, being disabled by the wrongs of her sex from wearing whiskers, she had carried them to that account. She brought with her two uncompromising hard black boxes, with her initials on the lids in hard brass nails. When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse, and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain, and shut up like a bite. I had never, at that time, seen such a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murdstone was”.

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Filed under 2017, Classsics 2017

Book 25 – Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich

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Hardly know where to start to describe the terrible, sad beauty of this book. Just read it.

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Filed under 2017, Non Fiction