Books read

June 2017
Other People’s Money – Justin Cartwright [An old family bank becomes a cropper! A fabulous tale. Highly recommended]
This is How – M.J.Hyland [Odd but readable tale of a loner and a killing. Recommended, for some]
The Brooklyn Follies – Paul Auster {Meandering and unsatisfying. Glad when it ended]
The Easter Parade – Richard Yates [Unhappy families. OKish]
A Long Way From Verona – Jane Gardam [Set in the North, during WW2, a young girl’s thoughts.  Recommended]
The Pale Criminal – Philip Kerr [Crime / politics in pre-WW2 Berlin. Mixed feelings on this one.]

May 2017
Fortune Smiles – Adam Johnson [Six short stories. Imaginative and interesting. Recommended]
Spring – David Szalay [Modern relationships. I completed it!]
Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout [Short stories masquerading as a novel. Quickly lost interest]
Breathless – Dean Koontz [Tosh. Read it in a day!]
The Reflection – Hugo Wilcken [“An experimental novel disguised as a thriller”. Thoroughly confusing]
A Very English Scandal – John Preston [The story of the downfall of MP Jeremy Thorpe. Highly recommended]
The Crossing – Andrew Miller [A book of two halves. I enjoyed the second half, on the boat]

April 2017
Even the Dogs – Jon McGregor [Drugs and grimness, in a stream of words. Gave up]
The World Without Us – Mireille Juchau [Australian eco-saga. Tiresome – gave up half-way]
Strangeland – Tracy Emin [A birthday present! Frank, crude confessions. Interesting]
Who Runs Britain? – Robert Peston [Good stuff, but published 2008, so somewhat dated. Recommended]
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote [Capote’s classic, a brilliantly written,  but shocking, true story.  Highly recommended]
Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith [Tense, claustrophobic and brilliant. Highly recommended]

March 2017
Memoirs of an Infantry Sergeant – William Bourne [Self published WW2 memoir. Excellent.]
The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes [‘a meditation on memory and ageing’. Recommended]
The Living and the Dead in Winsford – Håkan Nesser [Slow, long and absorbing thriller. Recommended]
Two Wheels – Matt Seaton [Varied and interesting Guardian articles on biking]
The Escape Artist – Matt Seaton [A man’s passion for cycling. Recommended]
An Honorable Man – Paul Vidich [An OK’ish spy novel.]
We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson [Family weirdness from 1950s. Not for me.]
The Crime Writer – Jill Dawson [Terrific novel around the life of Patricia Highsmith. Highly recommended]

February 2017
Bullet Points – Mark Watson [Enjoyable novel about a psychiatrist/psychiatry. Recommended]
Copenhagen Noir – anthology [Can’t say I enjoyed this motley collection!]
Natural Flights of the Human Mind – Clare Morrall [Dealing with grief. A wonderful story. Highly recommended]
Prayers For The Stolen – Jennifer Clement [Terrific novel about trafficking of young girls in Mexico. Highly recommended]
All My Friends are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman [Just 110 pages long. No idea what it was about]
The First Bad Man – Miranda July [I’m struggling. Update – I’ve given up!]
All Day Long – Joanna Biggs [Interviews with Britons at work. Interesting]

January 2017
The Good Liar – Nicholas Searle [Excellent tale of deception and intrigue. Recommended]
The Last Act of Love – Cathy Rentzenbrink [Well-written true story of loss. Highly recommended]
Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman – Stefan Zweig [Emotional early 20th century novella. Highly recommended]
The Signal and the Noise – Nate Silver [The art of prediction. Difficult. Highly recommended]
I Saw A Man – Owen Sheers [Tense story of loss and guilt. Highly recommended]

December 2016
Shopgirl – Steve Martin [Charming and witty novella about love. Recommended]
Dodgers – Bill Beverly [Well-written, gritty, American crime novel. Crap typesetting! Recommended]
Cyberphobia – Edward Lucas [The internet is really, really scary. Recommended]
Trump & Me – Mark Singer [President-elect Trump in 100 pages. Good last chapter]
Whoops – John Lanchester [What the bankers did with our money. Recommended]
The Fetish Room – Redmond O’Hanlon & Rudi Rotthier [Rather dull bio of the former. Quit halfway]
American Rhapsody – Joe Eszterhas [Sex, Bill Clinton and others. Gobsmacking!]

November 2016
The End of the Story – Lydia Davis [A love story I couldn’t get into.]
Shakespeare – Bill Bryson [Bio of Shakespeare and of how little is known! Highly recommended]
Gang of One – Gary Mulgrew [Grim but absorbing account of a Scot in a US prison. Highly recommended]
The Chalk Circle Man – Fred Vargas [A slow, quirky, but very pleasing, French whodunit]
The File – Timothy Garton Ash [Historian explores his East German Stasi file]
The Second Plane – Martin Amis [Difficult essays around 9/11]
The Long Firm – Jake Arnott [Enjoyable gangster tale set in sixties London. Recommended]

October 2016
Academy Street – Mary Costello [Cheerless. Similar to, but not as good as, Colm Tóibín’s Mary Webster. OKish]
A Landing On The Sun – Michael Frayn [Unfinished. Lost interest at half-way point]
The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie [What the North does for fun. Goodish]
Family Life – Akhil Sharma [Indian family move to America. OK but dull]
Pyres – Derek Nikitas [Pretty good American crime novel. Exciting.]
Ordinary Thunderstorms – William Boyd [Terrific adventure/thriller set in London. Highly recommended]

September 2016
The Story of My Father – Sue Miller [Author details her father’s decline due to Alzheimer’s. Highly recommended]
Black Money – Ross MacDonald [Complex American crime novel. Recommended]
Girls – Nic Helman [Man in mid-life crisis talks sex. Shocking, erotic. Hmm. Most will probably hate it.]
Restless – William Boyd [Pacy spy thriller. Not my usual fare, but very enjoyable. Recommended]
Dancing in the Dark – Karl Ove Knausgaard [Adolescent torment in remote Norway. Long, but addictive]
An Error of Judgement – Pamela Hansford Johnson [Great 1960s tale of marriage and morality. Recommended]
August and Then Some – David Prete [Well written, gritty tale of New York family strife. Recommended]

August 2016
Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry – B.S. Johnson [Confusing mess. Not for me, and unfinished]
How to Watch TV News – Postman & Powers [An OK analysis of how TV news is put together]
A Price To Pay – David Bermingham [Three UK bankers face the US justice system. Stupendous!]
Victor Grayson – David Clark [Fascinating bio of a 1900s Labour MP who disappeared. Recommended]
Stone Cowboy – Mark Jacobs [Drugs and misery in Bolivia. I got to the end, just!]

July 2016
Death of His Uncle – C.H.B.Kitchin [An old-fashioned (1930s) mystery. Excellent!]
Inheritance – Nicholas Shakespeare [A book of 2 halves that didn’t quite gel. OK]
Nothing But Blue Skies by Thomas McGuane [Montana man disintegrates following marriage break-up. Highly recommended]
How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff [Coming of age novel set during a future war. Recommended]
Nick’s Trip – George P. Pelecanos [Gritty and pretty good American crime novel]
Where I’m Reading From – Tim Parks [Interesting essays on book things]

June 2016
The Innocent Man – John Grisham [Absorbing true story of injustice in US legal system. Highly recommended]
This House of Grief – Helen Garner [Australian murder trial. Magnificent]
The Dinner – Herman Koch [Dutch morality tale centred on a meal and a violent act. Interesting]
The A to Z of You and Me – James Hannah [Dying 40 year-old reflects. Cheerier than it sounds. Recommended]
The Calling – Neil Cross [A cracking but gruesome crime novel. Highly recommended – for some]
Luxury Amnesia – David Huggins [British thriller-ish. Easy, light reading. OK]
Epitaph For A Spy – Eric Ambler [Old-fashioned spy story written & set in 1930s. Recommended]
The Children Act – Ian McEwan [High Court judge makes difficult decisions. Recommended]
Layover – Lisa Zeidner [Woman in crisis roams hotels. An oddity]
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned – Wells Tower [A fine set of short stories]

May 2016
The Age Of Absurdity – Michael Foley [Philosophy of happiness and modern life. Highly recommended, for some]
The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas [Relationships in Australian society. Recommended, for some]
Finders Keepers – Stephen King [A terrific thriller. Highly recommended]
Starter For Ten – David Nicholls [Starting life at university. Very funny. Have I read this before?]
The Report – Jessica Francis Kane [Novel based on a wartime tragedy. Recommended]
Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel [When you start skipping, it’s time to give up (at halfway)]
Alex Through the Looking Glass – Alex Bellos [Skimmed over some difficult maths!]

April 2016
A Death in Belmont – Sebastian Junger [True crime in the shadow of the Boston Strangler. Recommended]
Mice – Gordon Reece [Easy-read thriller. Recommended holiday read]
Wish Her Safe at Home – Stephen Benatar [An oddity about a woman going mad. OK]
Marilyn – Norman Mailer [Terrific fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe. Recommended (for some)]
Always the Sun – Neil Cross [Widowed father & son coping. Accurate dialogue. Curious violent ending. Good read]
Jack – A.M. Holmes [Growing up & families. Charming, if you’re younger than me]
Cocaine Nights – J.G.Ballard [A mystery, of sorts. Not for me]
Nora Webster – Colm Tóibín [Dealing with grief in 1960s Ireland. Highly recommended]

March 2016
Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories – Thomas Grant [Highly recommended]
Prefab Homes – Elisabeth Blanchet [History or Prefabs. Recommended]
The Innocent – Ian McEwan [Love story & spy thriller set in 1950s Berlin. Recommended]
Please, Mister Postman – Alan Johnson [Politician’s memoir part 2. Highly recommended]
Bringing Down the House – Ben Mezrich [How they beat the casinos. Recommended]
The Power of the Dog – Thomas Savage [Brothers at odds on a 1920s ranch. Recommended]
Blood on Snow – Jo Nesbo [Short, slight novel about a hired killer]

February 2016
Uncommon Entrance – Edward Blishen [Funny account of teaching in a 1950s prep school]
The Tortilla Curtain – T C Boyle [Mexican immigrants meet middle-class America. Magnificent]
The Soul of a New Machine- Tracy Kidder [Building a new computer in late 70s. Interesting]
When I Forgot – Elina Hirvonen [Not for me. Gave up at page 75]
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson [Highly recommended]
My Criminal World – Henry Sutton [Crime novelist writes novel. OK. Got to the end, just]
The Letter Bearer – Robert Allison [Word War II desert adventure. Mixed feelings on this!]

January 2016
A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards – Ann Bauer [Wearing. Gave up after 120 pages]
Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín [Wonderful novel set in Ireland & Brooklyn. Highly recommended]
Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller [I eventually came to enjoy it!]
Lucas – Kevin Brooks [Young-adults novel for older adults! Highly recommended]
The Cutting Room – Louise Welsh [Lost interest after 100 pages..]

December 2015
Dirty Work – Gabriel Weston [Thought-provoking novel about being a surgeon. Highly recommended]
A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson [Science history. Highly recommended]
Summer House With Swimming Pool – Herman Koch [Dutch family life. Funny & serious. Recommended]
The Assault – Harry Mulisch [Dutch mystery about a killing at the end of WW2. Recommended]
The Long Tomorrow – Leigh Brackett [Sci-Fi lite. Recommended]
What’s Going On? – Mark Steel [Mid-life crisis for a socialist comedian. Highly recommended]

November 2015
I.D. Crimes of Identity – Editor Martin Edwards [ID themed short stories – OK]
Carry Me Down – M.J.Hyland [A troubled 11 year old and has family – recommended]
Audition – Ryu Murakami [OK, short novel builds up to a bloody ending]
Edith’s Diary – Patricia Highsmith [OK. Not the usual PH novel]
Our Game – John le Carré [OK but sometimes boring spy novel]

October 2015
I Can Make You Hate – Charlie Brooker [Very funny rants. Highly recommended]
Two Years, No Rain – Shawn Klomparens [Man struggles with love and work – recommended]
Rogue Male – Geoffrey Household [An old-fashioned thriller – recommended]
Four Days in November, The Assassination of JFK – Vincent Bugliosi [Magnificent!]

September 2015
Electric – Chad Taylor [An OK, slow-burning thriller]
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? – Dave Eggers [Brilliant. Highly recommended]
Confessions of a Sociopath – M.E. Thomas [OK, but overlong. Bit of an eye-opener]
The Aftermath – Rhidian Brook [Recommended. Looks set to become a movie!]

August 2015
Stoner – John Williams [Highly recommended]
Compartment No. 6 – Rosa Liksom [I couldn’t get into it]
The Betrayers – David Bezmozgis [It was a struggle]
Personal – Lee Child [More hokum from Lee Child. Recommended]
A Different Class of Murder; The Story of Lord Lucan – Laura Thompson [Highly recommended]

July 2015
Mystery Man – Colin Bateman [Odd, quirky, very funny. Not everyone’s cup of tea!]
Hidden River – Adrian McKinty [Terrific thriller set in NI & America. Recommended]
The Widow’s Tale – Mick Jackson [A widow’s near-breakdown – pretty good, read it in a day]
On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan [Interesting exploration of sexual hangups – Recommended]
Rendezvous in Black – Cornell Woolrich [Highly recommended]
A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman [Highly recommended]
The Affair – Lee Child [More hokum from Lee Child. Recommended]

June 2015
Pieces for the Left Hand – J. Robert Lennon [100 very short stories – OK]
Confessions – Kanae Minato [Recommended Japanese novel about kids, murder and revenge]
Loss – Tony Black [Enjoyable, violent crime novel set in Edinburgh]
The Blue Tango – Eoin McNamee [Highly recommended]
The Blunders of our Governments – Anthony King & Ivor Crewe [Recommended]
The Story of My Disappearance – Paul Watkins [Recommended]
The Sins of the Fathers – Lawrence Block [Recommended]

May 2015
Nothing More Than Murder – Jim Thompson [Recommended]
Hack Attack – Nick Davies [Highly recommended]
Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey [OK, but I began to lose interest]

April 2015
The Little Friend – Donna Tartt [Gave up after 65 of 550 pages]
Your Blue-Eyed Boy – Helen Dunmore [Recommended]
The Establishment – Owen Jones [Highly recommended]

March 2015
Stuff matters – Mark Miodownik [Recommended]
The Farm – Tom Rob Smith [Highly recommended]
Case Histories – Kate Atkinson [Recommended]
Saturday – Ian McEwan [Recommended]
Vaclav & Lena – Haley Tanner [Recommended]

February 2015
The Jook – Gary Phillips [So so]
Never Go Back – Lee Child [So so]
Nothing – Edited by Jeremy Webb [Recommended]
The Man Who Forgot His Wife – John O’Farrell [OK]
World War Two, A Short History – Norman Stone [Recommended]

January 2015
Tripwire – Lee Child [an OK holiday read]
Exposure – Michael Woodford [not bad]
Legend of a Suicide – David Vann [not for me]
Alan Turing: The Enigma – Andrew Hodges [Highly recommended]
A Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and its Aftermath – Jeanine Cummins [Highly recommended]

December 2014
My Dark Places – James Ellroy [Highly recommended]
The Card – Arnold Bennett [Highly recommended]

November 2014
The Complete MAUS – Art Spiegelman [Highly recommended]
The Heretics – Will Storr [Highly recommended]
Gone Tomorrow – Lee Child [Recommended fast-paced and easy-read thriller]
The John Franklin Bardin Omnibus [Recommended psychological thrillers (3) from the 1940s]

October 2014
Spoiled Brats – Simon Rich [Disappointing short stories]
The Seven Days of Peter Crumb – Jonny Glynn [Unpleasant – quit after 50 pages]
King of the Badgers – Philip Hensher [Two-thirds in and I started to enjoy it!]
An Unfinished Season – Ward Just [Not for me]

September 2014
The Sportswriter – Richard Ford [unfinished]
All That Follows – Jim Crace [nothing special]
The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison [Highly recommended]
Silent Witnesses – Nigel McCrery [Not for me]

August 2014
The Mysteries – Robert McGill [unfinished – life’s too short]
Young Hearts Crying – Richard Yates [Recommended]
Growing up in Wartime Southampton – James Marsh [Highly recommended]
Post Office – Charles Bukowski [Highly recommended]

July 2014
Novel About my Wife – Emily Perkins [OK]
A Fraction of the Whole – Steve Toltz [It’s long!]
The Book of Revelation – Rupert Thomson [Highly recommended]
Unusual Suspects – an Anthology of Crime Stories from Black Lizard [Highly recommended]

June 2014
The Man Who Never Returned – Peter Quinn [OK]
Carry the One – Carol Anshaw [unfinished – I struggled]
This Boy – Alan Johnson [Highly recommended]
Fresh Kills – Reggie Nadelson [OK]

May 2014
Never Mind – Edward St Aubyn
The Erotic Potential of My Wife – David Foenkinos [so so]
The Neon Rain – James Lee Burke [recommended]
The Country of Marriage – Anthony Giardina [Highly recommended]
Driven – James Sallis
Last Friends – Jane Gardam [recommended]

April 2014
The Man in the Wooden Hat – Jane Gardam [recommended]
Old Filth – Jane Gardam [recommended]
Code (The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software) – Charles Petzold [Highly recommended]
Demian – Herman Hesse [unfinished]
How the Dead Live – Derek Raymond [recommended]
Terrorist – John Updike

March 2014
Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan [recommended]
Norwegian By Night – Derek B. Miller [Highly recommended]
The Special Prisoner – Jim Lehrer [unfinished – avoid]
Being Dead – Jim Crace [Highly recommended]
The Man in My Basement – Walter Mosley
A Quiet Belief in Angels – R.J. Ellory [recommended]

February 2014
The Snowden Files – Luke Harding [recommended]
About the Author – John Colapinto [recommended]
Enemy Combatant – Moazzam Begg [Highly recommended]
1974 – David Peace
The Dispatcher – Ryan David Jahn [recommended]
Netherland – Joseph O’Neill

January 2014
Thumbprint – Friedrich Glauser
Canada – Richard Ford [recommended]
The Collini Case – Ferdinand von Schirach
13 Things That Don’t Make Sense – Michael Brooks [Highly recommended]
Vinegar Hill – A. Manette Ansay [Highly recommended]

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