Books read since 2014….

55 (2014), 59 (2015), 83 (2016), 70 (2017), 52 (2018)
84 (2019), 105 (2020), 80 (2021), 95 (2022), 52 (2023) [Total 734]

June 2023 (4…)
  • The Ruin of All Witches – Malcolm Gaskill {NF} [Currently reading….]
  • Our Friends in Berlin – Anthony Quinn [Lightweight spy novel. I finished it.]
  • This is What Happened – Mick Herron [Woman is conned into disappearing. A bit silly really but ok as a holiday read]
  • About a Son – David Whitehouse {NF} [A moving account of a father’s grief following the murder of his son. Highly recommended]
  • Bad Relations – Cressida Connolly [Family generations from Crimea War to present day. A disjointed saga. I hated it. Don’t understand the rave reviews!]
May 2023 (7)
  • Notes To Self – Emilie Pine {NF} [Raw, honest essays on womanhood, family and the author’s life. Superb. Highly recommended]
  • Ethel Rosenberg – Anne Sebba {NF} [Wonderful biography of the 1950s, executed wife of a spy. Highly recommended]
  • Can You Hear Me – Elena Varvello [An Italian psychological thriller involving a disturbed father and a 16-year-old son. Recommended]
  • F – Daniel Kehlmann [A present from Germany. Very odd! Over my head. Not for me]
  • Isabel’s Bed – Elinor Lipman [Going nowhere, I abandoned it]
  • Electric Dreams – David Redhead {NF} [“Designing For the Digital Age”. A short history. OKish]
  • Hotel Silence – Auður Ava Ólafsdóttire [Man goes off to war-torn country to commit suicide. A slow starter but I warmed to it. Must re-read sometime. +Recommended]
  • To Be a Man – Nicole Krauss [Well written Jewish-themed short stories. Not my c of t ]
April 2023 (6)
  • Open Secret – Stella Rimington {NF} [Autobiography of ex-head of MI5. More about her than MI5. A decent read]
  • The Last Queen – Clive Irving {NF} [Our Queen’s reign. A terrific read. Highly recommended]
  • A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles [Count Rostov is sentenced to house arrest for life in a hotel. A delightful gem of a book. Highly recommended]
  • Ghosted – Jenn Ashworth [A husband walks out and doesn’t come back. A most enjoyable read. Highly recommended]
  • Give Me Everything You Have – James Lasdun {NF} [“On Being Stalked”. The stalking was fascinating. The rest wasn’t]
  • My Phantom Husband – Marie Darrieussecq [A husband doesn’t come home and the wife goes bonkers. Fortunately a short read. Not my CofT]
March 2023 (8)
  • The Silent Treatment – Abbie Greaves [An elderly couple fail to communicate. Not bad, though overlong]
  • The Red Haired Woman – Orhan Pamuk [Istanbul well-diggers. An enjoyable read that tailed off at the end]
  • Death in Her Hands – Ottessa Moshfegh [Gave up. Nothing was happening!]
  • The Hunters – Claire Messud [Two exceptionally well-written novellas. I liked the 2nd, The Hunters, a lot. Well worth re-reading in years to come. Highly recommended, for some]
  • A Duty of Care – Peter Hennessy {NF} [A history of social care policies. More than I needed to know, but OK]
  • Consent – Leo Benedictus [An odd tale of stalking. Mixed feelings, probably more negative than positive]
  • Six Years a Hostage – Stephen McGown {NF} [Captured in Mali by Al Qaeda in 2011 and held hostage for 6 years. An interesting read. Recommended]
  • The Gift of a Radio – Justin Webb {NF} [ The BBC journalist describes his odd childhood. An enjoyable read. Highly recommended]
  • Eight Improbable Possibilities – John Gribbin {NF} [Astronomy and physics. A bit interesting, mainly difficult. Couldn’t finish it]
  • Sad Little Men – Richard Beard {NF} [“How Public Schools Failed Britain”. An ex-pupil expresses his anger. Highly recommended]
February 2023 (12)
  • Passing On – Penelope Lively [A mother dies, her middle-aged children struggle to move on. A wonderful story. Highly recommended]
  • Defending the Guilty – Alex McBride {NF} [“Truth & lies in the criminal courtroom”. A criminal barrister tells all. Highly recommended]
  • Something Might Happen – Julie Myerson [A tale about those a those affected by a murder. OKish. I was glad when it was over]
  • The Ravine – Wendy Lower {NF} [Research of a killing. A horrifying book about the Holocaust. How little I know. Shocking. Highly recommended]
  • In Times of Fading Light – Eugen Ruge [Tale of German family over 50 years. Just couldn’t get into it]
  • The Examined Life – Stephen Grosz [A psychotherapist explores his patients’ problems. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Mercury Falling – Robert Edric [Men eking a dishonest living in the Fens in the 1950s. An enjoyable read. Recommended]
  • The Language of Dying – Sarah Pinborough [How the adult children deal with their dying father. A beautifully written novella. Recommended]
  • The Adulterants – Joe Dunthorne [So-so, sometimes funny and thankfully short tale of thirty-something Londoners]
  • We Germans – Alexander Starritt [A grandfather writes to his grandson the story of his time serving in the German army on the Eastern Front. So-so. Was glad when I’d finished]
  • The Blunderer – Patricia Highsmith [Two wives, two deaths, two husbands under suspicion. A tense and magnificent thriller. Highly recommended]
  • The Ticket Collector From Belarus – Anderson & Hanson {NF} [The UK’s only war crimes trial. The events and the trial. Superb. Highly recommended]
  • Notes on an Execution – Danya Kukafka [A serial killer awaits his execution. A novel about the victims and the women left behind. Absorbing. Recommended]
January 2023 (15)
  • Adultery – Paul Coelho [Love and adultery. Sometimes explicit. It made me think. I enjoyed it.]
  • Death and the Seaside – Alison Moore [A book within a book. No idea what was going on.]
  • The Girls – Emma Cline [Teenage girls, a cult. What was I thinking of reading this. Skimmed]
  • This is Pleasure – Mary Gaitskill [A mere 100 page novella on flirting and sexual harassment. OKish]
  • When Light is Like Water – Molly McCloskey [A wife, a husband, a lover. A love story set in Ireland. Recommended]
  • The Truants – Kate Weinberg [The passions of youth with an Agatha Christie theme. Not great]
  • The Front Runner – Matt Bai {NF} [The fall of presidential hopeful, Gary Hart. Terrific look at American politics. Highly recommended]
  • Getting Colder – Amanda Coe [One-hit playwright versus his family (who needs them, eh!). An odd book. Can’t recommend]
  • Close to the Machine – Ellen Ullman {NF} [Fascinating memoir of a computer programmer. It triggered so many memories from my own work experience. Recommended]
  • The Waiter – Matias Faldbakken [A waiter in an elegant restaurant describes his work and his customers. A very odd book. Great cover, though!]
  • The Lazarus Heist – Geoff White {NF} [Startling exposé of North Korea’s involvement in cyber attacks. Highly recommended, for some]
  • The Man I Think I know – Mike Gayle [Charming tale of male friendship and brain injury. Highly recommended, for some]
  • When All is Said – Anne Griffin [An 84-year old Irishman sits in a bar and reflects on five key people in his life. Wonderful. Highly recommended. One to be re-read]
  • Listen Carefully – Phil Lapworth [A real-life psychotherapist writes stories based around his clients. An interesting read]
  • All The Lonely People – Mike Gayle [84-year-old Jamaican struggles with loss and loneliness. A gentle, warming read. Recommended]
December 2022 (9)
  • About the Author – John Colapinto [Accidently re-purchased 8 years after I first read it! As good the second time around. A book about a book, it’s a clever psychological thriller. Highly recommended]
  • Public Library – Ali Smith [Short stories. Not for me – gave up]
  • A Stranger in My Grave – Margaret Millar [A woman dreams of visiting her own grave. Very decent psychological mystery. Recommended]
  • An Island – Karen Jennings [Old lighthouse keeper struggles with his past. A decent, short novel. Recommended, for some]
  • The Ask – Sam Lipsyte [American humour. Not for me. Couldn’t get into it]
  • The Wicked Go to Hell – Frédéric Dard  {e-book} [Another short FD thriller. Dialogue-rich. Bonkers story]
  • How to Make the World Add up – Tim Harford {NF} [10 lessons on how to better understand statistics. Excellent. Recommended]
  • The Coward – Jarred McGinnis [Man struggles with father hang-ups and with becoming wheelchair-bound. OKish]
  • The Great Gatsby – Scott Fitzgerald [Couldn’t get into it]
  • In the Wars – Dr Waheed Arian {NF} [Inspirational bio of an Afghan refugee who fought to become an eminent doctor. Highly recommended]
  • The Last Thing to Burn – Will Dean [Extremely tense abduction tale. Terrific. Highly recommended]
  • The Great Mistake – Jonathan Lee [The man who reshaped New York. Disappointing / OK]
November 2022 (8)
  • The Gravediggers’ Bread – Frédéric Dard [An undertaker, his unhappy wife and an opportunist. Fabulous, little tale. Highly recommended]
  • The Newtonian Casino – Thomas A. Bass {NF} [Using physics to predict roulette outcomes. Really interesting. Recommended]
  • Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson [Couldn’t get into it. Not for me]
  • Post Truth – Matthew D’Ancona {NF} [“The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back”. Short and interesting]
  • Those Who Walk Away – Patricia Highsmith [Wife commits suicide and father challenges husband in psychological thriller set in Venice. Absolutely brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Connect – John Browne {NF} [“How companies succeed by engaging radically with society”. So-so. Skimmed a bit.]
  • Beast in View – Margaret Millar [Miserable people in a psychological mystery with a final twist. Confusing and disappointing]
  • Soft in the Head – Marie-Sabine Roger [A simple man strikes up a friendship with an elderly lady. OKish]
  • The Pleasure of My Company – Steve Martin [Very odd. Not for me. Gave up a quarter way in]
  • Under Your Skin – Sabine Durrant [TV presenter finds a body whilst running and becomes a suspect. Superior whodunnit. Highly recommended]
October 2022 (8)
  • Summerwater – Sarah Moss [A collection of holidaymakers having a wet holiday in Scotland. Reflections rather than plot. Mixed feelings on this]
  • The Tiger in the Smoke – Margery Allingham [Old-fashioned but pretty good 1950’s British thriller. ]
  • Two-Way Split – Allan Guthrie [Confusing and violent pulp fiction. Not for me.]
  • Bird in a Cage – Frédéric Dard [Man returns to his home town and meets a mysterious woman. Another short, 1950s, French, suspense novel. Highly recommended]
  • Case Study – Graeme Macrae Burnet [A disturbed woman and her encounters with an experimental 1960s psychotherapist. Became tiresome. Not for me.]
  • The Other Mother – Michel Bussi [Two kids called Malone. Confusing, implausible, too long]
  • The House Uptown – Melissa Ginsburg [Carefully woven tale of an artist and granddaughter and the past. Highly recommended]
  • The Executioner Weeps – Frédéric Dard [An artist, a violin and a car accident. A French love story and thriller. Another fine, short tale by FD. Highly recommended]
September 2022 (7)
  • The Importance of Being Interested – Robin Ince {NF} [Thoughts about science and why it’s interesting. OK but I should have worked at it more]
  • The Statement – Brian Moore [On the run for 40 years, French war criminal runs out of options. Interesting bit of French history.]
  • Crush – Frédéric Dard [17-year-old Louise escapes her dull life and moves in with an American couple. A short, 1950s, French, suspense novel. Highly recommended]
  • The Knowledge – Lewis Dartnell {NF} [How to survive an apocalypse. Decided it wasn’t for me.]
  • Razor Blade Tears – S.A. Cosby [Fathers of a gay couple seek revenge for their sons’ deaths. Violent, overlong, preposterous but decent escapism]
  • The Weather Machine – Andrew Blum {NF} [The global weather forecasting system. Fascinating. Highly recommended]
  • Injury Time – Duncan Hamilton [Interesting novel about football. Recommended, for some]
  • Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens [Coming of age tale set in a North Carolina swamp. A good read. Recommended]
August 2022 (10)
  • Dear Child – Romy Hausmann [Kidnapped woman lives with her kidnapper. A sometimes confusing but decent thriller. Recommended]
  • The King of Fools – Frédéric Dard [A mere 160 pages, a delightful 1950s tale of obsession from a prolific, French writer. Highly recommended ]
  • OK, Mr Field – Katharine Kilalea [Couldn’t get into it. Not for me]
  • How the Light Gets In – M J Hyland [Smart, 16-year-old girl leaves her poor family in Australia on an exchange programme in America. I saw it through to the end. Not for me]
  • The Man Who Disappeared – Clare Morrall [Husband /accountant suddenly disappears. A decent holiday read]
  • Travelling in a Strange Land – David Park [Father examines his life as he drives from Belfast to NE England to collect son. Interesting]
  • In Control – Jane Monkton Smith {NF} [“Dangerous Relationships and How They End in Murder”. A brilliant study. A must-read. Highly recommended]
  • My Phantoms – Gwendoline Riley [A wonderful tale of an appalling father and a dreadful mother. Highly recommended]
  • Things We Have in Common – Tasha Kavanagh [15-year-old girl fantasises and another one disappears. So-so]
  • Seasonal Work – Laura Lippman [Superb collection of short stories. Highly recommended]
  • Working on the Edge – Spike Walker {NF} [Crab fishing off Alaska. Fabulous tales of the dangers and of the fishermen. Highly recommended]
July 2022 (6)
  • Normal People – Sally Rooney [On-off-on-off love in Ireland. I saw it through to the end]
  • Batavia’s Graveyard – Mike Dash {NF} [17th century, Dutch shipping disaster and mutiny off coast of Australia. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • There’s Only Two David Beckhams – John O’Farrell [Fantasy, football tale. Funny, sometimes very funny. Recommended to all football fans]
  • When the Professor got Stuck in the Snow – Dan Rhodes [Gave up after 65 pages. Too silly, not funny]
  • A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby [4 potential suicides meetup. I gave up. Not for me]
  • The Power of Others – Michael Bond {NF} [How we are influenced by others. Interesting]
  • The Shot – Sarah Sultoon [Young, aspiring tv journalist goes to a war zone. Slow, impressive, but overall not my c of t]
  • When We Cease to Understand the World – Benjamin Labatut [Fact or fiction? Mathematicians imagined. Didn’t like it. Difficult]
June 2022 (13)
  • The Rule – David Jackson [Well plotted crime tale but totally improbable tosh! Read in a day (360 pages!) ]
  • Animal – Lisa Taddeo [Got to page 75 and couldn’t face the thought of another 325 pages!]
  • The God Equation – Michio Kaku {NF} [Theoretical physics. Incomprehensible to this layman, but a pleasure to read]
  • A Lucky Man – Jamel Brinkley [Black short stories. Well written, some very good, but not really my c of t ]
  • And Away… – Bob Mortimer {NF} [Bob’s wonderful and funny autobiography. Highly recommended]
  • The Motion of the Body Through Space – Lionel Shriver [60+ husband announces he’s going to run a marathon. Funny & interesting satire on extreme fitness. Recommended]
  • Animal Person – Alexander MacLeod [A very fine collection of short stories. Recommended]
  • Golden Child – Claire Adam [A missing twin in rural Trinidad and a parental dilemma. Recommended]
  • The Man of My Dreams – Curtis Sittenfield [From age 14 to late 20s, a tale of a delightful woman’ s relationships. Well written and recommended]
  • Transgressions 2 – King / Mosley / Block [3 American novellas by famous authors. Just OK]
  • How to Measure a Cow – Margaret Forster [Woman with a past tries to move on. Superb. Highly recommended]
  • Lullaby – Leïla Slimani [Nanny murders the two kids she’s caring for. Not a great read – not for me, anyway]
  • Stephen Hawking – Leonard Mlodinow {NF} [Charming memoir of Stephen Hawking and his work. The science is difficult! Recommended, for some]
  • The Devil’s Advocate – Steve Cavanagh [Another SC, well-plotted courtroom tale that I read in a day. Exciting tosh that fizzled out. Recommended holiday reading]
May 2022 (6)
  • The Life of an MP – Jess Phillips {NF} [Superb and honest account of what it’s like to be an MP. Highly recommended]
  • A Lonely Man – Chris Power [A writer gets involved with Russian oligarchs. A thriller with no thrills. Dull!]
  • The Rock Blaster – Henning Mankell [The life of Oskar, an injured rock blaster, in 20th century Sweden. A nice read. Recommended ]
  • The Premonition – Michael Lewis {NF} [How the USA failed to respond to Covid-19. Recommended]
  • Good Samaritans – Will Carver (Read it 2 years ago – gruesome killings, sex, plastic sheeting, bleach. Recommended, for some)
  • Four Thousand Weeks – Oliver Burkeman {NF} [“Time Management for Mortals”. Superb. Highly recommended]
April 2022 (5)
  • Heaven My Home – Attica Locke [Superb tale about race and a missing child in rural Texas. Highly recommended]
  • Fragrant Harbour – John Lanchester [A tale set in Hong Kong. I laboured over this. Not for me]
  • The Moth and the Mountain – Ed Caesar {NF} [“A true story of love, war and Everest”. A fascinating, well-written read. Highly recommended]
  • Amnesty – Aravind Adiga [Life in Australia for an illegal immigrant. OK]
  • Brodeck’s Report – Philippe Claudel [A village, a war, a stranger and a villager’s return. It took a long time to read. I should have got more from it. Recommended]
March 2022 (8)
  • The Standing Chandelier – Lionel Shriver [A mere 120 pages but a hilarious tale of male/female friendship. Highly recommended]
  • The Secretary – Renée Knight  {e-book} [Psychological thriller. Slow burning, easy reading. Read it in half a day. Recommended]
  • The Largesse of the Sea Maiden – Denis Johnson [Weird short stories. OK, but not really my c of t]
  • Wayfinding – Michael Bond {NF} [“The Art and Science of How We Find and Lose Our Way!” Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Dancing with the Octopus – Debora Harding {NF} [An assault, a horrible mother and how a daughter copes. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Reality and Other Stories – John Lanchester [A modern “Tales of the Unexpected”. Easy reading and OK but I’m not really into spooky twists]
  • How Spies Think – David Omand {NF} [“Ten lessons in Intelligence”. A hard but fascinating read. I should read it again but work harder at it! Recommended]
  • Chasing the Scream – Johann Hari {NF} [Repetitive anecdotes on the misery of the drug war in America. Gave up after 120]
  • At Hawthorn Time – Melissa Harrison [Village and country life. I should have enjoyed it more. Will re-read, sometime]
February 2022 (8)
  • Lessons From Lucy – Dave Barry {NF} [What a dog’s life can teach humans. Mildly amusing ]
  • My Policeman – Bethan Roberts [Fabulous love story set in 1950’s Brighton. Highly recommended]
  • Alys, Always – Harriet Lane [A promising start but then I lost interest after 40 pages]
  • Leave the World Behind – Rumaan Alam [Unknown global calamity brings fear to a holidaying family. Recommended]
  • Another Day in the Death of America – Gary Young {NF} [In America, ten violent deaths of children on the same day. Shocking. Highly recommended ]
  • Idaho – Emily Ruskovich [Superb tale of family and tragedy set in rural America. Highly recommended]
  • Outraged – Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles {NF} [Internet outrage – why we shouldn’t. Highly recommended]
  • Playing to the Gallery – Grayson Perry {NF} [GP on art and artists. Over my head. Will try again in the future!]
  • The Sea House – Esther Freud [Couldn’t get going. Gave up early on]
  • The Best a Man Can Get – John O’Farrell [Humorous tale of man coping with family life. Recommended]
January 2022 (7)
  • Slow Horses – Mick Herron [Intricately plotted spy novel set in London. I don’t really like spy books, but it was ok]
  • Why the Germans Do It Better – John Kampfner {NF} [20th/21st century history, politics, people. Highly recommended]
  • Lady in the Lake – Laura Lippman [Not as good as her others! Sometimes confusing]
  • Money – Jacob Goldstein {NF} [“The True Story of a Made-up Thing”. An interesting history of money. Recommended]
  • The System – Ryan Gattis [Superb tale about the American justice system as experienced by all of those involved. Highly recommended]
  • When the Lights Go Out – Carys Bray [Climate change anxiety and effects on family. Recommended]
  • Licence to be Bad – Jonathan Aldred {NF} [Terrific critique of “How Economics Corrupted Us”. Will need to re-read to do it justice. Highly recommended, for some]
  • A Game of Hide and Seek – Elizabeth Taylor [Couldn’t get going. Gave up early on]

December 2021 (7)

  • Tinderbox – Megan Dunn {NF} [A book about the book Fahrenheit 451. Not my idea of a good read. Shocking number of spelling mistakes!]
  • The Battersea Park Road To Enlightenment – Isabel Losada {NF} [A writer tries out courses in search of personal growth. OKish]
  • Destiny – Tim Parks [What a struggle ! gave up at the halfway point]
  • Life Drawing – Robin Black [Marriage, art, trust; the new neighbours bring trouble; not the ending I was expecting. Recommended]
  • Whose Story is This – Rebecca Solnit {NF} [Decent but difficult essays by a feminist]
  • What Was Lost – Catherine O’Flynn [Ten-year-old, wannabe detective disappears + life in a shopping mall + case solved. For me, the end couldn’t come quick enough]
  • Under the Skin – Michel Faber [Alien woman picks up hitchhikers – for their meat! Very odd. Recommended, but only for some]
  • The Old Romantic – Louise Dean [Dysfunctional families – ha ha! Highly recommended, for some]

November 2021 (4)

  • We’re in Trouble – Christopher Coake [Absolutely stunning collection of short stories. Highly recommended]
  • The Jealous One – Celia Fremlin [Another fabulous CF tale. What a wonderful story teller! Highly recommended]
  • Zen And the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M Pirsig [A reread of one from the past. Motorcycle road trip / philosophy. Hard work, incomprehensible.]
  • The Numbers Game – Chris Anderson & David Sally {NF} [How data is changing professional football. Interesting and thorough]

October 2021 (9)

  • All Among The Barley – Melissa Harrison [A wonderful tale about rural life in the 1930s. One to read again. Highly recommended]
  • Republic of Lies – Anna Merlan {NF} [Gobsmacking look at conspiracists and why they flourish. Highly recommended]
  • The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides [Superb psychological thriller with a great final twist. Highly recommended]
  • Another Now – Yanis Varoufakis {NF} [Another of his books I haven’t liked! Gave up after 45 pages]
  • How Google Works – Schmidt & Rosenberg {NF} [I quickly lost interest. A poor, ill-considered purchase!]
  • A Father’s Affair – Karel Van Loon [Superb tale of a father discovering he’s not the father of his son. Highly recommended]
  • The Reason I Jump – Naoki Higashida {NF} [A 14-year-old boy does a Q & A about his autism. Recommended, but check out the negative Amazon reviews for a different view! I, too, wondered if this was actually the work of an adult…..]
  • Give Me Your Hand – Megan Abbott [Ambitious women with a deadly secret. Slow, but interesting. Ending fizzled out. Recommended, sort of]
  • Before & After – Alison Wilson {NF} [A wife and her mysterious husband. Skipped the religious, second half. Tortuous]
  • The Trouble Makers – Celia Fremlin [Women gossiping. Another wonderful CF tale. Recommended]
  • A Life Discarded – Alexander Masters {NF} [“148 diaries found in a skip”. A terrific piece of detection. Highly recommended]
  • To Venice With Love – Philip Gwynne Jones {NF} [Charming record of packing up and going to live in Venice]

September 2021 (8)

  • Heather, The Totality – Matthew Weiner [Got to the end and realised I’d borrowed it from the library once before. Short & OK]
  • Layover – Lisa Zeidner [Woman has breakdown as she hops from one hotel room to another. Glad when I’d finished it]
  • Fifty Fifty – Steve Cavanagh [Preposterous but addictive thriller. A terrific read. Recommended]
  • Crudo – Olivia Laing [Couldn’t get going on this. Not for me]
  • Hide – Matthew Griffin [Two elderly gay men dealing with old age. Sad & depressing, but I stuck with it]
  • How to be Human – Ruby Wax {NF [RW in conversation, examines her demons, suggests ways to be a better human. I skipped the exercises. It was interesting]
  • Disclaimer – Renee Knight [Terrific psychological thriller centred around a family secret. Highly recommended]
  • For All the Gold in the World – Massimo Carlotto [Excellent Italian thriller – I read it in a day. Names sometimes confusing. Recommended]
  • All American Boys – Reynolds/Kiely [Race and the police in America. YA novel examines society & family values]
  • Data-ism – Steve Lohr {NF} [Couldn’t get into it]

August 2021 (8)

  • Lovely – Frank Ronan [Two over-sexed blokes ‘fall in love’. Or perhaps it was just sex. A pretty grubby read, really]
  • Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata [Life in a Japanese convenience store. Very odd. A short book, so I’d say it’s worth giving it a try]
  • Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith [PH’s masterpiece. A fantastically tense psychological, crime tale. Highly recommended]
  • Seven Days In the Art World – Sarah Thornton {NF} [The art world. The auction section was interesting, but otherwise rather heavy]
  • The Good Psychologist – Noam Shpancer [Interesting combining of novel and psychology. Recommended]
  • History of Wolves – Emily Fridlund [It rambled on, I finished it, I got nothing from it. I should have taken note of the ‘poetic’ on the back cover]
  • The Pictures- Guy Bolton [A fabulous 1930s-set crime story set around Los Angeles and Hollywood. Highly recommended]
  • The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross [Recommended by 7 year old Chloe (!). A great read, for kids. Recommended]
  • Tenth of December – George Saunders [Short stories. I just couldn’t get into them!]

July 2021 (7)

  • Future Babble – Dan Gardner {NF} [“How to stop worrying and love the unpredictable”. Or, you can’t predict the future. Interesting]
  • Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell [Families, eh?! An absorbing read. Recommended]
  • Micromotives and Macrobehavior – Thomas C Schelling [Too difficult – couldn’t manage it]
  • Fleishman is in Trouble – Taffy Brodesser-Akner [Men, women, marriage, middle-class Americans. A great read, I enjoyed it a lot. Worth a re-read sometime? Recommended, for some]
  • The Secret River – Kate Grenville [Surviving in 1806 Australia after being transported from London to Australia for a petty crime. Recommended(+)]
  • The Fates Will Find Their Way – Hannah Pittard [A girl disappears, a community speculates why. Readable, OKish]
  • The Kingdom – Jo Nesbo  {e-book} [Scandi-crime. Two very bad brothers get away with murder. OK but overlong]
  • Strength In What Remains – Tracy Kidder {NF} [Burundian escapes to a new life in America. OKish]

June 2021 (4)

  • Larry’s Party – Carol Shields [What it’s like to be Larry, a maze builder and a man. Not sure about this. Was glad to reach the end]
  • Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn – Pogrund & Maguire {NF} [The craziness that is the Labour Party. Detailed and fascinating. Recommended, for some]
  • When God Was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman [Families, siblings, growing up. OK but became tiresome]
  • How Not To Be Wrong – James O’Brien {NF} [What a nice, sensible, funny man he is. Recommended]

May 2021 (5)

  • Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid [Women and race in America. I really enjoyed it. Recommended]
  • The Midnight Library – Matt Haig [It took me a while to realise it, but this is a clever and enjoyable, life-affirming novel. Recommended for all depressives! Highly recommended]
  • Sunset Park – Paul Auster [Gave up half way through. It was going nowhere]
  • The Mask of Dimitrios – Eric Ambler [Decent 1920s-set, spy thriller. Recommended]
  • Origin Story – David Christian {NF} [A magnificent, sometimes difficult, history of the universe. One to be re-read. Highly recommended]
  • Nickel & Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich {NF [“Undercover in Low-wage USA”. A journalist joins the working poor. Brilliant, an eye-opener. One to re-read. Highly recommended]

April 2021 (9)

  • Why Did You Lie? – Yrsa Sigurðardóttir [Icelandic thriller. Long and confusing. The ending required a bit of working out!]
  • The Benefit of Hindsight – Susan Hill [More a family drama than a crime story. An OK but unsatisfactory read]
  • Later – Stephen King {e-book[A short, horror / crime novel from SK. A great story. Highly recommended]
  • Nothing is Real and Everything is Possible – Peter Pomerantsev {NF} [More Russian bizarreness. Recommended]
  • A Dedicated Man – Peter Robinson {e-book [Police procedural set in Yorkshire Dales. Second in a long series. A buried body mystery. Well plotted and very enjoyable. Recommended]
  • Adventures in Modern Russia – Peter Pomerantsev {NF[The madness that is Russia. Truly bizarre. Recommended]
  • Gallows View – Peter Robinson {e-book} [Police procedural set in Yorkshire Dales. First in a long series. Burglary, a peeping Tom, a suspicious death. Very enjoyable. Recommended]
  • A Voyage for Madmen – Peter Nichols {NF} [The 1968 solo, non-stop, around the world yacht race. A wonderful read. Highly recommended]
  • Killing Floor – Lee Child {e-book} [The first of the Reacher novels and a bit of a corker. Recommended]

March 2021 (9)

  • The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman {e-book} [Gave up about 50 pages in – too twee for me!]
  • Die Trying – Lee Child {e-book} [More hokum from the master of hokum. Preposterous stuff is sometimes all one needs to lighten up]
  • User Friendly – Kuang & Fabricant {NF} [“How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work, and play”. Heavy-ish]
  • The Listening Walls – Margaret Millar {e-book} [Another fabulously plotted, well-written, dialogue-rich, crime mystery . Highly recommended]
  • Vanish in an Instant – Margaret Millar {e-book} [Well written & plotted 1950’s crime. Recommended]
  • The History of Britain – Richard Dargie {NF} [A reference work or can be read through. Good stuff]
  • Know My Name – Chanel Miller {NF} [Stunning memoir of a victim of sexual assault. Highly recommended]
  • The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst – Tomalin and Hall {NF} [Superb investigation of DC’s attempt to sail round the world. Highly recommended]
  • Worst Case Scenario – Helen FitzGerald  {e-book} [An outrageous, wacky social worker goes off the rails. Recommended]
  • The Hidden World of the Fox – Adele Brand {NF} [All about foxes. Recommended]

February 2021 (5)

  • The World I Fell Out Of – Melanie Reid {NF} [After being thrown off her horse, MR has to deal with life-changing injuries. Highly recommended]
  • A Mind At Play – Sonni & Goodman {NF} [A fine biography of Claude Shannon, “inventor of the information age”. Recommended]
  • How Democracies Die – Levitsky & Ziblatt {NF} [“What History Reveals About Our Future”. Superb! Highly recommended]
  • Lady in Waiting – Anne Glenconner {NF[Fascinating memoir of Princess Margaret’s Lady in Waiting. How the other half live – what a life she’s lead. Highly recommended]
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – Michelle McNamara {NF} [“One woman’s obsessive search for the Golden State killer”. Grim but interesting. Recommended, for some]

January 2021 (5)

  • What the Dead Know – Laura Lippman [Expertly plotted, though sometimes confusing, crime story around two missing sisters. Worth a re-read in a couple of years. Recommended]
  • This is Not Propaganda – Peter Pomerantsev {NF} [“Adventures in the War Against Reality”. OK]
  • The Defence– Steve Cavanagh [Bonkers courtroom drama with outrageous twists and turns. Implausible but thrilling]
  • Eventide – Kent Haruf [More sadness set in rural America. Recommended]
  • The Idea Factory – John Gertner [“Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation”. Superb history. Recommended]

December 2020

  • The Terrorists – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [The 10th (& last) in the series. Another excellent Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Recommended]
  • It Was All a Lie – Stuart Stevens {NF{e-book[A US Republican repents. Superb destruction of the Republican Party and of Trump. Highly recommended]
  • The Shepherd’s Life – James Rebanks {NF[A shepherd, his family and his sheep. A very interesting read. Recommended]
  • Mayflies – Andrew O’Hagan {e-book} [Gave up. Lads bantering. Not for me]
  • Dictators – Frank Dikötter {NF} [Enlightening study of eight 20th Century dictators. Recommended]
  • Who They Was – Gabriel Krauze {e-book} [Drugs, violence, London gangs, written in street lingo. Highly recommended, for some]

November 2020

  • The End of the Affair – Graham Greene {e-book} [Love, hate, obsession, death, God. A great read. Highly recommended]
  • Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain {NF} [A chef’s life. What a life! Recommended]
  • Cop Killer – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [The 9th in the series. Another excellent Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Recommended]
  • A Bit of a Stretch (The Diaries of a Prisoner) {NF} [The shocking state of Wandsworth prison. Recommended]
  • The Liar – Steve Cavanagh [Superb crime / courtroom tale. Highly recommended]

October 2020

  • And When She Was Good – Laura Lippman [Gripping story of a suburban madam.  Fabulous. Highly recommended]
  • Humble Pi (A Comedy of Maths Errors) – Matt Parker {NF} [Real life maths errors. Highly recommended]
  • The Creak on the Stairs – Eva Björg Ægisdóttir [A child who disappeared, a woman’s death. Excellent Icelandic crime novel. Recommended]
  • Property – Valerie Martin [Unpleasant slave owners in 1820s America. Recommended]
  • Why Does E=mc²? – Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw {NF} [Aimed at the layman, it was too difficult for this layman and I never made it to halfway]
  • Dishonesty is the Second-Best Policy – David Mitchell {NF} [Quite amusing. You can have too much of DM]

September 2020

  • Too Much and Never Enough – Mary L Trump {NF} {e-book} [Devastating portrait of Uncle Donald and his family. Highly recommended]
  • Nightmare in Pink – John D MacDonald {e-book} [Superb American crime novel from the 1960s. Recommended]
  • The Dark Tunnel – Ross Macdonald {e-book} [An early RM novel. Absolutely dreadful!]
  • Sunburn – Laura Lippman [Re-read from the shelves. Superb well-plotted thriller set is small town America. Highly recommended]
  • So Long, See  You Tomorrow – William Maxwell {e-book} [Recounting a murder from the past. I probably should have enjoyed it more than I did]
  • Blue Moon – Lee Child {e-book} [Seriously over-the-top tosh with a ludicrously high body count]
  • One Shot – Lee Child {e-book} [Another great piece of holiday reading hokum! Recommended]
  • The Salt Path – Raynor Winn {NF} {e-book} [True story of a couple who lost everything and went on a long walk. A decent read]
  • Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver {e-book} [Many small-town killings. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Good Samaritans – Will Carver {e-book} [Some unpleasant killings. Highly recommended]
  • Nothing Important Happened Today – Will Carver {e-book} [Group suicides. A very strange thriller. Highly recommended]

August 2020

  • Before the Fall – Noah Hawley [A re-read from the shelves. Why did the small plane crash? Terrific suspense novel. Highly recommended]
  • The Farm – Tom Rob Smith [A re-read from the shelves which I read in half a day. Is an elderly mum paranoid? Great read. Recommended]
  • The Locked Room – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [The 8th in the series. Slightly disappointing Swedish police procedural from the 1960s]
  • The Hours Before Dawn – Celia Fremlin [A mother with a difficult infant takes on a lodger. Another intriguing and sometimes funny mystery. Highly recommended]
  • The Passage of Love – Alex Miller {e-book} [Autobiographical novel about a writer’s struggles. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • A Thousand Moons – Sebastian Barry {e-book} [A follow on to  ‘Days Without End. A beautiful tale of a native American after the American Civil War. Highly recommended]
  • Uncle Paul – Celia Fremlin [The mysterious Uncle Paul. Another gem from my current favourite author. Highly recommended]
  • Days Without End – Sebastian Barry [Superb tale of brutality of American Civil War and genocide of native Americans. Highly recommended, for some]
  • Full Marks For Trying – Brigid Keenan {NF} [Memoir of the journalist/author during the 1960s. A decent read]
  • A Lovely Day to Die – Celia Fremlin {e-book} [Terrific short stories by my current favourite author. Highly recommended]
  • The Long Shadow – Celia Fremlin [Intriguing and highly amusing mystery about a husband’s death. An author to read more of. Recommended]

July 2020

  • Benediction – Kent Haruf [A dying, old man. Another wonderful tale of sadness set in rural America. Highly recommended]
  • The Abominable Man – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [The 7th in the series. Another superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • The Room Where it Happened – John Bolton {e-book} [Fascinating to see an insider’s view of American & international politics, and of the very bizarre Trump. Very detailed – I skipped some of the 600 pages. Recommended, for some]
  • The Pyramid – Henning Mankell [5 excellent Swedish crime stories. A re-read from the shelves. Recommended]
  • Norwegian By Night – Derek B. Miller [A re-read from the shelves. Nordic thriller with a tense ending. Highly recommended]
  • Our Souls At Night – Kent Haruf [Love in old-age. Just wonderful. Highly recommended]
  • Murder at the Savoy – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [Another superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • Unbelievable – Katy Tur {e-book} [A reporter on Trump’s first election campaign. Fascinating]
  • Shakespeare Saved My Life – Laura Bates {e-book} [Shakespeare lessons in the brutal American prison system. Highly recommended]
  • Irène – Pierre Lemaitre [Brutal French crime procedural. I read it over 2 days. Highly recommended]

June 2020

  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [Another superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • The Tie That Binds – Kent Haruf [Wonderful tale of unhappiness set in rural America. Highly recommended]
  • The Laughing Policeman – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [Another superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • A Dry White Season – André Brink [A white teacher becomes politically active during South Africa’s apartheid period. Superb. Highly recommended]
  • The Offing – Benjamin Myers [An old man looks back to 1946 when he was 15, and of his friendship with an eccentric older woman. Set in Robin Hood’s Bay it’s a lovely tale about nature and of growing up. Highly recommended]
  • The Man on the Balcony – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [A re-read from the shelves. Another superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • The Man Who Went Up in Smoke – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [A re-read from the shelves. A superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • Roseanna – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [A re-read from the shelves. A superb Swedish police procedural from the 1960s. Highly recommended]
  • Factfulness – Hans Rosling {NF} [It should have been a useful read, but sadly I skimmed it]

May 2020

  • The Unknowers – How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World – Linsey McGoey {NF} [A difficult read requiring considerable thinking…]
  • Talking to Strangers – Malcolm Gladwell {NF} [How hard it is to read strangers. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Plainsong – Kent Haruf [Linked lives in small town America. A wonderful novel. Highly recommended]
  • Who Can You Trust – Rachel Botsman {NF} [How we trust. Recommended]
  • Chess – Stefan Zweig [A re-read of one from the shelves. A psychological, 80 page novella themed around chess. Recommended]
  • Natural Flights of the Human Mind – Clare Morrall [A re-read of one from the shelves. Centred on a lighthouse, this is a wonderful tale of grief. Highly recommended]
  • Risk Savvy – Gerd Gigerenzer {NF} {e-book} [Skimmed this look at risk. Recommended]
  • Risk – Colin Harrison {e-book} [A very enjoyable tale around an accidental death. Recommended]
  • Nothing But Blue Skies by Thomas McGuane [A re-read of one from the shelves about a man’s decline. Not the best time to be reading this sad tale]
  • How to Be a Footballer – Peter Crouch {NF} {e-book} [Skimmed this for a bit of light relief]
  • You Belong To Me – Colin Harrison {e-book} [New York thriller set among the well-to-do. Great fun. Recommended]
  • Faithless – Karin Slaughter {e-book} [So-so procedural set in small-town America. More violence!]

April 2020

  • Manhattan Nocturne – Colin Harrison [A re-read of one from the shelves. Terrific newspaper-themed, erotic thriller. Highly recommended]
  • The Good Daughter – Karin Slaughter {e-book} [A brilliant but brutal (excessively so?) thriller + family tensions. Highly recommended, if you’ve the stomach.]
  • The Dark Flood Rises – Margaret Drabble {e-book} [Meandering. Gave up third of the way through]
  • Tony and Susan – Austin Wright {e-book} [A book within a book. Odd and interesting]
  • Knife – Jo Nesbo {e-book} [Terrific, Scandi thriller starring Harry Hole. Highly recommended]
  • The Hard Way – Lee Child {e-book} [Two kidnappings – terrific hokum. Highly recommended]
  • Other People’s Money – Justin Cartwright [A re-read of one from the shelves. An old family bank becomes a cropper! Recommended]
  • The Enemy – Lee Child {e-book} [Of course it’s improbable tosh, but it’s a great, fast-paced read. Recommended]
  • Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss – Rajeev Balasubramanyam [Demanding father, mellows. Recommended]
  • A Clergyman’s Daughter – George Orwell {e-book} (I last read this 50 years ago! Another tale of miserable lives from GO. Recommended]
  • An Error of Judgement – Pamela Hansford Johnson [A re-read of one from the shelves. A decent tale set in the 50s.]
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward [Another poor choice. Not for me. Couldn’t get started]
  • The Feud – Thomas Berger [Gave up after 70 pages. I seem to have made some poor choices recently!]
  • The Keepers of Truth – Michael Collins [Gave up a third of the way through. Not for me]
  • The Book of Revelation – Rupert Thomson [In 2014 I wrote “A highly unusual tale about abuse and subsequent recovery. It’s very erotic, it’s part thriller and it’s unputdownable.”. This time I re-read it in one sitting. Brilliant. Highly recommended, for some]
  • Plume – Will Wiles [Not for me – I gave up after 120 pages]

March 2020

  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying – George Orwell {e-book} [I last read this 50 years ago! A miserable hero forsakes money and suffers the consequences. Highly recommended]
  • White Houses – Amy Bloom [President Roosevelt’s wife has a lesbian relationship. A laboured read.]
  • The Cyber Effect – Mary Aiken {NF} [“How human behaviour changes online”. I skimmed it. OK]
  • The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards [So-so tale around a twin with Downs syndrome]
  • The Behaviour Guru – Tom Bennett {NF} [“Behaviour Management Solutions for Teachers”. Gulp – I’d not have made a very good teacher. Recommended ]
  • The Girl Who Wasn’t There – Ferdinand von Schirach [An artist and a criminal charge. Oh so dull. Not for me.]
  • Humans – Tom Phillips [“A Brief History of How We Fucked It All Up”. Mildly amused as I skimmed it.]
  • The Room of Lost Things – Stella Duffy [Fabulous novel of South London life. Highly recommended]
  • The Cryotron Files – Iain Dey & Douglas Buck {NF} [Interesting history of the secretive development of computing and of the brief life of the relatively unknown genius Dudley Buck. Recommended]
  • Coders – Clive Thompson {NF} [I decided it wasn’t worth reading after all!]
  • All the Old Knives – Olen Steinhauer [A love/spy novel. As good as when I first read it. Highly recommended]
  • Trial By Battle – David Piper [A short World War 2 novel.  Very decent read. Recommended]
  • The Dog of the South – Charles Portis [American road trip. Couldn’t get into it. Quit a third way in]

February 2020

  • Where You Once Belonged – Kent Haruf [Life in a small, American town. Beautifully written. Highly recommended]
  • French Rhapsody – Antoine Laurain [Couldn’t get into it. Quit third way in. Not added to totals!]
  • Mr Foreigner – Matthew Kneale [Quirky, short novel set in Japan. I enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended]
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers – Bobby Seagull {NF} [A gift. Decent ramble through ad-hoc maths topics by a celebrity teacher. I read it in a morning!]
  • Eve Green – Susan Fletcher [An 8-year-old loses her mum, moves to Wales, grows up, falls in love. Not a lot happens, but a nice read. Recommended.]
  • The Intelligence Trap – David Robson {NF} [Too much for me – I skimmed/skipped through it. Not added to totals!]
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge {NF} [It made me want to try to be more aware. OK]
  • The Way Inn – Will Wiles [Life at conferences & hotels turns bizarre. Highly recommended]
  • I’m Gone – Jean Echenoz [Gallery owner tale. Odd. Great cover picture.]
  • The New Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan {NF} [A terrific look at the changes shaping the world. Highly recommended]
  • The Followers – Rebecca Wait [Excellent page-turning tale of life in a cult. Recommended]

January 2020

  • Crash Land – Doug Johnstone [Too similar to The Jump (see below). Silly action stuff at the end but still worth reading. My last DJ book, I think]
  • Bitcoin Billionaires – Ben Mezrich {NF} [Bitcoin millionaires. Overlong but OKish]
  • The Jump – Doug Johnstone [Excellent thriller set around a son’s suicide. Recommended]
  • The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander {NF} [‘Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindness’. Stunning. Highly recommended]
  • The Spoons Came From Woolworths – Barbara Comyns [It was tough being a woman in the 1930s. Quirky but recommended]
  • Never Split the Difference – Chris Voss {NF} [How to negotiate. OK]
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer [Precocious, 9-year-old Oskar searches for answers following the death of his dad in 9/11. Sometimes confusing but worth a read, perhaps a re-read sometime.]
  • The Fifth Risk – Michael Lewis {NF} [“A well-written primer on how the government serves citizens in underappreciated ways.” Highly recommended]
  • Stasi Child – David Young [Hmm. Murder in East Berlin. Clunky writing, an interesting read but with some odd bits]

December 2019

  • Waiting for the 5:05 – Lawrence Grow [A pictorial history of early American train stations]
  • Black Water – Louise Doughty [So-so political novel set in Indonesia with sometimes confusing flashbacks.]
  • The Red Parts – Maggie Nelson {NF} [A memoir / meditation on the murder of her aunt. OK]
  • Let’s Kill Uncle – Rohan O’Grady [Thoroughly charming tale of two 10-year-olds on holiday. Highly recommended]
  • Confessions of a Ghostwriter – Andrew Crofts {NF} [Rather dull bunch of anecdotes of a renowned ghostwriter]
  • Three Days and a Life – Pierre Lemaitre [Set in a small, French town this is a superb tale of guilt of a 12-year-old boy’s crime. Highly recommended]
  • The Second Deadly Sin – Åsa Larsson [A very decent Scandi thriller]
  • The Girl With Seven Names – Hyeonseo Lee {NF} [Escaping the grimness of life in North Korea. Highly recommended]
  • Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures – Vincent Lam [ Gave up after 100 pages]
  • The Spy and the Traitor – Ben Macintyre {NF} [“The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War”. Brilliant. Highly recommended]

November 2019

  • The Reflection – Hugo Wilcken [I’d already read it and it’s still as confusing!]
  • The Contortionist’s Handbook – Craig Clevenger [Interesting tale of headaches, drugs and new identities.]
  • Dangerous Hero – Tom Bower {NF} [A controversial, hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn. Recommended, for some]
  • Cinnamon Kiss – Walter Mosley [An OK American thriller.]
  • Why We Get the Wrong Politicians – Isabel Hardman {NF} [Earnest but dispiriting examination of how the wrong people make a poor job of being politicians. Recommended.]
  • Shut Up And Deal – Jesse May [Gritty, relentless tale of what it’s like to be an addicted, professional, poker player. Recommended]

October 2019

  • Skyfaring (A Journey With a Pilot) – Mark Vanhoenacker {NF} [A pilot writes about his job. Fascinating and recommended]
  • Cockroaches – Jo Nesbo [A holiday read – I think I’ve outgrown Nesbo]
  • The Racketeer – John Grisham [Disappointing. A crazy plot, no pace, and not much in the way of characterisation]
  • The Girl in the Green Raincoat – Laura Lippman [Short, gentle, detective story. Didn’t enjoy it]
  • Heroic Failure – Fintan O’Toole {NF} [“Brexit and the politics of pain”. Difficult reading.]

September 2019

  • The Cryptographer – Tobias Hill [Cryptocurrency themed love story. OK]
  • My Brief Career – Harry Mount {NF} [The author’s grim experience at the start of an abortive law career. OKish]
  • Siege – Michael Wolff {NF} [Another gobsmacking look at Trump. Highly recommended]
  • The Cut Out Girl – Bart van Es {NF} [War bio. Poor library book choice! Gave up after 10 pages]
  • Jonathan Unleashed – Meg Rosoff [Romcom with dogs! Poor library book choice! Gave up after 20 pages]
  • Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh [A very readable and odd, psychological story. Recommended]
  • The Industries of the Future – Alec Ross {NF} [Excellent look at what’s coming. Highly recommended]
  • The Shepherd’s Hut – Tim Winton [A teenager battles with survival in the Australian outback. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Things Can Only Get Worse? – John O’Farrell {NF} [A Labour Party supporter writes. Very funny. Recommended]
  • My Absolute Darling – Gabriel Tallent [A brutal tale of love, hate and abuse. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken – The Secret Barrister {NF} [What’s wrong with the legal system. Brilliant! Highly recommended]
  • The Librarian – Salley Vickers [Charming story of a 1950s librarian, though it took me a while to get into it. Highly recommended]
  • The Death of Truth – Michiko Kakutani {NF} [Short and scary polemic on how we got to Trumpism. Highly recommended]
  • Under the Sun – Lottie Moggach [Enjoyable tale of life as an expat in not so sunny Spain. Recommended]

August 2019

  • The Death of the Fronsac – Neal Ascherson [OKish. I struggled and was glad to get to the end]
  • Kiss Me First – Lottie Moggach [An internet tale. A decent read]
  • Educated – Tara Westover {NF} [Wonderful memoir of a woman surviving a brutal, Mormon family. Highly recommended]
  • Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed {NF} [Failure is good. Recommended]
  • The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim – Jonathan Coe [Enjoyable read but a disappointing ending]
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman [A charming read about an awkward but charming heroine. Highly recommended]

July 2019

  • Adventures in Stationery – James Ward {NF} [History of stationery and office gadgets. Skim-read but interesting]
  • The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes [‘a meditation on memory and ageing’. This is a re-read and I’ve upped it from recommended to highly recommended]
  • The Scheme For Full Employment – Magnus Mills [A novel. I hated this, but completed it!]
  • Two Sisters – Åsne Seierstad {NF} [An investigation into why two young Somali girls left Norway to join ISIS in Syria. Stunning. Highly recommended]
  • An American Story – Christopher Priest [Well written 9/11 conspiracy novel. Read it in a day but ultimately disappointed]
  • While I Was Gone – Sue Miller [The emotional struggles of an American wife as she struggles with her past. Recommended]
  • Uncommon Type – Tom Hanks [Very decent short stories from the actor. Recommended]
  • Pinpoint (How GPS is Changing Our World)- Greg Milner {NF} [All about GPS. Highly recommended]
  • Yuki chan in Brontë Country – Mick Jackson [So-so novel of a daughter retracing her mother’s visit to UK]
  • Narconomics (How to Run a Drug Cartel)- Tom Wainwright {NF} [How the drugs business works. Highly recommended]
  • An American Marriage – Tayari Jones [This best-seller is a decent read – it just sneaks in as a ‘recommended’]

June 2019

  • Bad Blood (Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup) – John Carreyrou {NF} [Only two things to say – riveting and highly recommended]
  • The Crime Writer – Jill Dawson [Terrific novel around the life of Patricia Highsmith. Highly recommended. This is a re-read and the same review as on the first read]
  • The Living and the Dead in Winsford – Håkan Nesser [Slow, long and absorbing thriller. Recommended. This is a re-read and the same review as on the first read]
  • Chernobyl – Serhii Plokhy {NF} [Magnificent examination of the World’s worst nuclear accident. Highly recommended]
  • The Second Coming – John Niven [God sends his son, Jesus, down for a 2nd go. A fabulous, funny read. Highly recommended]
  • Nutshell – Ian McEwan [Great tale of life in the womb! Highly recommended]
  • How To Be Right – James O’Brien {NF} [Honest broadcaster speaks. What a nice man. Highly recommended]
  • Heather, The Totality – Matthew Weiner [A mere 135 pages, a tale of how a child changes a marriage. OK]
  • Talking To My Daughter – Yanis Varoufakis {NF} [“A Brief History of Capitalism”. I didn’t get it. Not for me]
  • Waterline – Ross Raisin [Terrific tale of a widowed man descending to rock bottom. Grim but highly recommended]

May 2019

  • The Tiger – John Vaillant {NF} [Why did the tiger kill the hunter? But so much more. Magnificent and highly recommended]
  • Denialism – Michael Specter {NF} [The dangers of ignoring science. Excellent]
  • The Monk of Mokha – Dave Eggers {NF} [So-so true tale of coffee from Yemen. Not as good as his others]
  • Legend of a Suicide – David Vann [Realised half way through I had read it 4 years ago! Just as puzzled the second time around!!]

April 2019

  • The Death of Expertise – Tom Nichols {NF} [‘The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters’. Highly recommended]
  • Sheer Blue Bliss – Lesley Glaister [An interesting psychological thriller building to a tense conclusion. Recommended ]
  • Get Shorty – Elmore Leonard [I should have enjoyed it more]
  • A Life of Crime – Harry Ognall {NF} [Memoirs of a High Court judge. OKish]
  • The King is Dead – Jim Lewis [Disappointing. Maybe I took too long reading it.]
  • A Gate at the Stairs – Lorrie Moore [Couldn’t wait for it to end! Not for me.]

March 2019

  • Fire On All Sides – James Rhodes {NF} [Classical pianist agonises. Brilliant. Highly recommended, for some]
  • The Killing of Butterfly Joe – Rhidian Brook [ A great adventure centred on butterfly collectors. Highly recommended]
  • All That Remains – Sue Black {NF} [A forensic anthropologist tells all about death. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • The Intrusions – Stav Sherez [So-so Internet-themed crime procedural. Got going in the second half]

February 2019

  • The Cook – Wayne Macauley [Young criminal becomes a chef, in an intriguing read. Recommended, for some]
  • Affliction – Russell Banks [A violent, childhood-brutalised man fumes in an American, rural town. A great read. Highly recommended]
  • In Your Defence – Sarah Langford {NF} [A barrister writes about her cases. Highly recommended
  • The Relive Box – T.C.Boyle [Fabulous varied, collection of short stories. Highly recommended]

January 2019

  • Last Night in Montreal – Emily St.John Mandel [An estranged father abducts his daughter. A well-written story of linked lives. Highly recommended]
  • A Separation – Katie Kitamura [Wife seeks answers for the disappearance of her separated husband. Highly recommended]
  • Razor Girl – Carl Hiaasen [Comedy crime caper even crazier than Skinny Dip which I read last year. Overlong but great fun.]
  • First Love – Gwendoline Riley [A marriage battleground. I wasn’t getting anything from this short novel until the last quarter. I wish I had worked harder at it.]
  • Pyongyang – Guy Delisle [A Journey in North Korea. A comic book. I couldn’t get involved in it. Disappointing.]
  • Heading Out to Wonderful – Robert Goolrick [A love story set in the late 1940s that nicely portrays small-town America. I enjoyed it despite the inadequately developed over-the-top tragedy towards the end.]

December 2018

  • Improbable Destinies – Jonathan Losos {NF} [How predictable is evolution? If only I was smart enough to understand]
  • Face-Time – Erik Tarloff [Magnificent tale of affairs in the White House. Highly recommended]
  • Chocolates for Breakfast – Pamela Moore [1950s, coming-of-age novel. Well-off kids drinking. Pretty good.]

November 2018

  • The Secret Life – Andrew O’Hagan {NF} [3 men. Julian Assange, an invented one, the inventor of Bitcoin. Highly recommended]
  • The Financial Lives of the Poets – Jess Walter [Man sinks. Well written, funny and serious, American novel. Highly recommended (for some)]
  • The Two Pound Tram – William Newton [Charming tale of two boys and a tram]
  • Talking to the Dead – Harry Bingham [British police procedural, with a twist. Excellent. Recommended]
  • WTF? – Robert Peston {NF} [Provocative thinking on UK politics. Recommended]
  • Lost Memory of Skin – Russell Banks [Fantastic novel about a young sex offender in America. Highly recommended]
  • The Evenings – Gerard Reve [A novel about boredom. I was bored and gave up after 30 pages]
  • The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell {NF} [Running a second-hand bookshop. Amusing and helpful. Raced through it in 2 days. Recommended]

October 2018

  • The Harder They Come – T C Boyle [Rage, paranoia, guns. Recommended]
  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy [A mother’s hypochondria. Not for me, though I managed to finish it]
  • Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond {NF} [Lengthy (and exhausting) history of mankind. Recommended]

September 2018

  • Sunburn – Laura Lippman [Superb well-plotted thriller set is small town America. Highly recommended]
  • The Big Short – Michael Lewis {NF} [Sub-prime mortgage crisis. Almost incomprehensible, but highly recommended, for some]
  • If Only They Didn’t Speak English – Jon Sopel {NF} [Americans in Trumpland. Fascinating / terrific. Highly recommended]

August 2018

  • Skios – Michael Frayn [Fabulous & hilarious farce set on a Greek island. Highly recommended]
  • Obliquity – John Kay {NF} [Dull. Gave up after 40 pages]
  • Heart Burn – Nora Ephron [The author’s fictionalised marriage breakdown. Witty & funny. For some, highly recommended]
  • Donnie Brasco – Joseph D Pistone {NF} [Undercover in the Mafia. Fascinating. Highly recommended]
  • All Families Are Psychotic – Douglas Coupland [Bizarre! End couldn’t come soon enough]
  • I, Robot – Isaac Asimov [Interesting linked stories around laws of robotics. Recommended]

July 2018

  • The Forever War – Dexter Filkins {NF} [A war reporter in Iraq. Astounding and outstanding. Highly recommended]
  • Killers of the Flower Moon – David Grann {NF} [Astonishing true story of murders of Osage Native Americans in 1920s. Highly recommended]
  • Midwinter Break – Bernard MacLaverty [Retired couple’s marriage is tested in Amsterdam. Highly recommended]
  • The Bookshop That Floated Away – Sarah Henshaw [A charming read about the author’s bookshop on a canal boat]
  • The October List – Jeffery Deaver [A back-to-front thriller I found too difficult to finish]
  • The Human Stain – Philip Roth [I’m ashamed to say I gave up halfway through]

June 2018

  • The Association of Small Bombs – Karan Mahajan [After an act of Indian terrorism. Recommended]]
  • Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life – Adam Greenfield {NF} [The scary future. Highly recommended]
  • The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza – Lawrence Block [A very fine and funny crime story. Recommended]

May 2018

  • Flash Boys – Michael Lewis {NF} [Gripping analysis of Wall Street cheating. Highly recommended]
  • De Niro’s Game – Rawi Hage [The violent lives of two young men in Lebanon. So-so.]
  • The Reykjavik Confessions – Simon Cox {NF} [Devastating investigation of 40-year old, Icelandic miscarriage of justice. Recommended]
  • Fire and Fury (Inside the Trump White House) – Michael Wolff {NF} [What a monster. Highly recommended]
  • American War – Omar El Akkad [The 2nd American Civil War, set in 2074. Mixed feelings on this. Overlong.]

April 2018

  • The Last Shot – Hugo Hamilton [A very fine, short love story set around the end of WW2. Recommended]
  • The Dark Net – Jamie Bartlett {NF} [Well researched investigation of the hidden web. Highly recommended]
  • The Fall Guy – James Lasdun [So so psychological thriller. Goodish. ]
  • American Pastoral – Philip Roth [American family collapses. Goodish/recommended]

March 2018

  • In Extremis – Tim Parks [A dying mother, a son’s angst, families, anal massage. Brilliant. Highly recommended]
  • Chess – Stefan Zweig [Psychological, 80 page novella themed around chess. Recommended]
  • The Faithful Couple – A D Miller [Male friendship. Recommended, for males]
  • The Abstinence Teacher – Tom Perrotta [Religion, sex education, broken relationships. Not bad]
  • Closing Arguments – Frederick Busch [Hmm.. A killing, a court case, lots of sex. Interesting!]
  • The Prophet – Michael Koryta [Terrific American football themed thriller. Highly recommended]
  • Skinny Dip – Carl Hiaasen [Husband tosses wife off ship. A terrific, fun adventure. Highly recommended]

February 2018

  • Heft – Liz Moore [Two people with a connecting third. A so-so read]
  • Alice and the Fly – James Rice [Strange tale of obsession and phobia. Not for me]
  • Why the Dutch are Different – Ben Coates {NF} [Interesting to read about another country. Recommended]

January 2018

  • Life With a Star – Jiří Wei [Surviving as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Prague. OK. Grim.]
  • Shame the Devil – George P. Pelecanos [A very decent, hard-boiled, American crime novel]
  • The Plot Against America – Philip Roth [Imagined alternative American history. Highly recomended]
  • How to Stop Time – Matt Haig [The life of a 400-year-old man. Highly recommended]
  • Perfume – Patrick Süskind [A very strange story. Recommended, for some]

December 2017

  • Memoirs of a Dipper – Nell Leyshon [Fictional memoir of a petty criminal. OKish]
  • Complicity – Iain Banks [A sometimes gruesome, Scottish thriller. Recommended]
  • Dadland – Keggie Carew {NF} [Daughter tells the story of her spy dad. Recommended]

November 2017

  • A Brief History Of Everyone Who Ever Lived – Adam Rutherford {NF} [Difficult. Would require a re-read]
  • The Fixer – Joseph Finder [Man finds stash of money in father’s old house. Very decent thriller. Recommended]
  • Double Fault – Lionel Shriver [Just couldn’t get enthused by it – gave up at p66]
  • I Am No One – Patrick Flanery [Privacy and surveillance novel. Slow start – OKish]
  • Tomorrow – Graham Swift [Parenthood, artificial insemination. I enjoyed it]
  • Adapt – Tim Hartford {NF} [Adapting is good. OKish]

October 2017

  • Before the Fall – Noah Hawley [After the plane crash suspense / thriller. Highly recommended]
  • Trading Futures – Jim Powell [Man gradually cracks up. Recommended]
  • What We Did On Our Holiday – John Harding [A novel about ageing parents. Recommended]
  • To Kill the President – Sam Bourne [Magnificent thriller with Trump as the bad guy – LOL! Highly recommended]
  • Under the Harrow – Flynn Berry [Very decent psychological thriller. Recommended]
  • All Days Are Night – Peter Stamm [So-so novel about life rebuilding after disfigurement]
  • The Long and Winding Road – Alan Johnson {NF} [Politician’s memoir part 3. Worthy, sometimes rather dull.]

September 2017

  • All the Old Knives – Olen Steinhauer [Fantastic spy novel set mainly across a dinner table. Highly recommended]
  • High Dive – Jonathan Lee [So-so fictionalisation of the bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel]
  • New Crimes Anthology – Maxine Jakubowski (editor) [A mainly mediocre bunch of short, crime stories]
  • A Thousand Pardons – Jonathan Dee [Very enjoyable novel on American family life. Recommended]
  • In a True Light – John Harvey [So-so American crime novel by UK author. Unnecessarily violent ending]
  • It’s What He Would Have Wanted – Sean Hughes [So-so, jokey, blokey novel about a father’s suicide. ]
  • The Dishwasher – Dannie M Martin [An ex-convict struggles. A very decent American crime story. Recommended]

August 2017

  • What is the What – Dave Eggers [Long,but terrific true story set in Sudan. A book to read again. Highly recommended]
  • The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling [Just too many characters! Lost track, gave up.]
  • Poor Economics – Banerjee & Duflo {NF} [What it’s like to be poor. Highly recommended, for some]
  • Agent Zigzag – Ben Macintyre {NF} [Extraordinary true story of a WW2 double agent. Recommended]

July 2017

  • A Sport and a Pastime – James Salter [Couldn’t get into it]
  • Deaf Sentence – David Lodge [Funny / serious tale around deafness and ageing. Pretty good, for some]
  • Happy – Derren Brown {NF} [How to be happy. Long / over-long, but interesting. Recommended, for some]
  • Preparation For The Next Life – Atticus Lish [War veteran and illegal immigrant struggle to love and live. Recommended]

June 2017

  • The Circle – Dave Eggers [1984 meets social media. Brilliant! Highly recommended]
  • 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 {NF} [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 {NF} [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 {NF} [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 {NF} [Varied and interesting Guardian articles on biking]
  • The Escape Artist – Matt Seaton {NF} [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

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

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

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

September 2015

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

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

>November 2014

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

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014