2018/19 was the year of the series. Two books were bought so I could start/continue a series (Regeneration and The Prime of life) and two books were inadvertently read out of sequence (Framley Parsonage and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Lots of good books, only one dud – Memoirs of a Geisha. 47 books read. Contenders for Book of the Year were: The Third Policeman, How Late it Was, How Late, The Book of Dust, In Cold Blood, The Eye in the Door, but

the Book of the Year 2018/19 was

His Masterpiece by Emile Zola

2019/20 has started with Force of Circumstance, Simone de Beauvoir. The miscellaneaus items in the photo were found in the secondhand book.

The complete list –

June

Pensees Blaise Pascal

The Man in the High Castle Philip K Dick

The Web and the Rock Thomas Wolfe

July

The Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Hariki Murakami

August

The Robber Bride Margaret Atwood

Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

An Accidental Family Dostoevsky

September

Babbitt Sinclair Lewis

The Third Policeman Flan O’Brien

How Late it Was, How Late James Kelman

Local Anaesthetic Gunter Grass

Between the Assasinations Aravind Adiga

October

His Masterpiece Emile Zola

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman

Regeneration Pat Barker

The Eye in the Door Pat Barker

November

The Ghost Road Pat Barker

December

The Prime of Life Simone de Beauvoir

Winter’s Tales Isak Dinesen

The Yellow Wallpaper and selected writings Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Bring on the Empty Horses David Niven

January

Let it Come Down Paul Bowles

The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K Le Guin

Noone belongs here more than you stories by Miranda July

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller Italo Calvino

Faces in the Water Janet Frame

The Book of Dust Vol I Belle Sauvage Phillip Pullman

The Levanter Eric Ambler

The Custom of the Country Edith Wharton

February

The Nine Tailors Dorothy L Sayers

Will you please be quiet, please? Raymond Carver

March

Framley Parsonage Anthony Trollope

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John Le Carre

Monsignor Quixote Graham Greene

A Kestrel for a Knave Barry Hines

The High Window Raymond Chandler

The Mennyms Sylvia Waugh

April

Moby Dick Herman Melville

In Cold Blood Truman Capote

The Trespasser D H Lawrence

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Winifred Watson

The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett

You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down Alice Walker

The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst

May

The Fancy Dress Party Alberto Moravia

Labyrinths Jorge Luis Borges

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I spent time with lodgers;

  • Villa des Roses, Willem Elsschot
  • Craven House, Parrick Hamilton
  • The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters;

the dead;

  • Beyond Black, Hilary Mantel
  • The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

And scary men;

  • The Collector, John Fowles
  • Perfume, Patrick Suskind.

There was one from a fellow blogger:

and an error:

  • I missed out listing The Double by Jose Soramago in 16/17!

There were disappointments:

  • Ludmila’s Broken English, DBC Pierre

There were 59 books.

The Book of the year 2017/18 could have been The Ballad and the Source, Alone in Berlin or A Prayer for Owen Meany but it is

Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis

The first book of 18/19 is Pensees Blaise Pascal.

The Full List

June

The Mabinogion

A Life of Your Own and other stories, Frank O’Connor

Villa des Roses, Willem Elsschot

Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

Ten Orbits of the Sun, David Milligan-Croft

July

The Pendragon Legend,Antal Szerb

Baotown, Wang Anyi

The Inn at the Edge of the World, Alice Thomas Ellis

The Door, Magda Szabo

The Collector, John Fowles

Operation Mincemeat, Ben MacIntyre

August

Craven House, Parrick Hamilton

Beyond Black, Hilary Mantel

The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman

Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

September

Perfume, Patrick Suskind

Emotionally Weird, Kate Atkinson

A Prayer for Owen Meaney, John Irving

Houses, Borislav Pekic

Falconer, John Cheever

October

The Invisible Woman, Claire Tomalin

The Rebel, Albert Camus

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

November

Hot Milk, Deborah Levy

Hideous Kinky, Esther Freud

Five Red Herrings, Dorothy L Sayers

Ludmila’s Broken English, DBC Pierre

The Woman Who Rode Away and other stories, DH Lawrence

The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki

December

Time’s Arrow, Martin Amis

The Man Who Would Be King, Rudyard Kipling

January

Killer in the Rain, Raymond Chandler

I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith

February

The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters

Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther, Elizabeth Von Arnim

Dead Man Talking, Roddy Doyle

Epitaph for a Spy, Eric Ambler

Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada

The Green Child, Herbert Read

The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingslover

March

The Speckled People, Hugo Hamilton

Yes, and After Michael Hastings, The Happy Haven, John Arden, Five Finger Exercise, Peter Shaffer. Penguin New English Dramatists 4

An Awfully Big Adventure, Beryl Bainbridge

Justine, Marquis De Sade

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson

Lives of Eminent Men, John Aubrey

Head to Toe, Joe Orton

One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson

April

The Virgin in the Garden, AS Byatt

The Man Who Loves Children, Christina Stead

The Ballad and the Source, Rosamund Lehmann

Gaudy Night, Dorothy L Sayers

Zoe, Geraldine Jewsbury

May

Wordsworth Classics – Classic Victorian and Edwardian Ghost stories

The Company of Swans, Jim Crumley

The Cry of the Owl, Patricia Highsmith

The Blackwater Lightship, Colm Toibin

The Rendezvous and other stories, Daphne Du Maurier

The Georgics, Virgil

I read on someone’s blog that you should write down the books you read in order to see the gaps/bias in your reading. I’ve kept a list of books from 1993, but have never used it for that. My reading is directed by what people donate to charity shops, what’s on my sister’s shelves (marked S below) and recommendations from friends (marked F below). Because I am inordinately lazy, please let me know what glaring omissions I’m making in my reading and I’ll try and pull some in in 2017/18. 
Skip to the end for my book of the year, but in chronological order, the books I’ve read this year are: 

June

Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel (S)

The Stories of English David Crystal

July

The Periodic Table Primo Levy (F)

The Red House Mark Haddon

The Last Shot Hugo Hamilton

Happy To Be Here Garrison Keillor

August

Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel

Walden and Other Writings Henry David Thoreau

September

How the Dead Live Will Self

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aiken

Bastard Out of Carolina Dorothy Allison

The Taxidermist’s Daughter Kate Mosse

The Birds and Other Stories Daphne Du Maurier

One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

October

The Second Book of Modern Women’s Short Stories

The Summer Before the Dark Doris Lessing

The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins (F)

November

The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain

December

The Life of Charlotte Bronte Elizabeth Gaskell

The Norfolk Mystery Ian Sansom

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories H.P. Lovecraft

We Have Always Lived in the Castle Shirley Jackson (S)

January

Ways of Seeing John Berger

The Siege of Krishnapur J.G. Farrell (S)

A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole

Journey by Moonlight Antal Szerb

February

A Sicilain Romance Ann Radcliffe

So Many Ways to Begin Jon McGregor

Joan Eardley A Sense of Place

The Blithedale Romance Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt John Cooper Clarke

March

My Life as a Fake Peter Carey

A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry

We Should All Be Feminists Chinamanda Ngozi Adiche (F)

April

Jamaica Inn Daphne Du Maurier

Father and Son Edmund Gosse

Carhedral Raymond Carver

Everyday Use Alice Walker

Midnight and I’m Not Famous Yet Barry Hannah

The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

Injury Time Beryl Bainbridge

The Life you save may be your own and Good country people Flannery O’Connor

Peter Abelard Helen Waddell

The Haunted House and other Stories Wilkie Collins

May

Homegoing Yaa Gyasi (F)

Navajo Night Chant, Chippewa Songs, Ghost Dance Songs

Impressions of an Indian Childhood Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, Zitkala Sa

Book of the year 2016/17
I knew from the moment I started reading it, it was going to be Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell, but then it wasn’t, it was A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

2017/18 has started with The Mabinogion

image

(picture theme – the weather. Inspired by https://bookreveries.com/2016/05/15/words-the-amount-and-the-impact/)

Forty-four books were read in total.

Traipsed to the library for a couple:
Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, Samuel Johnson

Two were recommended:
The Black House, Peter May (Boo)
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (Yay)

Some non-fiction snuck in there:
Into the Crocodile Nest, Benedict Allen
Deserted Villages, T Rowley and J Wood

There’s always room for favourites: Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler
Little Black Book of Stories, A S Byatt The Honourable Schoolboy, John Le Carre

But, it was a close run in for first place. Running a very close second was Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie, but ducking its head to cross the finish line, after sitting on my bookshelf for years, a non fiction of all things, the 2015/16 book of the year is:

The Children of Sanchez, Oscar Lewis

16/17 has started with Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel and I can’t get this not to be in italics!

The full list:
June
Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson
Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, Samuel Johnson
July
Sidetracked, Henning Mankell
Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
Night Listener, Armistead Maupin
Master Georgie, Bertl Bainbridge
Started Early, Took my Dog, Kate Atkinson
August
Into the Crocodile Nest, Benedict Allen
Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
September
The Black House, Peter May
Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd
The Reader, Bernard Schlink
The History Man, Malcolm Bradbury
Homesickness, Murray Bail
October
Little Black Book of Stories, A.S. Byatt
November
Sybil, Benjamin Disraeli
The Subtle Knife, Phillip Pullman
Mr Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood
Marianne, George Sand
Catriona, R.L.Stevenson
December
The Honourable Schoolboy, John Le Carre
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
Malgudi Days, R.K. Narayan
Journey’s End, R.C. Sherriff
January
Delta of Venus, Anais Nin
Homage to Catalonia, Georhe Orwell
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote
February
The Children of Sanchez, Oscar Lewis
The Pope’s Wedding, Edward Bond
The Bell, Iris Murdoch
The Doll and Other Short Stories, Daphne du Maurier
March
Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Mrs Miniver, Jan Struther
Demian, Hermann Hesse
April
Deserted Villages, T. Rowley, J. Wood
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler
May
Iris, John Bayley
Timothy ans the Two Witches, Margaret Storey
The Storytellers Two, compiled by Roger Mansfield
Selected Prose and Poetry, Edward Thomas
The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley

20150607-200128.jpg
Slim pickings this year with only 35 books read. It began with The Book of Flights by JMG Clezio which I can no longer remember, and finished with Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay.

There was:
something local – If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things – Jon McGregor – July
something stomach churning Death in Midsummer and Other Stories – Yukio Mishima – January
something historical Warlords and Holymen: Scotland AD80-1000 – AP Smyth – May
something archaic Love Lies Bleeding – Edmund Crispin – April
something shared Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman – May
something funny Summer Lightning – PG Wodehouse – July

Recommendations came from:
Wordpress – Wittgenstein’s Nephew -Thomas Bernhardt – August https://tomsimard.wordpress.com/
Twitter – The Mezzanine – Nicholson Baker – March
Friends –The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide – March

High point:
Collected Stories of John Cheever – January

Low point:
Atonement – Ian McEwan – June

Book of the year 2014/15:

The Children’s Book – AS Byatt – September

2015/16 has kicked off with
Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides 1773 edited by Frederick A Pottle and Charles H Bennett and The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

20140517_195611

If you were here last year, you’ll know it all kicked off with Threepenny Novel by Bertolt Brecht. It finished with The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. Forty-nine books in all (down on last year), here are the highlights:

The Book of Dave by Will Self in July
The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories in August (The Accordion and the Fish Town Hayashi Fumiko and Night Fires Shiga Naoya)
Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xialong in September
What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn December
Pepita by Vita Sackville-West January
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates January

A lowlight;The Accidental by Ali Smith in March

but, Book of the Year 2013/14 is…..

Agent ZigZag by Ben MacIntyre

What a story.

2014/15 has begun with The Book of Flights by J.M.G. Le Clezio

End of the book year

June 1, 2013

Well it all started back in June 2012 with The Longest Journey by E M Forster and finished with The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott and we finally finished the ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ series taking 13 months reading at night. 55 books in all, a record since children came along and including my first e-book Jean DesJardins by fellow blogger Tom Simard (go and read it), but what were the highlights?

A Winter’s Book by Tove Jannson in June
Mr Pye by Mervyn Peake in July
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim in August
The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel in October
According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge in January

It was also the year I eventually read Rousseau’s Confessions that have been on my shelves for years and fitted in some exercise carrying The Life of Samuel Johnson to work for weeks.

There were, how should I put it? Less than highlights, but I’ll only mention one The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron in September.

Book of the year 2012/3 is ……..

2013-05-31 22.16.36

Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton

I know it’s 3 books in 1, so if you are forcing me to choose – The Plains of Cement.

The whole trilogy is exquisitely painful.

Right, back to the first book in the 2013/14 year – Threepenny Novel by Bertolt Brecht – started in May, to be finished in June ( May/June counts as next year, you know the rules).

Not entirely sure what I ‘should’ be doing anymore, but here’s some books.
image

The High Window and Playback by Raymond Chandler and Best
‘Thinking Machine’ Detective Stories by Jacques Futrelle.

Three bargains from the 50p shelves at Scarthin Books. I’ve read ‘the problem of Cell 13’ story by Futrelle and am savouring the knowledge that I have two unread Chandlers on my shelves waiting to be read.

20120514-221318.jpg

I finished Hotel Luc by Anita Brookner this weekend, a book I’d forgotten I had bought until I had to empty and then refill all the bookshelves after decorating, and have just started The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht on recommendation (often a gamble).

I’ve also tried to get back to going to the library regularly, primarily to keep pace with children’s avid reading, so Lemony Snickett’s have been through the house, several Horrible Histories and a great book on Heath Robinson, perfect for the child who fills your recycling bin with masses of paper of inventions. Have also had out books on Lucian Freud, Edward Hopper and Turner.

Early on in my blogging career, I was reading Oliver Twist and there was a couple of sentences that really made me chuckle early on. I then couldn’t find it, but I’ve gone back tonight and found it:

“… the young woman burst into another fit of crying, and got so dreadfully hysterical, that a couple of women who came up at the moment asked a butcher’s boy with a shiny head of suet, who was also looking on, whether he didn’t think he had better run for the doctor. To which, the butcher’s boy: who appeared of a lounging, not to say insolent disposition: replied, that he thought not.”

Respect to the Butcher’s boy!

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