Reading Past and Present

Last year, I let my husband help pick the books I was reading – 50 in total – and he picked some things I had been meaning to read and a lot of classics. I managed to get through Middlemarch, Far From the Madding Crowd, Moby Dick and The Old Man and the Sea but not David Copperfield, Emma or The Turn of the Screw. I was pleased to get through those four as they have been on my meaning to read list for a while but I’d be a liar if I said that I really enjoyed them. I feel compelled to keep reading the classics – I’m not sure why – but I really don’t enjoy them. As a result, I went off list.

Highlights from last year were mostly modern – Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale was a favourite, as was The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth was fantastic and certainly the best alternative history novel I have read. Roth and Whitehead were both new to me and I will definitely be reading more by them in the future.

Unfortunately. although I had quite a few five star reads, I also read a lot of disappointing books. David Mitchell (Utopia Avenue), Ian McEwan (Machines Like Me), Sebastian Faulks (Engleby) and Graham Swift (Here We Are) all let me down this year. The one good thing about this is the fact I do not feel compelled to read anything else by them.

This year, I am choosing less books – I only managed to read 37 books last year. I am adding some of last years books, some non fiction and more kindle books then I had last year. Hopefully, I’ll manage to stick to it a bit more successfully.

  1. Blood and Guts in High School – Kathy Acker
  2. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. Ridley Road – Jo Bloom – Finished 26/2/22
  4. My Evil Mother – Margaret Atwood – Finished 1/10/22
  5. Have You Eaten Grandma? – Gyles Brandreth – 31/10/22
  6. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  7. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov Finished 12/10/22
  8. Babel Tower – A. S. Byatt
  9. Good Night and Good Luck – David Cavanagh
  10. The City and the Stars – Arthur C. Clarke
  11. The Long Call – Anne Cleeves – Finished 5/8/22
  12. Mr Wilder and Me – Jonathan Coe
  13. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  14. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  15. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky Unfinished
  16. Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo Finished 29/9/22
  17. Sunburn – James Felton Finished 23/1/22
  18. Maurice – E. M. Forster
  19. House of Glass – Hadley Freeman Finished 31/8/22
  20. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman Finished 5/6/22
  21. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell Finished 11/3/22
  22. The Princess Bride – William Goldman Currently reading
  23. The Institute – Stephen King Finished 26/11/22
  24. The Lost Language of Cranes – David Leavitt Finished 22/2/22
  25. Live By Night – Dennis Lehane Finished 12/5/22
  26. Pies and Prejudice – Stuart Maconie Finished 29/5/22
  27. No One Writes to the Colonel – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  28. Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin – Finished 19/8/22
  29. More Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin Finished 10/9/22
  30. Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell Finished 27/7/22
  31. Bleeding Hearts – Ian Rankin Finished 16/1/22
  32. A Song for the Dark Times – Ian Rankin Finished 17/10/22
  33. Holes – Louis Sachar – Finished 18/10/22
  34. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows – Finished 9/8/22
  35. Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee – Meera Syal Finished 10/2/22
  36. Shuggy Bain – Douglas Stuart Finished 30/6/22
  37. The Kitchen God’s Wife – Amy Tan Finished 30/5/22
  38. The Two Towers – J R R Tolkien Finished 11/5/22
  39. Candide – Voltaire
  40. The Underground Railway – Colson Whitehead Finished 10/4/22
  41. The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham Finished 21/6/22

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