Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween Special

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Today the top ten was a Halloween freebie so I have written a straightforward list of my favourite horror / supernatural novels.

  1. The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris (1988) The relationship between Clarice and Hannibal Lector is what makes this novel.
  2. The Fog – James Herbert (1975) A mysterious fog seeps from a crack in the earth and drives people mad. A superb read.
  3. The Stand – Stephen King (1978) This contains one of my favourite pieces of writing ever where King describes the spread of a virus from the first sneeze onwards. Like The Road, a post-apocalyptic scenario.
  4. Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin (1967) Even better than the film (which follows the novel really closely.)
  5. I am Legend – Richard Matheson (1954) A last man standing tale with Robert Neville fighting the vampires for his humanity and the future of the world.
  6. The Road – Cormac McCarthy (2006). Perhaps not an obvious horror choice but the bleakness of the landscape and the dark violence earn it its place.
  7. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (1818) I love this book and its commentary on the way society treats outsiders. It does what all good horror should do and make you think
  8. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson (1886) A great story about hypocrisy and sin. I’ve taught this any number of times and it hasn’t lost its freshness.
  9. Some of Your Blood – Theodore Sturgeon (1961) A strange vampiric tale, told through letters and diaries. The pay off is definitely worth it.
  10. The Invisible Man – H. G. Wells (1897) Much better than the film, this is a dark parable about not being accepted by society and the repercussions of that.

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

  1. An obvious romance – I’m not a big fan of romance in general but it works best, I think, when there is some genuine peril (if that is the correct word). I find it annoying when the end relationship is never in doubt. Example: How to fall in love – Celia Ahern – the female lead, Christine is trying to help Adam win his ex-girlfriend back but, of course, this isn’t what ends up happening. Tedious.
  2. A disappointing end to a series – It is annoying when you invest the time to follow a series of books and then it turns out to be a rubbish ending. It’s exciting when you know that you are coming to the end of a series and the letdown of a bad ending is magnified by the number of books you have read up to that point. Example: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. The main problem is how much of the action takes place away from Katniss but it also the lack of a hunger games and the tedious love triangle.
  3. A movie cover – I understand why publishers feel the need to do this but it really is annoying. I much prefer a nice art print or something more abstract. The problem with a movie cover is that it gives you an idea of what the characters look like and it is hard to move past. (Incidental peeve – On my kindle, often the covers update when there has been a movie version which is very irritating.)
  4. The problems of posh people – I really don’t want to read about people with money who often have to make problems for themselves because otherwise their moneyed lives would be just fine. They are generally obnoxious and unpleasant. Example: The Secret History – Donna Tartt. The obnoxious, snobby students are so full of themselves and their professor is even worse. They end up murdering because they are beyond normal morality. Just unpleasant. (See also Amsterdam by Ian McEwan,)
  5. When you buy the next book by an author or in a series and the cover design has completely changed. When you buy a lot of books by an author – be it all in a series or not – it’s nice if the books all look similar to each other and sit nicely together on the shelf. However, publishers and fashions change and so do covers. I’ve not got the money to rebuy books just so they all look the same although I know some people who have. Example: Rebus Series – Ian Rankin.
  6. Pretentious prose – I do find it annoying when the prose style gets in the way of reading smoothly. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a clever phrase as much as the next person but it should be fluid. It shouldn’t be the author showing off their vocabulary. Example: Any recent novel by Ian McEwan.
  7. When someone is killed or dies in order for another character to learn some life lesson. It is usually women that have to go through things or be killed and men who learn something about themselves or live an improved life because of what they learned. Example: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher. Hannah’s suicide, and all the things that lead up to it, are ultimately character development for Clay who realises what he needs to do to improve his own life.
  8. Teenage first person blues – I am quite far removed from my teenage years now but I do find myself reading fiction from the point of view of teenagers fairly regularly. I find it harder and harder to relate to a teenage narrator and their self centred worlds. Examples: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, Turtles All The Way Down – John Green and the entire Divergent series.
  9. When they totally mess up the film / TV version – I’m not sure that this is really a book peeve but it is related. When you have really loved a book, you get excited to see what someone has done with it. While I know that everyone’s imagination is different but sometimes, directors seem to go out of their way to mess things up. Examples: The Book Thief, The Golden Compass, The Other Boleyn Girl to name but three.
  10. When it is impossible to suspend my disbelief – I think I am quite good at suspending my disbelief but sometimes things just get too ridiculous. Sometimes it depends on how good the prose is or how good the characters are and you would just about accept anything but if these are not so good then you are less able to disbelieve. Examples: Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman and Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books on my Autumn To Read List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

A nice straightforward list this week – what I intend to read next. I can’t promise I will keep to it. I’m always getting distracted by new books but this is the intention. Any thoughts about any of them gratefully received.

  1. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while. It sounds interesting and I really enjoyed Half A Yellow Sun.
  2. Jews Don’t Count – David Baddiel. I’ve just downloaded this onto my Kindle as it is an area I’m interested in knowing more about.
  3. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte. I read this at school and enjoyed it but I can’t remember it very well so time for a reread.
  4. The Long Call – Anne Cleeves. I really enjoyed the Shetland books but this is the first Cleeves book outside that series that I’ve bought.
  5. The Collector – John Fowles. I’ve been intending to read this since I was at university (which is a long time ago). I finally bought a copy last year.
  6. No One Writes to the Colonel – Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s a long time since I last read any Marquez. I’m not sure why as I enjoyed the others that I have read.
  7. Mysterious Skin – Scott Heim. Another book that has been on the reading list for a long time but I only just purchased.
  8. Bleeding Hearts – Ian Rankin. I love the Rebus books but the only other non-Rebus that I read, I wasn’t that impressed with. We’ll see.
  9. On Beauty – Zadie Smith. I’ve read a few of Smith’s books in the past although I wasn’t that impressed with the last one (Swing Time). Time to give her another chance, I think.
  10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain. I read Tom Sawyer a few years ago and thought it was about time I read this one.

Top Ten Books with a Number in the Title.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Here is my list. There is a surprising number of dystopias and science fiction in here, perhaps because of the use of years in titles. In numerical order:

  1. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman (2001) Excellent dystopia with a focus on race and prejudice. Better than the TV show.
  2. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut (1969) One of the best anti-war novels. A look at the effect of war on the mind.
  3. Starter For Ten – David Nicholls (2003) Romance based around a team taking part in University Challenge. The film was better.
  4. 11/22/63 – Stephen King (2011) Interesting science fiction / alternate history focusing on the question of what would have happened if Kennedy had not been shot.
  5. 13 Reasons Why – Jay Asher (2007) Girl dies so boy can learn to live a better life pretty much sums this one up
  6. Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith (2008) A thriller set in communist Russia. Okay thriller with some interesting political points to make.
  7. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (1953) One of my favourite dystopias. The idea of books being burned is so disturbing.
  8. 1984 – George Orwell (1949) Another brilliant dystopia. Particularly fitting reading in the current political climate.
  9. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke (1968) This did not help my paranoia about technology. Also interesting ideas about the nature of the universe.
  10. 20000 Leagues Under The Sea – Jules Verne (1869). Not a bad adventure but I did get fed up with the long lists of fish.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Places to Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

This week’s Top Ten is Favourite Places to read. I don’t really think about finding a special place to read. I always have a book about my person but it is more time than place that usually stops me from reading. Nonetheless, here are some of the places where it is good to read. Not quite ten but never mind.

  1. Bed – This is the place I read most often. I even get up early when I am going to work so I have time to read. It is a nice way to start the day and ensures that if nothing else, I get some reading done everyday. I used to read before I went to sleep but these days I’m often too tired to contemplate it.
  2. The sofa – This is the place I’m most likely to be found reading. I have a two seater sofa to myself as mu husband likes to sit in the easy chair. Often during lockdown, I would sit here for a few hours reading. One of the nicer things about lockdown was having the time to sit for a while and concentrate on reading.
  3. On the bus – As I can’t drive, I have to use public transport to get to work. Sometimes this involves two buses. Reading means that the time is not wasted. It means I actually look forward to my daily commute rather than hating it.
  4. On the train – This is different from getting on the bus. Usually it is a longer journey so it is a lot more relaxing. It is often the start of a holiday so again it feels different from the daily commute.
  5. In the bath – I used to love to read in the bath. I considered it the perfect relaxation. However, after a series of dropped books, I have given this up.
  6. In the pub – I often read in the pub if my husband is watching sport that I don’t like. Also, it is a good way to avoid being talked to if you are waiting for someone.
  7. At work – At the minute, I work in a school that has a program called Drop Everything And Read which means at a given time, lessons stop and everybody reads. It is always enjoyable to be able to have twenty minutes in the working day to be able to read.
  8. In the waiting room – Not really a favourite place but a place I often find myself reading these days.

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Most Recent Reads

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 

This week’s topic – 10 Most recent reads

  1. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque (1929) 5/5

Classic war literature showing the horror of the trenches and the sacrifice of a generation. Very affecting.

2. Machines Like Me – Ian McEwan (2019) – 2/5

Disappointing attempt at speculative fiction with unconvincing plot and characters.

3. The Problem with Men: When is International Men’s Day (and Why it Matters) – Richard Herring (2021) 4/5

A light hearted look at the reasons why some men are only concerned about International Men’s Day on International Women’s Day and what the ramifications might be. Very funny and intelligent.

4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carre (1974) 4/5

Classic spy novel with George Smiley trying to uncover a mole in the secret service. Very twisty and clever.

5. The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi (1990) 4/5

Coming of age in London in the seventies. Raises issues around race, sexuality and class.

6. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens (2018) 2/5

The ending spoiled this for me. Up until that point, this was an okay thriller with a sweet love story at the heart.

7. Middlemarch – George Eliot (1871) – 3/5

Very well written classic description of small town life. Characters are well drawn but the writing style was too long winded for me to really enjoy.

8. Utopia Avenue – David Mitchell (2020) 2/5

Not one of Mitchell’s best. Reasonable story spoiled by all the cameos of dead pop stars.

9. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway (1952) 3/5

I enjoyed Hemingway’s sparse writing style but the story of an old man catching his last fish did not appeal.

10 Take Nothing With You – Patrick Gale (2018) 5/5

My favourite read of the year so far. A combination of bildungsroman and romance with a lovely uplifting ending.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Animals from Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

This weeks Top Ten – Animals from Books

  1. Behemoth – The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967) Behemoth is a giant, demonic cat who takes pleasure in causing chaos and can take human form for short periods of time.
  2. Fevvers – Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter (1984) – Fevvers is a woman with the incredible wings of a swan. Is she real though?
  3. Kes – A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines (1968) – Kes is the kestrel trained by Billy Casper. The bird gives meaning to his existence inspiring love and trust in a way that Billy’s human companions cannot.
  4. Algernon – Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes (1959) Algernon is a mouse who is given a treatment that makes him incredibly intelligent. Unfortunately the effects do not last.
  5. Richard Parker – Life of Pi – Yann Martel (2001) Richard Parker is the Bengal tiger that Pi shares his raft with for 227 days.
  6. Ghost – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R. R. Martin (1996-2011) – Ghost is the Direwolf of Jon Snow. One of the two direwolves to survive the series.
  7. Snowball – Animal Farm – George Orwell (1945) – Rival to Napoleon whose life parallels that of Leon Trotsky.
  8. Gaspode – Moving Pictures (1990), The Fifth Elephant (1999), The Truth (2000), Men at Arms (1993) – Terry Pratchett. Gaspode is one of my favourite Pratchett characters. Not only is he a talking dog but he is caught between being a dog and wanting to be loved and being human and being sarcastic about everything.
  9. Pan – His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (1995-2000) – At first, Pan changes animal depending on his and Lyra’s mood but he eventually settles as a pinemarten. Who wouldn’t love to have a daemon like Pan, someone who was always there and who counterbalanced our personality?
  10. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell (1877)– This was one of my favourite books when I was a child and caused me to be obsessed with horses for a while. I can still remember how upset I was when Ginger died.

Top Ten Tuesday – Jobs I wish I had

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday, a new list is posted.

Today’s list is jobs I wish I had. I’ve gone more for jobs I find interesting or are in some way integral to the plot.

  1. Complicity – Iain Banks (1993) – Job: Journalist. How far would you go to get the scoop of a lifetime? How responsible is a journalist for the trouble caused by the stories he writes? This twisty thriller analyses these questions. (See also Quite Ugly One Morning – Christopher Brookmyre)
  2. The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes (2016) – Job: Musician. An unconventional fictionalised biography of the musician, Dmitri Shostakovich set around three key events in his life. It looks at the effects of totalitarianism on creativity and is one of my favourites of Barnes’ novels. (See also Espedair Street by Iain Banks)
  3. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – Henry Farrell (1960) – Job: Actor. A bit of a potboiler, this one but great nonetheless. It’s impossible to read without imagining Bette Davis and Joan Crawford but it’s none the worse for that. Ridiculously enjoyable. (see also – The Understudy by David Nicholls)
  4. A Disaffection – James Kelman (1989) – Job: teacher. Okay so this is my job so not especially interesting as such but it does sum up nicely some of the issues with the educational process. It also contains one of my favourite openings – ‘Patrick Doyle was a teacher. Gradually he had become sickened by it.’ (See also – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks)
  5. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern (2011) Job: Magician. I love a bit of magic realism and this book of two duelling magicians supplies it in spades. It’s not fast paced by any stretch but beautifully written and compelling just the same. (See also Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke)
  6. Mort and Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett (1987 and 1991) Job: Death. Not an obvious job maybe but Mort is death’s apprentice and in Reaper Man Death is sort of retired so it would seem to count. Also, Death is easily my favourite Pratchett character with his attempts to understand humanity and his horse called Binky. (See also – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak)
  7. Rebus Series – Ian Rankin 1978-date) Job: Policeman. I love John Rebus. He is a policeman who does not see the harm in breaking the rules if necessary. He has his own personal morality that often does not match that of his superiors. Definitely my favourite cop series. (See also Shetland books by Ann Cleeves, Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson.)
  8. The Interpretation of Murder – Jed Rubenfeld (2006) Job: psychoanalyst. Based around Freud’s first trip to America in 1909, this is a murder mystery with a psychoanalyst for a detective. Lots of Freudian analysis obviously. Clever and satisfying.
  9. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Patrick Suskind (1985) Job: perfumer. Baptiste Grenouille is born with an astonishing sense of smell. He is apprenticed to a perfumer and learns the tricks of the trade but he wants more than that and starts to try to pin down the smells of everyday Paris. This builds to one of the most dramatic conclusions of any novel I’ve read.
  10. Barracuda – Christos Tsiolkas (2013) Job: Swimmer. Daniel Kelly is training to be on Australia’s national swimming team. He is very good but his sense of shame at being working class and being gay cause him to lose the thing he wants the most.

Top Ten Tuesday – Mardi Gras Colours

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks Top Ten is purple, yellow and green book covers in honour of Mardi Gras. I don’t really take much notice of book covers and I wasn’t sure what to go for so I decided to make it books with those colours in the titles or author’s name.

  1. Half a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006) This was an interesting read about the struggle to establish the state of Nigeria. It is both an epic and personal history of a country.
  2. Come Unto These Yellow Sands – Josh Lanyon (2011) This was my first Josh Lanyon. A romantic thriller with an ex bad boy professor and his policeman boyfriend trying to solve the mystery of the dead father of one of the professor’s students. Very enjoyable.
  3. The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892) This is a chilling tale of one woman’s descent into madness, made worse by her husband’s controlling behaviour. It may be over 100 years old but it’s themes are sadly just as relevant today.
  4. Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2003) This was the first Adichie I read and I loved it. The brutal world of Kambili is poignantly described and this is a very emotional read.
  5. The Color Purple – Alice Walker (1982) I first read this in university some thirty years and it has stayed with me. I’ve never read anything else quite like it before or since.
  6. Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury (1962) (Set in Green Town) I love a fantasy story set at a carnival. They are so creepy anyway. Bradbury doesn’t disappoint with this fable about what happens when wishes come true.
  7. Turtles all the way down – John Green (2017) I do enjoy Green’s novels – and this one in particular was fun and quirky but that is my main issue. I always feel they are trying a bit hard. I’m sure if I was fifteen I’d appreciate them more.
  8. Brighton Rock – Graham Greene (1938) This is my favourite of Greene’s novel. With gang warfare, murder and the strange and malign Pinkie, I found I couldn’t put it down.
  9. Black Swan Green – David Mitchell (2007) This is probably the most straightforward of Mitchell’s novel – at least of the ones I’ve read and I think that is why I love it so much. There are still fantasy elements but the main narrative thrust is the coming of age of the narrator, Jason.
  10. Anne of Green Gables – L. M/ Montgomery (1908) This book was a big influence on me growing up. I really identified with Anne who is always getting into trouble because of her temper or saying the wrong thing. Like Jo from Little Women, she helped me realise that not all girls were feminine and quiet.

Top Ten Tuesday – Valentine’s Day / Love

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is love – in honour of Valentine’s Day. I must admit I groaned when I saw it. I’m sure my husband would agree that I am not a romantic person. I do not read romance very often. I read Normal People last year and unlike almost everyone else I’ve spoken to about it, didn’t like it very much. I had a go at reading a Cecelia Ahern a few years ago but found that tedious. (How to Fall in Love for anyone who is interested.) Similarly, classics such as Pride and Prejudice or A Room with a View do not rank among my favourites. So I was very tempted to skip a week. However, I decided to have a look at Goodreads and see if I could find ten books that counted as romance and here they are.

Top Ten Romance Novels from the Shelves of a Unromantic Soul.

  1. The Only Story – Julian Barnes (2018) I love Barnes. He is one of my favourite writers. This is the story of Paul who never quite recovers (and never really understands) his first love. As ever with Barnes, the reader is required to read between the lines to get the whole story. See also: Talking it Over and Love Etc.
  2. Possession – A. S. Byatt (1990) I need something more than romance to really love a book and here you have the uncovering of the past through the correspondence of two Victorian poets. Byatt’s prose is clever without being difficult. Very enjoyable.
  3. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)– This is one of the only classic romances that I do actually like and could imagine re-reading. The depiction of the ‘Jazz Age’ is beautifully done. Also the tragedy of it is quite appealing.
  4. The Fault in our Stars – John Green (2012) Okay, this is pretty much a straightforward romance but the writing is lively and the tragedy of it is hard to resist. Green’s style can be a bit annoying and I always wish I was a sixteen year old reading so I could appreciate it less cynically but overall a good read. See also: Looking for Alaska, another unconventional teen romance.
  5. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby (1995) To my mind, this is Hornby’s best novel but that may because I’m a big music fan. I also live with a man who is fond of making lists. Very enjoyable as long as you don’t take it too seriously.
  6. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (1989) More unrequited love than actual romance, this really touched me when I read it last year. I found the inability of Stephens to see what was under his nose quite heartbreaking.
  7. Fatal Shadows – Josh Lanyon (2000) I loved this series. More romantic suspense than straightforward romance, the relationship between Adrien and Jake is as important as the crime fighting element. Also nice subversion of the tropes of detective fiction. See also: Come Unto These Yellow Sands and Snowball in Hell.
  8. The Dreyfuss Affair: A Love Story (1992) – Peter Lefcourt A tale of two baseball players who fall in love and the scandal that ensues when they are caught in the act. There are a lot of different viewpoints and hypocritical attitudes are shown. Plenty of baseball as well.
  9. Atonement – Ian McEwan (2001) I do have issues with the ending of this book – which I won’t disclose because major spoiler – but other than that, it is a very good read. Of course, there is the war to distract from love which certainly made it more interesting for me.
  10. The Understudy – David Nicholls (2005) I’m not a massive Nicholls fan but this book annoyed me the least of the three that I have read. It was funny, Stephen was relatable – even if some characters are caricatures. Another one not to be taken too seriously.