Wednesday, January 19, 2005


I'm under no illusion that this is of any interest to anyone but myself. I'm a bit of a bookworm, and hawkeyed readers (bear with me while I claim to have readers) may have seen my reading list down the right-hand side. The first thing it revealed was that in 2004 I read 47 books. By "books" I mean leisure reading, not manuals, leaflets, pamplets, printouts, web pages or newspapers. So, a little less than 1 a week. I may have to give up newspapers.

It breaks down like this:
47 Books

44 were fiction,
3 non-fiction, of which 2 biography
No. of unique author names 31,
of which 25 were men.
No of living authors (as of today's date) : 21, so 10 were authors now dead.
Authors named George: 3*

The big new thing for me was Alexander McCall Smith's lovely sequence of books beginning with "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency". Easy to read but beautifully written and with a real way of making you care for the people and the place. Thoroughly recommended, & if I were as good a man as Mr JLB Matekoni I'd have something to be proud of. Although if I was him, I wouldn't be so vain as to be proud of it. Er.

The best new book was probably the Louis de Bernieres. He is the genuine article & I don't think he's written his masterpiece yet.

Continuing pleasures: I always enjoy the Lindsey Davis detective stories set in Vespasian's Rome, and I never let a year go by without at least one Dickens: I thoroughly enjoyed Chuzzlewit again. It's not one of his best-known books and I do find the heavy-handed satire of the American section rather hard going but it's a fine book nonetheless, containing some of his most memorable characters, including a psychologically quite complex "baddy". Terry Pratchett continues to entertain mightiliy, though we were overdue some wizards until his latest came out.

The full list for 2004:

  • The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens
  • Monstrous Regiment - Terry Pratchett
  • No1 Ladies' Detective Agency - A. McCall Smith
  • Poachers - Jim Franklin
  • Emotionally Weird - Kate Atkinson
  • Tears Of The Giraffe - A. McCall Smith
  • Scenes From Clerical Life - G. Eliot
  • The Mulberry Empire - P. Hensher
  • The Mauritius Command - P. O'Brian
  • Three Hands In The Fountain - Lindsey Davis
  • The Card - A. Bennett
  • Morality For Beautiful Girls - A. McCall Smith
  • The Hotel New Hampshire - J.Irving
  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter - M Vargas Llosa
  • Two For The Lions - Lindsey Davis
  • Tragically I was an Only Twin - The Complete Peter Cook, Ed. William Cook
  • The Kalahari Typing School For Men - A. McCall Smith
  • Martin Chuzzlewit - Charles Dickens
  • The Full Cupboard Of Life - A. McCall Smith
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time - Mark Haddon
  • The Course Of Honour - Lindsey Davis
  • Flashman and The Tiger - George MacDonald Fraser
  • The Emperor's Tomb - Joseph Roth
  • The Accidental Tourist -Anne Tyler
  • Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen
  • The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor
  • August - Gerard Woodward (couldn't finish it)
  • General Gordon's Khartoum Diary - ed. Lord Elton
  • Breathing Lessons - Anne Tyler
  • Coming Up For Air - George Orwell
  • The Good Soldier Svejk - Jaroslav Hasek
  • In The Company Of Cheerful Ladies - A. McCall Smith
  • The Grenadillo Box - Janet Gleeson
  • Birds without Wings - Louis De Bernieres
  • The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett
  • One Virgin Too Many - Lindsey Davis

*Eliot, Orwell, MacDonald Fraser

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