2022 Reading Challenge discussion

56 views
ARCHIVE 2019 > Anna's Challenge for 200

Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by AnnaG (last edited Dec 30, 2019 03:11PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments Goal at start of year
2018 has been a busy year with over 200 books read, and yet my TBR has still been growing. This picture is books I have bought but not read in 2018 and it doesn't even include the ebook and audio books bought not read!
My TBR additions 2018

Something must be done about my book problem, I need my shelf space back. Hoping to have finished all of these by next Christmas!


message 2: by AnnaG (last edited Dec 30, 2019 03:13PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments End of the year reflection
So the year was sort of a success - I read the vast majority of books above with only 9 still on my shelves today:
My TBR additions 2018
I have finished 2019 with exactly the same number of books on my shelves as I started having read nearly 250 during the year - so much for getting my TBR down! I feel that I have replaced books I wasn't fussed about with things I want to read though, so maybe it's progress. The fact that I've been clearing down space shows in the number of indifferent reviews I've given this year.

In fiction, Zodiac Academy is the stand-out I'll actually remember from the year and I'm glad to have ticked off Gone With the Wind, Rebecca and Wolf Hall - all 5* enjoyed. I thought Scott Mariani, Jeffrey Archer, Terry Pratchett and Agatha Christie would stick with me more than they have, I can barely remember the plots, but know I enjoyed them at the time.

In non-fiction, self help has been a bit "meh". Nothing seemed to hit at the right moment to resonate. Falling Upwards is something I may return to as well as Art of War. Looking at the memoirs in totality, it's no wonder I've been a bit down all year, they are a collection of illnesses and problems. Cider With Rosie and The Blindside were amongst the most cheerful (and best), but even they are rather dark. History has been the strongest category with Kassia St Clair, Robert Tombs, Graham Hancock, Amanda Potany, Anna Reid, Jack Weatherford, Ben Shapiro, John Pearson and Dan Carlin all being excellent reads. In Science, Thinking Fast and Slow and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat were hard to beat all year, but I found Nate Silver and Why Stuff Matters gave a strong finish to the year as well. In Politics and Culture, I agreed with all the writers apart from Pomeratsev which made it seem a better category this year. The Business books, like self-help just didn't really connect with me this year and the less said or thought about True Crime, the better!

I'm going to try to read more historical fiction as those seem to have gone well, more romance and more mysteries as those are books I enjoy. I'll try to cut out misery memoir, true crime and disturbing literary fiction as much as possible.


message 3: by AnnaG (last edited Dec 30, 2019 02:47PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments Stats for the year
★★★★★ 51
★★★★ 61
★★★ 53
★★ 20
★ 10

Fiction(103): Romance/Women's (24), Thriller/Murder Mystery(24), SciFi/Fantasy(20), Family Saga/Historical Fiction (11), Literary(18), Horror(2), Poetry(2); Graphic Novel (1); Young Adult (2); Mythology (1)
Non Fiction (85): Bio/Auto/Memoir (18), History (30), Science & Nature (10); Travel (1); Self Help/Business/Christian (22); True Crime (3); Cookery (1)

Female author (60) Male Author (99)

2019 pub: 38
2000- 2010s: 99
1970s-1990s: 42
1940s-1960s: 14
1910s-1930s: 3
Pre 1910 5

Full List of Titles

FICTION
Murder Mystery: Dorothy L Sayers, Colin Dexter, Agatha Christie, Charles Osborne/Agatha Christie, Erin Kelly, Celia Imrie, Robert Ryan, Maj Sjowall, Nathan Streeper, James Patterson, Lizzy Barber
Striding Folly A Collection of Mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Wench is Dead (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse, #3) by Colin Dexter Death is Now My Neighbour (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse #9) by Colin Dexter The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse Series) Paperback Jan 01, 2009 NA by Colin Dexter Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories by Colin Dexter The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1) by Agatha Christie Agatha Christie Crime Collection Appointment with Death / Crooked House / Sad cypress by Agatha Christie The Seven Dials Mystery (Superintendent Battle, #2) by Agatha Christie The Unexpected Guest by Charles Osborne He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly Sail Away by Celia Imrie The Dead Can Wait by Robert Ryan Dead Man's Land (Dr John Watson, #1) by Robert Ryan The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck #3) by Maj Sjöwall Murder on the Orion Express by Nate Streeper ; Target Alex Cross (Alex Cross, #26) by James Patterson A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber
Paranormal Romance: Caroline Peckham & Susan Valente, Terry Bolryder, Patricia Palmer, SE Smith, Mina Carter, Babylon/Poppy Wolfe, Macy Babineaux, Sadie Carter
Zodiac Academy Origins of an Academy Bully (Supernatural Bullies and Beasts, #0) by Caroline Peckham Zodiac Academy The Awakening (Supernatural Bullies and Beasts, #1) by Caroline Peckham Zodiac Academy Ruthless Fae An Academy Bully Romance (Supernatural Bullies and Beasts, #2) by Caroline Peckham Zodiac Academy The Reckoning (Supernatural Beasts and Bullies #3) by Caroline Peckham Dark Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac, #1) by Caroline Peckham Savage Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac #2) by Caroline Peckham Lord of Winter (Frozen Dragons, #1) by Terry Bolryder Wulfe Untamed (Feral Warriors, #8) by Pamela Palmer Core's Attack (Cosmos' Gateway, #6) by S.E. Smith Saving Runt (Cosmos' Gateway, #7) by S.E. Smith Claimed by the Bear (Beauty Bear Clan, #2) by Mina Carter Dragons & Magic (Dragon's Den Casino #1) by Blair Babylon Dragon Blue A Lie That's True (The Dragonlords of Xandakar, #1) by Macy Babineaux Alien Warrior (Zerconian Warriors, #1) by Sadie Carter ;
Historical Romance: Janice Preston, Margaret McPhee, Loretta Chase, Louise Allen, Annie Burrows, Erica Ridley, Scarlett Scott, Georgette Heyer, Margaret Mitchell
Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr. Gray (The Beauchamp Betrothals #3) by Janice Preston Wicked in the Regency Ballroom by Margaret McPhee A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes, #1) by Loretta Chase The Earl's Practical Marriage by Louise Allen Those Scandalous Ravenhursts Volume Two The Shocking Lord Standon / The Disgraceful Mr Ravenhurst (Those Scandalous Ravenhursts, Book 3) by Louise Allen An Escapade and An Engagement by Annie Burrows One Night of Passion (Wicked Dukes Club #3) by Erica Ridley Marquess of Mayhem (Sins & Scoundrels #3) by Scarlett Scott Snowdrift and Other Stories by Georgette Heyer Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction: Alison Pearson, Kathleen Korbel, Theodora Taylor, Laura Williams, Kody Kepplinger, Kevin Kwan, Francine Rivers
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers How Hard Can It Be? (Kate Reddy, #2) by Allison Pearson Sail Away (Campbells #2) by Kathleen Korbel Vegas, Baby by Theodora Taylor Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams The DUFF Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1) by Kevin Kwan
Action/Thriller: Scott Mariani, Stephen Fry, Anthony Horowitz
The Alchemist's Secret (Ben Hope #1) by Scott Mariani The Mozart Conspiracy (Ben Hope #2) by Scott Mariani The Doomsday Prophecy (Ben Hope, #3) by Scott Mariani Heroes Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures (Stephen Fry's Great Mythology, #2) by Stephen Fry Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1) by Anthony Horowitz
Sci Fi & Fantasy: CS Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Jaymin Eve
Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2) by C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3) by C.S. Lewis Out of the Silent Planet (The Space Trilogy, #1) by C.S. Lewis ; Small Gods (Discworld, #13) by Terry Pratchett Making Money (Discworld, #36) by Terry Pratchett Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8) by Terry Pratchett Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6) by Terry Pratchett Pyramids (Discworld, #7) by Terry Pratchett Dragon Mated (Supernatural Prison, #3) by Jaymin Eve Supernatural Academy Year One by Jaymin Eve Dragon Marked by Jaymin Eve Louis by Jaymin Eve Magical Compass (Supernatural Prison Story #2) by Jaymin Eve Dragon Mated (Supernatural Prison, #3) by Jaymin Eve Magical Compass A Supernatural Prison Story by Jaymin Eve
Horror:HP Lovecraft, Wilkie Collins
The Gothic Tales of H. P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
General Literary Cressida Connolly, Penelope Fitzgerald, Judith Kerr, Ji Min Lee, John Kennedy Toole, Angela Carter, Jonathan Franzen, Catharina ingelman-Sundberg, Ernest Cline, John Wyndham, Voltaire, Amitav Ghosh, Paul Auster, Daphne Du Maurier, Hilary Mantel, Joyce Carol Oates, Anthony Doerr, Kamilla Shamsie, Isabel Allende, Lisa Owens, Michael Dobbs, Graeme Simson, Jin Yong
After the Party by Cressida Connolly The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Celebration Edition) by Judith Kerr Marilyn and Me by Ji-min Lee A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter Freedom by Jonathan Franzen The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules (League of Pensioners #1) by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham Candide by Voltaire Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) by Hilary Mantel Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates About Grace by Anthony Doerr Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende Not Working by Lisa Owens To Play the King (House of Cards Trilogy, Book 2) by Michael Dobbs The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1) by Jin Yong
Family Saga: Jeffrey Archer, Alison Weir
Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer The Sins of the Father (Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer Best Kept Secret The Clifton Chronicles 3 by Jeffrey Archer Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles #4) by Jeffrey Archer Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer Katherine of Aragon the True Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #1) by Alison Weir
Poetry: Inua Ellams
The Half-God of Rainfall by Inua Ellams ; The Nation's Favourite Poems Of Journeys by Benedict Allen
Graphic Novel: Neil Gaiman
A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman


message 4: by AnnaG (last edited Dec 30, 2019 02:43PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments NON FICTION
Self Help: Sarah Knight, Napoleon Hill, Elli Radinger, Rachel Hollis, Dave Bruno, Thomas Erikson, Will Storr, Sun Tzu, Billy Graham, Richard Rohr, Miguel Ruiz, Pete Lindsay, Robin SchamaRobert Caldini, Paul Dolan
Pre-Suasion A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert B. Cialdini Happiness by Design Change What You Do, Not How You Think by Paul Dolan You Do You How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want by Sarah Knight Get Your Sh*t Together How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do by Sarah Knight The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma Pig Wrestling Clean Your Thinking to Create the Change you Need by Pete Lindsay Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill The Wisdom of Wolves How Wolves Can Teach Us To Be More Human by Elli H. Radinger Girl, Stop Apologizing A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis The 100 Thing Challenge How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul by Dave Bruno Surrounded by Idiots The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life) by Thomas Erikson The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr The Art of War by Sun Tzu Peace with God The Secret of Happiness by Billy Graham Falling Upward A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr The Four Agreements A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
Memoir & Autobiography: George Orwell,Lucy Mangan, Hyeonseo Lee, Jenson Button, Stuart King, James Herriott, Fergal Keane, Melanie Reid, Barbara Bennett, Laurie Lee, Michael Lewis, Romesh Ranganathan, Joan Didion, Emilie Pine, Raynor Winn, Dr Amanda Brown, Amy Goldstein, Sarah Vallance, Stephen Grosz
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz Prognosis A Memoir of My Brain by Sarah Vallance Janesville An American Story by Amy Goldstein The Prison Doctor by Amanda Brown Why I Write by George Orwell Bookworm A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan The Girl with Seven Names A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee Life to the Limit My Autobiography by Jenson Button The World I Fell Out Of by Melanie Reid Notes to Self by Emilie Pine Soul of a Lion One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees by Barbara Bennett The Salt Path by Raynor Winn The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion Straight Outta Crawley Memoirs of a Distinctly Average Human Being by Romesh Ranganathan The Blind Side Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee All of These People A Memoir by Fergal Keane All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot Hope Has Wings The Mission Aviation Story by Stuart Sendall-King
History:
Ancient Graham Hancock, Stephen Brusatte, Amanda Potany, Adrian Goldsworthy, Herodotus
America Before The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte Ancient Mesopotamia Life in the Cradle of Civilization by Amanda H. Podany The Histories Complete by Herodotus Pax Romana by Adrian Goldsworthy
Medieval: David Starkey, Jack Weatherford
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford Magna Carta The Medieval Roots of Modern Politics by David Starkey
20th Century Max Hastings, Ben MacIntyre, Norman Ohler, Dane Hucklebridge, Larry Collins & Dominic Lapierre, Gail Natrass, Bill Bryson, John Pearson, Joshua Levine
The Korean War by Max Hastings Das Reich The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944 (Pan Military Classics) by Max Hastings Bomber Command (Pan Military Classics) by Max Hastings The Battle for the Falklands (Pan Military Classics) by Max Hastings Finest Years Churchill as Warlord 1940-45 by Max Hastings Freedom at Midnight Inspiration for the Major Motion Picture Viceroy's House by Larry Collins A Short History of South Africa by Gail Nattrass One Summer America 1927 by Bill Bryson All the Money in the World by John Pearson Dunkirk The History Behind the Major Motion Picture by Joshua Levine No Beast So Fierce The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Man-Eater in History by Dane Huckelbridge Blitzed Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman Ohler Rogue Heroes The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War by Ben Macintyre
General Dan Carlin, Steven Pinker, Michael Wood, Kassia St Clair, Christina Thompson,Robert Tombs, Ben Shapiro, Julian Baggini, Tom Nancollas, Anna Reid
Borderland A Journey Through the History of Ukraine by Anna Reid Seashaken Houses A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet by Tom Nancollas How the World Thinks A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini The End Is Always Near Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses by Dan Carlin The Better Angels of Our Nature A History of Violence and Humanity by Steven Pinker Film A Very Short Introduction by Michael Wood The Right Side of History How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great by Ben Shapiro The English and their History by Robert Tombs Sea People In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific by Christina Thompson The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St. Clair
Travel: Matt Phillips
The Africa Book A Journey Through Every Country in the Continent by Matt Phillips ;
Cookery: James Martin
James Martin's Great British Adventure by James Martin
Science: Susan Blackmore, Robert Hazen, Frank James, Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sacks, Carlo Rovelli, Mark Miodownik, Nate Silver
The Signal and the Noise The Art and Science of Prediction by Nate Silver Stuff Matters The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World by Mark Miodownik Consciousness A Very Short Introduction by Susan Blackmore Symphony in C Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything by Robert M. Hazen Michael Faraday A Very Short Introduction by Frank A.J.L. James Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Politics & Culture : Guy Shrubsole, Corey Lewandowski, Jon Ronson, Larry Elliott, Peter Pomeratsev
This Is Not Propaganda Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev Europe Isn't Working by Larry Elliott Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole Let Trump Be Trump The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency by Corey R. Lewandowski Them Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
Business: Matthew Syed, Phil M Jones, Kim Malone, James Garvey, Winston Fletcher
The Persuaders by James Garvey Radical Candor Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Malone Scott HBR's 10 Must Reads 2018 The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review (with bonus article “Customer Loyalty Is Overrated”) (HBR’s 10 Must Reads) by Harvard Business Review Exactly What to Say The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil M. Jones Advertising A Very Short Introduction by Winston Fletcher Rebel Ideas The Power of Diverse Thinking by Matthew Syed
True Crime: Christopher Berry-Dee, Piu Eatwell
Talking with Female Serial Killers - A chilling study of the most evil women in the world by Christopher Berry-Dee Talking with Serial Killers The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories by Christopher Berry-Dee Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Marie Eatwell


message 5: by AnnaG (last edited Feb 01, 2019 04:01PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments JANUARY
Overall a busy reading month with a mixed bag of books. Highlights were Girl With Seven Names and Only Time Will Tell, with Core's Attack being the latest in the Cosmos Gateway romance series also topping the list.

A fair number of these books were read to tick of entries in annual challenges and that led to reading some thought-provoking books that I wouldn't have come across otherwise. I am still processing When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Korean War and Notes to Self.

At the more disappointing end of the scale, the Morse series of books is just not up to Agatha Christie levels. I love the Oxford setting, but the plots just aren't as clever. I'll with-hold judgement on Dorothy L Sayers as the one book read this month was short stories. The business books are also a bit so-so Pig Wrestling, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, You do You and Think and Grow Rich offer fairly trite advice that it useful for a day and then easily forgotten.

For next month, I want to keep up the romance count, read some Terry Pratchetts and finish the Clifton Chronicles.

★★★★★
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Celebration Edition) by Judith Kerr When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit Judith Kerr
Fiction, Childrens (?), 1930s Europe
Judith Kerr tells of her family's escape from Nazi Germany. Moving and eye-opening.

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer Only Time Will Tell - Jeffrey Archer
Fiction, Family Saga, Historical Fiction
The start of another epic family story of love, friendship, betrayal and bastardy - I really wish I had found Jeffrey Archer years ago. Why isn't this on the national curriculum?

Core's Attack (Cosmos' Gateway, #6) by S.E. Smith Cores Attack SE Smith
Fiction, Romance, Paranormal/Sci-Fi
Continuation of the Cosmos Gateway series with self-actualised AI, interplanetary portals, mating bonds and sassy larger-than-life characters

Claimed by the Bear (Beauty Bear Clan, #2) by Mina Carter Claimed by the Bear Mina Carter
Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
A werebear tattooist and his deceased best friends sister have both thought the other wasn't interested until they are thrown together by fate.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill
Non Fiction, Self-Help, Business
Does exactly what it says on the tin, provides advice and help if you want to make a lot of money how to stay focused, motivate yourself and overcome fear. Some of it is rather kooky, but if you need a push from a book, it's as good as any I've read.

The Half-God of Rainfall by Inua Ellams The Half-God of Rainfall Inua Ellams
Poetry, Fable, Tragedy
A mythic telling of a child of Zeus born in the present day and gifted with the powers of a demi-god. It's about the conquering power of a mother's love for her son as well as the cosmic rivalry of the world's powers.

Pig Wrestling Clean your thinking to create the change you need by Pete Lindsay Pig Wrestling Pete Lindsay
Non Fiction, Business, Self Help
A framework for how to solve problems. Helpful advice in business and personal life.

The Africa Book A Journey Through Every Country in the Continent by Matt Phillips
The Africa Book Matt Phillips
Non Fiction, Travel, History
Lonely Planet's illustrated guide to every country in Africa. A beautiful books with amazing pictures to inspire intrepid travellers.


The Korean War by Max Hastings Korean War Max Hastings
Non Fiction, 20th Century, Asian History
A comprehensive, moving account of the Korean War from all angles. Thoroughly informative and interesting.

The Girl with Seven Names A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee Girl With Seven Names Hyeonseo Lee
Non Fiction, Memoir, North Korea
An escape from North Korea - thoroughly interesting insight into that country, what we should value and how to make the best of life in really difficult circumstances

Vegas, Baby by Theodora Taylor Vegas, Baby - Theodora Taylor
Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Romance
Enjoyable romp around Vegas with a show-girl and a billionaire. Classic of the "You-Should-Have-Told-Her" genre

Wulfe Untamed (Feral Warriors, #8) by Pamela Palmer Wulfe Untamed - Patricia Palmer
Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Save the world from the Daemons, protect the girl, find immortal love - paranormal romance at its craziest and best.

★★★★
Out of the Silent Planet (The Space Trilogy, #1) by C.S. Lewis Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2) by C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3) by C.S. Lewis Out of the Silent Planet CS Lewis
Fiction, Sci-Fi, Epic
CS Lewis can obviously write great fiction for children in Narnia, but in this trilogy he has also created an intriguing world for adults to explore on the surface of Mars. The second and third books in the Trilogy take us to Venus and the to find the eternal Merlin. I must admit I got a bit bored with some of the talking in the last book and still am not quite sure where on Earth the bear came from.

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine Notes to Self Emilie Pine
Non Fiction, Memoir, Feminism
Emilie Pine has not had much luck in life - alcoholic father, parents divorced, miscarriage, drug addiction, rape. AT the end of it all she seems to have depression and to have become a feminist because she feels victimised as a woman. It's an eye-opening book into what happens when you can't properly talk to your parents.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1) by Agatha Christie Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Poirot
Solid Poirot mystery with Captain Hastings and a dysfunctional family in a grand country house.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald The Bookshop Penelope Fitzgerald
Fiction, Literary Fiction, 1950s
A nostalgic look at life in a small town through the eyes of a small business owner.

The Wench is Dead (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse, #3) by Colin Dexter Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter
Colin Dexter
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Inspector Morse
These were my second-fifth Morse books of the month and are better than the previous two I have read, which is fortunate since I was at three strikes and you're out... In the first, Morse is laid up in hospital and gets intrigued by a century old murder. In the second, an exam setter is found murdered and something very odd is going on with a pornographic film in the mix. In the third, a curate has been murdered at a church service and then the vicar dies and several parishioners have mysteriously vanished. In the fourth, Morse visits a house where an occupant has just committed suicide - or was it murder?

★★★
A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes, #1) by Loretta Chase A Duke in Shining Armor Loretta Chase
Fiction, Historical Romance
A fairly gentle romance where a bride escapes from her wedding, and the best man reluctantly follows her to make sure she doesn't get into trouble. Good on historical detail, slow on romance.

Lord Of Winter (Frozen Dragons, #1) by Terry Bolryder Lord of Winter Terry Bolryder
Fiction, Paranormal Romance
An arsehole of a guy wakes up after millennia trapped in ice. Could have had more personality.

Bookworm A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan Bookworm Lucy Mangan
Non Fiction, Memoir, History of Reading
A tour through children's fiction and Lucy's own reading experiences as a child. Good for the bits you relate to, boring for the bits you don't.

Wicked in the Regency Ballroom Wicked in the Regency Ballroom Margaret McPhee
Fiction, Regency Romance
I don't mind my romances having villians that intend the heroine some harm - maybe stealing a kiss or compromising her so she has to marry them - but to have two in a row where the heroine nearly gets raped by a homicidal maniac whilst everyone around in the community just shrugs their shoulders is too much.

How Hard Can It Be? (Kate Reddy, #2) by Allison Pearson How Hard Can it Be? Alison Pearson
Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Motherhood
Kate is a single mum trying to cope with a new job, menopause and kids getting up to mischief. It's well written and if you are at the same stage of life probably resonates well.

The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Robin Schama
Fiction, Self Help, Spirituality
This is really a business book disguised as a spiritual story. It's an odd mish-mash of cod philosophy and an MBA - set SMART goals, but peace out...

Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter Last Seen Wearing Colin Dexter
Fiction, Crime, Inspector Morse
I'm still not warming to Morse. The stories are a bit slow, the characters he meets deliberately never fully fleshed out to the reader. I will persist, but I think the next book is a final try.

Why I Write by George Orwell Why I Write George Orwell
Non Fiction, Essays, Politics
Political essays from George Orwell shouldn't be this banal or have dated so badly. Really quite disappointed.

The Gothic Tales of H. P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft Gothic Tales HP Lovecraft
Fiction, Horror, Short Stories
I might give Lovecraft's sci-fi a go in the future, but I can't really recommend these short stories. They are fairly bland as horror stories go, very much PG-13. Gothic which requires the build up of atmosphere and suspense doesn't work very well with the short story format somehow.

After the Party by Cressida Connolly After the Party Cressida Connolly
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Political Fiction
Following a member of the British Fascists before and during WWII where she gets sent to prison, this book just didn't have the nuance and depth of character to really interest me.

Striding Folly A Collection of Mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers Striding Folly: A Collection of Mysteries Dorothy L Sayers
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Short Stories
My first introduction to Dorothy L Sayers and franly not the strongest start to reading the Peter Wimsey mysteries. I'll give it another chance though as I generally haven't really rated Agatha Christie's short stories.

★★
You Do You How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want by Sarah Knight You Do You - Sarah Knight
Non Fiction, Self-Help, Secular Self-Help
The first two books by Sarah Knight might be brilliant, I don't kniw, I've not read them, but this is a bit of a dog's breakfast advising people to behave like selfish arseholes, but don't take it too far... Yeah - that's great advice...


Lady Cecily & the Mysterious Mr Gray by Janice Preston
Fiction, Historical Romance, Regency Romance
This right here is why I gave up on Mills & Boon books. The plot doesn't respect the time period it is set in at all, the characters are bland and boring. Don't waste your time.


message 6: by AnnaG (last edited Mar 30, 2019 06:11AM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments FEBRUARY
This was a pretty dreadful reading month - so many books were unsatisfying, I tried to read another book, but just got dispirited. I finished a lot of books, but most weren't worth the time to read.

The Clifton Chronicles were a highlight - an excellent family saga with great characters and plot twists. Dragons & Magic was a fun paranormal romance with the *cutest* magic ever.

All the literary fiction this month was soul-destroyingly dreadful and on reflection, I should have ranked them all 1*. Freedom, The Magic Toyshop, Marilyn & Me, The Little Old Lady WHo Broke All the Rules and A Confederacy of Dunces are awful and will leave you feeling like your brain has rotted out of your brain after you are done with them.


★★★★★
Agatha Christie Crime Collection Appointment with Death / Crooked House / Sad cypress by Agatha Christie Appointment With Death/Sad Cypress/Crooked House
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Poirot
3 Classic mysteries - 2 re-reads and one where I had seen a film and knew the ending. The stories are fascinating and worth re-reading to see the details you missed the first time.

Dragons & Magic (Dragon's Den Casino #1) by Poppy Wolfe Dragons & Magic Blair Babylon/Poppy Wolfe
Fiction, Romance, Paranormal Romance
Very cute story about a home &hearth witch who can conjure animals to help her clean a la Snow White who meets a dragon shifter with a casino in a mess. Inventive and funny.

Consciousness A Very Short Introduction by Susan Blackmore Consciousness Susan Blackmore
Non Fiction, Psychology, OUP
Interesting dive into one of the most fascinating areas of psychology, light on answers, but long on thought-provoking questions.

The Sins of the Father (Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer The Sins of the Father Jeffrey Archer
Fiction, Family Saga, Clifton Chronicles
Book 2 in the saga follows greed, deception, valour and devotion in the Second World War era. The characters are a strong as ever and the plot as pacy.

Sail Away (Campbells #2) by Kathleen Korbel Sail Away Kathleen Korbel
Romance, Contemporary Romance, Mills & Book
Fun romp of a novel set in Hawaii when a movie star gets kidnapped.

★★★★
Best Kept Secret The Clifton Chronicles 3 by Jeffrey Archer Best Kept Secret: The Clifton Chronicles 3 Jeffrey Archer
Fiction, Family Saga, Historical Fiction
Third instalment of the Clifton Chronicles. I've not really got attached to the next generation of characters as much as the previous two, but same pacy plot and enticing clifffhangers.
James Martin's Great British Adventure by James Martin James Martin's Great British Adventure James Martin
Non Fiction, Cookery
A multi-cultural look at British cooking. Some of James Martin's cooking looks a real faff, but I will give the Beef Weelington a go for sure.

Marilyn and Me by Ji-min Lee Marilyn & Me Ji Min Lee
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Korean Fiction
This is an interesting book that sort of looks at what happens to the side disposable characters in a Bond film. Set in the Korean War, a local translator working for the US Army is assigned to accompany Marilyn Monroe around the country, but also gets muddled up in a spy ring at the same time. A bit harrowing in places, but an interesting perspective.

No Beast So Fierce The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge No Beast So Fierce Dane Hucklebridge
Non Fiction, 20th Century History, Nature
A book about the most ferocious tiger to have ever lived and th man that killed her. Informative and nuanced.

The Unexpected Guest by Charles Osborne The Unexpected Guest Agatha Christie/Charles Osborne
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Christie
An adaptation of a Christie play, it bounces along quickly with rather a lot of exposition, but well plotted as with all Christie's work.

★★★
Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles #4) by Jeffrey Archer Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer Clifton Chronicles 4/5 Jeffrey Archer
Fiction, Family Saga, Historic Fiction
The first three books were amazing with interesting characters and family drama, this has become a bit of a sprawling mess with people having nothing in their lives of interest and complex financial transactions being far too certain in their outcomes.

Sail Away by Celia Imrie Sail Away Celia Imrie
Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Cosy Thriller
Baffling story that goes to extreme lengths to get the characters together on a boat and then drifts round in circles once they are there. Weird.

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules (League of Pensioners #1) by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules Catharina ingelman-Sundberg
Fiction, Black Comedy, Scandi Translation
A Jonasson followers with a story of pensioners getting up to mischief. Not brilliant.


Soul of a Lion One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees by Barbara Bennett Soul of a Lion: One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees Barbara Bennett
Non Fiction, Biography, Nature
Slightly odd book telling the story of the founder of a wildlife refuge in Namibia, it has a lot of personal stories, but still feels remote from the central figure and lacking in detail. Not as good as Lawrence Anthony's first person perspectives.
The Seven Dials Mystery (Superintendent Battle, #2) by Agatha Christie The Seven Dials Mystery Agatha Christie
Fiction, Murder Mystery
She obviously went through a phase of thinking she was writing international espionage thrillers - not a high point for Christie. This one is OK, but not her best.

A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman A Study in Emerald Neil Gaiman
Fiction, Graphic Novel, Sherlock Holmes retelling
Disappointing. I love Neil Gaiman's inventiveness, but this retelling of a Study in Scarlet is nowhere near as clever as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or other sci-fi retellings of classics that I've enjoyed.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
Fiction, American Fiction
A very odd look at the life of a severely overweight antisocial man who still lives with his mother in Louisiana. Didn't really "get it".

The Earl's Practical Marriage by Louise Allen The Earl's Practical Marriage Louise Allen
Fiction, Historical Romance, Mills & Boon
Usual problems with Mills & Boon - not in period, way too much sex cluttering up the plot and one dimensional characters.

★★
Dragon Blue A Lie That's True (The Dragonlords of Xandakar, #1) by Macy Babineaux Dragon Blue: A Lie That's True Macy Babineaux
Fiction, Paranormal Romance
A Mary Sue meets a d*ckhead and falls in loves. Many Macguffin's later they settle down happily - waste of time.


He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly He Said/She Said Erin Kelly
Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Richard & Judy
This is without doubt the most stupid title ever, the situation described is not a He Said/She Said or even remotely close to that. The author spends far too long gleefully recounting a violent rape, why would you want to read this crap?

The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter The Magic Toyshop Angela Carter
Fiction, Literary Fiction
I honestly don't know how some books get published, especially crap like this that sexualises children.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen Freedom Jonathan Franzen
Fiction, Literary Fiction, Family Saga
As with the book above, who thinks that starting their book with the rape of a child is a good thing? It then literally never gets brought up again, just a gratuitous call-out to the paedophiles... The rest of the novel goes through cycles of drug use, political polemic, sexual deviancy, adultery and eco-fanatics, it's a depressing mix of one-dimensional characters and uninteresting plot. Avoid.


message 7: by AnnaG (last edited Mar 30, 2019 05:53AM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments MARCH
Busy month on the non-reading front, some good books, but not any that I feel will stay with me for a long time.

★★★★★
Symphony in C Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything by Robert M. Hazen
Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything Robert Hazen
Non Fiction, Science
Romp through the biology, chemistry and physics of carbon. Interesting read, bit nerdy but well-written.

Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole Who Owns England? Guy Shrubsole
Non Fiction, Politics, Social Issues
Fascinating look at land ownership in the UK. Really brings home that politicians stitch people up for personal gain. A timely book.

Michael Faraday A Very Short Introduction by Frank A.J.L. James Michael Faraday: A Very Short Introduction Frank James
Non Fiction, History of Science, OUP VSI
Informative overview of Faraday's life, work and legacy. Very interesting character as well as an excellent scientist.

The Wisdom of Wolves How Wolves Can Teach Us To Be More Human by Elli H. Radinger The Wisdom of Wolves: How Wolves Can Teach Us To Be More Human Elli Radinger
Non Fiction, Nature, Pop Psychology
A tour around the lives of wolf packs and what we can learn from them. Informative and with very cute pictures.

★★★★
Those Scandalous Ravenhursts Volume Two The Shocking Lord Standon / The Disgraceful Mr Ravenhurst (Mills & Boon M&B) (Those Scandalous Ravenhursts, Book 3) by Louise Allen Louise Allen
Fiction, Romance, Regency Romance
Two solid regency romances from Mills & Boon. The attitudes in both cases are rather too modern and I'd prefer it if they were less smutty, but fun plots and good characters.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli Carlo Rovelli
Non Fiction, Science, Physics
Good essays on physics adapted from magazine articles and it shows.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline Ernest Cline
Fiction, Dystopia
Great idea of virtual reality and a hunt for a fortune, but ruined by overly obscure references.

★★★
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham John Wyndham
Fiction, Classics, Dystopia
Plants have taken over the earth and blinded most of humanity. Somehow that as also led to people becoming totally helpless overnight with no imagination, community or family assistance. Having read War of the Worlds, this isn't the best dystopia out there, but it's better than a lot of recent rubbish.


Talking with Serial Killers The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories by Christopher Berry-Dee Christopher Berry-Dee
Non Fiction, True Crime, Biography
A look into the minds of some awful serial killers. Half fascinating, half way too graphic.
★★
An Escapade and An Engagement by Annie Burrows An Escapade and an Engagement Annie Burrows
Fiction, Historical Romance, Regency Romance
M&B as gone seriously downhill. They are smutty in a ridiculous way and don't bother with any atmosphere or plot that suits the era.


Talking with Female Serial Killers - A chilling study of the most evil women in the world by Christopher Berry-Dee Christopher Berry-Dee
Non fiction, True crime
Dreadful book - poorly edited and unimformative. It spends ages on gory irrelevant aspects of the crimes.


message 8: by AnnaG (last edited Jun 01, 2019 04:06PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments APRIL
A great Terry Pratchett and the start of an excellent series in the Ben Hope books. America Before was truly thought provoking and only the Rachel Hollis disappointed.

★★★★★
Small Gods (Discworld, #13) by Terry Pratchett Small Gods Terry Pratchett
Fiction, Fantasy, Discworld
Terry Pratchett's take on philosophy & religion - hilarious and mind-expanding, Discworld at its best.

★★★★
America Before The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization by Graham Hancock America Before Graham Hancock
Non Fiction, Science, History
An exploration of when America was first peopled looking at archaeological anomalies on the continents. Interesting and insightful, especially about the academic process and where it falls down.

★★★
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
Fiction, Classic, Horror/Gothic
A Victorian Gothic Thriller that is perfectly readable, but frankly too long. The mystery and drama is tame by modern standards and whilst the novel was highly innovative, it has been superseded by better writers over time.

Girl, Stop Apologizing A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis Girl Stop Apologizing - Rachel Hollis
Non Fiction, Self Help
A really disappointing follow up to Girl, Wash Your Face. This feels rushed, generic and inauthentic. Bizarrely the Christian undertones of the previous book have given way to an any goes - just be happy brand of self- help that I don't think is really useful.

The Alchemist's Secret (Ben Hope #1) by Scott Mariani The Alchemists Secret Scott Mariani
Fiction, Action/Adventure
This book is simultaneous better than The Da Vinci Code and not as good... It follows an ex SAS soldier looking into a centuries ld conundrum and uncovering misdeeds of the church and various secret societies along the way. The characters are barely there, the plot relies on pure luck, but some of the research is good.

★★




message 9: by AnnaG (last edited Jun 01, 2019 04:04PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments MAY
Month was a bit "meh" in terms of reading, although I seem to have given things good ratings.

★★★★★
The Right Side of History How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great by Ben Shapiro The Right Side of History Ben Shapiro
Non Fiction, Philosophy, History
A remarkably persuasive account of the history of philosophy and the surprising confluence that created progress in the West and the dangers facing it now.

The English and their History by Robert Tombs The English and their History Robert Tombs
Non Fiction, History, UK History
Incredible book spanning English history from ancient to 2014, from politics to culture - fascinating viewpoint of stories that have been handed down and a balanced view of how we got to the place we are today.

★★★★
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams Our Stop Laura Williams
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
A very London centric almost romance with some annoying side characters that is a tiny bit too woke to be perfect.

Dragon Mated (Supernatural Prison, #3) by Jaymin Eve Supernatural Academy Year One by Jaymin Eve Dragon Marked by Jaymin Eve Louis (Supernatural Prison) by Jaymin Eve Magical Compass (Supernatural Prison Story #2) by Jaymin Eve Dragon Mated (Supernatural Prison, #3) by Jaymin Eve Magical Compass A Supernatural Prison Story by Jaymin Eve Jaymin Eve
Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Good series about a supernatural prison community- as ever the world building gets a bit carried away and weird as the series progresses and Louis is massively OP, but liked the characters and enjoyed the story.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn The Salt Path Raynor Winn
Non Fiction, Memoir, Travel
A memoir of a couple walking the South West Coast Path with beautiful nostalgic nature-writing and the poignant progress of their relationship having been evicted from their home and the husband having received a terminal diagnosis.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Oliver Sacks
Non Fiction, Psychology
A series of case studies of patients the neurologist has treated after the Awakenings patients. Interesting, but too brief to really understand.

★★★
★★




message 10: by AnnaG (last edited Jun 30, 2019 07:43AM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments JUNE
Mixed results this month, I've read a lot of interesting things and had some horror-shows mixed in. Overall a satisfying reading month, I'll continue with the Pratchett's, try to read some more Ben MacIntyre, but haven't found a new favourite book.

★★★★★
Rogue Heroes The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War by Ben Macintyre SAS Rogue Heroes Ben Macintyre
Non Fiction, History, WWII
An account of the regiments roles in the Second World War - warts and all revealing how a new type of warfare was developed.

Magna Carta The Medieval Roots of Modern Politics by David Starkey Magna Carta David Starkey
Non Fiction, Medieval History, English History
Short and accessible book on the reasons why Magna Carta came to be covering 1215-1225 with a short outro to cover the future significance of the Charter. Quirky and easy to read. I enjoyed it a lot.

Making Money (Discworld, #36) by Terry Pratchett Making Money Terry Pratchett
Fiction, Fantasy, Discworld
Many other authors writing about the financial system feel the need to score political points or create a plot along the lines of Rich Man Bad, but Terry Pratchett again is entirely refreshing creating a thought-provoking romp through why we have money and how bizarre banks are.

Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6) by Terry Pratchett Night Watch Terry Pratchett
Fiction, Fantasy, Discworld
Time travel ought to be the death of a series, making telling a coherent plot impossible, but for Terry Pratchett, it's a masterful exercise in story-telling.

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1) by Anthony Horowitz Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz
Fiction, Young Adult, Action/Adventure
A teenage James Bond trying to save the world. A good-hearted young adult novel that keeps the pace up and shows a likeable, resource hero.

★★★★
Das Reich The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944 (Pan Military Classics) by Max Hastings Da Reich Max Hastings
Non Fiction, History, WWII
A fascinating topic looking at the German armies reinforcements making their way towards Normandy and the many SOE/SAS/Resistance actions done against them and the brutal retaliations then meted out. It's a strange war book of an unseen enemy fighting against a force of such ridiculous power that they can't hope to win with the greatest victories come from the most banal of sabotage.

The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter Colin Dexter
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Morse
The plots to Morse just aren't as clever as a Christie. The writing in this book is more wry and witty than the first in the series, but still feels a bit as though I only really like these because of the setting.

One Night of Passion (Wicked Dukes Club #3) by Erica Ridley One Night of Passion Erica Ridley
Fiction, Romance, Regency Romance
The mores and atmosphere aren't quite right, but the hero is a really thoroughly good person and the heroine is less annoying after the first 50 pages. A pleasant read for a lazy afternoon.

★★★
Sea People In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific by Christina Thompson Sea People Christina Thompson
Non Fiction, History, Pacific History
When a scientist tries to write history, apparently it's harder than it looks and can all to easily go wrong. Not a great book on the history of the Polynesian people's, but a fair summary of the scientific research done trying to uncover that history.

The 100 Thing Challenge How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul by Dave Bruno 100 Thing Challenge Dave Bruno
Non Fiction, Self Help, Christian
Dave felt that he had become too consumeristic, so he had a dramatic cull of everything he owned and felt much better for it. He then wrote quite a repetitive book to explain how you can do the same.
★★
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Non Fiction, Memoir, Grief Memoir
I feel bad giving a bad score to a grief memoir, but this didn't live up to expectations as a NBA winner. It is disjointed, but not in a way that connected with me emotionally.

Heroes Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures by Stephen Fry Heroes Stephen Fry
Fiction, Myths, Greek Myths
Fry gets rather bizarre in his narration with accents that just don't fit the stories. The focus on sex and murder is frankly a bit over done.

Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories by Colin Dexter Morse's Greatest Mystery & Other Stories Colin Dexter
Fiction, Murder Mystery, Short Stories
Not a memorable story amongst the lot. Dexter's focus on character really isn't suited to a short story format.

Candide by Voltaire Candide Voltaire
Fiction, Satire, Philosophy
Utter tosh.


message 11: by AnnaG (last edited Sep 02, 2019 02:46PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments JULY
Disappointing month. The Kahneman is the only one I will retain and even that felt a bit like deja vu as I feel I have read copycat books. All my other rankings in the month feel a bit generous too. I was mostly bored and disappointed by books I'd been looking forward to didn't live up to expectations - Dr Watson in the trenches, the epic tale of the dinosaurs, one of my favourite comedian's memoirs...

★★★★★
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman
Non Fiction, Psychology
A fascinating look into a career of psychological research. Makes me realise even more how dumb economics is.

★★★★
Bomber Command (Pan Military Classics) by Max Hastings Bomber Command Max Hastings
Non Fiction, History, WWII
A slightly plodding history of the bombing campaigns over Germany. Hastings is excellent on detail and highlights the thorny issue of technical capability, strategic value and ethical considerations, however he is light on narrative which makes it difficult to really engage and retain the thread of what was happening.

Get Your Sh*t Together How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do by Sarah Knight Get Your Sh*t Together Sarah Knight
Non Fiction, Self Help
A no-nonsense guide to how to take charge of one's life, take responsibility and get on with making the most of what you've got.

Dead Man's Land (Dr John Watson, #1) by Robert Ryan Dead Mans Land Robert Ryan
Fiction, Thriller, Sherlock Holmes
A follow-on adventure for Dr Watson, set in WWI trenches where he starts to investigate a series of murders that are happening under cover of war. Really atmospheric with interesting historical details.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs Stephen Brusatte
Non Fiction, History, Nature
A history of the dinosaurs from the Triassic to extinction. Unfortunately the writer gets a bit boring along the way, repeats himself quite a bit and is very into climate change seeing correlations between Co2 and temperature which just aren't there.

Pyramids (Discworld, #7) by Terry Pratchett Pyramids Terry Pratchett
Fiction, Fantasy, Discworld
A whirlwind ride through Djelibeybi and it's time altering Pyramids. Not as good as some discworld novels, but this shines a real light on the thought-processes of camels.

★★★
HBR's 10 Must Reads 2018 The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review (with bonus article “Customer Loyalty Is Overrated”) (HBR’s 10 Must Reads) by Harvard Business Review HBR 2018
Non Fiction, Business
Articles from HBR. They started the series pulling the best articles on topics over a long period of time, now they are scraping the barrel for new content to add to anthologies. Not dreadful, but not really worth the price.

Alien Warrior (Zerconian Warriors, #1) by Sadie Carter Alien Warrior Sadie Carter
Fiction, Romance, Paranormal Romance
A bit over-smutty to start with, but some interesting concepts and good characters and plot. Promising start to a new series.

Exactly What to Say The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil M. Jones Exactly What to Say Phil M Jones
Non Fiction, Business, Psychology
A salesman's guide to the best phrasing to use when trying to get a decision in your favour - scarily manipulative, it's probably a happier world if you don't know these techniques exist.

Straight Outta Crawley Memoirs of a Distinctly Average Human Being by Romesh Ranganathan Straight Outta Crawley Romesh Ranganathan
Non Fiction, Memoir, Celebrity
Celebrity memoirs are always a let down as seeing behind the curtain is always less glamorous than one would think. Romesh is highly entertaining, but hard to stick with for 320 pages.

★★
The Dead Can Wait by Robert Ryan Dead Can Wait Robert Ryan
Fiction, Thriller, Sherlock Holmes
Second entry in the series, a really nasty plot with little to no point, too many coincidences and too much going on.

Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh
Fiction, Literary Fiction
The more I think about it the more awful the ending of this book is. Having spent 90% of the book really empahthising for the genuine challenges faced by people in the past and in poverty in the present day, suddenly the whales have an opinion on Italian immigration policy. It's insulting to the reader.




message 12: by AnnaG (last edited Sep 02, 2019 02:43PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments AUGUST
This felt like a really great reading month, a new paranormal series to be obsessed about - on a par with Twilight many moons ago and two really great non-fiction books I rated 5*.

Looking through the 3* and 4* books, I even feel I may have been a little harsh as they paled by comparison to some really great reads.


★★★★★
Zodiac Academy Origins of an Academy Bully (Supernatural Bullies and Beasts Book 0) by Caroline Peckham Zodiac Academy The Awakening by Caroline Peckham Zodiac Academy Ruthless Fae An Academy Bullymance (Supernatural Bullies and Beasts Book 2) by Caroline Peckham Zodiac Academy Caroline Peckham
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
A paranormal school that encourages bullying shouldn't work as an idea, but this is a kick-ass book with two great heroines.

The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St. Clair The Secret Lives of Colour Kassia St Clair
Non Fiction, History, Art
Fascinating collection of anecdotes and stories themed around different colours - not really a history of dyes, but more a history of "things colours have affected".

Ancient Mesopotamia Life in the Cradle of Civilization by Amanda H. Podany Ancient Mesopotamia Amanda Potany
Non Fiction, History, Great Courses
A really fascinating lecture series from The Great Courses on Ancient Mesopotamian history. Genuinely insightful about what we know and what we don't know.

Saving Runt (Cosmos' Gateway, #7) by S.E. Smith Saving Runt S E Smith
Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
I love the alien in this series and the general characters. Runt wasn't my favourite heroine ever - too much of a Mary-Sue, but Derik is really sweet.

★★★★
Life to the Limit My Autobiography by Jenson Button Life to the Limit Jenson Button
Non Fiction, Autobiography, Sports
An eminently readable sports biography. F1 provides a fascinating backdrop of high and lows on the circuit, technical wizardry and contractual connivance. It's great to see a nice guy like Jenson succeed in that arena.

Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8) by Terry Pratchett Snuff Terry Pratchett
Fiction, Fantasy, Discworld
Not as clever or focused as some other discworld books, this looks at the countryside, goblins and a murder case. Some cracking one-liners as ever.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu The Art of War Sun Tzu
Non Fiction, Classic, Strategy
How to win at war with guile and preparation. The one-liners and ideas are interesting and original, but I prefer Terry Pratchett - as he says in Snuff. In a fight to the death, the critical thing is that it is not one's own.

★★★
The Battle for the Falklands (Pan Military Classics) by Max Hastings The Battle for the Falklands Max Hastings
Non Fiction, 20th century History, Military History
This is an account of the war written from a journalists perspective straight after it had finished. Hastings tries to be ruthlessly non-partisan in the reporting, but it feels like an entirely unfinished and incomplete story.

The Better Angels of Our Nature A History of Violence and Humanity by Steven Pinker Better Angels of Our Nature Steven Pinker
Non Fiction, Sociology, War
A history of the decline of violence with some side notes about why that is the case. Ian Morris' War What is it Good For? IS a much better book on the same theme.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
Fiction, Gothic, Romance
I wouldn't choose to spend 5 minutes talking to the narrator of this story so to spend hours listening to the audio was a real chore. There was some beautiful nature passages but the plot was daft and the characters one note.

Surrounded by Idiots The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life) by Thomas Erikson Surrounded by Idiots Thomas Erikson
Non Fiction, Psychology, Self Help
Interesting personality profiling book. Very wordy, but some useful insights.

The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr Science of Storytelling Will Storr
Non Fiction, Psychology, Writing
A look at the psychology of why some stories work better than others. I found that there were too many obscure examples from works I didn't know and not enough detail on interesting insights eg The Da Vinci Code and 50 Shades have similar pacing and plot arcs - I'd never have guessed that, but rather than dig into what is so page-turning about these stories, instead we get a throw-away note that it is the case that these stories worked well... Thanks...

The World I Fell Out Of by Melanie Reid The World I Fell Out Of Melanie Reid
Non Fiction, Memoir, Own Voices
Melanie has obviously been through an awful lot and it was genuinely interesting to understand the impact of disability on her life, this memoir however turned the focus onto other patients in hospitals, carers and her family - in short anything to move the spotlight away from her. That didn't work for my in an autobiog.

★★
Dunkirk The History Behind the Major Motion Picture by Joshua Levine Dunkirk Joshua Levine
Non Fiction, History, WWII
I went into this book knowing that the BEF got caught unexpectedly in northern France and had to be evacuated by a cobbled together armada whilst there was a big air fight overhead. I finished the book, none the wiser.

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster 4 3 2 1 Paul Auster
Fiction, Literary, Man Booker
Sliding Doors without the plot of Gwyneth Paltrow's charisma. Yawn...

Film A Very Short Introduction by Michael Wood Film Michael Wood
Non Fiction, Arts, OUP-VSI
Too amorphous a topic for an OUP, not a strong entry in the series.

Marquess of Mayhem (Sins & Scoundrels #3) by Scarlett Scott Marquess of Mayhem Scarlett Scott
Fiction, Romance, Historical Romance
The details are wrong, the conversation is wrong, the plot is silly.




message 13: by AnnaG (last edited Oct 15, 2019 03:31PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments SEPTEMBER
Quite a successful month. Wolf Hall is genuinely great which I never thought I would say of a Man Booker winner. Good variety of books, Shame that Bryson & Heyer were let downs, but at least I now know to avoid JCO.

★★★★★
Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) by Hilary Mantel
I'm genuinely surprised I enjoyed this book, after all it won the Man Booker. It's a bit of an anomaly as it has a plot and doesn't bother with pretentious prose sections in which nothing happens. To be honest, I enjoyed it but wouldn't rank it as the best book I've ever read as many literary fiction readers seem to, I think for them the novelty of a plot that bounces along and realistic characters makes this book shine, whereas that's more a minimum requirement in most of my reading.

Billy Graham Peace with God: The Secret of Happiness - Non Fiction, Christian
Peace with God The Secret of Happiness by Billy Graham
A clear and concise summary of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Larry Collins & Dominic Lapierre Freedom at Midnight: Inspiration for the Major Motion Picture Viceroy's House Non Fiction, History, Indian History
Freedom at Midnight Inspiration for the Major Motion Picture Viceroy's House by Larry Collins
Focussing on the transition of India to independence and giving an even handed view of the violence and the politics of the time. Insightful and illuminating.

Max Hastings Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45 Non Fiction, History, WWII
Finest Years Churchill as Warlord 1940-45 by Max Hastings
It's remarkable to think what the world without Churchill would have been. As Max Hastings so vividly sates, there was considerable logic to Britain suing for peace with Germany in 1940 after the defeat of France and only one man really stood up for the principle of never surrendering.
Michael Lewis The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game Non Fiction, Memoir, Sports
The Blind Side Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis has such an effortless way of telling the stories he covers, drawing you in to see how they fit into a bigger world and showing so much more than he tells. The film was an amazing telling of Michael Oher's life and the book fills in more of the details.

Laurie Lee Cider with Rosie Non Fiction, Memoir
Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
Having basically vowed not to bother with auobiogs again, I've been reconverted. Laurie Lee writes so vividly about his childhood in a Welsh valley, it's so timeless, so moving and so gripping.

★★★★
Richard Rohr Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life Non Fiction, Christian, Self-Help
Falling Upward A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr
An interesting take on finding life's purpose, more attuned to a non Christian who has converted late in life, but useful teaching all the same.

Colin Dexter Death is Now My Neighbour Fiction, Murder Mystery, Morse
Death is Now My Neighbour (Inspector Morse Mysteries) by Colin Dexter
The Inspector Morse books are still just not quite as great as I want them to be. Agatha Christie has spoilt me, I fear.

Winston Fletcher Advertising: A Very Short Introduction Non Fiction, OUP VSI
Advertising A Very Short Introduction by Winston Fletcher
A solid entry in the VSI series. Much of the information about advertising is straight-forward, but it gets to the history and development, the industry structure and what success looks like clearly and concisely.

Gail Natrass A Short History of South Africa Non fiction, History, African History
A Short History of South Africa by Gail Nattrass
A no-nonsense look at South African history from ancient times to the present. Informative and concise.

★★★
Alison Weir Katherine of Aragon: the True Queen Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tudor
Katherine of Aragon the True Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #1) by Alison Weir
A fairly bog standard historical fiction - bogged down in the details.

Kody Kepplinger The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend Fiction, YA, Romance
The DUFF Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
A good concept, but the film is much better.
John Pearson All the Money in the World - Non Fiction, Biography
All the Money in the World by John Pearson
The story of the Getty family that makes you very glad not to be rich or famous.

Fergal Keane All of These People: A Memoir Non Fiction, Memoir
All of These People A Memoir by Fergal Keane
Fergal Keane is a good journalist and his books on Rwanda and the Irish civil war used his expertise in conflict zones and personal and family experiences and are two of the best history books I have read. This, however, is not as good. It spends 300 pages talking about trivia in his life in Ireland before getting to his career highlights in South Africa, Rwanda and 80 pages thereafter. Why do autobiographies do this? I have heard of him as a journalist in conflict zones, I want to read 300 pages about a journalist in a conflict zone and 80 pages about how he got there.

The Nation's Favourite Poems Of Journeys by Benedict Allen The Nation's Favourite Poems Of Journeys
Fiction, Poetry
A few crackers, but mostly mediocre.

Piu Eatwell Black Dahlia, Red Rose Non Fiction, True Crime
Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Marie Eatwell
Gruesome and horrible. Not for me.
★★
Georgette Heyer Snowdrift and Other Stories Fiction, Short Stories, Regency Romance
Snowdrift and Other Stories by Georgette Heyer
I cannot believe that I am 2*ing a Georgette Heyer - I practically didn't finish it. These are just vignettes of a whole book that don't give sufficient time to develop plot or character. In romance I want a relationship I can get invested in. That takes more than a short story.

Bill Bryson One Summer: America 1927 Non Fiction, History, 20th Century America
One Summer America 1927 by Bill Bryson
What a disappointment. A meandering look at Lindebergh, Babe Ruth, Coolidge and some general context of 1927 in America. Frankly a splodge of history.


Joyce Carol Oates Blonde Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary
Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
This book is disgusting. It is mean-spirited and gossipy. It feels like JCO decided to just cock her leg and urinate on a dead person for no particular reason other than poverty of her own imagination and sense of moral rectitude. Terrible book in concept and execution.


message 14: by AnnaG (last edited Nov 01, 2019 01:30AM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments OCTOBER
Good busy month clearing down some of my TBR and polishing off challenges. 5 books @ 5* was a really good innings.

★★★★★
Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind Fiction, Romance, Historical
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Absolutely epic tale of Rhett & Scarlett. Better than the film. Loved all of the characters. Amazing.

Caroline Peckham & Susan Valenti Zodiac Academy 3: The Reckoning: An Academy Bully Romance Fiction, Paranormal Romance
Zodiac Academy The Reckoning (Supernatural Beasts and Bullies #3) by Caroline Peckham
The best series I've read all year continues with the girls reaching their most important test of will. Still absolutely loving it.

Norman Ohler Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany Non Fiction, History, WWII
Blitzed Drugs in Nazi Germany by Norman Ohler
Fascinating insight into Hitler's doctor jacking him up on cocaine and opiods and the widespread use of drugs throughout the German Army. Really interesting contrast with Max Hastings account of Churchill's war.

Dan Carlin The End is Always Near Non Fiction, History, War
The End Is Always Near Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses by Dan Carlin
A philosophical take on the past being another world, the realities of famine, plague and war and a look at whether our civilisation is truly different from the ones that have fallen before. Thought-provoking.

Herodotus The Histories: Complete Non Fiction, History, Ancient History
The Histories Complete by Herodotus
For content, this book is probably a 3*, it gets bogged down in details, is too long and loses it's thread, but as pretty much the first ever attempt to systemiatically record the past and sift fact from fiction, it's a very special book.

★★★★
Matthew Syed Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking Non Fiction, Business
Rebel Ideas The Power of Diverse Thinking by Matthew Syed
A sound explanation of how diversity helps businesses, why it does and what the limits are on how helpful it can be. Well-written and thought-provoking.

Corey Lewandowski Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency Non Fiction, Politics
Let Trump Be Trump The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency by Corey R. Lewandowski
Genuinely fascinating insight into arguably the most successful presidential campaign ever.

James Herriott All Creatures Great and Small Non Fiction, Memoir, Medical
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
Nostalgic account of a vet in Yorkshire in the 1930s. Rather repetitive and overlong, but a pleasant read.

Nathan Streeper Murder on the Orion Express Fiction, Sci-Fi, Murder Mystery
Murder on the Orion Express by Nate Streeper
A detective novel in space! Good world-building and likeable characters, he plot zipped along with some good one-liners.

James Patterson Target: Alex Cross Fiction, Thriller
Target Alex Cross (Alex Cross, #26) by James Patterson
Assassinations abound. A great beach read and page-turning thriller.

Anthony Doerr About Grace Fiction, Sci-Fi, Literary
About Grace by Anthony Doerr
Slightly odd tale of a man who has visions of deaths that come true and then foresees the death of his daughter. He runs away and 25 years later goes to find out if the vision came true. It's an excellent premise and some of the plot points are tear-jerkingly well done, but overall wasn't the knock out that All the Light We Cannot See was.

Jon Ronson Them: Adventures with Extremists Non Fiction, Politics, Sociology
Them Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
Insightful look into extreme elements of the political spectrum, some come across as genuine people, some unmitigated racists and idiots, but all get a fair hearing from Jon Ronson and like Louis Theroux, the narrative is all the more compelling for showing viewpoints you never normally hear.

★★★
Kevin Kwan Crazy Rich Asians fiction, Romance
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
At the same time this book has better sideplots than the movie adaptation and a more boring main plot. I wanted a romance about Astrid and instead got Nick... Maybe I'll give book 2 a go.

Adrian Goldsworthy Pax Romana History, Ancient History, Romans
Pax Romana by Adrian Goldsworthy
This starts with the question of did Rome really bring peace and then proceeds to nearly answer it, but gets totally lost in its narrative and never really concludes. Pity.

Stuart King Hope Has Wings: The Mission Aviation Story Non Fiction, Memoir, Charity
Hope Has Wings The Mission Aviation Story by Stuart Sendall-King
The history of a worthwhile charity, warts and all. Perhaps too much detail on the aircraft which didn't interest me, but a window into a world I've never seen.

Kamilla Shamsie Home Fire Fiction, Literary Fiction
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
A so-so story, written OK, not sure why this was on all the prize lists.

Maj Sojwall The Man on the Balcony Fiction, Murder Mystery, Nordic Noir
The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck #3) by Maj Sjöwall
There's no chance for the reader to solve the mystery, it's just an unremittingly bleak backdrop to a police procedural with a series of horrible murders. Not as good as the first two books in the series.

★★
Michael Dobbs To Play the King Fiction, Political Fiction, 1990s
To Play the King (House of Cards Trilogy, Book 2) by Michael Dobbs
Disappointing follow-up to FU's scheming in House of Cards.

Isabel Allende Maya's Notebook Fiction, Literary, Misery Porn
Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
A slightly dull story about a troubled teenager getting muddled up with organised crime. Every character outside of our much victimised heroine and her one-note family are uniformly awful caricatures of people. Dull and upsetting.

Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom Non Fiction, Self Help, Spirituality
The Four Agreements A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
Toltec Wisdom starts with setting oneself up as God which is rather problematic to say the least, but then devolves into a sensible path saying that selfishness is bad, that we should keep our promises, not lie, be kind to others and do our best. Solid virtues to follow to be sure. Ruiz points out the parallels between Toltec and Christian revelation, which sort of begged the question, why not just distil the Christian creed for his readers which seems to have a more complete set of ethics to offer that these repeated fragments.


Lisa Owens Not Working Fiction, Literary Fiction
Not Working by Lisa Owens
Honestly not sure how such a tedious book got published. Avoid.


message 15: by AnnaG (last edited Nov 30, 2019 03:09PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments NOVEMBER
★★★★★
Jack Weatherford Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Non Fiction, History, Medieval
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
Really interesting look at the life and legacy of Genghis Khan. His mother sounds like an amazing woman.

Larry Elliott Europe Isn't Working Non Fiction, Politics, Economics
Europe Isn't Working by Larry Elliott
A thorough and compelling take-down of the euro as a benefit to humanity. Fascinating and all the more revealing that this narrative is rarely heard, even though we've gone through such a debate over the benefits of EU membership.

Mark Miodownik Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World Non Fiction, Science, Smart Thinking
Stuff Matters The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World by Mark Miodownik
Selection of essays on material science explaining why metals have the properties they do and glass has it's properties and how they were discovered and used. Very interesting.

★★★★
Colin Dexter Inspector Morse Series - Fiction, Murder Mystery
The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse #9) by Colin Dexter The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse Series) Paperback Jan 01, 2009 NA by Colin Dexter
Two more competent mysteries in the inspector Morse series. Still not as good as Christie!

Nate Silver The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction Non Fiction, Science, Maths
The Signal and the Noise The Art and Science of Prediction by Nate Silver
A look at what can and cannot be forecasted. Slight wishy-washy, although that is Nate's point that we should account for uncertainty.

Francine Rivers The Masterpiece Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
A nice romance between single mother Grace and artist Roman. Pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Dr Amanda Brown The Prison Doctor Non Fiction, Medical Memoir
The Prison Doctor by Amanda Brown
I've see a lot of medical memoirs around and books about prison life. This combines the two in a heart-breaking mix of drug-abuse and self-harm. Soul destroying to read, but an important book.
★★★
Graeme Simson The Rosie Project Fiction, Literary Fiction
The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion
I sort of got this book, but it really felt like it was just making fun of chess player types in a wholly unreal way. No-one acts like this, ever autists...

★★
Peter Pomeratsev This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality Non Fiction, Politics
This Is Not Propaganda Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev
Politicians use the internet to get their message across and governments screw with diplomatic rivals through social media - who knew!


Lizzy Barber A Girl Named Anna Fiction, Suspense
A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber
Picked up solely because my name is Anna. Should have put down after 1 page - anti-Christian garbage.

Jin Yong A Hero Born Fiction, Epic, Chinese translation
A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1) by Jin Yong
Just a boring story that must have lost all of it's pizazz in translation.


message 16: by AnnaG (last edited Dec 30, 2019 02:31PM) (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments DECEMBER
★★★★★
Stephen Grosz The Examined Life Non Fiction, Memoir, Medical Memoir
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz
A series of case studies and how a psycho-analyst relates them to his own life and family. Not as extreme or informative as Oliver Sacks, but a very interesting read.

Kim Malone Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity Non Fiction, Business, Self Help
Radical Candor Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Malone Scott
A different way of thinking about how to succeed at work by making it personal. Possibly easier said than done outside of Silicon Valley.

★★★★
Caroline Peckham Savage Fae
Savage Fae (Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac #2) by Caroline Peckham
Annoying the first Zodiac series focuses on plot & character as largely did the first one in this series, now characters seem to be becoming a bit sex-obsessed and the plot seems to be arcing to put characters where they need to be to have sex... Can we spend more time on the plot and less on the bonking please?

James Garvey The Persuaders Non Fiction, History, Business
The Persuaders by James Garvey
A history of PR and advertising with a lot of illumination of the poor ethics of the industry. Too much time spent redoing Thinking Fast and Slow, but a good read nonetheless.

Anna Reid Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine Non Fiction, History, European History
Borderland A Journey Through the History of Ukraine by Anna Reid
Insightful look at the history of Ukraine in a balanced way giving the complexity of relations with outside community and internal divisions a fair and nuanced presentation.

★★★
Sarah Vallance Prognosis: A Memoir of My Brain
Prognosis A Memoir of My Brain by Sarah Vallance
This was ultimately a very weird memoir and I wasn't able to tell how much of her self-pitying arsehole-ishness was due to the head injury, how much due to grief over her father and alcoholism and how much just a general character defect. She goes from a 127 IQ to an 80-90 and gets paid a compensatory pension. Frankly she could just as easily have been born with that IQ level and had to face daily life without high academic qualifications and an impressive CV.

Robert Caldini Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade Non Fiction, Psychology, Business
Pre-Suasion A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert B. Cialdini
The impact of subliminal messaging is high and we are prone to making impulsive emotional decisions - who knew!

Paul Dolan Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think Non Fiction, Psychology, Self Help
Happiness by Design Change What You Do, Not How You Think by Paul Dolan
This is probably a useful book for people who are unhappy to read. It discerns that happiness comes down essentially to purpose and pleasure and that we need to spend our time sensibly to get happiness out.

Tom Nancollas Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet Non Fiction, Architecture, History
Seashaken Houses A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet by Tom Nancollas
Picked up as Waterstones BOTM. Too niche to really get into it, but rock lighthouses are bloody impressive.

★★
Amy Goldstein Janesville: An American Story
Janesville An American Story by Amy Goldstein
I don't understand why this book won prizes. I didn't come away understanding the situation any better, maybe that was supposed to be the point, but just found it irritating.

Julian Baggini How the World Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy Non Fiction, Philosophy, History
How the World Thinks A Global History of Philosophy by Julian Baggini
Philosophy genuinely is a complete waste of time and the more I think about it, the more annoyed I become with the whole cult of rationality. This book starts by lauding the founding fathers of philosophy for trying to use reason to explain the world and for bringing rationality and logic to academia. Myabe it was a fool's errand 3,000 years ago and remains so today. It was particularly illuminating to read this in the same month as a psychoanalysts memoir about how our mental defences have uses even if they seem counter-productive or illogical until we delve into them and a book about how prone we are to subliminal messaging and another about how PR and advertising work to sell us on what gets our attention and another on how elusive happiness can seem for so many people. All these books seem to rather undermine the premise of philosophy as a discipline. human minds do not work on reason, the world does not work on reason it is infinitely more complex and multi-faceted than any philosophy paper can hope to comprehend and the eastern counties that had no word for philosophy, or whose philosophies bear no relation whatsoever to Western philosophies probably have the right idea.



message 17: by Kadijah Michelle (new)

Kadijah Michelle (kadmich) | 2176 comments I know how it goes having a pile of books you own but haven't read. I'm working on putting together my list right now. With my ebooks, it's over 1000.


message 18: by AnnaG (new)

AnnaG | 158 comments Good luck whittling it down! I'm at about 500 with the picture being just the latest additions. I think at some point you just get blinded by choice and it puts you off reading.


message 19: by Kadijah Michelle (new)

Kadijah Michelle (kadmich) | 2176 comments My problem is all the free books on Kindle I keep downloading. I travel a lot, so an e-reader is my friend on long trips, but my problem is when I see one free book, I have to have them all!


message 20: by Rachael (new)

Rachael (allons-y-bookworm) | 3080 comments I want my shelf space back too! I keep getting tempted by more books. Wishing you all the best with your reading challenge


back to top