2012’s Books So Far

This is not really a blog post, just a list. My new year’s resolution was to properly keep track of the books I have read, as I found myself forgetting what I have read over the last few years and regretting not keeping better tabs on it.

Also, hopefully, it might inspire me to read more, or read better, although my progress this year was heavily skewed by the fact I was in the last trimester of pregnancy and finding I couldn’t concentrate on much beyond whodunnits and page turners. (And post-baby, things are, unsurprisingly, even worse).

So here goes – what I can remember of the year so far, anyway –

Dune by Frank Herbert (I read this as a challenge to myself, to see if I could read and enjoy sci-fi. It was, erm, OK).

A Question of Blood/Fleshmarket Close/The Hanging Garden, by Ian Rankin. When working at Oxfam Books in Herne Hill, pre-baby, the Rebus stories were my book of choice whilst on till duty. I worked my way through several others last year, too, but was half way through The Hanging Garden, (which was shaping up very nicely) when someone went and bought it, dammit!

So after that I decided not to read any books I actually cared about in the shop, as it was so frustrating not being able to find out what happened next, and mostly read trashy celeb biographies, I’m afraid, or Asterix books. I am now longing to read more Ian Rankin, so am either going to need to raid the library or my dad’s collection.

Riders by Jilly Cooper. Don’t ask.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I’d not read any Wharton since the Age of Innocence, years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed this – sped through it in the last weeks of pregnancy, it was a very easy read, which confirmed my suspicion that Wharton is the Henry James you can actually read.

Archangel by Robert Harris. Definitely not as good as Enigma – it set up a brilliant and terrifying scenario but then seemed to let it dwindle away with rather too much of the book spent with characters sat on a train or stuck in a snowdrift in northern Russia. The ending in particular was a massive anti-climax.

Bones and Ashes by Kathy Reichs. I’d read another of her whodunnits a few years ago and enjoyed it, but this was rather pedestrian and repetitive – however, as the first book I read post-baby, it was just what I needed at that point.

Bossypants by Tina Fey – picked this up at the library on a whim and whilst it was hardly a taxing read, it was good fun, and like Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’, has the appealing but probably deceptively difficult-to-achieve sensation that the real person is actually talking to you as you read (and of course making you wish they were Your Best Mate).

Ophelia in Pieces by Claire Jacob – a local author I saw give a book reading at Dulwich Books, the book being about a lawyer going through a marital breakdown whilst defending several rather unpleasant individuals. Reading this at the same time as watching ‘Silk’ on TV was somewhat confusing, as I kept mixing up the plots of the two.

Currently reading – Therese Raquin by Emile Zola. Have been wanting to read this for years, and managed about 2 pages last night before falling asleep. Still, it’s a start.

I’m hoping one day to tackle more of the Rougon-Macquart series (of which I’ve read 2 so far), as I suspect I’m never going to bother with Proust or A Dance to the Music of Time, or Anna Karenina, but I don’t want to give up entirely on ‘serious’ books, and Zola is, well, pretty serious.


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