Friday, 1 January 2010

2009: an overview in books.

For 2009, I set myself the personal challenge of reading 100 books which I'd never read before, of which I managed 82. A couple were cheats, being unabridged versions of old books, another was one I knew I'd read long ago, but couldn't remember a thing about it. 13/82 were non-fiction, against 69 fiction. 14 kids' books, if we use the term loosely, and 68 adult.

The year's highlights for me were:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Little Stranger
The Book of Tomorrow
Being Emily
and The Earth Hums in B Flat. One set in Guernsey, one very, very English, one Irish, one Scottish and one Welsh.

The books I'd always intended to read and finally got around to it in 2009 were:
Gone with the Wind,
Wyrd Sisters (I had seen an animated adaptation but never read the book)
and Brideshead Revisited.

The disappointments were:
Confessions of a Fallen Angel, which I had completely forgotten I'd read until I saw it on the list.
Dance with Wings.
The Believers. There was not one character there that I liked.
Undead and Unwed. Too much like chick-lit, with fangs.
The Birthing House. Yes, it scared me, but although I wanted to know what would happen, I had to skim-read it because if I'd put the book down, I'd never have picked it up again.

The books I started but didn't finish:
Spitfire Women of World War 2. I intend to pick it up again in 2010.
Revolutionary Road (it came immediately after The Believers and I suspected it was another book without sympathetic or likeable characters. I didn't want two in a row like that.)
Small Island. Again, intend to pick up again.
Finally, oddly, Rilla of Ingleside. I just felt too unhappy to carry on with it.

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