Happy New Year

Hope 2011 brings you all a good year with plenty of reading. may your reading challenges be successful, your tbr piles ploughed through with ease and your purchases wise ones!

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Books read 2010

Well chuffed with the books that have been read this year. Will provide some more in-depth thoughts about them in a couple of days but here is the list of all those consumed this year. A great year’s reading.

January
1. The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin
2. The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones
3. All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills
4. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
5. Nobody Move by Denis Johnson
6. White Ravens by Owen Sheers
7. Rushing to Paradise by JG Ballard
8. Pierre et Jean by Guy de Maupassant
9. The Story of Mr Sommer by Patrick Suskind

February
10. A Dreambook for Our Time by Tadeusz Konwicki
11. The Man Who Knew Everything by Tom Stacey
12. The Locked Room by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
13. The Belly of the Atlantic by Fatou Diome
14. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
15. Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
16. The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

March
17. Bel Ami Guy du Maupassant
18. All the Conspirators by Christopher Isherwood
19. The Professor + The Housekeeper by Yoko Ogawa
20. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
21. Cop Killer by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
22. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
23. Solar by Ian McEwan

April
24. A Month in the Country by J.L Carr
25. The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
26. How I Came to Know Fish by Ota Pavel
27. Old Masters by Thomas Bernhard
28. Tofu Landing by Evan Maloney
29. The White Castle by Orhan Panuk
30. Untimely Death by Cyril Hare
31. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

May
32. Young Hitler by Claus Hant
33. Natasha by David Bezmozgis
34. The Elephant by Slawomir Mrozek
35. The Carpenter’s Pencil by Manuel Rivas
36. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell
37. The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
38. The Cuckoo Boy by Grant Gillespie
39. They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell

June
40. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
41. Repeat it Today With Tears by Anne Peile
42. Sabra Zoo by Mischa Hiller
43. All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
44. Amulet by Roberto Bolano
45. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
46. Stones in a Landslide by Maria Barbal
47. A Preparation for Death by Greg Baxter

July
48. Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
49. The Last Will & Testament of Senhor Da Silva Araujo by Germano Almeida
50. Tintin and the Secret of Literature by Tom McCarthy
51. Who is Mr Satoshi? by Jonathan Lee
52. The Opposite of Falling by Jennie Rooney
53. Light Boxes by Shane Jones
54. The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

August
55. Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood
56. Sarajevo Marlboro by Miljenko Jergovic
57. The Luneburg Variation by Paolo Maurensig
58. Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy
59. The Legend of Elizabeth Siddal by Jan Marsh
60. The Wine-Dark Sea by Leonardo Sciascia
61. The Courilof Affair by Irene Nemirovsky

September
62. From a View to a Death by Anthony Powell
63. Kings of the Water by Mark Behr
64. The Castle of Otranto by Horage Walpole
65. Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason
66. Vivian and I by Colin Bacon
67. First Love, Last Rites by Ian McEwan
68. C by Tom McCarthy

October
69. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
70. The Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller
71. The Canal by Lee Rourke
72. The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
73. Leaf Storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
74. The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
75. Maigret and the millionaires by Georges Simenon

November
76. My Friend Maigret by Georges Simenon
77. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Horace McCoy
78. Men in Space by Tom McCarthy
79. The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
80. Who Killed Palomino Molero? by Mario Vargas Llosa
81. Circus Bulgaria by Deyan Enev
82. Coming Up for Air by George Orwell

December
83. The Interrogative Mood A Novel? by Padgett Powell
84. The Dead Beat by Cody James
85. The Small Hand by Susan Hill
86. Rumpole at Christmas by John Mortimer
87. The Passport by Herta Muller
88. The Box of Delights by John Masefield

Thinking of doing a refresh for 2011

Last year I looked at the blog and changed the look and to a limited extent the content and thoughts are now turning to doing something smiliar.

The look is perhaps a little bit dull and the commitment to try and update every day has just not been sustainable this year and so going forward I will be being more realistic about the volume of posts.

What is important are the reviews and so more effort will be put into those. There are still so many that are not yet done from this year and to speed up the process I will be putting together some concise reviews in the next few days to clear the backlog.

Thanks as ever for reading and if you have any suggestions please don’t hesitate to make them.

Thoughts at the half way point of Box of Delights

The idea of choosing this as the last read of the year had been to read it to the children. But at 309 pages with chapters too long for me to read out loud in the allotted bedtime read time it became something for me to try and get through.

every year, well for the last three at least, there has been a tradition in the Quicke household to watch the BBC adaptation of Box of Delights by the BBC first aired in 1984. Running over six episodes the special effects now look slightly dated but add to its charm.

But the TV couldn’t cope with all of the magic scenes in the book so there is a clear reward for watching and then reading, because in many respects there are real differences.

Sure enough the book is deeper and the magic denser. The main character Kay comes across fairies and manages to find out a lot more about his enemies from dreams and flying sequences.

But the story of good versus evil played out against the snow and Christmas lights is as solid in the book as it is in the BBC adaptation. Great stuff. Just need to finish it before midnight strikes on New Years Eve…

bookmark of the week


This bookmark was a christmas present and is not only fairly large and weaved but also very festive. It is going to come out and be used from now on to mark my progress through the last few books of the year at Christmas time.

Yuletide reading is slow going

With the kids off school and myself on holiday there is no commute and a busy house at this time of year. That makes reading difficult.

there is always that moment, in a good book, where after reading about 10 or so pages you get into a rhythm and get taken up by the pace of the writing and you can get lost in a book.

At this time of year there are so many distractions that getting lost in the pace of the book becomes a real challenge and one that over the years i have accepted i will not overcome.

So as I slowly plod my way through my last read of the year, Box of Delights, it is without a sense of pressure knowing that 20 or so pages in an evening is all that can be achieved at this time of year.