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Luckily I'm a silver linings kind of gal. At the moment, I can't walk without a cane, or climb stairs at all, and am waiting to see a surgeon, which happens in August. I could get upset about this, or I could view it as extra time to read, and that's what I'm doing.
So, here's what I've been reading this year. I've reviewed some of them, but I am not good at writing book reviews, makes me tense, so I may edit those reviews before linking to any of them.
I don't know if anyone reads these entries, or whether I'm talking to myself, but in either case I'm glad to have found a place to write down what I'm reading.
1. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo, 2011, 611 pages. 3.5 stars
2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 1843, 107 pages. I should have read this book before Christmas, but I left my copy in the office over the holidays, and didn't think to read it on Project Gutenberg or elsewhere. 5 stars
3. The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell, 2010, 456 pages. 5 stars. It seems that Henning Mankell's non-Wallander works are even better than the ones featuring his Swedish detective.
4. Revival by Stephen King, 2014, 403 pages. 3.5 stars I lost several nights' sleep over this one.
5. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, 1853, 228 pages. 4 stars
6. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, 1898, 180 pages. 1 star Words fail me. I really disliked this story.
7. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, 2014, 405 pages. 4.5 stars Lost half a star because there were descriptions of torture, which I simply cannot handle. Otherwise, it was a brilliantly conceived and written book.
8. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, 1998, 493 pages. 4 stars. This was a re-read; I'd picked it up years ago, and wanted to give it a second go. Her concept of time-travel really interested me. This one was read in airports, on planes, and finished up late one night in a San Juan, PR hotel room.
9. Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, 2002, 340 pages. 4 stars. Part of my Netflix binge in 2014 was spent watching the excellent TV series based on this book. For the record, it was read on an at-sea day sailing from San Juan, PR to Bridgetown, Barbados.
10. The Nightmare by Lars Kepler, 2010, 500 pages. 3 stars. Once again, read on the high seas.
11. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, 2013, 327 pages. 4 stars We had a flight from San Juan to Charlotte, and a 14-hour layover in the airport there; Rosie was good company.
12. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge, 1872, 240 pages. 3 stars I have a real love of 19th and early 20th century didactic children's books, which I find on Project Gutenberg.
13. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, 2008, 307 pages. 5 stars One of my very favourite books. A re-read.
14. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, 2013, 178 pages. 5 stars Excellent book; certainly the scariest thing Mr. Gaiman has ever written.
15. Outlander by Diane Gabaldon, 1991, 850 pages. 4 stars. In which a 51-year old Canadian woman falls madly in love with Jamie Fraser.
16. The Sandman by Lars Kepler, 2012, 490 pages. 3 stars. No touchstone for the book; it's all Gaiman.
17. Push by Sapphire, 1996, 150 pages. 4 stars.
18. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, 1995, 282 pages. 5 stars. A re-read of an old favourite.
19. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, 2006, 503 pages. 3.5 stars
20. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett, 1992, 392 pages. 4 stars
21. The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler, 2011, 497 pages. 3.5 stars.
22. The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, 2009, 503 pages. 4 stars
23. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, 2007, 662 pages. 5 stars
24. 419 by Will Ferguson, 2012, 399 pages. 3 stars
25. Horns by Joe Hill, 2009, 449 pages. 1.5 stars
26. The Man who Smiled by Henning Mankell, 1994, 325 pages. 4 stars
27. His Illegal Self by Peter Carey, 2008, 272 pages. 3.5 stars
28. My Experiences in Australia: Being Recollections of a Visit to the Australian Colonies 1856-7 by Emma Blake Macpherson, 1860, 196 pages. Another one of my interests is the early settlement of Australia.
29. The Little Princesses by Marion Crawford, 1950, 230 pages 3.5 stars
30. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, 2014, 352 pages 4 stars
31. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, 1953, 188 pages 3.5 stars
32. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, 2014, 295 pages 5 stars
33. Next by Michael Crichton, 2006, 547 pages 3 stars
34. Sycamore Row by John Grisham, 2013, 637 pages 3.5 stars
35. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, 2013, 292 pages 4 stars
36. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, 2013, 327 pages 4 stars
37. The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen, 2007, 461 pages 3.5 stars
38. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Nugi Garimara, 1996, 136 pages 3.5 stars
39. The Black Path by Asa Larsson, 2006, 395 pages 3.5 stars
Apparently I spent all of June reading. Here's my list for June, 2015:
40. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, 1995, 803 pages. I loved this book the first time round, not so the second. It was so bleak. I don't know what kind of stars to give it.
41. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, 2006, 339 pages. A very disappointing volume of short stories and bad poetry. 2 stars.
42. Longbourn by Jo Baker, 2013, 357 pages. Very interesting book about the servants in the household of Pride and Prejudice. Enlightening - and boy, oh boy, am I glad I wasn't a nineteenth-century servant! 3.5 stars.
43. Redbreast by Jo Nesbo, 2000, 618 pages. Best crime novel I've ever read, by Norwegian writer and personal favourite Jo Nesbo. 5 stars.
44. The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy, 1972, 290 pages. Heartbreaking memoir of Conroy's time spent teaching Gullah children on a South Carolina island. Enjoyed it greatly. 4 stars.
45. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, 2014, 273 pages. One of the best books I've read this year. Excellent handling of the mind of an Alzheimer's patient. 5 stars.
46. The Dying Hours by Mark Billingham, 2013, 427 pages. Lousy. I think I'm giving up on the Tom Thorne series. 2 stars.
47. Menagerie Manor by Gerald Durell, 1965, 153 pages. Not Durrell's best work, but still had enjoyable scenes of animal mayhem. 3 stars.
48. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, 1995, 253 pages. You know when you read a book and everything the character says, does, or feels sparks an echo in your mind, and you wonder how the author got inside your head so thoroughly? This book. Brilliant, funny, poignant, wonderful. 5 stars, deserves about 11 stars.
49. The Stranger you Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams, 2011, 322 pages. Not a bad female gumshoe detective story. Not great, either. 3 stars.
50. One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson, 2013, 597 pages. Fascinating stories about 1927 America. Too much baseball and boxing for my liking to be complete. 3.5 stars.
51. The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson, 2004, 178 pages. Don't waste your time. 1 star.
52. Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum, 2002, 251 pages. Enjoyable Norwegian crime novel featuring Inspector Sejer. 3.5 stars.
53. He Who Fears the Wolf by Karin Fossum, 2003, 237 pages. More Inspector Sejer. 3.5 stars.
54. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, 2012, 304 pages. Unusual story of a bookstore with a big secret. Ultimately I found it unsatisfying. 3.5 stars
55. My Life in France by Julia Child, 2006, 324 pages. Readable and entertaining story of the origins of the popular chef. I really liked her, and her personality boomed off the page. 4 stars.
56. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, 2015, 324 pages. Well-written and gripping, but I found myself getting TOO uptight because of the stress of the tale, and that wasn't something I could handle at the time. 3.5 stars.
57. The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris, 2014, 334 pages. I found the parts about Jewish tradition very interesting, but ultimately found it to be middle-of-the-road chick lit with window dressing. 3 stars.
58. The Children Act by Ian McEwan, 2014, 378 pages. I really liked this one. Fascinating story. 4 stars.
59. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, 2011, 381 pages. I found the storyline interesting, but ultimately got bored. 3 stars.