Monday, 24 December 2012

The Literary Life 2012

Quotation of the day ~ Anthony Powell: Books do furnish a room.

I'm a list freak. I keep track of almost everything, with the possible exception of my chequing account -- which could explain a few things. So here's a list of every book i read in 2012 (in chronological order):

Judy Collins – Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life In Music*
Ian Rankin – The Hanging Garden*
Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs*
Michael Westerfield – The Language Of Crows*
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Hobbit
Stephen Pile – The Return Of Heroic Failures
Nicolas Freeling – Those In Peril
Martin Amis – The Moronic Inferno
D.M. Thomas – The White Hotel
Arthur C. Clarke – Childhood's End
Josef Skvorecky – The Bass Saxophone
Ian Rankin – Resurrection Men*
Ian Rankin – Blood Hunt*
Michael Morpurgo – War Horse*
Tony Geraghty – Who Dares Wins: The Story Of The SAS 1950-1980
C.S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters
Maj Sjőwall & Per Wahlőő – Murder At The Savoy
Ian Rankin – A Good Hanging And Other Stories*
Richard Boston – Beer And Skittles
David Lodge – The Picturegoers
Keith Laumer – It's A Mad, Mad, Mad Galaxy
Ian Rankin – Beggars Banquet*
Ian Rankin – The Falls*
Levon Helm w. Stephen Davis – This Wheel's On Fire: Levon Helm And The Story Of The Band*
Ian Rankin – Witch Hunt*
Thomas Harris – Hannibal Rising*
Ian Rankin – Knots And Crosses
Ian Rankin – Hide And Seek
Ian Rankin – Tooth And Nail
Ian Rankin – Strip Jack
Gyles Brandreth – Great Theatrical Disasters
Gary Zukav – The Dancing Wu Li Masters
Ian Rankin – The Black Book
Ian Rankin – Bleeding Hearts*
Anne Enright – Yesterday's Weather*
Marcus Connaughton – Rory Gallagher: His Life And Times*
Ian Rankin – Rebus's Scotland: A Personal Journey*
Ian Rankin – Mortal Causes
Lily King The English Teacher*
Ian Rankin – Standing In Another Man's Grave*

(Books read for the first time are indicated by an asterisk.)

And what (i hear you ask) was my favourite of the new books?  

Let me begin with my least favourite while i ponder the matter. Lily King's "The English Teacher" was 100% tedious and a struggle to finish, but with the tenacity i'm notorious for, i completed it ... and promptly gave it away.

Most disappointing, i'm sorry to say, was Ian Rankin's "Standing In Another Man's Grave," his new Rebus novel. I'm a huge fan of Rankin's and in fact i've begun the process of re-reading all of the Rebus novels in their proper order. I hasten to add that there's nothing wrong with the new book, he remains an excellent storyweaver.  Perhaps i was expecting more.

Best book? Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs gets the nod, the much-coveted Spriggs Award. Jobs was a fascinating character, a marketing genius if not a computer wiz (it was his partner Steve Wozniak who built the world's first personal computer) -- a contradictory man, obnoxious at times, driven and demanding and occasionally living in what his colleagues would call a "reality distortion field." It's a compelling read.

And the playlist:
Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Messin'
Thunder -- Live At Donington '92
Melissa Etheridge - Brave And Crazy
Jethro Tull - The Jethro Tull Christmas Album
Steeleye Span - Winter
Rory Gallagher - Top Priority
Quintessence - In Blissful Company
Saga - Saga

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