Sunday, 5 January 2014

Year-End Wrap-Up -- Literary Schtuff

Quotation of the day: Cormac McCarthy ~ Query: How does the never to be differ from what never was?

Right, well, the final episode in our year-end wrap-up: books. Here's the list of every book i read in 2013, in chronological order. As i wrote earlier, i keep track.

Dan Gookin – Android Phones For Dummies
Rod Stewart – Rod: The Autobiography
Stieg Larsson – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Played With Fire
Ian Rankin –  Watchman
Ian Rankin – The Flood
Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
Martin Amis – Lionel Asbo: State Of England
Ian McEwan – Sweet Tooth
Astrid Lindgren – Pippi Longstocking
Julian Barnes – Levels Of Life
Ian Rankin – Let It Bleed
Astrid Lindgren – Pippi Goes On Board
Ian Rankin – Black And Blue
Astrid Lindgren – Pippi In The South Seas
Ian Rankin – The Hanging Garden
Ian Rankin – Dead Souls
Laurie Lee – Cider With Rosie
Ben Elton – Meltdown
Ian Rankin – Set In Darkness
Daniel Quinn – Ishmael: An Adventure Of The Mind and Spirit
Craig Cabell – Ian Rankin And Inspector Rebus
Ian McEwan – The Child In Time
Daniel Quinn – My Ishmael: A Sequel
Daniel Quinn – Providence: The Story Of A Fifty-Year Vision Quest
Erik Larson – In The Garden Of Beasts
Andreea RadÅ­can – The Other Side Of The Medal
Erik Larson – The Devil In The White City
Daniel Quinn – The Holy
David Lodge – Deaf Sentence
Erik Larson – Thunderstruck
Ian Rankin – The Falls
Ian Rankin – Resurrection Men
Ray Davies – Americana: The Kinks, The Riff, The Road: The Story           
Ian Rankin – The Saints Of The Shadow Bible
Martin Cruz Smith – Havana Bay
Martin Cruz Smith - Tatiana

A lot of these i read for the second or third time -- in particular Ian Rankin's Rebus novels, which, now that i've finally read them all, i'm going through again, in the order he wrote them (and it's fascinating to see how he develops as a writer). Apart from his new novella, "The Lie Factory," which i've listened to on CD (as read by actor Aidan Quinn) but which, in analogue form, is somewhere in my "to-read" pile.

My greatest discovery of the year in non-fiction was Erik Larson. His "In The Garden Of Beasts" gets the nod as best of the year (although "The Devil In The White City" came pretty close!). Larson's forte is linking historical events in hitherto unthought-of ways. "In The Garden Of Beasts" is the story of the American ambassador to Berlin in the 1930s. All around him, he sees signs that Germany is gearing up for war and evidence of Nazi brutality, and sends increasingly-frantic signals back to Washington, but is by and large ignored. Meanwhile, his daughter is having an affair with a high-ranking Nazi officer....

Rod Stewart's autobiography could have been a contender. It started well, lots of laugh-out-loud moments as he wrote about his early days, but then, much like his musical relevance it disintegrated half way through as his drug consumption, his materialistic leanings and his philandering overtook him. Loved the first half, though.

In fiction, it has to be Stieg Larsson, and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." A friend recommended the film version way back in 2012 and i became a devoted -- nay, obsessed -- fan of both Larsson and his amazing creation Lisbeth Salander (which i've written about here many times).

And that's it, folks, the end of the year-end wrap ups -- unless you're interested in my favourite pubs (Kelsey's wins again), my favourite pizza (Domino's for the nth year running), my favourite sub (Quiznos, of course!).

Here's the recent playlist (just a short one again):

The Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue
Bonnie Raitt - Silver Lining
Saga - Images At Twilight
Radiohead - Kid A
Peter Hammill - Sitting Targets


Anonymous said...

Okay, now that your accounting of the past year is done, lets get on to more positive activities . . .like shaping the future. St. Louis becones.

Freg said...

Yes, it, er "beckons."(Sorry, i'm a bit pedantic.)

Strange how i receive daily email newsletters from three newspapers, The New York Times, The Globe & Mail and The St Louis Post-Dispatch and the only one i read thoroughly is the latter.

Anonymous said...

Spelling isn't one of the stronger elements of the voice recognition application on my 'smartphone.' Sadly, I seldom think to review the translation before pressing 'send.' Makes for some interesting messages.