One of the things I really enjoyed about 2011 was reading more than I have for a while. And I mean reading proper books, not just blogs and the like (although I do read a lot of those, too).
This year I’ve read a few of what I’d call “proper novels”. Although quite how I’m making that ‘proper’ distinction I’m not sure. It started when a nephew lent me The Book Thief. It was extraordinary. I loved it and found myself in awe of the quality of the writing. Seemed to me like nothing I’d ever read before.
Finishing that left me wanting more so I scoured the bookshelves at home to see if there was anything I’d not read, and found a copy of The Kite Runner I didn’t even know we had. Well, that, too, was simply amazing. (You’ll note these aren’t much in the way of book reviews.)
We also had The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency and its sequel The Tears of the Giraffe, so they were next to be enjoyed. The first one didn’t grab me as immediately as the ones I’d read before, but I warmed to it and was glad I stuck with it as the story was worth persevering with. I found the second novel even more enjoyable than the first, and hope to continue the series at some point.
And as a new year comes to a start I once again seem to have developed a bit of a book pile by my bed.
I spotted A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian in a £1 basket outside our Oxfam shop last week and couldn’t resist picking it up. I’ve started that so I’m guessing that will be the next one I get through. The Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy ones have been lent to me by a friend who thought I might enjoy them. I’ll find out some time this year.
The other two in the pile are theology rather than fiction. Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God was lent to me by my best friend a couple of years ago and I did start it back then but never finished it. I’ve promised him I’ll tackle it agin this year. Honest, Dave. I will. And Tom Wright’s Mark for Everyone has reached me by curious means. Someone I don’t know at all, and I’ve never met, but who is part of a family I do know, has apparently seen some of the stuff I’ve written online and thought it would be a good book for me to read. She apparently saw something I’d said “on Facebook” – but I’m not friends with her on Facebook so I’m guessing it was probably something on here linked to from Facebook via one of her family’s pages. Jane, if you see this, you know your book has reached me!
UPDATE: Just unwrapped some birthday presents and found this among them:
Not a novel, but looks great fun.