Monday, February 6, 2012

what I read in january 2012

Time to recap what I read in January. Not, I have to tell you, as many as I read this time last year! My aim to read 100 books in 2012 is already looking shaky...but I managed six. 
As order of reading...
Please Look after Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin - fiction, translated from Korean
Choral Society by Prue Leith - fiction
The Stepmother's Diary by Fay Weldon - fiction
In Tasmania by Nicholas Shakespeare - history/memoir
Eve Green by Susan Fletcher - fiction (first novel)
Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George - crime fiction

So, how were they? I have to confess to being an Inspector Lynley groupie so Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George is my pick for the month. It's a big book but I read it in a little over a day. I love Tommy and Barbara. This was a little grittier than normal I thought. If you like crime and you haven't read Elizabeth George, please do. I think this is about the 17th in the series, and yes, I've read them all.
Please Look after my Mother was very sad especially given my parents' situation, Choral Society fun but forgettable, The Stepmother's Diary dark and interesting. I bought and started to read In Tasmania at Hobart airport on the way home. It's a very clever weaving of history and the author's own modern story of an expat's life in his new country, where amazingly he finds he is related to the man they call 'the father of Tasmania'. Eve Green was fabulous, and an absolute marvel of a first novel. I've ordered her second book I was so impressed.
I’ve also decided that from now on, in among all the other reading I do, I’m going to read a 'classic' a month. Do you have any recommendations for me? I've read a few of course but I'm open to suggestions and would love to know what you think. I've pretty well done the Austens though J


  1. My recommendations are:
    1) W Somerset Maugham's 'Of Human Bondage'
    2) Iris Murdoch's 'The Sea, The Sea'
    3) Hemmingway's 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' or 'The Old Man and the Sea'
    4) 'All's Quiet on the Western Front' by Erich Maris Remarque (I think). Tragic.

    Those are classics. You know sometimes you can forget a book and its plot after a while? Those five books will stay with me forever.xo

  2. Kerry I am not one to recommend the classics. My last few books were a Trueblood one, a Janet Evanovich and one called Hedge fund wives. No literary classics there. I did have some giggles though. Happy Monday.

  3. Oh, I love your book list!

    Great recommendations, Murdoch is wonderful, my particular favourite is "The Black Prince", not exactly an Austen-style love story :)

    I've read quite a few classics, mostly British, but what came to my (yarn-inflamed) mind is (buckle up, please) Dante and Shakespeare.
    I've read Dante while staying at my grandma's house one summer and I LOVED the Hell part. Paradise was boring. But Hell was great, so many observations about mankind!

    Shakespeare has been my particular obsession since I was a teenager, I don't know why exactly, but I always read his plays with great pleasure. Your kids are grown up, you say? These two do demand some concentration...

  4. Oh Kerry, you've been so "industrious"!
    A Hundred Years of Solitude, Moby Dick, The Man Who Would Be King.

  5. Huckleberry Fin and the Arabian Nights and Dickens, Our Mutual Friend is one of my favourites and anything by Emile Zola and can I forget Les Miserables. Heavens I had forgotten all these and there they sit on my library shelves unread for years!!! The classic that is constantly by my side in all it's variations is Don Quixote. I love both the story of the writing and the story itself the best version is a 2003 Penguin classic translated by John Rutherford and then there is War and Peace, Last you have to include Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Oh Kerry you should never have got me started.

  6. The Elizabeth George book looks inviting...I love a series!

    A book is being passed around my family members called The Book Thief. As I haven't read it yet, and I am next in line, I can only say that it gets five stars and is said to transform your life. See if you can find it and then maybe pass it around.

    Hope your mother is doing well. I have missed a few posts.


  7. Trollope would keep you going for a while - and my favorite, George Eliot? Dickens is too much all in a lump, but if you surrendered to audiobooks they suit him.

  8. WOW six books! You are doing better than I, I think I read four, and that was in one week, the rest of the month I didn't touch my books (isn't it funny how occasionally you read a series that you just can't put down!)

    :) Hazel

  9. Hello Kerry:
    Well, although we do dabble in detective fiction, we have yet to discover Elizabeth George. On your recommendation, we shall investigate here further!!!

    Have you read Mrs Gaskell? We think that you might enjoy her.

    Hoping that your week goes well.

  10. oh you are good! a classic a month?! i have three sitting here waiting for me (and have been for the last 3 years!!)

    what about mrs dalloway? That's one that i feel i've read, but i know i havent.

  11. How about Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre? And I know it's an Austen but the Penguin Threads version of Emma is so very pretty! ( and their The Secret Garden too for that matter ).
    Do you think you have to start at the beginning with the lynley series or can you jump in anywhere?
    P.S I can happily wait for the top ten if that first teaser is anything to go by. What a great room. Don't work too hard! xx

  12. Hi Kerry, I'm super duper impressed aussie writer and journalist Charlotte Wood. The first book was The Children, then the second was Animal People. I luffed "Animal People'' as I get a bit upset about people who are obsessed about animals but aren't very kind to people, and it unpicks at that a little. Hope all is well. Haven't got back to "love'' yet. Might have to pick it up Valentines Day!


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