2014 Books

In 2013 I enjoyed listing my reading with Little White Dove’s 13 books in 2013.   At the end of that year, some girlfriends and I thought we might start a new blog all about books.  With our busy lives, this hasn’t happened, and as it’s nearly the end of May at the time of writing, I’m going to continue on in the fashion of 13 books in 2013 and list my readings here.  Plus I was invited to join a Book Club (delighted to accept!) and those books will be listed here too.

1.  “Tripwire” by Lee Child

The Golfer and I are big Lee Child fans, so I always have the perfect gift for The Golfer at Christmas and birthdays.  Another roller coaster ride with Jack Reacher!

2.  “The Hard Way” by Lee Child

Yep, another one!  Much enjoyed.

3. “Inspector West Takes Charge” by John Creasey

A murder mystery set in the 1940’s.  Catching the “who-dun-it” has changed a lot!!  Very enjoyable.  (A Penguin Modern Classic)

4.  “Plain Murder” by C S Forester

Another murder mystery, without the strong presence of the constabulary, but an exploration of the motives of a murderer and those around him who know he-dun-it!  Set in the 1930’s, so crime detection and syntax very different.  (A Penguin Modern Classic)

5.  “A Patchwork of Poison” by Karen Lowe

Set in modern day UK and with a quilting flavour, this is a nice read.

6.  “A Small Indiscretion” by Denise Rudberg

Skandie crime and highly enjoyable.  Plan to read more of these.

7.  “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – February’s Book Club

Really enjoyed this in 2013, and as a re-read, enjoyed it all over again.  I haven’t found many books that show WWII from the German side; this provoked an excellent Book Club discussion!

8.  “The Drum Beater” by Clive Allan

Going between WWII and present day, a crime from the war is solved.  Much enjoyed.

9.  “The Surgeon” by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli and Isles)

I’ve quite enjoyed the tv show of Rizzoli and Isles and should have expected the book to be quite different – which it was.  Much grittier but none the less a good read.

10.  “The Old School” by  P. M. Newton

On hearing an interview with this author, I was keen to read her novel; as an ex-cop and having served during the 1980’s, there’s authenticity behind her writing.  Great read.

11.  “The Apprentice” by Tess Gerrisen (Rizzoli and Isles)

The second in this series and just as compelling.

12. “Mrs Queen Take the Train” by William Kuhn

A delightful lighthearted look at what happens when royalty steps out “on their own”!

13.  “Silent House” by Orhan Pamuk – March Book Club

Hated this book and must confess to not finishing…..well not even getting very far in at all!  Translated from the Turkish, it seems to involve a horrible grandmother and a dwarf.  First DNF for years!  (DNF – Did Not Finish)

14.  “The Black Echo” by Michael Connelly

A Harry Bosch novel; gritty and desperate.

15.  “Jasper Jones” by Craig Silvey – April’s Book Club

GJ described this book as the Australian version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and I agree with that summation.  Enjoyed this read and the Q&A we had at Book Club about it.

16.  “Frantic” an Ella Marconi Novel, by Katherine Howell

Another read, sought out after seeing an interview.  Katherine Howell was a paramedic and her novels are in the crime/detective genre, but from the viewpoint of a paramedic.  Great read.

17.  “The Darkest Hour” an Ella Marconi Novel, by Katherine Howell

Liked this one too!

18.  “The Uncommon Read” by Alan Bennett – May’s Book Club

A delightful tale about the Queen’s adventure with a mobile library stationed outside Buckingham Palace

19. “Strange Bird” (Maria Wern) by Anna Jansson

Great Swedish crime.

20.  “A Long Way to Goulacullin” by John Kingston McMahon

This is John’s autobiography and delves in the extremely poor state of child welfare in the 1950′ and 1960’s, and this courageous man’s battle to live an “ordinary” life.  I turned each page with bated breath waiting to see what fate would next befall him.  I admire John’s tenacity and strong spirit.  Well worth a read.

21.  “Burial Rite” by Hannah Kent – June’s Book Club

With all the hype surrounding this book, I expected to like it much more than I did.  I was the solitary dissenter at Book Club in not enjoying this one!  I didn’t connect with the lead character, I didn’t appreciate all the details of life in 1820’s Iceland (I realise it must have been hard and horrible, but!) and just found it a hard slog.

22.  “The Crooked Maid” by Dan Vyleta

Set immediately after WWII in Austria, it follows several characters as they come to terms with life post war.  As with “Burial Rites”, there was lots of base descriptions of life and living – maybe I’m just being a bit sensitive at the moment!

23.  “Promfret Towers” by Angela Thirkell

A charming novel of upper middle class country life in the 1930’s.  Delightfully written and I can just see this as a classic BBC production!

24  “The Samurai’s Daughter” by Lesley Downer

As the cover states “an epic tale of love and war in nineteenth century Japan”.  Fascinating insight into Japan at that time; the culture, the beginnings of Western infiltration into fashion and food, and the internal conflict of Japan’s warlords.

25.  “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton

Loved this book and didn’t want it to end!  Covering two continents, three generations and lots of secrecy, it was a real page turner.  I’ll be reading more from Kate Morton.

26.  “The Light Years” by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Set just before WWII, this charming novel is the first in a series following the lives of an upper middle class family, The Cazalets, as they face (or not) the prospect of war.

27.  “Marking Time” by Elizabeth Jane Howard 

The second in this series of the Cazalet family.  The war is upon them and life is very different for all members of this family.

28.  “Confusion” by Elizabeth Jane Howard 

Continuing with the Cazalets……..

29.  “Casting Off” by Elizabeth Jane Howard 

More Cazalets…………………

30.  “All Change” by Elizabeth Jane Howard 

Aw……the last of the Cazalets – loved this series, didn’t want it to end!

31.  “The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson.

I enjoyed this adventures of the One Hundred Year Old Man, but by the end, felt the imagination had to be stretched to encompass all that happened.

32.  “Duplicate Death” by Georgette Heyer

I now know from whence my love of the exclamation mark comes!  I read lots of Georgette Heyer in my youth and think it now influences my writing!!  Loved this murder mystery!!

33.  “Void Moon” by Michael Connelly

Another not-put-down-able by Mr Connelly, except I had to put it down after each chapter – far to much tension for me!  Fabulous.

34.  “The Distant Hours” by Kate Morton

Love this woman’s writing.  Another great read.

34.  “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion

Loved this book!  Found myself laughing out loud.

35.  “Book of Lost Threads” by Tess Evans

No, not a quilting book as you might think from the title.  An interesting look at parenting of different kind, and the consequences thereof.

36.  “The Shifting Fog” by Kate Morton

Another fabulous Kate Morton

37.  “Recipe for Life” by Mary Berry

I didn’t know of Mary Berry until I started watching “The Great British Bake Off” and realised she’s the UK’s Margaret Fulton.  This is Mary’s autobiography and I enjoyed reading about her life; Mary was definitely a woman before her time, and she paved the way for many work/family things many of us take for granted these day.

38.  “Sweet Tooth” by Ian McEwan – October’s Book Club

I didn’t like either of the protagonists in this novel and only ploughed through to the end because it was Book Club (then couldn’t go to Book Club!).  The ending answered lots of questions, and sort of put it into perspective for me.

39.  “Deadly Web” by Barbara Nadel

Set in Istanbul and covering several cultures, this was an intriguing read, if a little confusing for me with the number of characters and complicated names (all sorted by the end!).  Istanbul comes across as a fascinating city of mixed cultures, religions and peoples.

40.  “The Last Lighthouse Keeper” by Alan Titchmarsh

From the man who I only every knew as a gardener, Alan Titchmarsh write a lovely novel; light hearted, easy to read and highly enjoyable.

41.  “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

Sometimes I just need to re-read a book and this was one such.  I first read it several years ago; liked it then, liked it the second time.

42.  “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn

I’m not sure what all the fuss was about with this book.  None of the characters had anything to recommend them and the only reason I kept reading was because it had been so highly rated by so many – not in my book!

43.  “Abducted” by T R Ragan (The Lizzy Gardner Series)

Set in the USA, this follow the life of a woman after she was abducted as a child and managed to escape.

44.  “Say You’re Sorry” by Michael Robotham

Another excellent read from this master of crime/suspense.

45.  “The Dragon Man” by Garry Disher

Good Aussie crime this time.  I’ll be reading more from this author.

46.  “Dead Cold”  by Louise Penny

Set in a little town in Canada, where murder seems to be the crime de jour!

47.  “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan

Hilarious look at how the “Asian half live”.

48.  “The Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton

Another great read from Kate Morton

49.  “Still Life” by Louise Penny

Another in the Chief Inspector Gamache series set in small town Canada

50.  “Bitter Wash Road” by Garry Disher

Aussie crime drama.

51.  “Trowel and Error” by Alan Titchmarsh

Fascinating autobiography of how a love of gardening led to TV present, and author amongst many other achievements in Alan’s life.

52.  “Folly” by Alan Titchmarsh

Family drama, set in an auction house in Bath, UK.

53.  “Death Comes to Pemberley” by P D James

Enjoyed this so much better than the TV series.  Great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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