Sunday, January 4, 2009

Books of the Year

As per requests and to help insomniacs everywhere here is the fascinating list of the books I read last year in rough chronological order: (I've *ed the books I particularly enjoyed and + ed the books that I read before i.e. a reread). Being a lazy so and so I'm not going to give the authors except where its absolutely necessary and some of the titles aren't exactly correct (I forgot what the Steve Martin book is called).

1. The Kindness of Women 2. The Big Nowhere 3. Crime Always Pays* - Declan Burke 4. Steve Martin on Comedy 5. The Birth of Tragedy 6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 7. Out of Africa 8. Kenneth Tynan Diaries 9. Matter - Iain Banks 10. The Old Devils * 11. Best American Essays 12. The Sheltering Sky +* 13. The Corrections* 15. Austerlitz 16. Meeting Mrs. Nabokov 17. Flaubert's Parrot 18. 1974* 19. 1977* 20. 1980* 21. Tokyo Year Zero 22. The Damned United 23. Arthur & George 24. Enemies of Promise 25. A History of the World in 10 and a half Chapters 26. Fingersmith* 27. A Users Guide to the Millennium* 28. The Book of Dead Philosophers 29. The Human Factor 30. Tolkien's Gown 31. The Swimmer as Hero* 32. What's it all About? - Julian Baggini 33. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Zafon 34. Dirty Sweet - John McFetridge* 35. Borderlands* - Brian McGilloway 36. Slouching Towards Bethlehem* 37. The White Album 38. After Henry 39. White Tiger *40. Ghost Train to the Eastern Star* 41. In Search of Conrad 42. Hotel du Lac 43. Ali and Nino* 44. The Guards - Ken Bruen+* 45. Master and Commander +* 46 The Long Goodbye +* 47 The Victorians - AN Wilson* 48 The Secret History*

I know there are a couple I've forgotten about (I vaguely recall reading something about a housewife from Australia who has an erotic adventure in North Africa and I read another one by Gavin Young about travelling across America) but this is pretty close. A big suprise was The Sheltering Sky. I'd read it years ago about the time of the disastrous movie version and hated it, but I decided to give it another chance when I found a four buck pbk. It's a truly wonderful novel by a prose genius - definitely worth a read.