What I read

There’s a box of books I’m about to take out into the garage for storing which represents most of my reading over the last 4-5 months. For a change I thought it might be interesting to list the books I read.

In no particular order:

  • The Memory Chalet – Tony Judt
  • Dark Avenues – Ivan Bunin (One of my favourite writers. Beautiful, occasionally poignant stories that draw you into the scene like few other writers can. I can particularly relate in many ways.)
  • Report On Myself – Gregoire Bouillier (Not for everyone, but really enjoyed. Terrifically talented and engaging writer. Sort of dude I’d happily hang out with.)
  • Advice to a Young Wife from an Old Mistress – Michael Drury (Read this years ago having picked it up cheap in a remainder bin. Meant a lot to me then – brokenhearted at the time – it seemed profound and wise. Not so much this time.)
  • Lost – Alice Liechtenstein
  • Care of the Soul – Thomas More
  • Driven – James Sallis (Sequel to Drive – and hopefully will make a movie of this too. Not in the same class as Drive, and plotting clearly not a strength of Sallis, still a very good read.)
  • Stardust – Joseph Kanon (Has great qualities as a writer in terms of narrative and atmosphere, but always find his male protagonists limp and unattractive. Read all his stuff till now, but no more.)
  • Before I Go To Sleep – S.J. Watson (Great premise and well reviewed. Being made into a movie apparently, and made for it. Picked the end a fair way out, but I always do, so… Otherwise, a tad over-written for my taste.)
  • The Ego Trick – Julian Baggini (Fascinating read.)
  • Button, Button (uncanny stories) – Richard Matheson
  • True – Riikka Pulkkinen
  • A War In Words – Svetlana Palmer & Sarah Wallis
  • The Substance of Style – Virginia Postrel
  • Drive – James Sallis (Great movie made of this great-ish book. Very similar in tone and characterisations, but movie tidied up the plot a little – to its benefit. Very good read.)
  • Salt River – James Sallis (At his best, a very good author. At his worst, a tad self-indulgent. This is awfully slow and very self indulgent. Doesn’t really get anywhere, boring.)
  • The Song of Fire and Ice series – George R. R. Martin
  • Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp – Douglas E. Nash
  • Field Grey – Philip Kerr (Great series of books, and Bernie Gunther a great character, but this not the best of them. Reckon his books set pre-war are best.)
  • 1222 – Anne Holt
  • Headhunters – Jo Nesbo
  • Thanksgiving – Michael Dibdin (A re-read, years after the first. Profound in the first reading, less so second time around.)
  • The Humbling – Philip Roth (Unsatisfying.)
  • The Weekend – Bernhard Schlink (A favourite author, but not his best.)
  • Mute Witness (aka Bullitt) – Robert L. Pike (Not bad. One of my favourite movies. Book good, but a bit different.)
  • Damn Good Advice (for people with talent) – George Lois (Great! Very engaging, iconoclastic dude giving his take on the world.)
  • Lustrum – Robert Harris (Tedious)
  • Black Robe – Brian Moore
  • The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior – Paul Strathern
  • The East, the West, and Sex – Richard Bernsten (Fascinating)
  • Hannibal and Me – Andreas Kluth
  • Gentleman’s Relish – Patrick Gale
  • Hull Zero Three – Greg Bear (Awful)
  • The Desert War (first two books) – Alan Moorehead (One of the best contemporary journalists and writers on the second world war. Brings the North African campaigns to life with some wit and personality. A forgotten, undervalued, Australian author.)

Besides these probably have about 6 books beside my bed I’m dipping into, probably another 6 lined up, plus the various books I’ve read on Kindle.