Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016: an Alphabet of Authors

You know, sitting here with a streaming cold that takes rapid, arbitrary dashes into 'flu, and able to do not much else other than read, certainly not walk in the Mourne Mountains, travel down to Dublin Zoo for the day and stay over at the Red Cow so we can go to the National Gallery the next morning, stroll round the new C S Lewis Sculpture Park with one of today's free guided tours, or even just mooch about my favourite go-to of the Ulster Museum bribing boys with cupcakes and the shop, if they would just brave the dinosaur bones and ensconce themselves in the bird hide...

Sitting here with an ocean of nose and a thumping head, I'm very glad that I got through 26 authors in alphabetical order- as I can't for the life of me think what else I did this year! So here are my twenty-six books of 2016. For my own records and reward. It's definitely good to have something to show for another twelve months on the round! (Forgive the gaps in memory- I'll plug them as they offer themselves back from the mire...)

Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility
Saul Bellow: Him With His Foot in His Mouth
Chris Cleave: The Other Hand
Vanessa Diffenbaugh: The Language of Flowers
Umberto Eco: The Prague Cemetery
Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Nina George: The Little Paris Bookshop
Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Eva Ibbotson: The Secret Countess (or A Countess Below Stairs?)
Henry James: What Maisie Knew
Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis
Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
David Nicholls: Us
Maggie O'Farrell: After You'd Gone
Barbara Pym: Quartet in Autumn
Matthew Quick: The Silver Linings Playbook
Marilynne Robinson: Home
Ali Smith: How To Be Both
Colm Toibin: Nora Webster
Rachel Urquhart: The Visionist
Voltaire: Candide
Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway
Xintan: Sky Burial
Yeats: New Poems, 1938
Markus Zusak: The Book Thief

Best: Bellow, Lee and Hemingway- For Whom The Bell Tolls is now my touchstone of the perfect novel, and that surprised me: Hemingway not being all about bulls and testosterone. An all American top three!

Worst: do not read The Prague Cemetery

Authors I'll read more of now: Bellow and Xintan, possibly starting with Xintan, though first I'm going to find out just what has happened in Tibet...


Elizabethd said...

Rather care for Eva Ibbotson, although, I think, aimed at young audience they are beautifully written. Hope you are well soon.

Angela said...

Get well soon. Bob shares your view of Eco. He ranted a lot whilst reading it!

Pom Pom said...

You're an excellent reader, deep thinker!
Have you read A Man Called Ove? I really liked it.
For book club our book is Marriage to a Difficult Man (about Jonathan Edwards).
I do love TKAM. I read it aloud to the struggling readers when I did my student teaching.
I hope you feel better. It's terrible to feel so lethargic. I always forget that I'll revive.

GretchenJoanna said...

I sympathize with your "ocean of nose." Two days before Christmas I had the sneeziest cold ever, with geysers, I guess. But it went on hiatus for Christmas and came back in a more moderate form.

I am amazed at your book list of 2016. I have read exactly, only, one of those books. When will I read? Now I am alone again after family have gone, but I only feel like napping, not reading.

Will you do the alphabetical author project in 2017? I always love to see what you are reading. I love that you love to read!

Lisa Richards said...

Well done! Hope you feel better soon!

Wood Fairy said...

dropping in to wish you a happy New Year, you certainly have an interesting library of 2016 books. I hope to read more in 2017. sorry you are so unwell - I am suffering the same type of bug - Blessings, Betty

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Mags, hoping you're back on your feet and feeling fine very soon. gosh. that reads disjointed but having driving more than 5 hours today, I'm not up to revising. had a splendid visit with family...wonderful Holyday Season, best know when. getting those wooden post cards in mail this week, God willing and creek don't rise.
love to you all.

Kezzie said...

Wow,my goodness, what a challenge! You did well! Sorry about all the illness!
Happy new yearxx

M.K. said...

What a cool list! I have not read many of those; most are not familiar. I did love Hemingway though, both that novel and The Sun Also Rises. His style is nearly flawless and his characters are amazing, crushing, real.