The books I’ve read this year

Jeana writes…

I can’t do a top ten of books of the year. I haven’t read that many so it wouldn’t be a very good list. I got off to quite a slow start and then seem to have stuck to the same authors. I’ve decided instead just to let you know what books I have read and what I thought of them. No great analysis though I’m afraid I either like the book or I don’t. (I’ve realised I’ve actually read quite a few so these are the ones that are top of mind.)

FEAR by Jeff Abbott


I read PANIC last year and thoroughly enjoyed it . However, FEAR is much of the same and although the pace is fast you’re left thinking so what.

A Short HIstory of Tractors in UKRAINIAN by Marina Lewycka


I read this on Mark’s recommendation. He said it was hilarious. I’ve never read anything so sick and sad in my life. The poor man’s (he’s 84) wife dies and he subsequently falls in love with a glamourous blonde Ukrainian divorcee (she’s 36). They move in together and she proceeds to abuse him and he ends up locking himself in his room in fear. Mark said it was hilarious. I couldn’t see the funny side and couldn’t wait to finish the book for all the wrong reasons.

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld


Freud and Jung come to New York and get embroiled investigating a murder. As you do. Once I got my head round the idea the book iimproved but I still felt it was trying too hard or I was missing the point.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby


I recommended this to Amy during the Summer. She was looking for something to analyse for English. An excellent book. I re-read it. Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor in chief of French Elle, has a massive stroke and can only communicate by blinking one eye. The book has been “dictated” to his PA by blinking. I originally read it after coming home at midnight after, I think, Gerry Farrel’s 40th. Picked the book up with my cup of tea and as Mark walked in about 3.00 am I told him not to speak to me as I was finishing the last couple of pages. What can I say, go out and buy it. I picked it up for £3.67 in Tesco.

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan


I enjoyed this but it was a bit slow. One of those books you feel it’s taking ages to get into and just as you have, it’s finished. I know Ian and Mark really enjoyed it and I read it on their recommendation. But all in all a bit slow.

Things my mother never told me by Blake Morrison


A great read. I enjoyed reading all about his family life and to “hear” it from a different point of view.

I had read And did you last see your father? years ago.


I remembered he was the man in charge of the household and what he said went. A generation thing I think, we’ve all been there in some form or another.

It was great to hear the story from his mother’s point of view. How lives end up the way they do, how we accept the way things are done. I went back and re-read And when did you last see your father? straight after. I don’t fancy the film though it looks a bit sentimental which neither book was.

For one more day by Mitch Albom

Nice wee book all about meeting his mother just one more time after she has died, but not as good as the five people you meet in heaven.


I went onto Google to check if the man has some sort of obsession about the afterlife but couldn’t find anything. Does anyone know?

I then read tuesdays with Morrie.


Loved it. Didn’t put it down until it was finished. Just buy a copy and read it. In fact buy all three, they’re well worth it.
A Thousand Splended Suns by Khaled Hosseini


Loved this. What a life these Afghnistani women have. To read about their lives and the horrors they have to endure. Excellent. If you want to read a book read this.

Then follow it with The Kite Runner if you haven’t read it already.


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