After I spent most of last year reading and re-reading my own books – more here – I thought I’d better read books by other people this year!
I also wanted to read more and I set myself the goal of reading a book every two weeks.
A good goal, I thought – but then JK Rowling released all 1000 plus pages of the Ink Black Heart and I could only have read it in two weeks if I’d taken a fortnight off and gone without sleep. However, on average, I met my goal as I also read a few books which were considerably shorter, including:
136 pages of an HR report of employee interviews from a spaceship returning after *something* happens on an alien planet. A very unique way of telling what could have been a standard sci-fi tale.
I enjoyed Brett Anderson’s Afternoons With The Blinds Drawn and Jarvis Cocker’s Good Pop, Bad Pop. One was filled with Britpop parties and heroin, the other working as a fishmonger in Sheffield. Both showed how singularly focussed you need to be to become a pop star. And how you really don’t want to take heroin. Or gut a fish.
I hated Liz Truss: Out of The Blue. if you want a trawl through 10 years of newspaper articles about Liz Truss, charting her career as an MP and minister, this is the book for you. If you want any insight, this book has been published too soon.
I’ve never read Frankenstein or Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. I decided to read both to find out what actually happens in them. And the answer was nothing that matches any of the many TV or film versions I’ve seen of both. Frankenstein in particular was nothing like the story I thought it would be. No lightening bolts, no Igor, no flaming torches. No musical numbers. It turned out my idea of Frankenstein was almost exclusively based on the move ‘Young Frankenstein’. The book is not a Mel Brooks film.
Emma Haughton’s ‘The Dark’ about a murder in the Arctic, is a cracking schlocky locked room mystery; Abigail Dean’s ‘Girl A’ is a gripping why done it; Janice Hallett’s ‘The Appeal’ is hugely enjoyable, but my favourite was Joseph Knox’s ‘True Crime Story’. A girl disappears in Manchester, and Joseph Knox tells the ‘true story’ of what happened, how he got involved and why it has nothing to do with him (or does it?).