Book List 2012 - Part One
As some of you know, last year I set myself a challenge to read 52 books in the year. I fell short by 15 and managed a total of 37. Something not to be sniffed at but also quite a bit short. The Songs of Ice and Fire series completely crippled my reading tempo. Trying to read a 1000page paperback in a week and also work is pretty much impossible.
Anyway for 2012 I thought I’d give it a go again, knowing that it was unlikely but also knowing that I have now fallen in love with reading and reading less than 30 books in 2012 will be pretty bad. Rather than update the blog with each blog post I’m going to do a short blog summarising the books in groups of tens.
So here are the first 10
I loved this book although I can’t remember too much about it now. My mind was completely lost in the world of Westeros and beyond but now I’ve stepped away from the books they’ve slowly merged into one whole world rather than 5/6 instalments. It’s a lovely feeling but also quite worrying. I’m addicted to the books and TV show and can’t wait for the new book to be release, whenever that is.
2. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Penguin Modern Classics) - John Le Carre
This was the first time I’d read a Le Carre and I really enjoyed it. I loved the intensity of the relationships between the characters and also the twists and turns. The majority of the book is set in Cold War Berlin, a place that Mol and I visited last month and the last scene in the book is just heart breaking. Seeing the wall and its defences in person make the final scene even more dramatic. The book was fantastic and it made me start with ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Spy’ but I just wasn’t getting on with it.
3. Faceless Killers: An Inspector Wallander Mystery - Henning Mankel
This is the first of the Wallander series by Mankell and he gets off to a cracking start. The narrative weaves politics; crime and family issues all into one and the book made me want to continue with the series.
Being a huge basketball fan I always hear about Wilt Chamberlain and his unrepeatable 100-point game and Pomerantz’s book gave me a great insight into that night, how it happened and also a wealth of information about Chamberlain’s character. I won’t cross well covered ground about Chamberlains quest for stats while Russell went for titles but it seems like everyone in the NBA wanted Chamberlain to get to 100, it boosted ratings, propelled the NBA back into the mainstream news and for Wilt, was a F U to the NBA who was majorly white and imposed an unspoken rule to limit the number of black player on each team. Most of the entire book highlighted the Chamberlain was a once in a lifetime player and the 100 point game is a once in a century achievement.
5. The Dogs of Riga - Henning Mankel
I went back to the Wallander series as I was unsure of what to read next but it was a decent choice. By the end of the book it was clear that Mankell had used exactly the same frame for this book as before but the story telling was great and this time took Wallander to Riga. Mankell covered espionage extremely well and you always get the feeling that Wallander is just an ordinary man, warts and all. It’s this that makes the books so readable.
6. Factotum - Charles Bukowski
I’m not going to lie, I had to Google what Factotum was before I read this but I’m glad I read the book. It was pretty short but straight to the point and it documents Chinaski’s quest to find a job but finding that he has a problem with any sort of authority and is constantly trying to beat the system. Bukowski writes about Alcoholism like know one else and makes you feel as if you are in the bar with Chinaski or sometimes even the person intoxicated. He’s a fantastic writer and every scene has the believability behind it that makes the unbelievable stories really gripping and makes you trust the narrative.
I didn’t know that this book was the framework for the film ‘Goodfellas’ so if you’ve seen the film you’ll already know that the story is fantastic. Pileggi made me feel as if I was one of the crew when reading the story, I was totally gripped and the film, although absolutely fantastic doesn’t cover the level of details that is clearly described by Pileggi. I’ve seen the film a number of times but the book still revealed more stories that I didn’t know about.
I loved this book. I devoured it in a matter of days and just fell in love with the lead character Joe Pickett and his family. The story covers a moral dilemma in a small town in Wyoming when an endangered species is supposedly seen. For a town that is heavily dependent on it’s natural habit and hunting this could be a huge problem as lots of the land could be at stake if an endangered species were to appear and therefore hundred of people would lose business and their livelihood.
I had reservations before reading this as I’d heard the film was pretty bad, but I had read Mystic River and really enjoyed it so I was willing to at least give this a try and I’m really glad I did, It’s bloody brilliant. The book follows two detectives for hire as they help the police find a missing child. The story takes you through the Boston underworld and the detectives’ seesaw relationship between the underworld and the police.
This was a mammoth read, especially for a book that was entirely dedicated to basketball but I really enjoyed it and Simmons’ humour and bias towards the Celtics kept me laughing throughout. When there is an updated version I’ll definitely be buying it. Great read for all basketball fans and he covers the whole spectrum of the NBA including the best team ever, best player ever and best rivalries. Of course it’s all one man’s opinion but he does talk quite a lot of sense.
Woahhhh if you’re still here. Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed