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
Book List 2011 - Round UP
Mega mega late but I thought I’d just chuck this up as a round up. I’m going to sort 2012 out now :)
(Books I didn’t write about as I forgot)
32. Conn Iggulden - Lord of the Bow
33. George R.R. Martin - A Dance With Dragons
Book List 2011 - Book 31
Conn Iggulden - Wolf Of The Plains
This is the first book from the Conqueror series that follows Genghis Khan’s life from a boy to ruling the majority of the Far-East and Eastern Europe. I’m a sucker for history books that give an insight into other cultures and this book definitely fulfills my thirst for it. The story starts as Temujin, later to be known as Genghis Khan, sees has dad die and then his bondsman, Eulek, take over his fathers clan, the Wolves. The story then follows Temujins through the next 10+ years in his quest to get back his fathers clan. I won’t go into too much details as that would spoil the story but the book is fantastic and I was gripped from beginning to end.
I’ve never been that interested in Genghis Khan, and I don’t know why this is but after reading the first one I’m moving straight onto the next book from the series, Lords of the Bow.
Book List 2011 - Book 30
As you might have guessed, I’m doing a backlog of blogs as I’ve really been slacking on the blogging front. Does anybody actually read it, well whether they do or not it’s good for keeping count of how many books I’ve read this year so far and I’ve hit a nice milestone in 30!
Henning Mankel - The Man From Beijing.
This was recommended to me by Mol’s Dad who is a big fan of the Wallander series that is also written by Mankel. The book start off in Sweden and then follows through different centuries and continents until everything is seamlessly linked. The description of every scene was described really well and the relationship between the characters felt unique and well crafted. Mankel is obviously a great writer otherwise he wouldn’t have had such wide success but I did feel that the story was a little unoriginal although it did take us to a wide variety of places the plot line in brief is simple, although I won’t explain due to spoilers.
Book List 2011 - Book 29
George R.R. Martin - A Feast For Crows
This has been my least favorite book so far from the series, as always I was completely immersed in the book when reading but the omission of many of the lead characters made me not really care about lots of the other people that were being described. I won’t ruin the book for anyone that is going to read it as I’m told it’s still really important to continue with the book even though it may drain you a little as the next book relies heavily on the knowledge you gain from this book.
I look forward to reading the next installment but at the moment I’m waiting for it to come down in price. I wouldn’t pay £25 for a CD let alone a book and also it must weigh nearly 3 Kgs, the thing is HUGE!
Book List 2011 - Book 28
George R.R Martin - A Storm of Swords 2 Blood and Gold
Book 3 of the series part 2. Continuing from where it left of, this was probably the best installment yet. The action came thick and fast and we are given a wider insight into the different kingdoms that have previously been unexplained. Obviously my favorite characters are the Starks but I also like Daenaerys a lot too. In the TV show I didn’t really warm to her, I know it’s hard to compare as that was only book one but as the books go on I’ve started to enjoy her character a lot more.
Book List 2011: Book 26 - 27
George R.R. Martin - A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin - A Storm of Swords 1:Steel and Sorrow
So i’ve got these books in the bag… I’m averaging one a week at the moment and if I carry that on I should get somewhere close to 52 books for the year.
I don’t want to go too much in to detail but the whole series has totally engrossed me and I thoroughly recommend them, although only if you have the time because there so gripping.
Book List 2011: Book 23
Jack Higgins - Luciano’s Luck
I picked this book up at a warehouse clearance in Bristol last year and never got round to it. The book is based during the Second World War and based in Sicily. I had just finished playing Mafia 2 and it has a similar open story.
The Americans are planning an attack on Italy via Sicily and they need the Mafias help to have a successful operation. By securing the Mafia’s co-operation, the peasants will assist the American landing and show no resistance, uniting with the allied forces to push through Sicily and drive the Germans out. The main problem is that Don Luca, the most important man in the Sicilian Mafia, hates Americans. His brother was sent to the electric chair. This is where Luciano comes in. Luciano is the most important Mafia member in America and hold a large influence on Don Luca, the only problem is that he’s in jail. The president of the United States pardons Luciano and Luciano goes to Sicily, via Liverpool to get Don Luca’s granddaughter, who moved away from home when her mother was killed by a car bomb.
The relationship between the characters was brilliant but the most enjoyable thing for me was the insight behind some of the Sicilian customs, the respect and brutality shown when dealing with enemies. The relationship of the mafia and the church. The scene I remember best is Salvatore, a Sicilian mob member who is an informant for the US, kills somebody who has betrayed him. He knocks on the door, grabs the man by the neck, kisses him and then kills him. ‘The Kiss of Death’.
I won’t elaborate anymore, in case someone reads this blogpost and then wants to read the book, but I thought it was fantastic. 8.5/10
You can read more about ‘Lucky Luciano’ here
Books so far:
Book List 2011: Book 19
I knew this would happen, I’d get back and not really read many books, it’s true I’ve struggled to get into reading a book and it didn’t help that I was only getting 20-30 mins in when possible every other day. I started and read about 100 pages of a Marquez and a Robert Stone but wasn’t really enjoying them. I then went to the library in my hometown (Bishop’s Stortford) and just picked up something that was recommended and it was this:
Bateman - The Day of the Jack Russell
The book covers a book shop owner who specialises in crime thrillers who in his spare time, does a little bit of private investigating. He’s used to easy stuff such as finding out where people live etc but a case comes up that he thinks will be easy and it turns into a complex plot where he’s way out of his depth. The mystery man is a hypochondriac, taking pills for everything you can imagine and letting everyone else around him do the hard work but through his narrative the book was hilarious. It combined an interesting story with a good twist at the end and some black humour that had me laughing out loud yesterday on the train back from Manchester. To me it felt like a crime novel written by an author similar to Nick Hornby.
Books so far:
19. Bateman - The Day of the Jack Russell