Year 4 – quick review

So, as we move into year 5 of this endeavour of reading a book a week, a quick recap on the books from the past year.

I’ve read 26 books by men and 26 by women. 12 by people of colour.

I’ve read 17 non-fiction books, and 35 fictional. Of the 35, 22 could be classified as crime or police procedural or thriller (I think).

I gave 9/10 to 9 books during the year:

Convenience Store Woman
Ghost Wall
Hello World
Tell Me How It Ends
The Godmother

Quite a few got 8.5/10 (including particular highlights You Think It, I’ll Say It and The Spy And the Traitor). I’ve only ever given one novel a 9.5 which is My Name is Lucy Barton (I must read some more Elizabeth Strout this year) and only one book a 10 which is The Unwinding by George Packer – both in year 2.

I don’t what this says about me – apart from a penchant for US realistic misery, which in different ways Dopesick, Educated and Tell Me How It Ends all cover. I think my two favourite novels of the year were two right from the start: Convenience Store Woman and Ghost Wall ; both compelling in very different ways, and both dealing with how tradition and expectation informs our present day (also in very different ways).

Amongst the books I’m hoping to read in the year ahead: George Packer’s book about Richard Holbrooke (a doorstop-size hardback Xmas present), Caroline Criado-Perez’s take on gender bias in data and beyond, Samanta Schweblin’s follow up to the dark and wondrous Fever Dream, my first delve into Ted Chiang (who comes highly recommended), and no doubt plenty of crime novels when work gets a bit busy: of which ones standing by include Seishi Yokomizo’s The Honjin Murders, a couple by Mark Billingham, American Spy, and some more AA Dhand, Jorn Lier Horst and the much-missed Philip Kerr. Work-wise, I’m looking forward to reading Shoe DogDare to Lead, and The Growth Delusion amongst others.

Happy reading and Happy New Year.




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