I read 32 books in 2013. That's almost three a month. Twenty-four novels and eight non fiction books.
Some of the novels were what Traybake refers to as "typing" but not that many of them. I didn't read any 19th century classics but I did read some 20C stuff. To mark my first visit to Italy I re-read Forster for the first time in about 20 years. I liked them as much as I did the first time round.
I finally read A. S. Byatt's The Children's Book and enjoyed working out who the characters were based on. It has clouded my view of E. Nesbit and confirmed everything I alwayss thought about Eric Gill.
I read Gone Girl which at a point seemed to be the only book that people were reading on the tube, that is people who still read actual books. One of the disadvantages of Kindles is you can no longer see what people are reading. It was OK but over rated.
Like most people I enjoyed Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I passed it on to the Mr and Mrs London Sister who are currently reading it. I also gave them Capital by John Lanchester which was a good read but not the great London novel as some reviewers claimed. He writes really well on finance now - there was an excellent article in the LRB by him - mainly as he did so much research for this novel.
When I finally reached Santiago in early June I was desperate for something to read which is why I bought Ces Nootesboon's Roads to Santiago. I assumed it was about the Camino de Santiago and it was but in a peripheral way. He writes beautifully about Spain, a country that he loves, its people and landscape. I don't think I've ever read a better description of a hot afternoon in a tiny, rundown Spanish village. There's an awful lot about church architecture in it as well.
Owen Jone's Chavs; The Demonisation Of The Working Class was topical but about 100 pages too long. It should be required reading for reality TV producers.
The book that affected me most was Anne Cadwallader's book on collusion in Northern Ireland. It was hard going, repetitive and poorly written but such an important work. I felt so angry and still do about what happened then. I would urge people to read this if you want to understand what it was like for ordinary Catholic people living in that place in the 1970s and 1980s.
I am not a conspiracy theorist but everything that was said at the time about the RUC, the army, the UDR, the government has been proven to be true. I'm sure some people involved in these organisations were decent people who were well motivated but my God so many of them weren't.
I will have to return to this subject.