Friday, 1 January 2010

Literary Review of '09, not forgetting the potato peel

It’s the last day of 2009, and I see that I, along with politicians and bankers, have not been included in the New Year’s Honours List. Congratulations are due, however, to Jenson Button, Status Quo, Patrick Stewart and the chap from Zippo’s Circus.
We’re heading off to Nantwich to see in the New Year with Karen and Ian. I shall be taking a large bag of books for Karen, some of which will be doing the return journey, and some of which will be my recommended reading to her for 2010. Among the latter will be “Deaf Sentence” by David Lodge which she gave me for Christmas last year. The system is that you are really honest about not having more than a quick look (you can’t expect too much of a book-lover) before donating said volume, hoping that it will find its way back to you before too long, to be indulged in properly. I thoroughly enjoyed “Deaf Sentence” which was either very well researched, or written with first-hand experience of hearing loss and a large dose of sense of humour. My offering to Karen this year is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Ann Schaffer. I found the title impossible to resist. How long until it finds its way back to me, I wonder?
You may have noticed my intention, this time last year, of reviewing all my new books. This year I won’t mention the new titles because I am sure to fall short of my intention. I’ll just note that in addition to the aforementioned volume, I also indulged in and thoroughly enjoyed the large Alan Coren tome. I marvel at the breadth and diversity of his knowledge and his humour was second to none. The John Banville novel could well be described as “beautifully crafted” but, for me, was a more difficult read.
I’ll just mention a few other random enjoyable reads from 2009:
“The Two Pound Tram” by William Newton
“Coastliners” by Joanna Harris
“Past Imperfect” by Julian Fellowes
“Nobbut a Lad” by Alan Titchmarsh
“Mother of Pearl” by Maureen Lee
and at last I have read Ian McEwan’s “Enduring Love”. Now I need to see the film!

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