Your best and worst reads of the year?

(102 Posts)
Parisbanana Sat 08-Dec-12 20:57:15

Since we're almost at the end of the year, was just looking back at what I've read.

Favourite books include The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett and A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

Worst Stone Junction by Jim Dodge

Most disappointing was Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler. I am a big fan of her, but have been disappointed, underwhelmed by her latest writing.

clattypatty Mon 07-Jan-13 23:53:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumslife Mon 31-Dec-12 17:42:51

the post mistress the hand that first held mine the forgotton garden all excellent but my favourite was a gathering storm Rachel Hore fabulous book also the help fabulous book

hackmum Fri 21-Dec-12 08:28:30

I seem to have read more non-fiction than fiction than this year. But sticking to fiction, I particularly enjoyed Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller, A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks, Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada and Capital by John Lanchester.

CoteDAzur Thu 20-Dec-12 14:03:09

I ended up really enjoying Gone Girl. Its second half was great and the ending was pretty terrific, actually. It's almost as if the first part of the book is written by another author.

MichelleHud Sun 16-Dec-12 13:06:50

I liked:
- The Fault in Our Stars (J. Green)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (S. Chbosky)

bottleofbeer Sun 16-Dec-12 12:00:44

Oh and pleae, read Stuart MacBride.

I never know whether to piss myself laughing or vomit when reading his books. I want DI Steele to be a real person. I want to be her best mate!

Shakey1500 Sun 16-Dec-12 11:59:03

Best- The 100 Year Old Man

Worst-50 Shades of Utter Shite

bottleofbeer Sun 16-Dec-12 11:55:52

I went off Peter James tbh. He's far too descriptive, I once realised I'd read three whole pages describing a Brighton street.

Description is good, but don't overdo it.

Mo Hayder is a bit hit and miss for me. I loved the idea behind Pig Island but it didn't work as a book imo. I read another of hers a few weeks ago called Hanging Hill and quite enjoyed it. Some divine force is preventing me reading Tokyo, both times I've ordered it Amazon's thrown up a problem with my bank card that I can't be arsed to immediately sort and by the time I get round to it other books have caught my eye that I've ordered instead.

awaynboilyurheid Sat 15-Dec-12 18:43:45

Worst; My dear I wanted to tell you could have been great but just failed and someone gave me the Slap couldn't even finish it so bad, horrible characters

Best; RJ Ellory A quiet vendetta, brilliant should be made into a film. Also loved a quiet belief in Angels by same author although both books very different, great reads.

Best - I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron. Funny, though-provoking and poignant.

Worst - Separate Lives by Kathryn Flett. The worst kind of chick lit - hollow and full of irritating characters.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 15-Dec-12 06:41:54

I think I'll look out for Dark Places. I liked her writing.

BOFingSanta Fri 14-Dec-12 22:10:33

CoteDAzure- do keep going, I think it's worth it. I wasn't gripped at the beginning either. Some people were disappointed at the ending, but I liked it.

As I say, 'Dark Places' by the same author is better, in my opinion, and it grabs you from the very first page.

BoiledEggandToastSoldiers Fri 14-Dec-12 21:52:06

Best The Forgotten Garden
Five People You Meet in Heaven
Tuesdays with Morrie
Mrs de Winter
Remarkable Creatures
Worst The Slap
Grace Williams Says it Loud
Anna Karenina
The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year

TwllBach Fri 14-Dec-12 21:37:19

Mary Burton - I'm watching you.

Utter tripe. A complete waste of time, effort and money.

CoteDAzur Fri 14-Dec-12 21:33:36

I like bitter and twisted. OK, I'll persevere.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 14-Dec-12 18:30:24

Part two is much better - very bitter and twisted, but obviously not to everyone's taste.

CoteDAzur Fri 14-Dec-12 17:38:53

I'm reading Gone Girl now and finding it terribly annoying, starting with the first page where the guy is talking about how he loves the shape and angles of his wife's skull hmm Second page is about how he wakes up - mechanical, "The world is black and then, showtime!" hmm

I'm losing the will to live. And I'm losing trust in GoodReads, who has voted this book the best "mystery" book of 2012.

I'm at 7% now, and the girl is just gone. Does it get better? Does anything interesting happen?

BabeRuthless Fri 14-Dec-12 16:18:53

Books I loved

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Dare Me by Megan Abbott (Also read a few of her early books which are noir fiction & loved those too)
White Lies by Andrea Gillies (only came across it this year)
Sister Brothers (so atmospheric)
Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin
Perfect People by Peter James

This is also the year I discovered Tess Gerritsen, Mo Hayder, Marian Keyes & Peter James so a very good year!

Books I didn't love

Secrets of the Tides (Believe it or not I didn't realise what this book was about when I got it. Couldn't finish it)
Blue Bloods by Edward Conlan (it's a cops memoir. Thought it was going to be along the same lines as The Corner but its unbelievably dull)

NicknameTaken Fri 14-Dec-12 13:50:14

Noting recommendations of Pure and Gillespie and I - I've really enjoyed other books by those authors, so will stick those on my list.

I didn't engage much with literary fiction this year - leaning more and more towards non-fiction. The fiction I most enjoyed was crime fiction:

Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris (set in Saudi Arabia; really compassionate to the restrictions on both men and women - avoids simple condemnations.

The Assassin's Prayer by Ariana Franklin (main character is a female doctor in the time of Henry II)

Summer School by Domenia de Rossa (romance rather than crime. Thought it would be a fluff but unexpectedly loved it. An updating of Enchanted April).

I also really enjoyed crime by Ann Cleeves and Barbara Nadel. I raced through the Hunger Games trilogy (though wouldn't re-read) and YA fantasy by Joseph Delaney (the Spooks series).

The fiction I hated most was The Charming Quirks of Others, by Alexander McCall Smith. I've given him a few chances now and nope, still don't like it, so THAT'S IT.

Non-fiction I loved: Becoming Shakespeare, Survival of the Sickest, The Etymologicon, The Last Word (journalism by Ben MacIntyre), If Walls Could Talk (Lucy Wolsey), The Shadow of the Sword, Young Romantics (gorgeous! Loved, loved!) and The Better Angels of our Nature. I'm currently reading These Wonderful Rumours, the diary of a young schoolteacher in WWII, and really enjoying it - a cross between E M Delafield and Barbara Pym.

Disliked How England Made the English and Spell It Out (dull, dull).

bottleofbeer Fri 14-Dec-12 00:44:16

Oh I think I should mention a book called Tell me no secrets. I found it a really good read. I seem to have similar tastes to a lot of people here so it might be worth a read smile

Really enjoyed it smile

You're welcome smile

bottleofbeer Thu 13-Dec-12 21:24:09

Oh heck. Mind you I shouldn't be surprised. A couple of pages in and I'm thinking great idea for a story but I'd probably prefer to hear it from "ma's" point of view.

Thanks for the head's up! smile

No, I didn't enjoy it - mainly because it was written from the child's perspective, and I found it beyond irritating. There's also a wildly unrealistic thing that happens towards the end. I thought the whole book was pretty crap, and not worthy of the Booker.

I know that's a minority view though - the rest of my book group loved it.

bottleofbeer Thu 13-Dec-12 21:05:25

Did you enjoy it Agent? which seems a stupid question given your response grin but I'm unsure if it was because you didn't enjoy it or because it's all written from the five year old's perspective and therefore it's obvious I won't?

bottleofbeer it doesn't get any better. I'd give up now, if I were you.

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