I always start the year with some free time, and I always get some books at Christmas. So I always read a couple, go back to work, and then read the rest in summer. Not this year! This year I decided to actually read with some effort. Dedicate train time to reading. Find some more interesting books. Actually read some fiction. A book a week.
1 Norwegian Wood Cutting etc… (192 pages) Much better than it looks – and it looks lovely. It will make you want to buy a little woodland though – so be warned. Slight cheat as read between giftmas and new year but hey. It’s on the list.
2 Moriarty (400 pages) I loved Sherlock Holmes books when I was younger, only grabbed this as part of a 3 for a tenner offer – didn’t expect much – but it was good. I guessed the plot on page 40ish but hey. It was fun. Read like a Sherlock Holmes book that I hadn’t read. Did what it said on the tin.
3 I Am Pilgrim (912 pages) Awesome. Haven’t read a proper thriller in years. Page turner etc… Eyeballs though. Grim. Was worried getting through almost 1000 pages would take months. Took a week.
4 The Man Who Made Things etc… (100/240 pages) Read 100 pages of the 240 and got a little bored. Partly because I’ve read a lot about wood already. Partly because it should really be titled “the self congratulatory man who watched other far more interesting people make things out of trees but casts himself as hero for finding them and giving them a part of the very special tree that he was also very clever to find” – I’d have loved to read “the man who largely kept quiet while allowing the interesting craftspeople speak about what they do”.
5 So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (320 pages) I always read Jon Ronson books in a terrible Jon Ronson impersonation voice in my head. This slows you down. Still enjoyed it though. Especially worth reading if you’re a judgemental twitterer. Change your ways!
6 Sapiens (512 pages) Tremendous book. Lovely stuff about pre-history, and a straight(ish) line through to the future. Plenty stuff I didn’t know. Less preachy than a lot of pop-sci. The importance of stories in the development of people is utterly convincing and quite pleasing. Certainly contextualises … well… almost everything. From Polar Bears to the indyref vote to buying shoes. Left me similarly enthused about humans as I was after reading Ug – Boy Genius of the Stoneage. Both books are pretty much about how important it is to imagine the future.
5.5 books ( 2 fiction, 3.5 non-fiction )