Books in 2015 and 2014
My 2015 reading list
Here’s my reading list for 2015, where I have listed all the books I read throughout the year. If you have any suggestions for books to read, just let me know!
I am also part of a book club where we get given a book to read and we meet and discuss it each month.
I love reading! Do you?
1.The Hundred Foot Journey – by Richard C Morais – kindle – loved it and now want to see the movie
2. Gone Girl – by Gillian Flynn – book – this was quite a good read about a very ‘sick’ relationship. Will see the movie but my husband didn’t enjoy reading it at all and probably won’t see the movie either.
3. My father’s book about his years in the Navy – a fantastic read and I mentioned it in a blog post here.
4. The Bees – by Laline Paull – our first Bookclub book for 2015 – I quite enjoyed this tory set inside a beehive but many of the other Bookclub members didn’t enjoy it all. It did go on a bit about the structure and jobs within the hive but it was quite relevant to society in many ways.
5. Balancing Act – by Joanna Trollope – kindle – a good easy read about a family coming to terms with a family business and the power play involved.
6. The Casual Vacancy – by JK Rowling – our second Bookclub book for 2015 – I picked this book (on my daughter’s recommendation) for Bookclub so I was hoping it would be OK. Once I got into the story and had all the characters down pat I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. It was very dark towards the end and JK Rowling must have covered every conceivable personality and psychological thought process in the book. It was a good discussion at our book club. It was quite a sad story. We could relate to a lot of it as we live in a small town and know many similar characters and power plays.
7. We are all completely beside ourselves – by Karen Joy Fowler – kindle. This was an interesting read which grew on me the more I read it. I won’t say too much as it could spoil it for others.
8. The various flavours of coffee – by Anthony Capella – our third Bookclub book for 2015. This covered lots of issues – coffee, suffragettes, advertising, coffee growing in Africa, a changing world for women and politics. It was well received at book club this month.
9. Pandemonium – by Lauren Oliver – kindle – this is the 2nd book in the trilogy and follows on from the events of Delirium with Lena now in the Wilds alone. I liked the way this one switched between the present “now” and the past “then” point of view of Lena until they are joined together further on. It was a good read.
10. Requiem – by Lauren Oliver – the 3rd book in the Delirium trilogy. Really enjoyed this series.
11. The Happiness Jar – by Samantha Tidy -Bookclub book. I didn’t enjoy this book very much finding it too neatly tied up and the characters a tad unbelievable.
12. Buried (Department Q) by Jussi Adler Olsen – kindle. I always enjoy these fast paced novels by this Danish author. A crime based story that is pure escapism with highly dysfunctional characters.
13. The Girl on the Train – by Paula Hawkins – kindle. I really enjoyed this action packed story and the way it kept me wanting to stop everything else and just read it.
14. Cold Sassy Tree – Bookclub – Olive Ann Burns – Not a fan and didn’t actually finish this none.
15. Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – kindle. I really enjoyed this book, it was a love story of a different kind, sad but such a good read and quite different.
16. In the company of Strangers – Liz Byrski – book. I really enjoyed this book, it was light and interesting with some intrigue to keep it going.
17. On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan – bookclub book for July. A very quick read which I enjoyed despite it being sad. On Chesil Beach is an extraordinary novel that brilliantly, movingly shows us how the entire course of a life can be changed – by a gesture not made or a word not spoken. Discussion should be interesting!
18. The Golden Rules of Blogging (and when to break them) – Robyn Houghton -book. This was an easy read and full of great tips on blogging. Some I knew already but others were new to me. It was great as there were always two viewpoints discussed for each rule and then you could make up your own mind whether you agreed or not. There were also comments from bloggers putting their cases for each tip. Recommended for bloggers new and not so new.
19. Written in my own Heart’s blood – Diana Gabaldon – kindle. This was a huge read and I haven’t read one of these books for years so had to get up to speed on the characters. Pure escapism story of time travel through standing stones.
20. The lazy Runner – Marie Bean – kindle. An interesting book about running – how to run, why we run, when to run and how to train. I actually signed up for her online running coaching sessions after reading this. I enjoyed the simple style of the information she gave in the book.
21. You – Caroline Kepnes – kindle. This was a very contemporary read about stalking, relationships and was quite weird in places. It was scary at how easily it seems someone can find out all about a person just by going online and searching. It put me off blogging for a while to be honest. I would’t recommend it very highly but it did have an impact on me and had me thinking.
22. The Hanging Girl (Department Q)– Jussi Adler Olsen – Kindle. Another book about Department Q, an action packed Danish crime series. Always enjoyable and easy to read.
23. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain – book club book – A novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. I enjoyed this, despite not knowing anything about Hemingway’s life. It was very readable and interesting. The discussion at book club was good too.
24. Sixty secrets for a happy bride – Alex Miles – kindle. This was an easy read and I got a few good tips out of it for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. You can read my posts about being the Mother of the Bride (MOB).
25. Flesh Wounds – Richard Glover – book. This was a poignant story of Richard’s unusual family. It was sad, funny and unputdownable. I really enjoyed reading it but also found myself cringing in places and feeling very sorry for him. I enjoy listening to him on the radio and have also appreciated his newspaper columns over the years. A funny man with a very strange family story to tell.
26. Indelible Ink – Fiona McGregor – Book club book. This wasn’t my favourite book but I finished it in time for our book club meeting. I didn’t really like the main character and would have given up had it not been for book club.
27. Ransom – David Malouf – book. This is a novel by an Australian author and it retells the story of the Iliad from books 22 to 24 and I enjoyed the story it told.
28. The Trivia Man – Deborah O’Brien – book. This was an easy, quirky story to read and I really enjoyed it. Our town’s book clubs are all getting together to hear the author speak at a dinner shortly and so it’s become a community book club with everyone reading the same book. It’s a great idea and a lovely book to read for this purpose.
29. The Illuminations – Andrew O’Hagan – book. I didn’t really enjoy this very much and for once I didn’t finish reading a book. It was all over the place and the two characters weren’t meshing for me.
30. The Piper’s Son – Melina Marchetta – kindle. This was a great read about a group of school friends (who were featured in her book Saving Francesca) 5 years later. Thomas is in need of help after his life has been broken apart and he realises that his friends and family need him as much as he needs them.
31. The Art of Free Travel – Patrick Jones and Meg Ullman – book. I read this entire book in the space of a day and absolutely loved it. It is an inspiring story of a family’s bike ride of over 6000km, along the east Coast of Australia (including a toddler, a pre-teen and their Jack Russell dog Zero) and how they managed the year of simple living. They are an idealistic couple who believe in living their values rather than just talking about them. I also heard them talk at a book launch where they both did readings from the book. They also led a foraging walk for locals and cooked up a sample of the type of meal they would ea along the way.
32. A Place of Her Own – Deborah O’Brien – kindle. I enjoyed the author’s book The Trivia Man a while back so thought I’d read more of her. I enjoyed this story about a woman finding her own place and starting a new life after her husband’s sudden death, it was light and easy to read. I’ll read the others in this series now.
33. The Secret Chord – Geraldine Brooks – kindle. I love anything written by Geraldine Brooks and this book was no exception. It wasn’t as religious as I expected it be as it was all about King David from the Old Testament. It was a great history lesson and we saw David through the eyes of many people, some loved him and some hated him. It was absolutely wonderful to read.
34. The Other Family and A Village Affair – Joanna Trollope – kindle. These were quick and easy to read after getting through The Secret Chord. Sometimes you just need something light!
35. Leona The Die is cast – Jenny Rogneby – kindle. This is a dark Swedish crime story and had a very intriguing twist so I won’t say too much.
36. A Malmo Midwinter – Torquil MacLeod- kindle. This was a short novella and an interesting crime story from Sweden. It was a quick read.
2014 reading list
*** I have completed my 2014 reading challenge and have listed all the books I managed to read during the year.***
1.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – kindle – loved it and now want to see the movie
2. Meet me in Malmo by Torquil Macleod – kindle – enjoyed it as I’ve recently been to Malmo and love all things Swedish & Danish
3. The Messenger by Markus Zusak – paperback – enjoyed it as much as his other book despite it having a completely different voice
4. Murder in Malmo by Torquil Macleod – kindle – second in series and a good read
5. The Mother’s group by Fiona Higgins – kindle – Australian book, quite enjoyable read about new mothers and their friendship in a mothers’ group
6.The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad – our first Bookclub book for 2014 – a very interesting story. I am so glad that I am not an Afghani female and that I live in Australia! Good discussion on the topics at our bookclub get-together.
7. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – kindle – really enjoyed this book which was recommended to me by my sister. It was a very amusing read with interesting believable characters.
8. Missing in Malmo by Torquil Macleod – kindle – third in this series and another good read
9. I have a bed made of buttermilk pancakes by Jaclyn Moriarty – our second bookclub book for the year and unfortunately I didn’t like it at all. Not many others did either as it was considered too much in every way – too many things going on, strange characters and just not enjoyable.
10. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – kindle – I really enjoyed this book, storyline was interesting and emotive. Bleak in many ways due to the setting in Iceland and the topic but very engaging and emotional. Highly recommended.
11. Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson – kindle – this book was recommended by my sister in law. I thoroughly enjoyed it, a lovely gentle story, full of character and emotion. I could relate to many of the issues the main character Mr Wigg has to deal with and enjoyed the references to the fruit trees. Lovely Australian read.
12. Before we met by Lucie Whitehouse – kindle – I can’t remember how I got onto this book but I did enjoy reading it. It was a bit of a thriller and had a way of making me keep reading. I will look at others by this author now that I’ve read this one.
13. Guilt by Jussi Adler-Olsen – Kindle – a Danish writer who I enjoyed reading 3 books in the Department Q series last year – Mercy, Disgrace and Redemption. They are about a detective in charge of a dysfunctional department and they have all been good stories.
14. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers – our bookclub book for the month and quite an interesting read after I made it to the half way point. I nearly gave up but pushed on and the second half was much better. Zeitoun is nonfiction and tells the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American who stayed behind to look after his house when Hurricane Katrina hit. He and others were accused of terrorist activities, refused medical attention and the use of a phone. Our group’s discussion was good and lively on the issues raised in the book but it was only when someone checked the internet for information that we found out some interesting news of the family a few years later.
15. Belong to Me – by Marisa de los Santos – kindle – this was a story of friendship, love and family and had a nice twist. Easy read.
16. Divergent by Veronica Roth- kindle – this is a trilogy set in the future and a movie of the first book has just been released. I enjoyed the book and will see the movie and read the next two books in the series. There was some resemblance to the Hunger Games but I didn’t mind it too much. Great bit of escapism.
17. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – kindle – second book in the trilogy. Fast paced and enjoyable read.
18. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – kindle – third book in the trilogy.
19. Like Water for chocolate by Laura Esqivest – Bookclub book for June, didn’t really get into it.
20. Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach – kindle. Light-hearted and enjoyable read but not quite up to the standard of her previous novel Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Good holiday read (except I wasn’t on holidays).
21. How I live now – by Meg Rosoff – book. I enjoyed this young adult novel which was brought at a second hand shop by my daughter. I had to hurry and read it fast before she got back on the plane to return to UK. It was easy to read and kept me interested during a very hard week.
22. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – kindle. I tried to get into this book as it had great reviews but I just couldn’t. Huge book too!
23. The Bat by Jo Nesbro – kindle. This was the first in the Harry Hole thrillers, a Norwegian detective series. It was an interesting, easy read and being set in Sydney made it quite enjoyable. Not sure I’ll bother reading too many more though.
September – (spent lots of time reading while I was recuperating after emergency appendectomy)
24. Life Drawing by Robin Blake – book. I read this during my convalescence and enjoyed it. The story was about a couple who lived an isolated life to some extent and the dramatic impact that a new neighbour had on their lives.
25. Big little lies by Liane Moriarty – kindle. I always enjoy books by this author as the personalities she draws are very real and believable. The story is presented well with just enough given out to keep you hanging on and not wanting to put it down. I must admit I read it in a day due to being in recovery mode.
26. Room by Emma Donoghue – book. This was a very moving novel about a kidnapped 19 year old girl who was kept prisoner in a small room for over 7 years and subjected to constant deprivations and rape. She had a baby boy while locked away and when he was 5 years old they managed to escape. The outside world was difficult for them both to adapt to. It was very compelling and very plausible. Thanks to my sister for the loan and recommendation.
27. The Tournament by Matthew Reilly – kindle. I have had this for ages on my kindle but it never appealed to me until now when I’m hunting around for things to read in my time of recuperation. I really enjoyed it! It’s ostensibly about Queen Elizabeth 1 when she was 13 years old and was taken by her teacher Roger Ascham to witness a Chess tournament in Constantinople at the time of the plague in London. It has a lot of what I call bawdy sex, as well as revolting sex, in it as well as great descriptions of the way of life in those days. The sex is explained by the author as setting the scene as to why Elizabeth went on to rule as the Virgin Queen. The play of sex, politics and religion are all a way of her preparing to be a ruler sometime in the future. Apart from some dreadful scenes and stories, I did enjoy the story and the idea that this could have happened.
28.The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – book. This was a lovely read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A lovely story about an unlikely hero.
29. Gang of Four –by Liz Byrski – kindle. This was an interesting story of 4 friends. I liked that they were over a certain age and each had different characteristics and interesting stories. An easy read while I was recuperating.
30. All together now – by Monica McInerney – kindle. This was a book of short stories and all were easy to read and enjoy. She is an Ausralian author who makes you forget some of the day to day issues by transporting you somewhere else.
31. Mothers and Daughters – by Kylie Ladd – kindle. This was a definite holiday read, as I was on holidays! Mothers and their teenage daughters go away on a holiday together which has all sorts of issues arising: depression, unhappiness, cyber bullying, Aboriginal cultural differences. It was OK and good to read while floating around on holidays.
32. Hell – Prison diary by Jeffrey Archer – book. Read this due to where I work, quite interesting and on the ball with his description of events that go on in this environment.
33. A town like Paris – by Bryce Corbett – book club book for November. I started this on Friday evening and had finished it by Sunday lunchtime. It was an interesting and enjoyable read, a true account of an Aussie bloke’s life as an expat in Paris and how he met his partner, a spectacular Lido dancer. A bit hedonistic at times but easy to read and relish parts of Paris I’ve been to and how he made a life there. The blurb put me off at first as it read like a mills and boon and it had a few moments but overall a good easy weekend read.
34. Purgatory – 2nd Prison diary by Jeffrey Archer – book
35. Heaven – 3rd Prison diary by Jeffrey Archer – book. Glad they are over, but did note many similarities in systems.
36. Four Friends – Robyn Carr – kindle. This was a very easy book to read and quite enjoyable, seems that I’m following a bit of a theme lately with books about friends.
37. The Rosie Effect – by Graeme Simsion – book. this is a sequel to The Rosie Project which I enjoyed earlier this year. I really enjoyed this book as well. I found it amusing and continued the story well.
38. South of Darkness – John Marsden – book. I enjoyed this novel during the Christmas break and thank my sister for letting me read her Christmas present before she did. It is John Marsden’s first adult novel, as he has written young adult novels up until now. It tells the story of a young boy who is transported to Australia from England in 1770s and his early days in the new colony. I can see more books to follow up.
39. A Groom with a View – Sophie Ranald- Kindle – an interesting read of a couple planning their wedding. Given that my daughter has just got engaged, this was quite timely and a lesson on not what to do!
40. Wife on the run – Fiona Higgins – kindle -. Didn’t really enjoy this book, too much chick lit for me. I enjoyed her other book The Mothers’ Group much more than this one.