As is my custom at year end, I am dedicating this post to the books I read this year. In 2016 I read 19 books. One reason for my less than prodigious reading output is that I was busy with my own writing efforts (3 novels to date). I will be revealing more about my works in progress in due course.
Here are the 19 books that I read in 2016. They are presented in the order in which I read them. Click on the links to read my reviews.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877) — Though slow moving and ponderous, this evocative text rarely feels turgid.
Danger by Association by Heather Burnside (2016) — A fast-paced and compelling crime fiction novel (3rd in trilogy).
Personal by Lee Child (2014) — An engrossing first person thriller, complete with a complex conspiracy and colourful cast of characters.
The Rebel’s Sketchbook by Rupert Dreyfus (2015) — A mostly entertaining collection of 13 first person satirical short stories.
Concrete Island by J. G. Ballard (2001) — Rife with similes, this is an allegorical story about isolation. This reader struggled on occasion with the analytical, awkward prose.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932) — A cautionary and contemplative tale that utilises erudite social commentary to explore mankind’s inherent nature.
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (1962) — A convoluted and rather confusing alternative history dystopia.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953) — There is much to ponder in this Sci Fi classic, which employs an efficient prose style.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927) — For this reader the reading experience was akin to travailing through sinking mud.
Make Me by Lee Child (2015) — A stimulating thriller whose themes include the Deep Web.
Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard (2001) — This authentic and atmospheric American-based collection of short stories boasts a strong array of characters, lean prose and abrupt finales.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980) — An iconic humour book this may be, but in this reader’s opinion it is onerous and repetitive.
August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1971) — This is a presumptuous history novel with a didactic tone that leaves its ever-controversial creator open to accusations of hubris.
The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese (2016) — The confessions of motel owner and voyeur Gerald Foos make for compelling reading.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726) — This humorous and vulgar satirical work becomes increasingly tedious and turgid.
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842) — A dense and rather monotonous satirical work.
Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick (2009) — This reader has read numerous books about North Korea — the good, the bad and the ugly. This is the best.
Not Just a Boy by Jonathan Hill (2016) — An authentic and atmospheric coming-of-age novella.
The Visitor by Lee Child (2000) — A third person thriller novel boasting a sinister subject matter, an ever-intriguing protagonist and a far-fetched finale.
Happy New Year