The 9 Books I’ve Read in 2017

We are half way through 2017 already. Time flies. As is my habit at the half-way point, I am dedicating this blog post to the books that I have read so far this year. The following 9 books are presented in the order in which I read them. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess

Genre: Non Fiction

This biography of the notorious spy Guy Burgess recounts his life from birth through to premature death in Moscow, aged fifty-two in 1963. After spending his formative years at the naval college Dartmouth…(more)

My Rating: Absorbing

 

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Genre: Non Fiction

This award winning account of America’s opiate epidemic asserts that its origins are two-fold — the pharmaceutical industry and Mexican importation. In 1996 Purdue Pharma introduced its new opiate-containing…(more)

My Rating: Compelling

 

Cold Comfort Farm

Genre: Satire

Although harbouring concerns about countryside living, recently orphaned, 19-year-old Flora Poste decides to go and live with relatives in rural Sussex. Her destination, the ramshackle and backward Cold Comfort…(more)

My Rating: Repetitive & somewhat overrated

 

On the Beach

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

World War III has culminated in atomic bombs being dropped on the northern hemisphere. The radiation is spreading steadily southwards on the winds, decimating populations in its wake. Stationed in Australia is American…(more)

My Rating: Excellent

 

I Am Charlotte Simmons

Genre: Satire

Appalachian wunderkind Charlotte Simmons has been awarded a scholarship to Dupont, an elite fictional university, steeped in tradition. Living amongst the cream of America’s youth is set to be a big change for a prudish girl, hailing…(more)

My Rating: Amusing but turgid

 

Newspaper Diapers

Genre: Transgressive

Newspaper Diapers consists of a series of loosely connected vignettes about child abuse and group homes being recounted by various perverse and narcissistic narrators. The line between abuser and victim is blurred in these traumatic...(more)

My Rating: Deeply disturbing

 

Race To The Bottom

Genre: Transgressive

Roy is a degenerate and borderline alcoholic with a menial job at retailer Bullseye that pays less than Walmart. Roy’s precarious existence takes a turn for the worse when his overweight girlfriend, fed up with him living on her couch…(more)

My Rating: A relatively entertaining light read

 

Tortilla Flat

Genre: General

Danny is an unemployed alcoholic, leading a transient existence in Monterrey, California. When Danny inherits two houses in the shabby district of Tortilla Flat, he invites a hobo friend and fellow paisano…(more)

My Rating: Good

 

Rebecca

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Romance

Our young, unnamed narrator is working as an assistant for a rich American woman in Monte Carlo. It is here that she meets recently widowed, forty-two-year-old Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter. Maxim is the proprietor of Manderley…(more)

My Rating: Excellent

 

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