Friday, 31 December 2010

Surviving 2010


Oh god it's the last day of 2010.

I had an old nun as a teacher in high school who always used to say TIME FLIES GIRLS. ARE YOU USING IT WISELY? TODAY IS TUESDAY. WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND THE WEEK IS GONE. TIME FLIES.

She was a very youthful lady in her 90s, and managed to give the strong impression that time really did fly, and that we were probably not using it wisely, if only because nobody does.

ANYWAY, let's not dwell on that too much shall we? One thing I have managed to do in 2010 is, to my amazement, actually fulfill my commitment to blog every book I read this year. The final list is (unless I get really crazy this afternoon . . . )

1.A SUITABLE BOY by Vikram Seth
2.DR THORNE by Anthony Trollope
3.2666 by Roberto Bolano
4.YOU DON'T LOVE ME YET by Jonathan Lethem
5.WEDLOCK by Wendy Moore
6.THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
7.WHEN YOU ARE IN ENGULFED IN FLAMES by David Sedaris
8.DR THORNE by Anthony Trollope
9.STARLINGS LAUGHING by June Vendall Clark
10.THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS by Kiran Desai
11.DILEMMA OF A GHOST/ANOWA by Ama Ata Aidoo
12.THE LOST DOG by Michelle de Krester
13.THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
14.THE SAVAGE GARDEN by Mark Mills
15.ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by David Sedaris
16.WIZARD OF THE CROW by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
17.FRAMLEY PARSONAGE by Anthony Trollope
18.THE BOTTOM BILLION by Paul Collier
19.DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON by George Orwell
20.BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S by Truman Capote
21.WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel
22.MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS by Tracy Kidder
23.THIS SEPTEMBER SUN by Bryony Rheam
24.THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET by Anthony Trollope
25.THE SMALL HOUSE AT ALLINGTON by Anthony Trollope
26.CIDER WITH ROSIE by Laurie Lee
27.GLOBALIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS by Joseph E Stiglitz
28.THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS by James Fenimore Cooper
29.FAST FOOD NATION by Eric Schlosser
30.JOY IN THE MORNING by PG Wodehouse
31.FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES by Min Jin Lee
32.CHARITY GIRL By Georgette Heyer
33.IT'S NOW OR NEVER by Carole Matthews
34.THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO by Stieg Larsson
35.THE END OF POVERTY by Jeffery Sachs
36.ELEGY FOR EASTERLY by Petina Gappah
37.MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR by William Shakespeare
38.I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith
39.HANGOVER SQUARE by Patrick Hamilton
40.DARK MATTER by Michelle Paver
41.ORANGES ARE NOT THE ONLY FRUIT by Jeanette Winterson
42.PIED PIPER by Nevil Shute
43.WHITE MAN'S BURDEN by William Easterly
44.THE CHARTERHOUSE OF PARMA by Stendhal
45.PROMISES, PROMISES by Erica James
46.BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES by Tom Wolfe
47.TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
48.A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME by Anthony Powell
49.THE REVERSAL by Michael Connelly
50.A MILLION LITTLE PIECES by James Frey
51.IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote
52.OUR HUSBAND HAS GONE MAD AGAIN by Ola Rotimi
53.NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
54.THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK by Doris Lessing
55.THE GORSE TRILOGY by Patrick Hamilton
56.STILL LIFE WITH WOODPECKER by Tom Robbins

Highlights: I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith (mindblowing) GULAG ARCHIPELAGO by Solzhenitsyn (also mindblowing, but in a very different way). Both are gnaw your own arm off wonderful.

Lowlights: 2666 by Robert Bolano. It's managed to hold its crown of terribleness since I gave up on it in about February, so I thought for sure it would be in on the day - but there's an unexpected late contender for worst book of the year, which I only started (and gave up on) yesterday: STILL LIFE WITH WOODPECKER by Tom Robbins. Dreadful, dreadful, I-think-I'm-so-funny-but-I'm-only-dreadful and I keep calling a girl's vagina 'the peachfish' - reminding us of TROPIC OF CANCER's 'the rosebush' - let's not say anymore.

2010's been a great blogging year, and I've been really happy to meet lots of new bookish friends on this blog.

See you in 2011! I've got a brilliant new plan: definitely let's keep a list of literary names for ladies' bits in the New Year. Hoorah! Now that's something to look forward to.

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