Monday, 5 January 2015

Happy New Year! And some book talk.

How are we already five days in to the new year? It's a good thing that my resolution to blog more regularly wasn't an actual real life resolution. I've realised that making resolutions is pointless since I rarely manage to keep them and, let's face it, if something was that important I wouldn't wait until the new year to put it in to practice. The only thing I try to do year on year, is read more books than the year before. In 2013 I managed 28 (and a half), 2014 was a rather disappointing 24 (and a half) - sad face. I blame the laser eye surgery which rendered me practically unable to see for a couple of weeks let along read the small print in a book (and audio books definitely don't count towards the annual total.)

If you have the fortitude to plough through this blog from time to time, you may have noticed that I review the books that I read. I review them badly; that's not to say that I give the books bad reviews (such as nil points) but that I write poor reviews. It is certainly not among my (few) talents and it doesn't help that my memory is poor and I can barely remember what a book was about once I've finished it (or sometimes even while I'm still reading it.) Yet still I persist. Sorry. But at this point, as a fresh year of reading begins and I realise I only managed to write reviews for 13 of the 24 (and a half) books I read last year, I've decided to spare you those 11 reviews and simply list the books with a sentence or two to say whether, in my most humble opinion, they were worth the paper they're printed on.

Death by Darjeeling - Laura Childs. The first in a cozy crime series set in a tea room (seemed kind of perfect really considering my current profession!) Enjoyed this one.
The Sisterhood - Emily Barr. Jury's out on this one. I enjoyed it; expected it to be predictable, which it was in places, but there were also a few twists. Psycho-thriller-lite.
Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella. Oh dear. Once upon a time I loved reading the books in this series, but that was a while ago. Picking one up after such a long time has made me wonder were they always this dreadful/predictable/badly written/cliche-ridden, or is it just this particular book? I don't think I'll read any more to find out.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson. LOVED it. A bit odd to start with, but once it got going the constantly twisting-turning plot that went full-circle was a joy. Thoroughly recommend.
Sentenced to Death - Lorna Barrett. From the Booktown series which I consistently enjoy, and this one was no exception.
Gunpowder Green - Laura Childs. Gave the second in the Tea Shop mystery series a go and enjoyed it as much as the first; happy to keep going with these.
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party - Alexander McCall Smith. Ahh, Mma Ramotswe, how do I love thee?! This series never fails to disappoint, instantly transporting me to another place where all is comfortable and good (in the end.) I would thoroughly recommend the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series to anyone who wants to read a gentle, comforting, happy book.
The Vintage Tea Cup Club - Vanessa Greene. Oh dear. Trite, predictable, disappointing. Steer clear.
Thai Die - Monica Ferris. From another cozy crime series which I consistently enjoy. Again, it didn't disappoint.
Coming Home for Christmas - Julia Williams. So, I thought I'd read this to get me in the mood for the festive season. Humph. It's not even set at Christmas! What a con. Again, trite and predictable so don't be fooled by the title if you're looking for a seasonal read.
Fear on Friday - Ann Purser. UK cozy crime, so slightly (but only very slightly) darker and grittier than any US cozy; I very much enjoy this series and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a gentle 'whodunnit' without wanting the twee-ness that some cozies bring.
And the book I started in 2014 but didn't finish until 2015: Styx and Stones - Carola Dunn (which will be reviewed 'properly' soon.)
And there you have it, my book list for non-reviewed titles of 2014. Did you read any fantastic books or fantastically disappointing ones last year?

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