Monday 31 December 2018

Books Finished in 2018

This year I exceeded my annual 52 book target: 63  These are not all the books I dipped into, but they are  all (with one exception) the books I read from beginning to end.  (I recorded the exception so that I would not make the mistake of picking it up again.)

The first book I read in 2018 was  Home from the Vinyl Cafe by Canadian Stuart McLean, which made me laugh very much,  and the last was Life after Life by the British Kate Atkinson, which impressed me no end.

To amuse myself, I will now colour-code these books by category:

Blue for novels/fiction in English.
Red for works in Polish.
Black for non-fiction.

The books I wrote about for publications are in bold.

Life after Life (Kate Atkinson, great book, an astonishingly good writer)

The Tiger in the Smoke (Allingham, just the slightest bit overwritten for my tastes but very good)

Tradition & Sanity (Kwasniewski, see LSN review): Catholic interest

Podróż Wędrowca do świtu (C.S. Lewis, trans. into Polish by Andrzej Polkowski)

Goodbye, Things (Sasaki, inspiring): Minimalism

Horace and Me (H. Eyres, moving but apostate): Classics

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (W. Irvine, quite fun if ultimately atheist): Philosophy

Beowulf the Dragonslayer (R. Sutcliffe, satisfyingly Anglo-Saxon in its rhythms)

The Lovely Bones (A. Sebold, v. good)

A Long Way Down (N. Hornsby, v. good) 

The French Country Table (Washburn, better read than a cheap romance novel): Cooking

A Guide to the Stock Market: How the [UK] Stock Market Works (Croft, off-putting, class-conscious, surely out of date & I couldn't finish it): Money

The Geeks Guide to the Writing Life (Vanderslice, interesting): Writing

Self-Sufficiency: Hen Keeping (Hatcher, useful): Hens

Human Croquet (Atkinson, genius)

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Amy Chua, gripping, painful, frightening, made me cry): Biography/Pedagogy 

The Zero Waste Home (Bea Johnson, inspiring): Stewardship

The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism is Betraying Women (Nash, brilliant, see LSN interview): Women/Catholic Interest

The urban hen: a practical guide to keeping poultry (Paul Peacock): Hens

Family guide to keeping chickens (Anne Perdeaux): Hens

Make your own beer and cider (Paul Peacock): Cider

Booze for free: the definitive guide to homebrew (Andy Hamilton): Cider

Eat Move Sleep (Tim Rath, inspiring): Health

Grow your own vegetables (interesting): Gardening

French Women Don't Get Facelifts (shallow): Health

Murder is Easy (Christie, good--I guessed the murderer for first time)

Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories (Christie, good)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Haddon, brilliant)

Miss Moneypenny's Guide to financially independent women (McGregor, ok but blogs are better): Money

Low Cost Living (J. Harrison, interesting): Minimalism

Książę Kaspian (C.S. Lewis, trans. into Polish by Andrzej Polkowski

Escape Everything (Wringham, inspiring & fun): Minimalism 

The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Barbery; trans, Anderson, brilliant)

Marrying Off Mother (G. Durrell, dirty and disappointing)

The Sleep Revolution (A. Huffington, fun): Health

Authentic Happiness (Seligman, some use, ultimately atheist): Pop Philosophy

Eat that Frog (Tracy, v. helpful): Work Skills

Mad about the House (Watson-Smyth, informative & enjoyable): Home Design

Happy by Design (V. Harrison, excellent): Home Design

Girl's Guide to Decorating (A. Ahern, inspiring): Home Design

Patios & Courtyards (Royal Hortic. Soc., interesting): Gardening

Love Your Garden (A. Titchmarsh, interesting): Gardening

Poland: A History (A. Zamoyski, sweeping): History

Stamboul Train (G. Greene, sad)

Multilingualism: a Very Short Introduction (Maher, tooth-achingly PC): Languages

Crewe Train (R. Macaulay, funny & sad)

The Outcast (Sutcliff, master class on drama)

The Silver Branch (Sutcliff, brilliant)

Amore and Amaretti (Unintentionally but desperately sad): Biography

Better than Fiction 2: True Adventures from 30 Great Fiction Writers (Lonely Planet, v. good): Travel

The World My Wilderness (R. Macaulay, excellent)

Third Girl (Agatha Christie, genius at puzzles)

We Can't All be Astronauts (Clare, made me grateful for own lot): Writing

Jane of Lantern Hill (Montgomery, wonderful)

The Truth is Out There: Brendan and Erk in Exile, Vol 1 (Amadeus, good): Catholic interest

Why We are Catholic (Horn, very good; see LSN reflection): Catholic interest

Siostrzeniec Czarodzieja (C.S. Lewis, trans. into Polish by Andrzej Polkowski; see LSN reflection)

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (J. Peterson, awesome; see CWR review): Pop philosophy

A Short Guide to a Long Life (Agus, amusing pop medicine): Health

Bertrand Russell's The Conquest of Happiness (Phillips, not Russel, so disappointing): Pop philosophy

The Nursing Home Murder (N. Marsh, dull)

Każdy dzień z Jezusem "Each day with Jesus"

Home From the Vinyl Cafe (S McLean, laughed until I cried)

An amusing footnote to this year of reading is that Jordan Peterson's team felt my CWR review of his book worth noting in its Wikipedia entry. I suspect it was my perhaps unexpected reference to Fr. Bernard Lonergan, S.J. 

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