2015 Reading List

Number of books read in 2015: 165
New reads: 142 (I re-read George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides, Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, Robert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle and twenty of Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford novels.)

Number of books read in 2014: 162
Number of books read in 2013: 192
Number of books read in 2012: 180
Number of books read in 2011: 158
Number of books read in 2010: 150
Number of books read in 2009: 103
Number of books read in 2008: 99
Number of books read in 2007: 85
Number of books read in 2006: 64
Number of books read in 2005: 56

Average read per month: 13.75
Average read per week: 3.17

Number read in worst month: 4 (February)
Number read in best month: 23 (July)

Female authors: 36
Male authors: 27

Fiction: 152
Non-fiction: 12 (marked *; 2014: 14; 2013: 17; 2012: 16; 2011: 6; 2010: 12; 2009: 16; 2008: 12; 2007: 10; 2006: 4; 2005: 2)

Scifi/fantasy: 17
Mystery/crime: 112
Literature/fiction: 19
YA: 6

JANUARY (14)

Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin
Dead Souls by Ian Rankin
Set in Darkness by Ian Rankin
The Falls by Ian Rankin
Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin
A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin
Fleshmarket Close by Ian Rankin
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel*
The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? A Memoir by Roz Chast*
Syllabus: Notes From An Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry*
Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn
Bad News by Edward St Aubyn

FEBRUARY (4)

The Art of War by Sun Tzu (John Minford trans.)*
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
In the Wake by Per Petterson (Anne Born trans.)
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel*

MARCH (14)

By The Shores of the Middle Sea by Dana Stabenow
Circus Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke
The Atlantis Gene by A G Riddle
Diary of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Earth Abides by George R Stewart
The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay
Mrs Frisby and The Rats of NIMH by Robert C O’Brien
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Birds of A Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

APRIL (13)

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
Among The Mad by Jacqueline Winspear
The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear
A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
The King of Shanghai by Ian Hamilton
A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill
Talking to Strange Men by Ruth Rendell
Enjoying Poetry: A Reader’s Guide by C Day Lewis*
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

MAY (14)

Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli*
Redesigning Leadership by John Maeda*
Sins of the Fathers by Ruth Rendell
Wolf to the Slaughter by Ruth Rendell
The Best Man to Die by Ruth Rendell
A Guilty Thing Surprised by Ruth Rendell
Murder Being Once Done by Ruth Rendell
Some Lie and Some Die by Ruth Rendell
Shake Hands Forever by Ruth Rendell
A Sleeping Life by Ruth Rendell
Put On By Cunning by Ruth Rendell
The Speaker of Mandarin by Ruth Rendell
A Unkindness of Ravens by Ruth Rendell

JUNE (10)

The Veiled One by Ruth Rendell
Patrick Tjungurrayi: Beyond Borders by John Carty (ed.)*
Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter by Ruth Rendell
Simisola by Ruth Rendell
Road Rage by Ruth Rendell
Harm Done by Ruth Rendell
Babes in the Wood by Ruth Rendell
End in Tears by Ruth Rendell
Not in the Flesh by Ruth Rendell
The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell

JULY (23)

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Falling in Love by Donna Leon
We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Breaking Out: An Indian Woman’s American Journey by Padma Desai*
Sacred Country by Rose Tremain
The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax on Safari by Dorothy Gilman
The Amazing Mrs Polifax by Dorothy Gilman
The Elusive Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
A Palm for Mrs Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax on the China Station by Dorothy Gilman
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Mrs Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax and The Golden Triangle by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax and the Second Thief by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax Pursued by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax and the Lion Killer by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax, Innocent Tourist by Dorothy Gilman
Mrs Pollifax, Unveiled by Dorothy Gilman
Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont
Scattered Sand by Hsiao-hung Pai*
Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert Silverberg

AUGUST (17)

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (Ann Goldstein trans.)
Misterioso by Arne Dahl (Tiina Nunnally trans.)
The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted by Mark Forsyth*
Bad Blood by Arne Dahl (Rachel Willson-Broyles trans.)
To the Top of the Mountain by Arne Dahl (Alice Menzies trans.)
Bitter Fruits by Alice Clark Platts
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
The Last Colony by John Scalzi
Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi
The Human Division by John Scalzi
The End of All Things by John Scalzi
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberley Willis Holt
The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey
The Firemaker by Peter May

SEPTEMBER (20)

The Fourth Sacrifice by Peter May
The Killing Room by Peter May
Snakehead by Peter May
The Runner by Peter May
Chinese Whispers by Peter May
Dry Bones by Peter May
The Critic by Peter May
Blacklight Blue by Peter May
Freeze Frame by Peter May
Blowback by Peter May
X by Sue Grafton
A Beam of Light by Andrea Camilleri (Stephen Sartarelli trans.)
The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
The Novice’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Servant’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Outlaw’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Bishop’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
Garnethill by Denise Mina
The Boy’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Murderer’s Tale by Margaret Frazer

OCTOBER (12)

The Prioress’ Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Maiden’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Reeve’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Squire’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Clerk’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Bastard’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
Exile by Denise Mina
Resolution by Denise Mina
The Hunter’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Widow’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Sempter’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Traitor’s Tale by Margaret Frazer

NOVEMBER (14)

The Apostate’s Tale by Margaret Frazer
The Nightingale Gallery by Paul Doherty
Eva’s Eye by Karin Fossum (James Anderson trans.)
Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum (Felicity David trans.)
He Who Fears The Wolf by Karin Fossum (Felicity David trans.)
When The Devil Holds The Candle by Karin Fossum (Felicity David trans.)
Calling Out For You by Karin Fossum (Charlotte Barslund trans.)
Black Seconds by Karin Fossum (Charlotte Barslund trans.)
The Murder of Harriet Krohn by Karin Fossum (James Anderson trans.)
The Water’s Edge by Karin Fossum (Charlotte Barslund trans.)
Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum (Charlotte Barslund trans.)
The Caller by Karin Fossum (K E Semmel trans.)
The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum (Kari Dickson trans.)
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

DECEMBER (10)

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Journey to the River Sea by Eve Ibbotson
Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg
The Bat by Jo Nesbø (Don Bartlett trans.)
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem*
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym

Most memorable
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Overblown? Maybe. I loved the depiction of the characters’ friendships with each other, though.

Really enjoyed
The Mrs Pollifax series. An elderly widow decides she needs a change and some excitement in her life and joins the CIA. She has numerous amazing dangerous adventures. Implausible and, I think, impossible, in this day and age. But it was fun anyway.

This year I will be tracking my reading using a spreadsheet adapted from this version. It’s enabling me to see at a glance that so far this year I have read 25 novels, five of which were written by men. Thirteen of them in the “crime” genre. Six science fiction. (Hurray for holidays! Back to work tomorrow…)

Apart from this spreadsheet I also make a note of my reading in my paper diary. I sometimes write comments on what I’ve read there. I maintain a “commonplace book” where I write down words or sentences or passages that appeal or are interesting in some way. It’s all a bit messy. I do occasionally wonder whether a bit of organisation would help me record and recall my reading more systematically. For example, what if I wrote it all down in one place?

Not planning any reading challenges or aiming for any reading goals as I seem to forget them all as the year progresses…

Posted in books, reading | 4 Comments

Another blogjune over

This year, 41 bloggers signed up. Of these, five were first-timers – 12.19%.

Last year was a lot bigger numbers-wise, but somehow this year feels more significant. I think this is because we talked about some quite big topics this year – professional discourse, group/collaborative blogging, Imposter Syndrome – and I think a few of us wrote on quite personal topics. Graeme’s post sums up the feeling quite nicely, I think – and shows how Twitter plays a big part in the whole thing. And in terms of something concrete that came out of the month’s blogging, I think that LINT will be closing down, to make room for the League of Librarians… Exciting times ahead!

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For me personally, I give myself a 21/30 – that is, I missed nine days’ worth of posts. I’m forgiving myself, given that I’ve been rather busy at work and there were some nights when I was ready for bed at 7:30pm!

Posted in blogjune | 1 Comment

Apple Watch so far

I have an Apple Watch. (I know I’m an Apple Tragic. You can tell me so in the comments.)

I’ve been wearing it since 24 April. About a month after that it started playing up. Message and email notifications stopped showing on the watch. Nothing I did – following all the instructions on the various boards etc – fixed it.

Now what I like most about the Watch is being able to see emails as they come in, especially during a meeting. Are you insane?! you exclaim. Well, hear me out. I’ve already been saved a couple of times by my Watch showing me that an email with an answer to a question I need to answer during a meeting has just come in. Oh wait, people, I might have the answer to that question – I then check the full details on my phone or iPad. Saves a heck of a lot of time. And all the other notifications – messages, Twitter notifications – they’re fun little breaks in the day.

Without the notifications, the Watch felt.. dead. Sort of like a computer pre-Internet. You could look at the time, it still tracked your activity, but it was like it was silent.

After trying all the fixes, the only thing remaining to be fixed was the iPhone. (The Watch has to be paired with an iPhone.)

So this weekend, after backing my iPhone up, M reset it (my phone is a work phone, so I was paranoid I would brick it, or worse, need to call IT, if I did anything to break it. So M did it for me). Et voilà! The Watch is back!

I do like the Apple Watch, even though I will agree that the Watch still needs its killer app. On weekends I forget and nap with it on and get woken up by the Watch telling me it’s time to stand up. I think Apple Watch users all know that buzzing at ten minutes to the hour

 

Posted in technology, toys | 1 Comment