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Ben's Reading 2011

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Ben’s Reading 2011

 

Hey all, and welcome to my 2011 reading blog; I’m certainly hoping that it’s an improvement on previous years, which you can find below.

 

Previous Reading Blogs

 

2009: 48.

 

2010: 25.

 

This year I will be alternating between reading digitally on my e-reader, and of course trying to get through a large portion of the books I have on my shelves, before I move away to university in September. In the following posts I will be simply commenting on books as I read them; finishing up with a short summary and a rating out of 5, every time I finish one. I’ll also write some complete in-depth reviews which will be linked on here to my blog/reviews page. Oh, and I’m also aiming for around 50 books read, but we’ll just see how it goes; looking forward to seeing what the year brings.

 

Total Read 2011: 52.

 

January

 

1. Killing Floor. - Lee Child.

2. Moab Is My Washpot. - Stephen Fry.

3. A Clockwork Orange. - Anthony Burgess.

 

February

 

4. Duma Key. - Stephen King.

5.A Week In December. - Sebastian Faulks.

6. The Redbreast. - Jo Nesbo.

 

March

 

7. The Rembrandt Secret. - Alex Connor.

8. The Whole Truth. - David Baldacci.

 

April

 

9. Caught. -Harlan Coben.

10. The Great Gatsby. - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

 

May

 

11. Scorpia Rising. - Anthony Horowitz.

 

July

 

12. Love In The Time Of Cholera. - Gabriel García Márquez.

13. The Shadow of the Wind. - Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

14. Deal Breaker. - Harlan Coben.

15. Dead Until Dark. - Charlaine Harris.

16. Living Dead In Dallas. - Charlaine Harris.

17. Club Dead. - Charlaine Harris.

18. Dead To The World. - Charlaine Harris.

19. Dead As A Doornail. - Charlaine Harris.

20. Definitely Dead. - Charlaine Harris.

21. Altogether Dead. - Charlaine Harris.

 

August

 

22. The Interpretation of Murder. - Jed Rubenfeld.

23. Die Trying. - Lee Child.

24. Eldest. - Christopher Paolini.

25. Hell Gate. - Linda Fairstein.

26. From Dead to Worse. - Charlaine Harris.

27. Afterwards. - Rosamund Lupton.

28. One Day. - David Nicholls.

 

September

 

29. Oroonoko. - Aphra Behn.

30. 'The Black Cat.' - Edgar Allan Poe.

31. Pride and Prejudice. - Jane Austen.

 

October

 

32. 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' -Edgar Allan Poe.

33. 'Young Goodman Brown.' - Nathaniel Hawthorne.

34. 'The Romance of Certain Old Clothes.' - Henry James.

35. 'The Old Nurse's Story.' - Elizabeth Gaskell.

36. Waiting for Godot. - Samuel Beckett.

37. Robinson Crusoe. - Daniel Defoe.

38. Venus and Adonis. - William Shakespeare.

39. From The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories. - Cox & Gilbert.

I. 'The Truth, The whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth.' - Rhoda Broughton.

ii. 'The Story of Clifford House.' - Anonymous.

iii. 'To Let.' - B. M. Croker.

iv. 'Thurnley Abbey.' - Perceval Landon.

 

November

 

40. From The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories. - Cox & Gilbert.

I. 'The Body Snatcher.' - Robert Louis Stevenson.

ii. 'The Eddy on the Floor.' - Bernard Capes.

iii. 'The Kit Bag.' - Algernon Blackwood.

41. East Is East. - Ayub Khan-Din.

42. Moll Flanders. - Daniel Defoe.

43. Pamela. - Samuel Richardson.

44. 'The Canterville Ghost.' - Oscar Wilde.

45. Haroun and the Sea of Stories. - Salman Rushdie.

46. A Sentimental Journey. - Laurence Sterne.

47. Nights At The Circus. - Angela Carter.

 

December

 

48. The Fry Chronicles. - Stephen Fry.

49. The Turn of the Screw. - Henry James.

50. Brisingr. - Christopher Paolini.

51. Tripwire. - Lee Child.

52. Inheritance. - Christopher Paolini.

 

2011 Reading Review

Edited by Ben

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Reserved.

Edited by Ben

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Well, my first book of the year is Killing Floor by Lee Child.

 

Synopsis:

Margrave is a no-account little town in Georgia. Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles in the rain, just passing through. An arbitrary decision, a tribute to a guitar player who died there decades before. But Margrave has just had its first homicide in thirty years. And Reacher is the only stranger in town. So the murder is pinned on him. As nasty secrets leak out and the body count mounts, only one thing is for sure: They picked the wrong guy to take the fall. Killing Floor introduces Jack Reacher, the tough ex-military cop of no fixed abode. Trained to think fast and act faster, with an eye for the women, he is truly every thinking reader’s perfect action hero.

 

This author came to my attention after I saw a few of his books on the Kindle Store. I thought he sounded pretty good, so I started with the first in the Jack Reacher series, and from what I've read so far - about half - it's coming along nicely. As anyone read anything by Lee Child before now?

Edited by Ben

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Killing Floor. - Lee Child.

 

Thoughts:

Finished my first book of 2011, and it was one which I read quite quickly on my new Amazon Kindle. This is the first Lee Child novel I've had the pleasure of reading, and I'm glad to know that I've started off with a series which stretches on for another fourteen books; plenty to get stuck into with this one it seems. The novel itself was fantastic; intriguing and mysterious throughout, it had me hooked all the way from the first page to the last. Now, I'm not normally used to his style of writing, but the short and snappy sentences gave the novel that fast-moving feel which sweeps a reader off their feet and doesn't put them down until it reaches its conclusion. I found the characters to be believable and interesting, especially that of the main protagonist Jack Reacher, who at first the reader learns nothing about. As the novel unravels you start to feel yourself warming to Reacher and certain other characters, giving me the feeling that I was with them all the way in their battle to discover the truth, before everything goes up in flames.

 

4/5.

Edited by Ben

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Okay I was going to start with Stephen Fry's Moab Is My Washpot after deciding it as my next read, but I was just recently emailed a PDF file of The Crimson Knights by James M Watts; a review copy for on here, which I might as well get stuck into first. It's only 194 pages so it shouldn't be too much of a long read, then I can get back to working on my to-be-read pile; God knows it needs the work for sure.

 

Synopsis:

The Crimson Knights are the descendants of a long line of chosen warriors from the planet Tempurr. In 1950, the six Crimson Knights, opposed to the Numarian government's slavery of the Galilian people, used the power of the Crimson Light to rebel against the Numarian Empire and flee to Earth. In 2010, after their assassination in the late 1990s, their mantle was passed on to their sons to carry on with their fathers' legacy. Now with the mysterious appearance of the Tempurr Plates, the key to opening Rautpa's Gate, a portal that could unleash Armageddon upon both worlds, the young knights must square off against the evil corporation of Chemtech and the Galilian rebel group the Reapers in order to prevent total chaos. All the while and unknown to all parties involved, a mysterious figure with unimaginable power, known only as Bruce, and his assistant, a homicidal ex-priest from Alabama, are carrying out their own agenda, one even more sinister than that of Rautpa's Gate.

 

Seems to be a bit of a tangle of information, but I'll see how I get on.

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Wow I am so impressed with your TBR list! Good luck! My OH likes Lee Child so I'll tell him you enjoyed Killing Floor :)

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Wow I am so impressed with your TBR list! Good luck! My OH likes Lee Child so I'll tell him you enjoyed Killing Floor :)

Hey thanks Kate, it's the first time I've really made an effort to make one and it took ages. I was really impressed by him, certainly going to read more Jack Reacher books.

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An excellent mix of books on your TBR, Ben! I'm so jealous you've got A Room With A View to read - I wish I could read it again for the first time. I read it years ago after I saw the Merchant Ivory film adaptation of it, and I absolutely adored it. One of my all time favourites :smile2:

 

I noticed on another thread you mentioned you'd added The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to your wish list ... I read it three years ago and it was one of my favourite reads of the year! There's a thread about it here if you want to see some other reviews.

 

Anyway, happy reading in 2011 :friends3:

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Thanks, I might have to push A Room With A View up my to-be-read list on your glowing recommendation. I've heard it recommended by quite a few people so it looks like I'll be making sure I get around to reading it at some point. Ah, yes, I thought The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society sounded interesting indeed - looks like I'll be battling against myself this early on in the year to make sure I don't make too many purchases until I've dented my to-be-read pile. :lol:

Edited by Ben

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Decided to get stuck into Moab Is My Washpot alongside The Crimson Knights because I have Stephen Fry's book in paper-copy, whilst the review book I've transferred so I can read it on my Kindle. Anyway, has anyone read any Stephen Fry? I admire the guy but have never read any of his books; I have this, The Fry Chronicles and The Ode Less Travelled on my to-be-read pile, and I expect to read all three this year.

 

Synopsis:

Moab is My Washpot is in turns funny, shocking, tender, delicious, sad, lyrical, bruisingly frank and addictively readable. Stephen Fry's bestselling memoir tells how, sent to a boarding school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violation, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge, at eighteen, ready to try and face the world in which he had always felt a stranger. When he was fifteen, he wrote this in a letter to himself, not to be read until he was twenty-five: 'Well I tell you now that everything I feel now, everything I am now is truer and better than anything I shall ever be. Ever. This is me now, the real me. Every day that I grow away from the me that is writing this now is a betrayal and a defeat'. Whether the real Stephen Fry is the man now living, or the extraordinary adolescent now dead, only you will be able to decide.

 

This looks like a fantastic read and I've heard great things from it; looking forward to this one.

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I've just finished reading Moab is my Washpot and I very much enjoyed it. It's written in a way that makes you feel as though he's just there chatting to you, not too structured or formal. It's honest and touching and I can't wait to start The Fry Chronicles now. Happy reading, Ben :smile2:

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I've just finished reading Moab is my Washpot and I very much enjoyed it. It's written in a way that makes you feel as though he's just there chatting to you, not too structured or formal. It's honest and touching and I can't wait to start The Fry Chronicles now. Happy reading, Ben :smile2:

Ah sounds like it's written perfectly; Stephen Fry always comes across as an honest and genuine person, so it's nice to see that it's reflected in his writing. I can't wait to get through this and then make a start on The Fry Chronicles as well. Interestingly I've got that one on audiobook as well. As Fry is always a pleasure to listen to, I have some options there. Happy reading to you too. (:

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Ah sounds like it's written perfectly; Stephen Fry always comes across as an honest and genuine person, so it's nice to see that it's reflected in his writing. I can't wait to get through this and then make a start on The Fry Chronicles as well. Interestingly I've got that one on audiobook as well. As Fry is always a pleasure to listen to, I have some options there. Happy reading to you too. (:

 

 

Fry's voice is like the audio equivalent of pouring melted chocolate into one's ear. Pure euphony.

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Fry's voice is like the audio equivalent of pouring melted chocolate into one's ear. Pure euphony.

 

I love the imagery. I agree entirely my friend.

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That's an impressive reading list Ben! I have the Stephen Fry book on my shelf too and have heard great things about it. Looking forward to reading your thoughts ;)

 

Happy Reading in 2011! :D

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That's an impressive reading list Ben! I have the Stephen Fry book on my shelf too and have heard great things about it. Looking forward to reading your thoughts ;)

 

Happy Reading in 2011! :D

Thank you Charm, it's the first time I've properly made a list and I'm quite proud of it. I'll let you know what I think, and best of reading to you in 2011 too! :friends3:

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I'm sure you'll enjoy Moab is my Washpot, I loved it and agree that it seemed as if Stephen Fry was sitting there with you chatting about his life, enjoy! I'm halfway through The Fry Chronicles now and enjoying it very much.

 

I have just ordered the Kindle from Amazon, just couldn't resist any longer! :blush:

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I'm sure you'll enjoy Moab is my Washpot, I loved it and agree that it seemed as if Stephen Fry was sitting there with you chatting about his life, enjoy! I'm halfway through The Fry Chronicles now and enjoying it very much.

I have just ordered the Kindle from Amazon, just couldn't resist any longer! :blush:

Indeed I'm enjoying it so far, it's a light but interesting read. I imagine The Fry Chronicles flows the same. I'm glad to hear that you've ordered a Kindle, I'm sure you'll love it. I wonder if my comments helped make the decision in any way? :lol:

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Indeed it was your comments and enthusiasm that really made me think seriously about ordering one, thanks Ben! Perhaps you could suggest Amazon gives you commision for getting customers? :friends0:

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Indeed it was your comments and enthusiasm that really made me think seriously about ordering one, thanks Ben! Perhaps you could suggest Amazon gives you commision for getting customers? :friends0:

No problem, I just hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Haha, maybe so, seems unlikely though. :friends0:

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Killing Floor. - Lee Child.

 

Finished my first book of 2011, and it was one which I read quite quickly on my new Amazon Kindle. This is the first Lee Child novel I've had the pleasure of reading, and I'm glad to know that I've started off with a series which stretches on for another fourteen books; plenty to get stuck into with this one it seems. The novel itself was fantastic; intriguing and mysterious throughout, it had me hooked all the way from the first page to the last. Now, I'm not normally used to his style of writing, but the short and snappy sentences gave the novel that fast-moving feel which sweeps a reader off their feet and doesn't put them down until it reaches its conclusion. I found the characters to be believable and interesting, especially that of the main protagonist Jack Reacher, who at first the reader learns nothing about. As the novel unravels you start to feel yourself warming to Reacher and certain other characters, giving me the feeling that I was with them all the way in their battle to discover the truth, before everything goes up in flames.

 

4/5.

 

Having promised myself to be more conservative in buying books this year your review of Killing Floor has just made me download it to my kindle. I love a good thriller and this sounds right up my street. Had my kindle since Christmas day and love it so far. The real danger with it however is that I can now get books far too easily. One click and there it is.

 

A really interesting reading list and will look out for your reviews as they appear.

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Having promised myself to be more conservative in buying books this year your review of Killing Floor has just made me download it to my kindle. I love a good thriller and this sounds right up my street. Had my kindle since Christmas day and love it so far. The real danger with it however is that I can now get books far too easily. One click and there it is.

 

A really interesting reading list and will look out for your reviews as they appear.

In all honesty I'm the same - I'm having a constant inner-battle to persuade myself to read the books I've already got before buying more. A battle which I was always destined to lose, I'm sure. I'm glad to hear my recommendation has persuaded you to try Killing Floor. Do let me know how you get on and I hope I can recommend some more good titles in the near future.

Edited by Ben

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Moab Is My Washpot. - Stephen Fry.

 

Thoughts:

So here it is, my second finished book of the year, Stephen Fry's quite frankly fantastic autobiographical book, and in all fairness anything I write in a review will be completely and inexplicably pointless; for I can only do such a brilliant tale an injustice. Nevertheless, I will try, as I feel this book is one which should be recommended to anyone who enjoys a good yarn; take the time to join Stephen on his journey filled with despair, remorse, sadness, deceit and love. The book itself is both intriguing and humorous, often at the same time, as we are catapulted through Stephen's accounts of the tales of his childhood in boarding school, his first homosexual experiences, his pranks and jokes, his adolescent angst and early experiences with depression. It is extremely well written, as one would expect from Mr Fry, and is delightful, charming, brutally candid, and a pleasure to read. We're presented with his feelings of regret, despair, and self-loathing, and although I can far from condone his actions as a delinquent youth, neither can he; he acknowledges this most genuinely, and from it you can see how and why he has become what he is today. Throughout the book Fry quite honestly rambles away, often going off into side-anecdotes, and although this can be irritating for some readers, I found it nothing short of endearing, bringing a certain charm to his style of writing; the way in which he meanders through tales of his childhood, often coming back to his original point several pages on, gives us a sense of how his life has been an emotional roller-coaster from which he has clung on to the very end, to make himself the person which he wants to be.

 

5/5.

Edited by Ben

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