The first six months

Halfway through the year and I’m well ahead on my target: 32 books down, 20 to go. Of course, I’ve bought a hell of a lot more than 32 books in that same time so the towers of shame aren’t getting any smaller.

I’m an addict and I don’t want to get better.

I’ve read mostly fiction – 28 of those 32 books were novels – with an even split of male and female writers.

The best have been Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things, Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton, Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing With Feathers and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Julian Barnes’ The Noise of Time and Han Kang’s prize-winning The Vegetarian are also worth a look.

The worst?

Those Alien novels were truly woeful – even by the standards set by most trashy film tie-in novels – and I’ll simply never understand how Elena Ferrante became one of the most acclaimed authors of the modern age. Oh, and Lindsay Tanner’s book was painfully amateurish.

I’ve been a bit cheeky by reading a lot of shorter books but that’s set to change over the coming months. Annie Proulx’s Barkskins is high on my to-read list. I’m slowly struggling through Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I also intend to get to Garth Risk Hallberg’s City on Fire, Ethan Canin’s A Doubter’s Almanac, Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, and Hanya Yanagahira’s A Little Life by the end of the year, and they’re all monsters.

Happy reading.

Author: adamgartrell

Political journalist drowning in books

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