Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Reading Summary - October thru December

I finished my last book of 2013 this morning so I can finish my 2013 Reading summary. Woo hoo!. Overall it's been a very good year. I had challenged myself to finish 80 books and I ended up reading 98. I also read about 29,500 pages, although this is based on the pages listed for the edition I picked as part of my Goodreads library. However, I'm guessing it's a reasonable total. According to the stats page, the longest book I read this year was Daniel Deronda at 850 pages. So there you go, the stats info. :0) Now onto the summary of the final three months of 2013.


77. South By Java Head (War) by Alistair MacLean (4 stars)
78. An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly #3) (Mystery by Charlaine Harris (4 stars)
79. The Lurking Fear and Other Stories (Horror) by H.P.Lovecraft (4 stars)
80. Daniel Deronda (Fiction) by George Eliot (5 stars)
"Not my normal story at all; I do tend to more light reading, thriller, adventure, but at times I do try to explore more challenging stories. This was definitely one of those. It's a true classic, well-written and intelligent. The story focuses on two main characters, Gwendolen Harleth, a selfish, young lady who thinks the world revolves around her and Daniel Deronda, a gentlemen, searching for himself. This search has many aspects, the simple one being trying to ascertain who his parents are as he has grown up under the protection/ guidance of Sir Hugo Mallinger from childhood. This also involves more internal searching, who is he, why does he think as he does. He is a caring individual, selflessly helping friends and strangers; his flighty school friend Hugo Meyrick, the lovely Jewess Mira and even Gwendolen.. There is so much in this book, unspoken love, a brief study of what it is like to be Jewish in those times, death, romance, etc. I was very surprised how much I enjoyed the story and as I worked my way through the initial pages to get accustomed to the style of the time, it was published in 1876, I enjoyed it immensely. As much as Gwendolen irritated me to no end with her selfishness, at the same time, there was an inkling of sympathy for the plight she finds herself in (even if much of it is due to her own actions) and ultimately.. well, I won't go there. It's a heavy tome, but well worth reading. I'm very glad I did."
81. Night Without End (Spy) by Alistair MacLean (3 stars)
82. The Secret of Crickley Hall (Horror) by James Herbert (4 stars)
83. Circus (Spy) by Alistair MacLean (3 stars)


84. The Far Country (Fiction) by Nevil Shute (5 stars)
"In its way, it's a relatively simple story, but I love Shute's style. He tells a story gently, lovingly and at the same time, matter-of-factly (Is that a proper word? :0)). At its core it's a love story, but it represents its time as well. Set after WWII, England is struggling to feed its people, life is hard; whereas in counterpoint, in Australia, the frontier so to speak, life is pretty good, wool prices are high, money is good, there is work available. Helen goes to England at the request of her auntie, who thinks Australia might represent England more from her time in the early 1900s. Helen visits with an Aunt and her family, meets Carl, a Czech doctor, who works in the forest as a lumberman (as a Displaced Person from the war) he must work where the Australians let him for 2 years as a sort of payment for being allowed to live in Australia. He can then work towards getting his Doctor's certificate. The two meet under very interesting circumstances, a friendship/ relationship develops. This is the simple story, but there is so much more. Shute doesn't get involved in the politics of the time, other than in the background as it affects peoples' lives, but he does present an excellent picture of the time, contrasting life in England and Australia very nicely and very simply. It's a lovely story, not one I would have picked earlier in my life I don't think, but the more I read Nevil Shute's stories (two of my all-time favourites are his, On the Beach and Pied Piper) the more I enjoy his writing and the more of his books I want to read. Highly recommended."
85. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Spy (Spy) by Len Deighton (4 stars)
86. Death in Paradise (Henrie O. #4) (Mystery) by  Carolyn Hart (2 stars)
87. Sin City Vol. 2, A Dame to Kill (Graphic Novel) by Frank Miller (4 stars)
88. Dead Souls (Rebus # 10) (Mystery) by Ian Rankin (4 stars)
89. Revelation (Matthew Shardlake) (Mystery) by C.J. Sansom (4 stars)
90. Set in Darkness (Rebus # 11) (Mystery) by Ian Rankin (4 stars)


91. Fashion Beast (Graphic Novel) by Alan Moore (4 stars)
92. Missing: Presumed Dead (Mystery) by James Hawkins (2 stars)
93. A Morbid Taste for Bones (Cadfael # 1) (Mystery) by Ellis Peters (3 stars)
94. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend (Non-Fiction) by Susan Orlean (3 stars)
95. Monk's Hood (Cadfael # 3) (Mystery) by Ellis Peters (3 stars)
96. Birdman (Jack Caffery # 1) (Mystery) by Mo Hayder (3 stars)
97. The Ghosts of Belfast (Mystery) by Stuart Neville (4 stars)
"A new author for me. A very gritty story, full of action, but also quite thoughtful. Supernatural sideline that rules the main character's, Gerry Fegan, life. He is haunted by his past and his only way for peace is to follow their dictates and remove those people who caused the deaths of his ghostly followers. Political intrigue, informers, love and murder fill this story. Very well-written and excellent story-telling. I will definitely check out Neville's other books."
98. Saint Peter's Fair (Cadfael # 4) (Mystery) by Ellis Peters (3 stars)

So there you go, a year's worth of reading material. This is the final breakdown by genres

                                                    Oct - Dec                     Total
Mystery -                                        11                            47                     
Science Fiction/ Fantasy -                                             12
Fiction -                                           2                              8
Horror -                                           2                              4
Non-Fiction -                                   1                             5
War -                                               1                              10
Spy -                                               3                              8
Graphic Novel                                2                              4

                                                       22                             98

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