Tag Archives: 2017

My 2017 Reading in Statistics

This is my review of my reading year. I’ve loved keeping this blog to help me with reading more and tracking what I’ve read. I’ve read 65 books this year, compared to 20 in 2016, and 19 in 2015 (so glad for the goodreads challenge to help me keep count!). I’m delighted to be back reading regularly after many years of feeling like I wanted to read more, but just not fitting it in. I have been regularly blogging this year, but didn’t create my blog last January. I had done the odd book review before this – twelve in total form 2015 and 2016.

The Books

2017-1

2017-2

2017-3

2017-4

2017-5

How have I managed to read so much more?

Several things have helped. The first, and probably most important, is I am no longer in a job that requires me to work most evenings and some of the weekends. I changed jobs to one where I have an amazing amount of work-life balance compared to the eight years before. I also watch much less TV, sometimes spending a few hours in the evening reading instead. Finally, my children are slowly getting better at sleeping and I’m less completely knackered all the time!

The Statistics

 

2017-6

I’m more than happy with the amount of non fiction I have read this year.

2017-7

I’m equally happy with the gender split of authors I’ve read this year.

2017-8

Here is somewhere I could definitely do better on. I need to prioritise reading more BAME authors.

Nationality of Author

2017-9

It’s very clear that I mostly read British or American authors. It’s embarrassing how there’s no South American or African authors, and only a few from the entire of Asia. Definitely something I need to do better on next year.

2017-10

Very happy with this. I’ve been discovering lots of authors this year, and have read a lot I just hadn’t got round to yet!

2017-11

Sorting my books into genre was very difficult! I had to put a few categories together or I was going to end up with a lot of genres with just one entry and the pie chart would have been a complete mess! I already knew I had read a lot of literary fiction. I’ve probably put quite a few books in this section that shouldn’t strictly be there. I’m happy with the amount of other types of books I’ve read.

My top book reviews of 2017

Click the text to go to the review.

  1. The Power – Naomi Alderman IMG_6128
  2. Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor 33283659
  3. Nasty Women – 404Ink 41aalgyb8hl-_sx317_bo1204203200_
  4. Inferior – Angela Saini saini-inferior
  5. Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain 17204619
  6. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes me-before-you
  7. American Gods – Neil Gaiman american gods
  8. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead IMG_7025
  9. Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – Dallas Campbell AdAstra1
  10. The Girl On the Train – Paula Hawkins girl-on-the-train

Most of this top ten is not a surprise. Many are my favourite books of the year and also ones that I’ve felt have had a bit of a buzz around them that I have read quite soon after they came out (Inferior and Nasty Women are two examples).  Some won big awards (The Power and The Underground Railroad) and so people were generally interested in them. There’s a couple of the big bestselling type of books here (The Girl on the Train and Me Without You), and a few that I think my friends would be particularly interested in (Quiet, American Gods, and Ad Astra – science geeks yo). More cringingly, the second most popular review of the year is a book I really did not get on with very well. I write honest reviews, but I am very careful writing negative ones. I didn’t hold back much on this one for a few reasons: it’s a hugely popular author and my small opinion will not even register on anyone’s radar, plus generally the literary community bloody loved it.

But none of those are the most popular post of 2017, in fact one post got 14 times more views than the most popular book review… 

My Review of Rebellion Punk Festival

IMG_6590

My review of this music festival got an incredible number of views in the week after I wrote it. I did a very short analysis of the gender makeup of the bands and their order of billing. I describe how I set out to support the female artists and musicians over the weekend, and also the BAME musicians (of which there were only a handful out of hundreds of performers). This post got shared amongst some (thankfully private) facebook groups and some people found it erm… not to their taste shall we say. I had some of the comments reported back to me, and lets just say I’m glad I couldn’t read them. They weren’t very nice. I saw some incredible bands over the weekend and will do exactly the same sort of analysis next time I go, because that’s what I enjoy doing!

Looking forward to 2018

Next year I want to read more. I want to make sure I read more BAME authors and also more authors from around the world – I will have to include lots of translations to make sure I do this. There are no graphic novels, horror (eeek!), or poetry in this years book – need to sort that out! No romance? I’m not keen, but I’ll have to give some a go. Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

My Top Fiction Reads of 2017

Oh this is going to be hard to narrow down! I have read 43 non-fiction books this year. A great achievement for me and I’m so happy to be reading a lot again after years of not finding the time (answer: I watch less TV). I am aware the year isn’t done yet. If I read any amazing books in the last two weeks of December I’m going to have to add them to next years list!

Click the images to go to my longer review of each book. Here we go:

IMG_6101

The Power – Naomi Alderman

Women develop the power to give deadly electric shocks. Goodbye patriarchy. This winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 is a visceral, shocking look at a complete reversal in the power balance between men and women. I absolutely loved reading The Power and you would too!

 

EINTY1

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

An emotional look at a family who are terrible at communicating with each other. 1970s America, white mother and Chinese Father, with three children. We meet them on the morning that the middle child, Lydia, goes missing and is found drowned. This book was such an emotional read and I loved it.

Also, one of the main characters shares my name, and that was really weird.

 

29906980

Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders

Abraham Lincoln mourns the death of his beloved son, Willie. He visits his coffin twice during a night where Willie is residing in the Bardo – the middle place between life and death, along with a host of other ghosts, all with their own shit to deal with before they can move on. A beautiful poetic exploration of grief and parental love. I finished Lincoln in the Bardo feeling uplifted, and much more educated about Lincoln and the American Civil War.

It won the Man Booker Prize 2017 and I am not surprised at all.

 

img_4856

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Firefighters no longer put out fires in this dystopian future. They cause them when someone is found to be in possession of books, any books, they are all illegal. The population have been taught that thinking deeply is a bad thing and they are kept distracted and dumb with frivolous soaps and constant entertainment. Written in 1953, it felt like it could have been written last year. Brilliant.

 

41qugndt3tl-_sx323_bo1204203200_

Living the Dream – Lauren Berry

Late 20-somethings hilariously navigate life and friendship. Sharp and sarcastic, they are a fairly aimless group of friends approaching 30 and dealing with their lives not being what they expected they would be by this age. Funniest book I have read for a long time.

 

IMG_7025

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad is made physical in this story of Cora escaping slavery from a plantation in the Southern USA. Cora stops off in several states during her journey North and in each one the laws and atmosphere around slavery are different, but equally awful. Cora is trying to make it North, but is being hunted…

The Underground Railroad hits you in the gut with it’s stark and immersive description of Cora’s life on the plantation. It’s part thriller and we have to consider, will Cora ever be free?

 

c2zggsvxaai7hye

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Man creates monster. Man abandons monster. Monster starts out loving and intelligent but is changed by his treatment by humans and, more devastatingly, his creator. Monster wants revenge. The wretch! #teammonster

 

beloved

Beloved – Toni Morrison

This book will break your heart. Sethe was born into slavery and she will do anything to protect her family from suffering this same fate.

This is the first Toni Morrison book I have read and I’m so glad I did.

 

IMG_5060

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

A crisis with human reproduction means women capable of bearing children are forced to live with ‘important’ men and their wives. They are raped in an official, state sanctioned ceremony to try and save the population. Fear and control are everything.

 

IMG_5411

Bel Canto – Ann Patchett

I came away from Bel Canto feeling like it was the most beautiful exploration of love I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to end and yet I needed to know what happens! A group of internationally important people are taken hostage while attending a party in a South American country. I don’t want to give any more of the plot away here!

********

These are all the fiction books I’ve read this year. Click to go to my longer review of each book.

 

What were your favourite fiction reads this year?

My Top Science Reads for 2017

Having looked at all the non-fiction I’ve read this year, I’ve decided to split them up into science, politics and feminism, and biography and memoir, otherwise I would have a really long blog post summing it all up! I can’t quite believe I’ve managed to read 22 non-fiction books this year! and there’s still a few weeks left… what if I read another incredible book before January?

These are my favourite non-fiction science reads for the year, out of the ones I have read this year, not that they were necessarily published this year. Click on the images to go to my longer reviews.

saini-inferior

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story – Angela Saini.

Inferior is a wonderful look at the history of scientists letting their own attitudes to women get in the way of the science they are doing. It looks at difficulties faced by female scientists through history, and the discrimination they faced which was then thrown back at them as ‘well look, women just aren’t as good at science’. You wouldn’t let double Nobel prize winning Marie Curie join the French Academy of Sciences because she was not a man. Imagine what all these women could have done with support and access to scientific education!

It looks at what are the actual scientific differences between the sexes, and is a rallying cry to get more women into science to end the dominance of old white men. Ok, that last bit may just be more my feelings after reading it.  As well as being really easy to read and understand, it’s funny (see my review for a bit more on this!).

TILOHL5

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot.

Straying into the world of cell biology with this one. Henrietta Lacks was a poor, black women whose cancer cells were taken from her without permission. She died from this aggressive cervical cancer. Her cells turned out to be an immortal cell line (they keep dividing and don’t seem to have a limited number of divisions before they die, like most cells). They have revolutionised many areas of medical research and are known to scientists as HeLa.

The story of the cells would be interesting enough, but the real genius of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the story of Henrietta’s family. Her children didn’t find out about the cells until 25 years after the original sample was taken. The family had not received any science education and didn’t know what a cell was – they imagined the scientists had Henrietta chopped up in labs, and all sorts of horrific ideas. By the time Rebecca Skloot investigates the story it is a further 20 years later.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a celebration of the advancement of science, and a heart breaking story about the human, and the family, behind those little samples of cells.

adastra

Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – Dallas Campbell

This is a beautiful book full of pictures and stories and facts and history all related to leaving planet Earth. Dallas Campbell has found the most interesting stories about the history of space travel, the current state of space travel, and where it might go in the future. You will read about space cats and tortoises, things smuggled into space, astronaut testing, and moon rock detectives. It’s a book I know I will find myself dipping back into many times to re read.

17204619

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Quiet is about the strengths of introverts. We live in a society that seems to put all the value on extrovert qualities, yet introverts have brilliant things to offer the world. Quiet can help people understand their own introversion, help them accept and recognise its value, and can help extroverts understand the introverts around them.

I’m very clearly an introvert and it was nice to read a book all about how great that is. It also deals with a personal bugbear of mine: that being quiet and being shy are not always the same thing 😀

******************

Here are all the non-fiction books I read this year (click to go to my review):

What were you favourite science reads this year?

The Mid Year Freak Out! Tag

I haven’t been tagged by anyone to answer these questions. I have just seen the tag and liked the idea of summing up my reading for this year with these questions 😀
So far this year I have read 42 books – way above my target, and around double what I have managed for the last few years, each year. I’ve managed this by just fitting in a bit of reading where I can: waiting for the kettle to boil, 20 mins in the morning, a bit at lunchtime etc. and I’ve been watching less TV! Not none… I’ve had to watch American Gods and The Handmaid’s Tale, and University Challenge and Only Connect obvs. 

1. BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017?

Impossible to pick one, and difficult to narrow it down because I’ve really enjoyed a lot of books I’ve read this year. The top ones have to be the ones I gave 5*s to. You might not believe it, but I’m quite stingy with my 5*s!!! (click through for reviews):

goodimmigrantIMG_6101EINTY151o3pkmsmgl-_sx331_bo1204203200_saini-inferior41qugndt3tl-_sx323_bo1204203200_41kkt0wkkxlIMG_5060IMG_5018IMG_5411beloved17204619

img_4856

2. BEST SEQUEL OF 2017 SO FAR?

I’ve not strictly read anything that’s a sequel so far this year. I’ve been meaning to read Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword for a while after reading Ancillary Justice a few years ago. I’m going to have to pick John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from The Cold. I’m on a (very slow) mission to read all of Le Carre’s books. So that’s book 3 done… in 4 years. Might need to get a few more out of the way soon!

spycold

 

3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO?

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ I’ve had my eye on this all year but haven’t got a copy yet.

31349579

Out of the books I own, that I haven’t read yet, that are also quite new, these are the ones I most want to try but haven’t got round to yet:

IMG_6440

4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2017?

One book I’m looking forward to is The Book Of Joan – Lidia Yuknavitch although I don’t think it’s out in the UK until 2018? It’s been described as:

a genre-defying masterpiece that may very well rewire your brain

See? sounds awesome!

51r0c2-isjl-_sx323_bo1204203200_

Also, The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit, a follow up collection of essays, on feminism, to Me Explain Things To Me. 

41pbth0x6gl-_sx349_bo1204203200_

5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor. Click through to the review if you must! I much prefer liking books!

33283659

 

 

6. BIGGEST SURPRISE?

Frankenstein – Mary Shelly. I really enjoyed it, and I didn’t mention it in my review, but reading a bit about Mary Shelly herself was fascinating.  I really want to read Romantic Outlaws – Charlotte Gordon now too – especially after a friend also recommended it to me a while before I  read Frankenstein. It’s about Mary Shelly and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft.

c2zggsvxaai7hye

 

7. FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU) ?

I’m going to choose Celeste Ng and Lauren Berry. Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You is just beautifully written and I can’t wait for her next book Little Fires Everywhere. Lauren Berry’s Living The Dream was hilarious and one of the funniest, most relatable books I’ve read in ages.

EINTY2164692

41qugndt3tl-_sx323_bo1204203200_200063452

8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH?

Hmmmm might have to be Shadow Moon from American Gods, probably more influenced by the TV show than the book!

american-gods-omg-character-posters-shadow-moonamerican gods

He’s no Rupert Campbell-Black or Richard Sharpe though, obvs.

giphygiphy1

9. NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

I’m going with Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith. She’s a strong and determined character and she grows into a kind and thoughtful woman over the course of the novel. Also, she loves books.

10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?

Without doubt this award has to go to Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I sobbed through the last 20 pages and wasn’t much better at various other stages of the book. There was something about the main character having my name, probably being around my age, and being unable to get on with a career as a scientist… also trying to make sure your female children aren’t held back by societal sexism, while trying to not damage them and also not ignoring your other kids! Such a good book.

IMG_6252

Runner up for this has to be Beloved – Toni Morrison. Such a beautiful, moving book.

beloved

 

11. BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?

I’m not sure about any of them making me particularly happy, but plenty made me laugh.

I’ve read two of David Sedaris’ novels this year: Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Holidays On Ice. He can be completely hilarious. One part of Me Talk Pretty One Day had me uncontrollably laughing.

ab488c76ab1c26f7c81a267d0e5654074136

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut made me smile a lot. And Bel Canto by Ann Patchett was the novel that made me feel the  happiest, I guess.

9593IMG_5411

12. FAVOURITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR?

 

american-gods-omg-character-posters-bilquis-682x1024

13. FAVOURITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR?

I’m going with Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit. I loved the book, I loved the artwork in it by Ana Teresa Fernandez – some of which I included in the review, and I loved using this gif:

tenor

 

14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU BOUGHT OR RECEIVED SO FAR THIS YEAR

I’ll just put these beauties here with a gorgeous peony.

IMG_6014

 

15. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

So many… here’s a shortlist:

and I have started, but need to finish:

IMG_6014oryx crakeIMG_5418IMG_1752IMG_2273

 

If you want to do this tag? Consider yourself tagged by me and just get on with it!

Let me know your answers to these questions in the comments or leave me a link to your post.

Thanks for reading!

The Rory Gilmore reading list challenge 2017

I’m a recent fan of Gilmore Girls. Around 15 or so years behind everyone else, and prepping for a friend’s Gilmore Girls reunion show party, I recently watched every episode. I won’t work out how many episodes a day I’ve fitted in, or how many hours worth of watching this is, but it’s surely an achievement I should be slightly proud of?

I was asked at the party who my favourite character is, and I think it’s Rory. I admire her unapologetic love of reading and literature. It’s not something you often see especially in a teenage character and *especially* as something that isn’t ridiculed. She’s not the book geek waiting for her transformation makeover. That girl loves books.

giphy1

I was delighted to see this BUST article a few day later where a reading list, created for Rory Gilmore,  is reproduced. It’s not all the books seen or mentioned on the show (this huge list exists elsewhere), instead it’s a more manageable size. I don’t know exactly what the criteria for inclusion has been. These may be books she is seen with, or mentions or may be linked to books the show creators thought Rory would read.

giphy

The list really caught my attention because it happens to include some of my favourite books that are also a little bit unusual. There is Mark Dunn’s Ella Minnow Pea, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, and Devil In The White City by Erik Larson. In total there’s 22 books I’ve already read, and only 3 are not on my Super Favs book list. And even those 3 I’m glad I read, even if they were a chore. Well, except one, I hated one. Many of these books are ones that have been hovering near the top of my to read list. I own a lot of them already!

I’ve decided to make next years personal book challenge to read as many more of these as I can. Exceptions may have to be made for my book club as we take turns choosing, but the other books I read will be from this list. There are many books here I haven’t heard of, and given the form of the ones I have, I expect to find some fabulous gems. There are 98 I haven’t read. If I can read 20 next year I’ll be delighted! It will also make me read some that I think I already should have read. Here’s the list with red text for the ones I can already tick off:

 

• The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

• Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

• The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

• Brick Lane by Monica Ali  

• Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood  

• Emma by Jane Austen  

• Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen  

• Oracle Night by Paul Auster  

• Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

• The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov  

• The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

• The Awakening by Kate Chopin

• The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer

• Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

• Fat Land : How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser

• Cousin Bette by Honore De Balzac

• Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia De Burgos by Julia De Burgos

• The Red Tent by Anita Diamant  

• David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

• Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky  

• An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

• The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy

• The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas  

• Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn 

• The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  

• Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

• The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

• Time and Again by Jack Finney

• The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  

• A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

• Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

• Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

• Lord of the Flies by William Golding  

• Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

• My Life in Orange by Tim Guest

• The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 

• The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

• Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi

• The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

• Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

• Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

• Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman

• A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall

• The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

• Songbook by Nick Hornby

• The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini  

• The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo  

• Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

• How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland

• The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

• Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen  

• The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

• The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

• On The Road by Jack Kerouac

• One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

• Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes  

• The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd  

• A Separate Peace by John Knowles

• Extravagance by Gary Krist

• The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

• The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson  

• The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht

• The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

• Small Island by Andrea Levy

• Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire  

• A Month Of Sundays by Julie Mars

• Life of Pi by Yann Martel  

• Property by Valerie Martin

• The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

• The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus         

• Quattrocento by James McKean

• Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller  

• Beloved by Toni Morrison

• Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

• Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

• The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  

• How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

• 1984 by George Orwell  

• When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

• Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

• Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett

• The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

• My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

• The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath  

• Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

• The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

• Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

• The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson

• The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

• Empire Falls by Richard Russo

• The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

• Sybil by Flora Schreiber

• The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

• Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

• Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

• Hamlet by William Shakespeare

• Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

• Frankenstein by Mary Shelley  

• Unless by Carol Shields

• Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

• The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

• A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

• Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

• Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

• Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

• The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan

• Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray  

• Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  

• A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

• The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker

• The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

• Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito

• Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

• Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

• Night by Elie Wiesel

• The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde  

• The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse

• Old School by Tobias Wolff

• The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon