Ringing in the New Year

Thanks to Bronte’s Page Turners for tagging me in to this. I’m a little late to it, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

Best book and/or series that you’ve read in 2016?

There were some great ones from 2016. Here are my favourites:

Review: Hello, is this Planet Earth? by Tim Peake - Page after page of some of the most beautiful photographs I've ever seen, taken from 220 miles up in the International Space Station. Every page looks like it has had a cool million pounds spent on it.
Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry - A sumptuous affair about Cora Seabourne - Recently widowed, she heads to the sleepy town of Aldwinter on the Blackwater - partly to see if she can find evidence of a fabled Serpent that will make her name in the sciences, and partly to find her feet after being freed from her domineering husband.
Review: Conclave by Robert Harris - This is about as addictive as books get - I didn't want to put it down. The Pope dies, and 118 cardinals descend on the Vatican to elect his replacement, in a secret Conclave.
Review: The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey - Genius child zombie wants regular school teacher to be her parent. I thought I'd read or seen every possible version of a zombie apocalypse, but this is something brand new to me. It is brilliant.
Review: Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama - One of the most gripping books I've ever read. A real page turner - I even got out of bed early to read it some days (yep - you can read before bedtime all you like, but unless your book gets you out of bed at half five in the morning then its not a patch on this). It follows a Japanese detective who starts to pry into a fourteen year old kidnapping.

Authors that you’ve recently found and would like to read more of in the new year?

Max Porter is a new voice I’d love to hear more from. Grief is the Thing with Feathers was his astounding debut last year – a short one about a young family coping with the death of their mum, with the help of an imaginary crow. That description sounds a bit depressing but it isn’t – it turned out to be one if the most uplifting books I’ve ever read.

It’s also pretty refreshing to read – you could describe it better as a poem than a novel (definitely not the kind of book I’d usually pick up). If nothing else, I’ll always remember this book for coining the phrase “wankerama”, and the moment I burst out laughing on the tram like a weirdo:

 Most anticipated book turned movie/tv show?

After the success of the Girl with all the Gifts and the movie, I’m keeping an eye on the follow up from M.R. Carey: the Boy on the Bridge. It’s out in May 2017.

Other than that, I’d say Red Sparrow – based on the Jason Matthews spy novel. A Russian honey trap agent targets a young CIA operative to uncover a senior-ranking mole at the heart of the Russian Intelligence service. It should be out in November-ish (and stars Jennifer Lawrence).

Name a character that you wouldn’t mind sharing a kiss with at midnight.

Good question – one that is likely to get me killed at the hands of my wife. With that in mind, I’d have to go for some kind of femme fatale from Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, or James Ellroy. You know, a real detective noir character, who’d kiss me and kill me in the same heartbeat.

The only character I can think of that fits the bill here is Brigid O’Shaughnessy from the Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, so it’ll have to be her:

What’s on your TBR for 2017?

Loads here, but I guess there are two series’ in particular I’ll be trying to finish by the end of the year:

Harry Potter – I know! Its bonkers that I’ve not read any of the Harry Potter books yet, isn’t it? Anyway, it turns out that in 2017, it is 20 years since Harry Potter was published, so I’ll use this as my motivation.

Annoyingly, I reckon I’ll have to borrow this series off my niece… I’m sure she’ll let it slide without any joking at all.

Sherlock Holmes – now I can’t be the only one who hasn’t read all of the Sherlock Holmes books, can I? Anyway, in 2017 it’s 130 years since Holmes first appeared in print (a Study in Scarlet). I’m already making good headway with this series, so I expect I’ll finish this one at least. Most surprising thing so far is just how much of a drug addict Holmes is:

capture

 

After that, I always like to cover off the Pulitzer and Booker winners each year, so more of the same on that front.

Oh, and loads about the Space Race – I love reading about it. I’ve Buzz Aldrin’s book next to my bed, along with Moonshot on the dining room table, and Al Shephard’s book in the living room – all just waiting to be read.

I should make a start on these before I buy another book, right?

How many books do you hope to read in 2017?

Tough one this. I try not to put a number on it normally – I like reading, and putting a number on it would make it a challenge for me instead.

I usually get through two a week, so that gets us to 104 for the year, but honestly that’s unlikely. In the end, I’m hoping for as much as makes me happy.

Will you participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge or any others?

Nope. For the same reasons as before – I like reading, and I wouldn’t like to lose sight of that for a minute by making it a challenge. I’m just aiming for the right books that make my reading enjoyable – and I’m pretty good at picking those.

 Any New Year’s Resolutions? (Bookish, blogging, and otherwise.)

Be less pretentious in my book choices – I am a proper book snob if I can help it, so reading more fun books is something I’m aiming for (although I’m about to post my copy of Hopscotch to a friend as I write this!).

More quizzes the last one I did was a lot of fun, so a few more of them will be on the way this year If I can get it right.

A Bookish Quiz: Opening Lines Edition - The name of the game is simple: Can you guess the book from the opening line? Let me know how you get on...
A Bookish Book Christmas Quiz - A bookish book quiz. Guess the classic book titles from the pictures. Have fun - let me know how you get on...

 

 

This tag was from Rae at Bookmark Chronicles – and was really fun to do. Thanks Rae! And thanks Bronte’s Page Turners too!

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3 thoughts on “Ringing in the New Year

  1. So many new books to read in the new year!
    Have you heard of Veronica Roth’s new story “Carve the Mark”?
    She’s the successful author of the Divergent series and I can’t wait to read her new book!

    Liked by 1 person

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