Tuesday 31 December 2019

Bookends 2019

It's been a great year for reading, with no books being rated by me as mediocre. The worst book of the year was The Last Hours by Minette Walters (2017), which merely read like a passable historical fiction novel, which is no great crime. There were some disappointing books, such as The Crying Lot of 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1966), which seemed dated and unfocused. David Marusek's sequel to the excellent Counting Heads (2005) - Mind Over Ship (2009), struggled for coherence and left me underwhelmed. 

The best by far were Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively (1987) and Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (1946), two totally different but equally sublime novels. I'll be definitely reading more by Lively and Peake in the near future, and so should you! A shout-out goes to Sailor Twain by Mark Siegal (2012) and The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis (1986) for being the most entertaining books of the year. The most important book, for unfortunate reasons, was Sapiens by Yuval Harari (2011); a must-read if you want to understand where humanity has come from and exactly why it was almost inevitable the we should find ourselves in our current climate change predicament. Appropriate reading for humanity's last golden age? I wish that I could be more optimistic on the last day of 2019, but frankly rather than bury my head in the sand, like Australia's ruling Triple C Liberal Party (Climate Change Criminals), I'm going to bury my head in more books next year (including a recent Christmas gift - Bowie's Books (2019), hence the gratuitous Bowie picture above...).

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