Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The 2005 List

Books Read in 2005

The Amateur Marriage Anne Tyler (A) Sweet, moving
Not the End of the World Kate Atkinson (A) Weirdly brilliant
When He Was Wicked Julia Quinn (C ) Romance; disappointing
Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters (A-) Good
Truth and Beauty Ann Patchett (A) Well done
Waking the Princess Susan King (A) Romance; good
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime Mark Haddon (A) Different
A Song for Arbonne Guy Gavriel Kay (A++) Really wonderful
Don’t Ask Donald E. Westlake (A) Classic
Brother and Sister Johanna Trollope (C+) Disappointing
Shopaholic Ties the Knot Sophie Kinsella (D) Disappointing
Sailing to Sarantium Guy Gavriel Key (B+) Good/okay
Almost French Sarah Turnbull (B) Good enough
Bank Shot Donald E. Westlake (A) Always good
The First Desire Nancy Reisman (A) Wonderful
French Women Don’t Get Fat Mireille Guiliano (B) Kind of good
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Gregory Maguire (C-) Disappointingly muddled
Simply Unforgettable Mary Balogh (B) Not bad
The Full Cupboard of Life Alexander McCall Smith (A) Good
Drowned Hopes Donald E. Westlake (A) Dependable
I am Charlotte Simmons Tom Wolfe (D) Yecchh hated it
The Jane Austen Book Club Karen Joy Fowler (B) Decent
Man Walks into a Room Nicole Krauss (C+) Depressing
The Turk and My Mother Mary Helen Stefaniak (A) Really good
The Professor and the Madman Simon Winchester (C) Pretty dull
Lucky You Carl Hiaasen (A) Very funny
Emotionally Weird Kate Atkinson (C) Uneven
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J.K. Rowling (A) Subtler than the others
Holy Fools Joanne Harris (C) Sort of okay
The Sunday Philosophy Club Alexander McCall Smith (C) Dull dull dull
To School Across the Fields Alice Taylor (B) Silly
The Last Day of the War Judith Claire Mitchell (A) Really good
Tender at the Bone Ruth Reichl (B-) Okay
The Geographer’s Library Jon Fasman (B) Fell apart at the end
Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon Dean Bakapoulis (A) Quietly good
A Change of Climate Hilary Mantel (A) Very good
Good Faith Jane Smiley (B-) Spotty
The Great Indoors Sabine Durrant (B) Okay
The Mystery of Breathing Perry Klass (B+) Good
The Wife Meg Wolitzer (B+) Pretty good
The Black Englishman Carolyn Slaughter (C-) Just not very good
The Holding Merilyn Simonds (A+) Really great
Eight Months on Ghazzah Street Hilary Mantel (B) Ultimately incomprehensible
Best Travel Writing 2003 Various authors (A-) Pretty good
The Linnet Bird Linda Holeman (B) Ehh. Could have been better
A Feast for Crows George R.R. Martin Still unfinished
The First Eagle Tony Hillerman (A) Good to be back
Portuguese Irregular Verbs Alexander McCall Smith (A) Funny
Inheritance Lan Samantha Chang (B) Not as good as it could have been
The Love of a Good Woman Alice Munro (A+) Amazing
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri (A) Good
The Constant Gardener John Le Carre (A-) Gripping
In a Dark House Deborah Crombie (B+) Pretty good


Anonymous said...

Becky - this is Jeannie B.

Loved this list! I'm sharing it with friends.

You're the only other person I know who has read Port. Irreg. Verbs, which I found to be very funny. To those who haven't read it, it's a series of short stories about a German philology professor who has written what sounds like the world's most boring book. Even his name, "von Igelfeld," is funny. It means "meadow of the hedgehogs." The funniest story involves von Igelfeld and another professor trying to learn ancient Irish from an Irishman who just screams curses at them. It's so funny - "That's a verb form only used when one is talking to a pig!" Becky, are you reading the other two in the series? When do you think they were written? It looks as if they were just published, but I think they were written long ago. In one story, a teenager appears in a "sailor suit." 1950s?

I also have a trilogy by G. Kay, and I'm going to give it a closer look thanks to your A++ for one of his books. I bought it used a Powell's Books in Portlans.

Becky Holmes said...

Jean, I noticed that teenager in a sailor suit also, and thought, what an anomaly. But your theory would explain it. He probably wrote these years ago and got them published because of his other successful series. They are kind of endearingly dated. I haven't read the others yet, but I plan to. I listened to this as an audiobook, and the reader is very dry and adds to the experience. They'd be good for your car trips.

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