Novels read in the first three months of 2014

I’ve seen others review their year of reading fiction on blogs but I don’t think I’d actually remember all of the books I read in a year, so I thought I’d write a more modest list of the novels I’ve read in the first three months of the year. Hopefully this isn’t too embarassing!

I bought a Kindle in February and so many of these were read as e-books and bought in the failure of willpower through fatal ‘one-click’ purchasing…

  • A Place of Greater Safety, Hillary Mantel – lengthy examination of the beginnings of the French Revolution, focusing on Danton, Demouslins and Robbespiere as protagonists. I learned an awful lot about the revolution”¦ but blimey its long!
  • Rates of Exchange, Malcolm Bradbury – 1980s comic novel satirising both the sham iliac nature of then-Soviet satellite states and attempts at cultural exchange, with a bumbling academic as the protagonist. Quite funny, but not as good as Bradbury’s subsequent novel Dr Criminale.
  • The Apocalypse Codex, Charlie Stross – fourth in the Laundry Files series: a darkly comical commingling of Len Deighton and HP Lovecraft. Laugh-out-loud funny at points and brilliantly paced.
  • Bedsit Disco Queen, Tracey Thorne – an understated wonderfully written tour de force of an autobiography with some great observations about life in the 80s. Wholeheartedly recommended.
  • Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers, Alexander McCall Smith – the 9th in the ‘44 Scotland Street‘ series that began, serialised, in the pages of The Scotsman. I have a soft spot for several of the ongoing characters.
  • Solo, William Boyd – a James Bond novel, quite entertaining and quick to read.
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams – hadn’t read these until now, quite entertaining. I was surprised at how different the TV series of the same name turned out to be…
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Douglas Adams – the Dirk Gently sequel.
  • Bitter Seeds – Ian Tregillis – first in the paranormal spy/war series – ‘The Milkweed trilogy‘. I found this by looking for books similar to Stross’ Laundry series and came across this conversation between Stross and Tregillis, so I tried the books out.
  • The Coldest War, Ian Tregillis – see above.
  • Necessary Evil, Ian Tregillis – see above.
  • Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan – historical spy novel, with some compelling characters.

I’m happy to receive suggestions for books to read, I have a fairly eclectic taste!

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