Rather than list every book I read this year (although there wasn’t a huge amount) I thought I would pick some of the ones that were not my normal horror reads. I enjoyed every book I read this year. Some were a little more difficult to get through than others (I’m not good at non-fiction) but all of them were enjoyable. There are no spoilers in this post, just general mini rants.
1. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
This was probably the most surprisingly enjoyable book that I have read in a long time. I have read a few classics, including Dracula and Frankenstein and could not believe how long it could take me to read such a tiny book. With the Musketeers I was surprised at how easy and fun it was to read. I believe this has a least a little bit to do with the translation that I read (done by Will Hobson) which was published by BBC this year. Since one episode of the BBC tv show The Musketeers sent me on a bit of an obsessive kick (as is usual when I like a show), I bought the tv show cover. It was funny and fast paced and at no point did I get bored. I have added Count of Monte Cristo and the remaining two books of The D’Artagnan Romances. I think I should probably read at least one more book by Dumas before I add him to my favourite authors list.
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
I read a lot of reviews saying this was a terrible book and a lot of reviews saying it was a wonderful book. I read it because I’d seen a preview for the stage show when I went to a National Theatre Live screening and thought it sounded really interesting. It’s one of those books that I knew the title and cover from my days working in the book store, but never actually knew what it was about. I found it to be a really interesting read. It is very different and I can understand how some people may have trouble reading it. I liked how unique it was compared to everything else I have read.
3. Beyond Belfast – Will Ferguson
This is the book that took me the longest to get through, but not for lack of interest. I just seem to have trouble getting through non-fiction books. It’s the fault of this book (after only about maybe 50 pages…possibly not even) that I decided, while enjoying some Twisted Lemonades on our single camping trip last summer, that I wanted to go on a trek. Not the Ulster Way (although it would be freakin amazing), but something I could finish and be proud of. We decided in 2016 we are going to do the West Coast Trail in BC (Canada). But I digress. Will Ferguson is a very good writer and put a lot of interesting history into this book as well as blood, sweat and tears I imagine. I have always been fascinated with Ireland, but tend to lean more towards the Republic Of as apposed to Northern. Some of the stories were shocking and heart-wrenching (I’ve never known much about The Troubles so it was mostly new to me). It was definitely worth the time for anyone who enjoys a bit of history with a bit of humor.
4. Some Buried Caesar - Rex Stout
Why did a girl who reads mostly horror fiction and fantasy (but really mostly Stephen King) pick up an old mystery novel? Timothy Hutton. It’s all his fault. I use to watch a lot of A&E back when it was mostly American Justice and Cold Case Files, but they also use to have some good shows. One of those shows was Nero Wolfe (I think I saw it on A&E anyways, my memory is not always reliable). I’m not sure if I had liked Timothy Hutton before, but I ended up with a serious crush on Archie (his character in the show). It was an amazing show, but not something I would normally be interested in reading. I expected it would be boring, to be honest. And there was a bit of dryness to it, but I think because I had watched the tv show and had the voice in my head it made it quite enjoyable. I seem to remember some of it sounding a bit ridiculous, but all in all it was a fun little read. And I have two more Nero Wolfe Mysteries in my house…somewhere.
5. The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
I had never read a Ray Bradbury book in my entire life until last year when I read The Martian Chronicles (prompted by my enjoyment of the radio dramatizations of some of his stories), but I had read one of his stories. The Veldt is one of the few short stories I remember reading in school that I absolutely loved and it was in this book. When I found some of his books on a discount book website I figured what the hell. He is an amazing writer. I like the image of the Illustrated Man to connect all the stories (although I’m pretty sure there was a lot of space stories in this one too). I was reading some old tweets earlier and apparently I was thoroughly creeped out by one of the stores, but I cannot remember anything about it. Of course the best part about not remembering…rereading!
Those are some of the books I read this year. I also read books by Stephen King, Joe Hill and John Lindqvist (three of my favourite writers). I also read my first Dean Koontz book, Odd Thomas, which was a good book, but I’m not sure I like Koontz’s writing style (couldn’t tell you specifically what about it). I also am having trouble remember if I read more books than I had on my Goodreads list, except that 20th Century Ghosts was the last thing I read. By the way, I am terrible and keeping my Goodreads account updated.
I have now got myself thinking about what I want to read in the new year, but I think I will leave that for another post.
What did you read this year? Which book was your favourite? Any surprises?