“A God in Ruins” by Kate Atkinson
I think Kate Atkinson is a wonderful writer. This new book is superb. The ending is really clever and stays with you. Slightly too much information about flying planes in the war for me, but that is a minor quibble.
“Faithful Place” by Tana French
Another Tana French novel. She writes detective stories which are not normally my cup of tea but I love the way she writes and I find the plots really clever also. This one is about a detective from the wrong side of the tracks whose past comes back to haunt him.
“Broken Harbour” by Tana French
Another beautifully written, clever book by Tana French. It’s a detective story with all the detective elements in place but also an extended meditation on the boom and the bust and the people who were left high and dry when the Irish economy collapsed.
“Mrs Bradshaw’s Handbook: Travelling Upon the Ankh-Morpork & Sto Plains Hygienic Railway (Discworld)” by Terry Pratchett (2014)
Sorry, but this was awful. It wasn’t even funny. I think Terry Pratchett can only have been marginally involved at best.
“The Brandons” by Angela Thirkell
More super conservative 1930s social comedy from the mistress of the genre. I suppose you either like this stuff or you don’t. I do.
“Man at the Helm” by Nina Stibbe
This was quite good. The author’s first book about being a nanny in a publisher’s house in London. That was factual, but this is sold as fiction. I have a feeling, however, that it is strongly based on fact in which case I can only gasp at the horror and misery of her childhood and the rather stoic good nature which she and her siblings demonstrated in the face of adversity.
“Sisterhood” by Curtis Sittenfeld
This is very good. Not a lot of plot but the writing and characters are brilliant enough to get you over that. And even though it features psychic twins it is not at all clichéd. Truly.
“Death of a Policeman” by MC Beaton
I still read MC Beaton even though a part of me really disapproves of her. This Hamish Macbeth novel is, doubtless, an insult to Scottish people everywhere.
“The Moscow Option” by Jeremy Duns
This kind of thing is not really for me. If you like spy novels with double agents, deeply improbable plots and a certain amount of confusion, this is for you.
“Don’t Know Much About Catholic History” by Diane Moczar
A friend lent me this. The author is very keen on the 13th century and anyone who says it was anything other than amazing is anathema. She has strong, conservative Catholic views. Not for me though unintentionally entertaining in places.
“The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Cathecism” by John Zmirak
Lent to me by the same friend. Profoundly annoying, rendered the more so by the fact that there were some really interesting ideas in there which I could have done with having explained without heavy handed humour.
“Barbe Bleu” by Amélie Nothomb
Meh, not bad. A clever enough retelling of the traditional Blue Beard story. I didn’t love it but it was fine.