It’s a slightly odd phenomenon that I forever seem to best stick to my New Year’s resolutions a whole year after I’ve made them. I managed 2009’s in 2010; I blogged more in 2011 than I did in 2010, when I resolved to; 2011 I resolved not to go on dates – and, well, we know where that got me. And so it only seems fitting that this year, I seem to be carrying out 2012’s resolution to finish more books than I abandon at page 100. So far, and entirely out of character, I’ve abandoned none and finished five, which is an achievement worth celebrating…
Author: Gary Shteyngart
Recommended by: @matt_muir, and bought at Foyles on the South Bank.
Read: End Dec 2012 – 4 Jan 2013
An unlikely love story between the son of Russian immigrants, and the daughter of Korean, set in a dystopian America of the future. Satirical and disturbing, with some slightly terrifying prescience about the names of burger chains. Not entirely my cup of tea – I didn’t care about the characters enough to be really, madly invested in them, but as a read out of my usual comfort zone, worth doing. Score: 6.5/10
Author: Nicole Wallace
Recommended by: I can’t remember. I think I saw an interview with Wallace after something nuts that Sarah Palin did. A Christmas present from Ma Blonde.
Read: 5 – 8 Jan
A novel set in a White House where the main players are women and the VP sounds like she’s not-very-loosely based on Sarah Palin (Wallace is her ex-Chief of Staff). It’s easy to read, and keeps the attention, and West Wing nuts will probably enjoy the small, familiar details. Sadly the writing isn’t good, and there could have been more made of the plot – so much potential, but not fulfilled.
Author: Nora Ephron
Recommended by: everyone when it was announced Ephron had died. A Christmas present from Ma Blonde.
Read: 8 – 12 Jan
It’s brilliant. She’s brilliant. I want to write just like this.
Author: Glen Duncan
Recommended by: @matt_muir, who kindly provided me with his spare copy too, for the bargain price of a Sherbert Dip Dab
Read: 13 – 21 Jan
The tale of the fall of Lucifer – told from his perspective. Lucifer takes on human form for a month as part of a deal with God. Blackly funny, and sometimes horribly unsettling.
Author: Lisa Klaussman
Recommended by: I can’t remember. I think I saw it reviewed in a Sunday paper ages ago, and a Christmas present from Ma Blonde
Read: 21 – 30 Jan
Took me a while to get into, but easy to read and very well-written with some brilliant turns of phrase. It has faint overtones of Mad Men and Revolutionary Road – a period piece, with bleakness under the glamour. A higher-brow-than-average beach read.