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Thread: 52 books in 52 weeks: 2017 edition

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    42. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
    43. Lies They Teach in School: Exposing the Myths Behind 250 Commonly Believed Fallacies by Herb Reich
    44. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
    45. Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
    46. The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis

    Currently reading Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher
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    17. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
    18. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
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    1: From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Jack the Ripper, as a graphic novel.

    2: Cuentos de Eva Luna (Stories of Eva Luna) by Isabel Allende. Short story collection...but an interesting one, as it's framed as stories told by a character from another of Allende's novels.

    3: Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. WW2 spy romp, trying to catch a German spy before he contacts his handlers and blows a catastrophic hole in the plans for D-Day.

    4: The Turkish Embassy Letters by Mary Wortley Montagu. In 1716, England appointed a new ambassador to Turkey. When he travelled to take up his post in Constantinople, his wife Mary travelled with him.

    5: Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. An old favourite, slumming it in Paris and living as a tramp in London.

    6: He Died With A Felafel In His Hand by John Birmingham. Seedy sharehouses, dubious housemates, general hilarity.

    7: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. A portrait of the artist as a young Persian.

    8: Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. Weirdly dreamy rambling through a day in the life of a small Welsh town.

    9: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. First in The Dark Is Rising sequence, sort of semi-modernised Arthurian.

    10: El Eternauta (The Traveller Through Eternity) by Hector German Oesterheld and Alberto Breccia. A soft snow starts to fall on Buenos Aires, and the world falls with it.

    11: The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. Second in The Dark Is Rising sequence.

    12: Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon. Shock and awe in 2003, as understood by the lions of the Baghdad zoo.

    13: The Worst Journey In The World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Memoir of the (completely disastrous in every way) 1910-1913 "Terra Nova" Antarctic expedition.

    14: Greenwitch by Susan Cooper. Third in The Dark Is Rising sequence.

    15: The Collector by John Fowles. Frederick Clegg is shy, socially awkward and a collector of butterflies. He fancies himself in love with an art student named he changes his name to Ferdinand and collects her too.

    16: A Morbid Taste For Bones by Ellis Peters. May 1137, and the monks of the Benedictine abbey in Shrewsbury are mounting an expedition into Wales to recover the bones of a local saint. Brother Cadfael - former crusader, current monk and general pain in the butt - is on the expedition to serve as translator and cultural attaché between the brothers and the locals. The locals don't particularly want to give their girl up...and someone is willing to kill over it. First of the Cadfael books.

    17: Beowulf, as translated by Seamus Heaney. If ever a book needed to be read aloud (I was using an audiobook) this is that book.

    18: The Grey King by Susan Cooper. Fourth in The Dark Is Rising sequence.

    19: Silver On The Tree by Susan Cooper. Fifth and last of The Dark Is Rising sequence.

    20: The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe. The only thing Marcus has ever wanted to be was a soldier. He requested a first posting in Britain specifically to win himself honour and glory, to chase away the demons of his disgraced father and the entire legion who marched north of Hadrian's Wall and never returned. But Marcus is wounded in his very first battle; he can hardly walk, he will never be a military tribune now. What is he supposed to do with himself, now that the only dream he remembers having is dead? Well, he could start by finding out what happened to his father, and bringing Legio IX Hispana's lost standard home...

    21: The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton (yes, THAT one), James Madison and John Jay. A collected series of essays published in New York newspapers in 1788, arguing the case for exactly how the shiny new Constitution they'd gone to such trouble to draft should be implemented in practice.

    22: Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle. I both love and hate my husband right now. Just a little. This is all his fault. He thought I needed a palate cleanser after the Federalist he bought an ebook of gay dinosaur porn. In space.

    23: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré. A bomb goes off in a German city, targeting Israeli diplomats. The culprit, for obvious reasons, appears to be Palestinian, but hunting him down is going to be difficult. Enter Charlie, the jobbing English actress sucked into taking a desperately dangerous, incredibly schizoid part in the theatre of the real.

    24: A History of the Vikings by Gwyn Jones. Exactly what it says on the tin.

    25: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I've been reading this to my children, and may be slightly over-identifying with Rikki-Tikki-Tavi again.

    26: El Pecado Mortal (The Mortal Sin) by Silvina Ocampo. This is...difficult to read, as you would expect from something that deals with child sex abuse. Clerical abuse, at that.

    27: Enemies: A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Herman Broder is a Holocaust survivor, and (almost despite himself) is juggling three women in his life. There's Yadwiga, the Polish peasant woman who first hid him in a hayloft to protect him from the Nazis and then married him after the war to keep him from hiding there forever. There's beautiful, neurotic Masha, the lover he can't give up even when she drives him crazy. And there's Tamara, his dead first wife who may not be dead any more. Herman may have a problem here!

    28: One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters. August 1138. The Anarchy is in full swing as King Stephen takes the town of Shrewsbury, and the rebel garrison inside the castle are executed. The local abbey says they'll see to the burials...but there is a small problem. They're supposed to be burying ninety four dead men who were all born and raised in the town. What they HAVE is ninety five, and one among them somebody no one seems to know. Second of the Cadfael books.

    29: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10 2001 by Steve Coll. This...explains a lot, honestly.

    30: Too Narrow to Swing a Cat: Going Nowhere In Particular On the English Waterways by Steve Haywood. A man, a cat, an old-fashioned narrowboat and the canals of England.

    31: The Executor by Jon Evans and Andrea Mutti. Joe never really thought he'd return to his home town, but when his old high school sweetheart names him as the executor of her will he doesn't have much of a choice. The more he looks at it, the less Miriam's death looks like an accident, and even without that something is very wrong in Elohra...

    32: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. Polly Whittaker is nineteen, and she has two sets of memories. She knows exactly where the two timelines split off, and where they converge into one again afterwards. One timeline is ordinary if miserable, the slow breakdown of her parents marriage. The other timeline is the one where ten year old Polly accidentally broke into a funeral and met a cellist called Thomas Lynn.

    33: Así Empieza Lo Malo (Thus Bad Begins) by Javier Marías. A sardonic, clever filmmaker who hates his wife. His wife Beatriz, miserable and lonely and drifting from bed to bed like a ghost, watching him. Predatory, urbane Jorge, a family friend watching her. The filmmaker's young assistant Juan, watching them all. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.

    34: The Best 100 Poems of Les Murray by Les Murray. Exactly what it says on the tin.

    35: White Mountain: Real and Imagined Journeys in the Himalayas by Robert Twigger. Part travelogue, part family reflection, part historical account, part philosophy

    36: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. It's Jane Austen. What else can there be to say? She had a very specific niche.

    37: Palestine by Joe Sacco. An American cartoonist explores Gaza and the West Bank in the shadow of the intifada.

    38: Rayuela (Hopscotch) by Julio Cortázar. This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. It's "House of Leaves" strange, and NOTHING is as strange as "House of Leaves"!

    39: El Libro de Arena (The Book of Sand) by Jorge Luis Borges. A collection of short stories.

    40: La Memoria de Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Memory) by Jorge Luis Borges. More short stories.

    41: My Life In France by Julia Child. This is a love note. I swear to God, the entire book is one very long love note.

    42: The Director is the Commander by Anna Broinowski. Anna has three weeks in North Korea. She's going to make a propaganda film, in accordance with the tenets laid down by Great General (and noted film fanatic) Kim Jong-Il. It goes about as well as you might expect.

    43: A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond. I've been reading this to my kids. The author died recently, so it seemed appropriate.

    44: Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler. The concept behind this is fantastic; the Nazis had an unbelievably complicated relationship with drugs, especially methamphetamines. The execution is a little patchy though.

    45: Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair) by Pablo Neruda. I LOVE Neruda. I always have.

    46: Monk's Hood by Ellis Peters. A cruel nobleman named Gervase Bonel comes to Shrewsbury abbey with his wife, servants and stepson to make a gift of some land he owns on the Welsh Marches. But before the contract can be sealed, he dies - poisoned, by an aconite based medicine taken from within the abbey itself. Third of the Cadfael books.

    47: Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes. Adolf Hitler wakes up in 2011, and he doesn't understand why or how. There's no Eva, no Fuhrerbunker, no war. He barely recognises the Germany he sees now, full of immigrants and led by a woman. Everyone still seems to recognise HIM, but they think he's a flawless impersonator who refuses to break character. Adolf sees some potential in the modern world though, especially once he discovers the internet and goes viral as a YouTube star...
    Accensum qui pedicat urit mentulam.
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