Ok so I'm starting my end of year round up. I'm starting with books. I love reading but after uni where you're just reading around the clock I kind of stopped reading a lot. This year I decided to change that and swore I'd try and read as often as I could. I've not managed a great deal of books but it's a huge amount compared to 2008. In 2010 I'm going to try and do that 50 books in a year thing.
Finally, what books should be on my 'to read in 2010' list?
The 39 Steps ● John Buchan, I've read it many times before and I just love this book. So much is packed into such a tiny packaging. I really love Richard Hannay as a precursor to James Bond. I also love this for the play it spawned - oh how it makes me laugh!
On The Road ● Jack Kerouac, I feel like maybe I missed the point with this one. I didn't not like it but I found myself pretty indifferent to it and quite annoyed by the main 'characters' - they were so irresponsible and hard to like. I dunno, it just never clicked for me.
American Gods ● Neil Gaiman, Love this man! I've been meaning to read American Gods for ages. It was every bit as good as I expected. I'm sure I've missed huge chunks of it because there's just so much going on. I really enjoyed how many layers there were and how it all linked up.
Tintin and the Crab with the Golden Claws ● Herge, Oh shut up! Tintin counts as a book. I think Tintin is the reason I'm pretty meh about Batman et al, cos when I was growing up my super hero was a Belgian, obnoxiously curious journalist with a crazy hair do. I'm very excited for the film but also terrified.
The Picture of Dorian Gray ● Oscar Wilde, I love this book, I love how it's still relatable for today. Although I still find the whole Sybil was the love of his life thing really tenuous.
Tintin and the Shooting Star ● Herge.
Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn ● Herge.
State of the Nation: British Theatre Since 1945 ● Michael Billington, This book was so fascinating. It's so interesting to see the connections between the various theatres/producing houses and how they all came into being. It's very interesting to see how productions change with who's in power and what's happening in a societal context. Really really recommend this book for anyone who is interested in theatre.
Brideshead Revisited ● Evelyn Waugh, I love this book. I normally don't like first person narration but it really didn't bother me with this. It's one of those books that makes your heart ache after you finish reading.
Of Love and Other Demons ● Gabriel Garcia Marquez, He's one of my favourite authors. I find his writing style so exciting, I guess a little of that comes from the translation, it just reads really organically. I also love how he can write about something disturbing or slightly twisted and turn it into something beautiful.
Heart of Darkness ● Joseph Conrad, Again, I'm glad I've read it now and I understand how it caused uproar when it was first published but I wasn't as captured by it as I thought I would be.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie ● Muriel Spark, I really enjoyed this. It's very amusing but poignant at the same time. I did cry. I really need to rewatch the film now that I've read the book. I think Miss Jean Brodie is awesome, although at times it's very hard to like her.
Generation Kill ● Evan Wright, This book is so fascinating. It's great to see a different perspective of war in general and this specific war than you normally do, or at least I normally do because I tend to be more selective about my war books. These Marines are amazing.
One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine ● Nathaniel Fick, Nate's writing style is so easy to read and I appreciate how candid and thoughtful he is in this.
The Eyre Affair ● Jasper Fforde, Oh my, I loved this! It was so amusing and I love the world he's created. Thursday Next is a fabulous female character, although I wish she hadn't ended up with whatshisface.
Dead Until Dark ● Charlaine Harris, This book is so offensive. I found it just so disgusting to read. I can't even explain it. I think in some ways it's worse than Twilight but it's certainly on a par. They both glamourise abuse of women. Bill is a rapist ok? That's an automatic character write off for me.
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed ● Alan Alda, Alan Alda is one of my favourite actors ever. He's tremendous and so funny and that really comes over in this book. It's so poignant and joyous. I find it fascinating to read about his early years and to learn how he wound up being an actor.
Educating Rita ● Willy Russell, Ok so it's not a book but this is one of my favourite plays. Willy Russell is one of my favourite playwrights. He writes women so well and so generously. This one always cracks me up but also gives me quite the throat lump. I think the reason I adore his plays is because there is always an element you can relate to almost entirely. He's a great observer of people.
Three Days of Rain ● Richard Greenberg, again it's a play. I hadn't read/seen this till this year and now it's one of my favourites. There is so much to notice you don't see it all the first time around. It's such a rich tapestry of words. It's also hilarious. I think it's a wonderful illustration of how a generation misunderstands the one that came before.
The Hours ● Michael Cunningham, This is taking me a while. I'm enjoying it but his writing style doesn't really work for me.
Shooting History ● Jon Snow, Jon Snow is a legend. I'm only a short way into this one but I'm sure it's going to be intriguing to read.
National Service ● Richard Eyre, Again only a short way in but it's so exciting already. I really like the fact it's been published almost as is, no editing. It's a wonderfully candid and honest account of his time at the National. It also contains this gem: "8th June, Sponsors' lunch at the NT. Mary Soames pushes a note across the table to me. It read: 'who is Ian McKellen?'"
Finally, what books should be on my 'to read in 2010' list?