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2011 Book list

I agree that the changes to LJ that have upset half my flist, i.e. the disappearance of the subject line and the Userpics drop-down menu on Comments, have not made things easier for communities or individual users with basic, S1 style accounts. As a paid, S2 style user, I'm not directly affected; but I do think it's shameful how LJ has gone about implementing these changes and has so far failed to respond to the uproar it's created. But my biggest bug bear is the sudden increase in the amount of spam I seem to be receiving lately, all of it Russian, requiring me to go back to entries posted as far back as 2004 and delete these 'comments' from my journal. It wouldn't be so bad if, in the process of cleaning up, I could stop reading these old entries and losing valuable time that I would do better to spend job hunting. </rant>

Not that I'll have time to devote myself to that endeavour today, either; as I've arranged to meet a friend in town later on, and go see L'Artiste/The Artist at the art house cinema. I expect this will be the last new release I'll watch in the cinema this year, bringing my total up to 7 (after The King's Speech, Sonny Boy, Black Butterflies, Beginners, Jane Eyre, and Puss in Boots), which considering most years I don't get to see more than 1 or 2 is quite a lot for me. OTOH, it's been a very bad year for gigs, as I've only been to 1 (Mark Knopfler & Bob Dylan), in October.

And I'm behind my pace on my reading this year, too, or so Shelfari informs me every time I log in. Whereas last year, I read over 50 books; in 2011, I didn't manage more than 46.


01. The Taste of Sorrow, by Jude Morgan
02. Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys
03. The Last Rendezvous, by Anne Plantagenet
04. Stalking Richard and Judy, by Valentine Honeyman
05. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
06. Stonehenge, by Bernard Cornwell
07. Aristocrats. Power, Grace and Decadence: Britain's Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present, by Lawrence James
08. King of Ithaca, and:
09. The Gates of Troy, by Glyn Iliffe
10. Conquest, by Stewart Binns
11. The White Queen, and:
12. The Red Queen, by Philippa Gregory
13. A Short History of Myth, by Karen Armstrong
14. Lily of the Nile, by Stephanie Dray
15. The Parthenon, by Mary Beard
16. The Father of Frankenstein, by Christopher Bram
17. Mini Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella
18. Macbeth: the True Story, by Fiona J. Watson
19. The Bonesetter's Daughter, by Amy Tan
20. Caligula, and:
21. Claudius, by Douglas Jackson
22. Emperor of the West. Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire, by Hywell Williams
23. The Temptress. The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janzy, by Paul Spicer
24. Good Omens. The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Alice Nutter, Witch, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
25. Elizabeth: Virgin Queen?, by Philippa Jones
26. Military Mayhem. 2,500 Years of Soldierly Sleaze and Scandal, by Terry Crowdy
27. The War That Killed Achilles. The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War, by Caroline Alexander
28. Xanadu, by John Man
29. The People's Queen, by Vanora Bennett
30. The Time of Singing, and:
31. To Defy a King, by Elizabeth Chadwick
32. Made in America, by Bill Bryson
33. The Golden Mean. A Novel of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, by Annabel Lyon
34. Egyptian Dawn: Exposing the Real Truth behind Ancient Egypt, by Robert Temple
35. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, by Syrie James
36. Antony and Cleopatra, by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy
37. Sappho's Leap, by Erica Jong
38. Freddie Mercury, by Lesley-Ann Jones (birthday present)
39. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson
40. The Naked Man: a Study of the Male Body, by Desmond Morris
41. New York, by Edward Rutherfurd
42. Year of Wonders. A Novel of the Plague, by Geraldine Brooks
43. The Book of Daniel, by E.L. Doctorow
44. The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, by C.M. Mayo
45. The Hunter of the Dead and the Kiss of Persephone, by Maria Aragon
46. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens


Again, history and historical fiction made up the bulk of my reading. I can't help it, it's my favourite genre. Sometimes, it works, and works brilliantly (Bernard Cornwell, Glyn Iliffe), and sometimes, it doesn't (Stephanie Dray, Douglas Jackson). A few bargain basement books have been outright disappointments, while others have been real finds; and as for the classics...well, re: Lady Chatterley's Lover, I can't see what all the fuss was about; it's one of the most boring books I've ever had the misfortune to read. Three: Stalking Richard and Judy, Mini Shopaholic, and Good Omens, have been laugh-out-loud; but only one, Egyptian Dawn, has been put-away-in-disgust. The blurb was misleading, stating it dealt with the problem of dating the earliest dynasties (a genuine egyptological subject I have a particular interest in)...in reality, it was another crackpot theorist trying to persuade his readers to believe in Atlanteans and possibly, aliens, as the progenitors of the ancient Egyptian race. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to credit that our ancestors were cretins who couldn't count to ten, let alone work out how to build a pyramid; and then write a book about it.

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Comments

( 2 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
herself_nyc
Dec. 22nd, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Is that Jude Morgan book the one about the Brontes? I read that too, and liked it a lot — much more, frankly, than I expected to.
gamiila
Dec. 22nd, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is -- and I had exactly the same reaction to it ;-)
( 2 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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