But since I've gone to the trouble of rummaging through my bookcases in order to find my reading material of 2005, I'll list them here anyway.
In January, I read: Tudor Parfitt, The Lost Tribes Of Israel. The History Of A Myth -- which seemed interesting, but turned out to be extremely boring. This was followed by Bart D. Ehrman, Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code. A Historian Reveals What We Really Know About Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine, which I purchased mainly for the fact that all those people reading Dan Brown and taking it as gospel truth in my immediate environment (i.e., most of my co-workers) were starting to piss me off. It's a good book, but I already knew everything it had to say on the subject. I finished the month reading Sophie Kinsella's latest Shopaholic installment, Shopaholic & Sister, which I didn't find as funny as the previous three.
In February, I read Edward Rutherford, Dublin. I like his books, chronicling the development of a town or area as historical fiction, but I must admit that since the publication of his first, Sarum, in 1987, they have become rather formulaic.
March was when I bought the self-help books on 'how-to-find-the-job-that-suits-you', an encyclopedia of Western gods and goddesses from prehistoric times to the present day, because it was cheap; and Israel Finkelstein & Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed. Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts. Now that one was the first truly interesting book of the year, and a real page-turner. I also read Bill Bryson, Notes From A Big Country,which I enjoyed (but then, I always enjoy his books) and a murder mystery, Presumption of Death, by Perri O'Shaughnessy (who according to the blurb is actually two people), which I'd gotten free with my other purchases. I don't like murder mysteries, except perhaps for the odd Cadfael and The Name Of The Rose, and this one did nothing to change my mind about the genre. Lastly, there was The Universe, The Gods, And Men, a retelling of ancient Greek myths by Jean-Pierre Vernant.
Oddly, I don't seem to have bought any books in April; but in May, I read and enjoyed Christ. A Crisis in the Life of God by Jack Miles, whose God. A Biography I'd enjoyed a few years ago. He's one of the most eminent biblical scholars today, and also, a very good writer.
In June, I read Marek Halter, Sarah, a historical novel about the life of the biblical Matriarch, and Ian McEwan, Atonement, about how lives can be ruined by a young girl's inability to separate truth from fiction.
In July, I read Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English. The Biography of a Language, which I thought was absolutely marvelous; and in August, Miranda Hearn, Nelson's Daughter, which wasn't bad.
September saw me reading Bernard Cornwell, another of my favourite historical novel writers, The Last Kingdom, in which the action takes place in 9th century Northumbria and Wessex; Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated, which I thought was brilliant; and Kate Fox, Watching the English. The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour, which was most enlightening...and readily recognisable, too!
In October, J. Shaun Lyon's excellent Back To The Vortex. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who 2005 arrived in my letterbox, and I started to read but couldn't finish, because it was so silly: Brenda Rickman Vantrease, The Illuminator. Thankfully, Steven Pressfield's Alexander. The Virtues of War did much to restore my faith in historical fiction again. They don't come much better than Steven Pressfield when writing about ancient Greece...
The books I read last month were Susan Haskins, Mary Magdalen. Myth and Metaphor, a really good and really detailed study into the figure of Mary Magdalen(e); and Lucy Moore, Maharanis. The Lives and Times of Three Generations of Indian Princesses, which paints a vivid picture of palace life during the Raj and the first decades after Independence.
Right now, I'm immersed in another historical novel, set in 10th century Japan: The Book of Loss, by Julith Jedamus. It's written in the form of a diary, and I'm enjoying it very much.
Now, what else can I do to alleviate my boredom? Ah yes.
|Your 2005 Song Is|
Hung Up by Madonna
"Every little thing that you say or do
I'm hung up
I'm hung up on you"
You'll be rockin' in the New Year in your croch-o-tard!
It could be worse, I suppose.