I originally posted this on Facebook but I thought I'd add it here too for the record.
Book list for 2015
I completed 27 this year – same as last year according to my Shelfari site. And I still have Catch 22 as a WIP.
At the start of the year I was a bit predictable, either reading authors I’ve read before or a family recommendation but later in the year I signed up for the Woman and Home Reading club – they nominate a book each month in the magazine and there is also a linked Facebook page. This has added more variety and challenge to my reading. I’ve also joined a spin off from that page that, hopefully, will further push the boundaries. This means 3 books to read by the end of January. At that rate my 2016 list should be longer.
1. Balancing Act – Joanna Trollope
This is the story of a family run business and how the return of a family member disrupts the dynamics. Trollope always seems to have a good feel for family relationships.
2. The Target – David Baldacci
I discovered Baldacci last year. He writes action thrillers about spies and assassins. Just my genre.
3. Death Message – Mark Billingham
Billingham writes detective stories – the main character is DI Tom Thorne. Easy to read and great if you’re a fan of that genre. Some of them have now been televised with David Morrissey in the lead role.
4. The Burning Girl – Mark Billingham
5. Lifeless – Mark Billingham
(I often read several books by the same author back to back!)
6. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Recommended by offspring. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
7. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn
This came as a multibuy with her other two books and was another good read about a woman questioning her memories as a seven year old girl which led to her brother being convicted of murder. The story tells how she sets out to unravel the mystery.
8. Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
This was actually her debut novel which I read last.
9. The Coffin Dancer – Jeffrey Deaver
I got into Jeffrey Deaver having watched the film “The Bone Collector” featuring the character of Lincoln Rhyme a quadriplegic criminalist. Usually I prefer to read the book before watching the film but having read the Bone Collector I’ve since read several Deaver books and this is another Lincoln Rhyme story.
10. The Geneva Trap – Stella Rimington
Rimington was the first woman Director General of MI5 and has written a number of spy thrillers around the character of Liz Carlyle. The Geneva Trap was #7 in the series. I don’t think I’d buy any more but if they’re on Kindle for 99p or in charity shops I’d add them to my TBR collection.
11. One Shot – Lee Child - Jack Reacher #9
I’m a fan of the Jack Reacher Series and have read random books from the series usually picked up in charity shops but am now working my way through in order if possible.
12. The Hard Way – Lee Child – Jack Reacher #10
13. Bones Never Lie – Kathy Reichs
This was passed on to me by my daughter. I’ve read most of Kathy Reichs's books and always enjoy them.
14. The Other Child – Lucy Atkins
Another psychological thriller but I really did not like the main character and found some of her actions at best improbable.
15. Bad Luck and Trouble – Lee Child – Jack Reacher #11
16. The Changing Room – Jane Turley
I came across Jane through a blogging link. She’s a very funny lady and her book was very apt for me – dealing with a family that included a wife at a crossroads and a mother with dementia but done in a very humorous way.
17. The A – Z of You and Me – James Hannah
This was the first Woman & Home recommendation I read. “Ivo has all kinds of everyday joy in his life - he's young, he's in love, he has friends who promise to stand by him if life ever goes wrong. Then one day, life does go wrong. He makes a mistake, and it's big and unforgiveable. Now time is running out and his life is falling apart. But he's going to put it together again. His own way. This is a story about how far love must stretch to gather a life in pieces. And how strong friendship never dies.”
It was a debut book that got good reviews and nominations for prizes but for me it was an OK read but not something I’d shout about.
18. Etta and Otto and Russell and James – Emma Hooper
This was the next W & H book and was more of a challenge. “Etta's greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 2, 000 miles to water.” It was very atmospheric but a bit confusing at times.
19. Never Forget – Lisa Cutts
Another crime genre series this one featuring Nina Foster, a former kidnap victim who grew up and became a police officer. Nothing special but an easy read.
20. The Pocket Wife – Susan Crawford
A psychological thriller with amnesia playing a large part. I found I couldn’t sympathise with the main character though.
21. Hell’s Corner – David Baldacci
Another assassination thriller.
22. The Daughter – Jane Shemilt
This is the story of a daughter going missing and how the family cope with the investigation that follows. It’s a bit confusing as it switches between two time frames. I enjoyed it but not the ending. No spoilers here!
23. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
I sneaked this from my daughter while she was away and read it very quickly. I enjoyed it despite the mixed reviews.
24. Wolf Winter – Cecilia Ekback
This was another W & H book. Much harder than the previous ones. Many readers gave up on it. I nearly did but hate to leave a book unfinished and persevered. It’s a murder mystery but it’s set in Swedish Lapland in 1717 which is very bleak, especially in winter. It’s also quite slow. Again not something I would recommend but glad I could say I’d finished it.
25. In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward
This was the final W & H book for the year and was a murder mystery set in Derbyshire. It follows the fictional story of Rachel Jones who was abducted in 1978 with her friend Sophie. Rachel returns but Sophie was never found. Basically a who-dunnit? but a good debut book.
26. Better than Before – Gretchen Rubin
Well I read this in an effort to rid myself of bad habits, form good ones and stop my very bad habit of procrastination. It was interesting but more about the way the author had changed her ways rather than providing much advice on how to change yourself.
27. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Oh so sad! Definitely lived up to the hype and have the tissues handy if you read it. Hard to say more without spoiling it.