zurich



2012

Title Author Rating Comments
Before I go to Sleep S.J. Watson A thoroughly disturbing novel. Amnesia must be a difficult problem to deal with.
What Next? Chris Patton An in-depth look at the human world. This book has a great deal of depth, making it a good read, but then again I love this type of opinion literature. Of course he has the benefit of a classical education.

Freedom Johnathan Franzen One of the new generation od US writers who has a style of "observer" and revels in personal images. I feel he thinks a lot of himself.

But, on the other hand, it is a really good tome. It is about 200 pages too long, but extremely well written and a "gripping" drama.
Nightscape David Morrell An interesting collection of dark stories.

Netherland Jospeh O' Neill Very well-written, but suffers from a lack of plot - actually he finds this one of the good aspects of the novel. Quote:
" It was no longer a question of physical security, although that remained a factor. It was a question rather, of not exposing her child to an upbringing in an “ideologically diseased” country, as she put it, a “mentally ill, sick, unreal” country whose masses and leaders suffered from extraordinary and self-righteous delusions about the United States, the world, and indeed, thanks to the influence of the fanatical evangelical Christian movement, the universe, delusions that had the effect of exempting the United States from the very rules of civilized, lawful and rational behavior it so mercilessly sought to enforce on others."

And this is a US writer!

The Leopard Jo Nesbö   Because of the gratuitous violence on the first few pages I put this one down - never to pick it up again!
The Devil's Star Jo Nesbö OK, but contrived
A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian Marina Lewycka Good book after "Two Caravans".
The Brethren John Grisham Well-plotted page turner.
Trigger Men Hans Halberstadt Very poorly written work. But it is an interesting perspective as to how the business of war has changed. (Not developed, it is still a human tragedy.)
Dreams from my Father Barack Obama Not an enjoyable read. He has a style I find flowery. I can see how it would have been difficult for him, but I would have prefered more on his developing life.
Deadline in Athens Petros Markaris Obviously, set in Athens, he mentions the traffic a lot. Twisting plot around several murders.
1000 Years of Annoying the French Stephan Clarke A light-hearted look at the relationship between the two cultures.
Driving over Lemons Chris Stewart A very readable account of setting up in Southern Spain in the mountains written by the original drummer of Genesis.
Europe a History Norman Davies A "significant" tome sourced from serious publications because each nation has its own "particular" view. This will be taken in dribs and drabs unless it does rain for the next three months, which, in this country (approaching Scotland) could be a possibility. I am hoping to discover why Scandinavian history means they treat theirselves, their environment and their kids after divorce in a civilised way - I wonder if this is because they have a pagan heritage? Haha. It took me months to get through this tome and it has precious little in the way of art, technology, economics, music or literature. Big place this European penninsular.
The Art of Fielding Chad Harbach Most enjoyable yarn about a young man who appears to be heading towards fame. Includes a number of interesting character developments. Recommended
Margaret Sanger - The Autobiography Margaret Sanger A dated story of a good woman, the founder of what today is known as "Planned Parenthood" which is under severe attack from the US right-wing conservatives.
Alexis de Tocqueville - A Life Hugh Brogan Took a while to get into this, but interesting. Must read the standard work on democracy in the U.S.A.
The Marriage Plot Jeffrey Eugenides As with his other books, a delight. Recommended
The Great Depression Robert S. McElvaine Well-written, good understanding of the polictis involved.
Nemesis Jo Nesbo Well-written, interesting thriller with a twist.
Death of an Expert Witness P.D. James I have the feeling this complex plot has been manufactured to make it complex.
Step on a Crack James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge Fast-moving but holey crime story with a lack of credibility.
A Mind to Murder P.D. James This book has become very dated, but it was interesting to read about times past.
The Fear Index Robert Harris In comparison to his other works this is not a very good book. Some parts are simply over the top, beyond the realm of credibility. Something has gone wrong with his head I fear.
Looking Dead, Looking Good Peter James OK, but not credible. Nice references to the area in and around Brighton.
 
 



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