Given the abundance of such posts, I can only assume that posting a ‘year in review’ is some sort of hallowed tradition across all media to draw renewed attention to articles which have been buried under other pieces. Given also that I have only been blogging for just over a year, perhaps now is a good time to do a summary of my blogging year. A few books that I liked, one that I didn’t, and my favourite (and least favourite) posts, all written by yours truly. Except the books. The books weren’t written by me. The posts meanwhile, were all written by yours truly. So, if you will, join me for my blogging year in review-part 1 (second part to be posted tomorrow morning if all goes to plan)…
It’s been a long old year, and I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read. The most recent book I’ve finished was Rebecca Fraser’s A People’s History of Britain (today no less!), but I have read an absolute ton of books. I’ve read probably the most thinly veiled character assassination in literature, in the form of Robert Harris’ Ghost-an incredibly strong attack on Tony and Cherie Blair (albeit with different names and slightly different circumstances). I’ve read incredibly popular books, books which should be extremely popular (but aren’t), and I’ve even read the odd non-fiction book (gasp!). Two books about life in Nazi Germany have particularly stood out for me this year, Fatherland and The Book Thief. Fatherland, an alternative history story, is widely considered one of Robert Harris’ best books, and I have to agree-in my review at the time I said it was “quite simply brilliant”. The Book Thief, I thundered, was to be an “instant classic”, I was-and remain-full of admiration for it.
Book that’s grown on me most
Lord of the Flies. This is essentially a choice between all of the books I have studied at school. Whereas recreational reading I usually form an opinion and stick to my guns, what seems to happen with each and every text at school is I read the thing, don’t like it, get taught about it, then revel in the hidden depths. Books like Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, Hamlet-they all need someone to point out the subtleties that lie within waiting to be discovered, the symbolism, the cynical comments on the American Dream and human nature. They may not have the most enjoyable plots, but these books are so clever, so intelligently written that they are fantastic to read. Reviews of all should come at some point soon…
This prize is some sort of warped cross between the wooden spoon and the Turnip Prize. There are two books I’d like to especially mention-Conspiracy 365- February which I found vastly cliched and immensely vexing, which I lambasted at the time as (having run out of adjectives), “poor” and the slightly more elaborate tricolon of “Overpriced, exploitative and irritating”. The other is The Medusa Project-Hostage, the review to which is one of several I have had for several months without posting. In that review, I gave the book a dismal one star and caustically called it “downright idiotic”.
Part 2 to come tomorrow with my best and worst posts; merry Christmas all!