It’s been a long time since I took off so much time from the dayjob, and I have the luxury of an entire week and two bits from work. Huzzah! I am actually getting some writing done. But enough of that.

I usually like to talk about books I’ve read this year and I’ve read a lot with the acquisition of a kindle. I’ve read a lot of forgettable books, sadly, but I do want to tell you about the book. You know, the one that has revolutionized women’s literary and sex lives worldwide. I thought I had to read it so I could be properly insulting about it. So I borrowed it from the library. I think I am the last person to discover that you can borrow ebooks from the library.

So how was it for me? Reader, I cannot lie. I have read many worse self-pubbed and traditionally-pubbed books. Was it as bad as everyone said? Yes. But it also has this quality that many other successful and beloved writers have (no I am not naming names) of setting you aboard an express train that you do not want to get off. Even if you’re not enjoying the ride and there are occasional stops you feel compelled, against your reason, to keep reading. Does it fail epically as a dirty book? Absolutely. Is it witty where it’s supposed to be? No. Is it well written? No. Will I read the other two books in the series? No, I have done my duty.

(Check out Ron Charles of the Washington Post on the phenomenon that is 50… here)

Onto happier moments. Books I read and enjoyed this year:

Some mysteries–Julia Spencer-Fleming’s series that I first read years ago so I had some catching up and rereading to do. Also Deborah Crombie’s books which I’m reading way out of order and which are brilliant (so far) when she sticks to London settings but fall apart when set elsewhere.

In the Woods by Tana French, a wonderful Irish police procedural. This was a reread.

City of Women by David Gillham, set in Berlin in the last days of WWII.

Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris by Christopher Kent, a book that gave a new lease of life to a WIP.

The Great Stink by Clare Clark. Not for the tender-stomached, a novel about London’s old sewer system. EEEEW. But a great read.

My tentative on-off relationship with Georgette Heyer continued with A Civil Contract which I actually liked. In other romance reading, rather thin on the ground, I loved Miranda Neville’s books this year, I’m working my way through the brilliant Julie Ann Long’s Pennyroyal Series, and I am very much looking forward to a certain Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell which appeared on my kindle yesterday. Go Megan!

What are you reading?