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31 December 2009 @ 05:30 pm
just one rose, one day, years ago  
In summation, out of the 64 books (not counting re-reads) I read in 2009, these are the ones I LIKED. I'm not sure I'd RECOMMEND them, but who the hell cares?

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
Villette, Charlotte Bronte
The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
Ethan of Athos, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb
Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman
The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
Castle in the Air, Diana Wynne Jones
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The Demon's Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan

18/64 - someone work out that percentage for me. I suck at maths.

A few people asked for chicklit recommendations. I've read maybe three chicklit books since I started book glomping, but before that I used to read them all the time. ALL. THE. TIME.

Fiona Walker
Kiss Chase
I used to scoff at people who had literary boyfriends, until I realised I basically wanted to marry Felix Sylvian. Of course, it was purely superficial, because he's just HOT (and with a Tragic Past) - but it's more than Rochester had. The best thing about her novels is the side-characters - Phobe's hippy sister, the pitiable Gin and crazy Portia. Basic plot: after a bad break-up with the aforementioned Felix, Phobe's sort-of friend Sasha asks her to con him into dating her so she can wreak her revenge. Sounds familiar, huh? IT'S A FAKE BOYFRIENDS FIC. And we all know how those end.
French Relations
The prequel to Well Groomed. I suppose you could say Well Groomed is the sequel, but as I read it first and liked it better, prequel it is. Basic plot: the French family go to France (HO HO, YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) for ... I think it's a family reunion? Utterly irrelevant party-type thing, anyway. Loads of brilliant side plots involving all the different characters, but the main plot centres on messy, dreamy Tash and her hopeless crushes on various men. (GO TEAM HUGO.) Tash's mother and her relationship with her second French husband are glorious.
Well Groomed
One of my absolute favourites. Tash is getting married ... or is she? Plus there's stuff about horses and emotionally repressed but gorgeous men. LOOK OUT FOR THE DIALOGUE ABOUT HER HAT, IT IS FOR THE WIN.
Snap Happy
The one's only okay, but it's the last of her books that IS any good. The rest are crap, steer clear. Juno is an overweight comedienne who lives with her brother. He house-swaps with a photographer from New York called Jay, who is Tormented by his Tragic Past. (Do you see a trend here? Because I do.) There's a lovely scene at a dinner party. He also washes her hair. It's the best book to read if you're feeling horrible about yourself and wishing some Gorgeous But Troubled guy could see the Real Beauty in You. Or whatever tickles your gag reflex.

Marian Keyes
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married
Lucy is a washed-up twenty-something in a dead-end job. Her parents are having relationship problems and she's always dating losers. HOWEVER, a psychic predicts she'll be married within a year. Hopefully to her new amour, the dashing ... Greg. Or maybe Gerry? Whatever, he's a lush.
Last Chance Saloon
Triad of stories about childhood friends and their various romantic mishaps. I can't actually remember their names, but one's awesomely strait-laced, one would do anything for a boyfriend, and one's gay. Fun times.

Maeve Binchy
Circle of Friends
Absolute classic. The ending is very special. Really evokes the era, too. Benny and Eve, childhood friends in an Irish village in the fifties, attend UCD in Dublin and meet the men of their dreams. Or someone's dreams, anyway. (GO TEAM AIDAN.)
Evening Class
One of the books that tells a story from a lot of different viewpoints, chronologically. Each story is about one person who attends an Italian class run by a batty Irish woman returned from Italy after a long-standing but failed romance.
Tara Road
Ria, whose husband is a cheating bastard, and Marilyn, who can't deal with a personal tragedy, swap houses for one summer and basically end up accidentally fixing each other's lives.
Scarlet Feather
Two old friends run a catering company that seems like it'll go bust before it's even off the ground. I absolutely adore the nine-year-old twins, Simon and Maud, and if you don't there's probably something wrong with you.
The Glass Lake
Another fifties-era novel. Kit's mother appears to drown herself in the lake, but it's a case of mistaken identity. Kit grows up without a mother and falls for the Wrong Man.

Jenny Crusie
Welcome to Temptation
Two sisters come to Temptation to film a documentary. One ends up falling for the mayor, the other for a policeman. Their crook brother is waiting in the wings to fuck things up, but he doesn't quite succeed. I love how the ending is wrapped up - that people do things for a reason and not just to fill in biographical space.

Patricia Scanlan
Finishing Touches
Cassie's dream is to run an interior design business, but family tragedy forces her into the bank. Further family tragedy makes her leave the bank. Her family is horrible, which is one of Scanlan's only writing talents.
Promises, Promises
A girl falls pregnant in an Irish village in the fifties. The repercussions when the father won't marry her are widespread. The story also shows the lives of her sisters and sisters-in-law and the nasty infighting between the women.

It's a bit curt towards the end and I'm sorry for that, but I'm also FREEZING.

This is my life: writing about the books I read on New Year's Eve. The biggest event of the New Year for me will be starting a new 2010 Book Glomp tag. Oh, and graduating as a doctor, but that's a while away. THANK GOD.
Current Mood: coldfreezing
Current Music: a stone // okkervil river
(Deleted comment)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: bandsscoradh on January 1st, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
I enjoyed her earlier work - mostly. But that TERRIBLE TERRIBLE one about the airline traffic controller made me want to EAT MY HAIR, and I've remained biased against her ever since.
fat girl rules the worldfatgirlrules on December 31st, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Slightly over 28%, you picky thing!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on January 1st, 2010 01:35 am (UTC)
As demonstrated tonight (NYE dinner), you only need a couple of hours with me to discover that I am:
uber critical and

Go me!
pathvainpathvain_aelien on January 1st, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
Lol, I just reread Scarlet Feather last night! Simon and Maud are the best!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on January 2nd, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
girl; obsessed: other - purple bootscomplications_g on January 4th, 2010 11:00 am (UTC)
Yay, recs!
every Starbucks should have a polar bearscoradh on January 4th, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC)