Shadow of the Wind

This seemed to be highly rated so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s  not exactly a page turner and the story moves quite slowly. However, it is only as it wraps up towards the end that it goes from being just another rehash of a Shakespearan tragedy that I will forget quite quickly to something that genuinely moved me a little. Not the best novel I’ve ever read but not the worst either. 

Any Human Heart

A very real contender for my favourite book. This was on my shelf having been recommended to me a while ago and was beginning to gather dust. Whenever it came to choosing a new book, I would skip it thinking it would be a bit of an effort. How stupid was I. This book gripped me from the beginning.The writing is breath-taking. Boyd has painted such an authentic picture of a man’s life that I have to keep reminding myself it is fiction. It’s got everything; humour, heart ache, reflection, history. Truly humbling and one of the greatest books I have ever read.

The Circle

This book has some interesting ideas. I think it has even been made into a film. I’ve read another of Dave Egger’s books (Zeitoun) so I had high hopes for this. Unfortunately it came up a little short. It was as if it had been a little rushed. Despite the importance of the underlying ideas and the cool ending, it didn’t have the sophistication it needed. It all seemed a bit commercialised, as if it had been written for school children.

Dark Pines

One of the most enjoyable novels I have read for a while. Perfectly paced, interesting characters and a genuinely good story. Also interesting, having just read a book on hearing loss, that the main character has to wear hearing aids. I didn’t plan that!

Love the author, Will Dean’s, bio as well… Having settled in rural Sweden, “he built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.”

Good man.

Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Giles Milton paints an heroic picture of the incredible operations and missions carried out during WWII. An interesting read just after the Codemaker’s War as it deals with a lot of the same organisations from a very different angle.


Fools and Mortals – Bernard Cornwell

This is a decent enough book. It’s one of those to pick up when you want a light read, nothing too heavy. Story is a bit light and ultimately, not an awful lot happens when you get down to it. The way the setting is described is its main draw I think. Gives you a good feel of the time and the early theatre industry, at least for those reasonably new to the topic.