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I read a lot of books and I write about them on here. Mummy Geek is sometimes a guest blogger....people seem to love her.....Oh and you can find me on Twitter.....@book_geek_says. Shortlisted for Blog of the Year by the 2015 Love Stories Awards...THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

My top 10 books of 2011

Hello book geeks

Here are my top 10 books of 2011 (in no particular order).

Under the Dome - Stephen King
Paperback: £7.99 
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
In the office I am a known reader. I read ALL the time. A work friend of mine had just come back from holiday and said she'd read Under the Dome in a matter of days, despite how absolutely massive it is! She told me the basic premise of the book and I thought it sounded good and would be worth a read. I borrowed it and couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the entire thing up until the end. I have to admit that the ending was a slight let down seeing how good the rest was. I loved it so much (and I'm that much of a book geek), I actually wrote what I thought would be a good intro if it was ever adapted in to a TV show. It is now apparently being adapted and Spielburg is involved! I would recommend it thoroughly but don't worry about the end, it really doesn't spoil the rest of it.

The Afterparty - Leo Benedictus
Paperback: £12.99
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
I won this book in a Twitter competition, it was an early release preview copy. I wasn't 100% sure what to expect, and I did judge it by its cover and thought 'this is going to be a bit of a trash read'. It is written in a style that took some getting used to but once you've read the first few parts you get used to it and it is really intriguing. I wasn't sure throughout the whole thing if it was based on a real story or not and there is still a niggling doubt about one bit in particular (I won't be specific as it'll ruin the whole thing). It is now out in paperback and the names and tweets of/from people who read preview copies are apparently printed in the back.

Minority Report - Philip K. Dick
Paperback: £6.79
Publisher: Gollancz - an imprint of Orion Publishing
Last Christmas (I gave you my heart...sorry, couldn't resist), my Mum gave me a set of books entitled 'Read a Good Film'. It's basically a collection of books that have been turned in to films since, well, cinema was founded. I didn't know Minority Report was a short story until I started reading the book it was in and discovered it was a collection. There are nine stories in the book in total, of which I think Minority Report is the weakest. That could be the case because I knew the ideas behind it already. However, I enjoyed the others thoroughly. They all seem to be set in the same time/world/universe yet they are all very different. It is rather Sci-fi, so if you don't like that type of thing, it's one to avoid.

The Hypnotist - Lars Kepler
Paperback: £7.99
Publisher: Blue Door
This is another book that I got in advance from a Twitter competition. The title and the cover don't quite suit the book in my opinion and again totally mislead me. I'm sorry once again but I do take note of covers before I read books. 'Lars Kepler' is a husband and wife writing team, I wasn't aware of this until after I'd read the book. The pair obviously have a similar writing style, or one writes and one is the ideas person, I can't say, but I didn't notice any wavering moments in style or tone. It is a psychological thriller as well as being a sort of crime novel. It's right up my Mum's street, but she didn't enjoy it to the full as the advance copy was an uncorrected bound proof and the typos etc annoyed her. They don't really get to me as I'm a magazine editor and see such things ALLLLL the time.

The Passage - Justin Cronin
Paperback: £7.99
Publisher: Orion
I'd seen a lot of promotion for this book in posters on the tube, on websites, in magazines and on social media sites. I was lead to believe it was a 'vampire novel' but it wasn't quite that! I was on a train to London for a conference and finished off 'Double Indemnity' as the train was delayed due to a fatality. I attended the conference and had a few hours to kill before I met my boyfriend for dinner WITHOUT A BOOK to keep me company. I went to Foyles and ended up buying The Passage. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was brilliant! I loved it and recommend it so highly to a friend of mine that she bought it straight away on her Amazon app. I'm thrilled that it is not a stand alone novel and cannot wait for the next one to be out in the summer of 2012.

The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlam
Paperback: £7.99
Publisher: Gollancz - an imprint of Orion Publishing
Another book from the 'Read a Good Film' collection. Don't go in to this expecting it to be identical to the films. All the films did was take Bourne's name and the amnesia as a basis. The book is phenomenal. I've never really been a fan of high action/spy novels but this one was brilliant. It is written in a far superior way than other spy/action novels I have read in the past. I did fall in love with Bourne but I also fell in love with Marie a bit too. If you love the films, you'll LOVE the book!

The Believers - Zoe Heller
Paperback: £8.99
Publisher: Penguin
I enjoy Heller's writing and how she can absorb the reader so completely in such a short pagination. This book could be classified as post 9/11 literature as ground zero and the events of that day are discussed on a number of occasions, however, I wouldn't like to put it in that genre as it would be a guess. The characters are absorbing, the plot line is heart wrenching and it is a great read. It was the type of engaging read I'd expect from the author of Notes on a Scandal.

In-Flight Entertainment - Helen Simpson
Paperback: £7.99
Publisher: Vintage
I'm sorry to tell you that this was another freebie I won on Twitter. I'd just finished reading Minority Report and was in the frame of mind to read  a few more short stories (I've never really got down with short stories before but this year I've discovered what a joy they are). The stories comment on life, normal life, apart from one which is set in the future. There are 15 stories in this VERY short book, so they are indeed SHORT stories. However, they are thoroughly enjoyable. The stories look at the mundane, the everyday, the normal trials and tribulations of life and therefore feel familiar yet, the way Simpson writes sheds a new light and perspective on things. The beauty and simplicity of everyday life is highlighted in this delightful collection.

Shaman's Crossing - Robin Hobb
Paperback: £8.99
Publisher: Harper Voyager
I have loved Robin Hobb since she was recommended to my by a friend at the tender age of 16 and I read the Farseer Trilogy. As with most of her books that are the first in a trilogy, it was heavy on the detail and scene setting passages. But, it is, as usual written as elegantly as her books always are. The characters are constructed in such a way that you will find one to relate to instantly, you'll find one to hate, you'll find one to love and you'll find one to admire. It is a good old fashioned fantasy novel that will be read quickly but loved.

The Grifters - Jim Thompson
Paperback: £6.19
Publisher: Gollancz - an imprint of Orion Publishing
This is yet another book from the 'Read a Good Film' collection. As I'm sure you can see, this set has gone down a storm! The book is short and sweet and is indeed very much of its time (1963). You follow the life of con artists, minor/petty criminals and their personal lives over a short period. You meet mothers, girlfriends and learn a few tricks of the con artist trade that you'd love to try out if you had the balls to do so! I passed it around to  few people who also thoroughly enjoyed it. A short, quick little read that will keep you entertained!

Happy Reading

Book Geek

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