Yay, me. But I can't say they were all long ones! I got deeply into two authors -- three books by Helene Hanff (I think "84 Charing Cross Road" was 71 totally delightful pages) and Georges Simenon's "Maigret" mysteries. Those clock in between 150 and 170 pages each.
So, last year's page total was 19,570 from 59 books. This year, only 16,785.
Still, it was all good reading and a few of the books (David Starkey's comprehensive book on Henry VIII's six wives -- especially the first two -- was a solid 765 pages. Sally Bedell Smith's "Prince Charles" was no slouch at 514)
If I had to pick a "best" list (or favorites) from the list below, it would include (in no particular order):
- "Everyone Brave Is Forgiven" (Chris Cleve) -- The story of three people in World War II England and fighting abroad.
- "Pachinko" (Min Jin Lee) -- From pre-World War II Korea, through the war and into contemporary times, following the story of a strong, female survivor and her family.
- "The Hare with Amber Eyes" (Edmund deWaal) -- This memoir/history/biography covers lives in 1880s Paris, WWII Vienna, post-WWII Japan and the life of its author, a contemporary artist as he seeks the story of a family heirloom.
- "The Child" (Fiona Barton) -- Fascinating mystery about a reporter uncovering the death of a child.
- "To Die But Once" (Jacqueline Winspear's current "Maisie Dobbs" book) -- It's Maisie. 'Nuff said.
- "Annie's Ghosts" (Steve Luxemberg) -- Powerful and fascinating telling of one man's quest to find the true story of his aunt who had been in a Michigan mental institution for much of her life.
- "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" (Anna Quindlen) -- Delightful memoir on turning 60 by one of America's best writers.
- "My Family and Other Animals" (Gerald Durrell) -- Biography meets natural history in some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read. One of the books that inspired "The Durrells in Corfu" on PBS.
- "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" (Maryanne Shaffer/Annie Burrows) This is old to some, new to me. I loved it more than the Netflix movie, which I also loved. Watch the movie before you read the book so you don't feel cheated!
- "The Japanese Lover" (Isabel Allende) -- I love Allende's writing. This weaves the story of two women of different generations with troubled pasts who form a powerful bond as their stories are revealed.
|The Art of Beatrix Potter and Les Parisiennes are high on the 2019 list|
That's leaving off most of the mysteries but I have to say that the series I read -- Ashley Weaver's "Avery Ames" books; Jerilyn Farmer's "Madeline Bean" books and the Maigret series (Georges Simenon) never failed to delight. I also enjoyed several of the British Library's classic British mystery series featuring books of the mostly 1930s and the ongoing entries in series by Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear and Susan Elia Macneal.
I especially enjoyed reading three books by people I actually know, two of whom I've met in real life (Jenny Woolf and Richard Lassin) and Vivian Swift's "When Wanderers Cease to Roam," someone I wish I could and maybe someday will! (That's a re-read because it's month-by-month and I love it!)
"84 Charing Cross Road (Helene Hanff)
"The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street"(Helene Hanff)
"Q's Legacy"(Helene Hanff)
"The Ungarnished Truth" (Ellie Matthews)
"The Hare with Amber Eyes"(Edmund deWaal)
"Somewhere For Me" (Meryle Secrest)
"Royal Feud" (Michael Thornton)
"Annie's Ghosts" (Steve Luxemburg)
"Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" (Anna Quindlen)
"My Family and Other Animals" (Gerald Durrell)
"The Mystery of Lewis Carroll (Jenny Woolf)
"Prince Charles" (Sally Bedell Smith)
"When Wanderers Cease to Roam" (Vivian Swift)
"The Alice Network" (Kate Quinn)
"The Japanese Lover" (Isobel Allende)
"Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII" (David Starkey)
Fiction Based on Real Lives
"The Swans of Fifth Avenue" (Melanie Benjamin)
"A Piece of the World" (Christina Baker Kline)
"The Charming Quirks of Others" (Alexander McCall Smith)
"The Blue Bistro"(Elin Hilderbrand
"Pachinko" (Min Jin Lee)
"Red Jacket" (Richard Lassin -- proof and final)
"Everyone Brave is Forgiven" (Chris Cleve)
"The Alice Netowrk" (Kate Quinn)
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" (Maryanne Shaffer/Annie Burrows)
"The Hypnotist's Love Story" (Liane Moriarty)
"The Japanese Lover" (Isabel Allende)
"French Exit" (Patrick Dewitt)
"The Art Thief"(Noah Charney)
"Maigret and the Old Lady"(Georges Simenon)
Sympathy for the Devil" (Jerrilyn Farmer)
"The Last Detective" (Peter Lovesey)
"Murder at the Brightwell" (Ashley Weaver)
"Inspector French and the Box Offis Murders"(Freeman Wills Croft)
"The Moving Toyshop" (Edward Crispin)
"Death Wears a Mask" (Ashley Weaver)
"Pietr the Latvian" (Georges Simenon)
"Immaculate Reception" (Jerilyn Farmer)
"The Child" (Fiona Barton)
"The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien" (Georges Simenon)
"A Most Novel Revenge" (Ashley Weaver)
"To Die But Once" (Jacqueline Winspear)
"Killer Wedding" (Jerilyn Farmer)
"Maigret and the Tall Woman" (Georges Simenon)
"The Paris Spy" (Susan Elia Macneal)
"The Essence of Malice" (Ashley Weaver)
"Maigret" (Georges Simenon)
"The Wench is Dead" (Colin Dexter)
"Maigret Takes a Room" (Georges Simenon)
"Madam Maigret's Friend" (Georges Simenon)
"Glass Houses" (Louise Penny)
"The Saint Fiacre Affair" (Georges Simenon)
"Mumbo Gumbo" (Jerilyn Farmer)
"Quick Curtain" (Alan Melville)
"Maigret's Travels" (Georges Simenon)
"The Sound of Music Companion" (Laurence Muslon)
"The Perfect Summer" (Juliet Nicolson)
There you have it! I'll keep next year's goal at 52 (because you never know -- I might read longer books!) and see if I can top the page count!
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