On January 6th, I posted 24 of the 40 books read during 2015. So today I’m including the balance using the same rating system: LR = light, enjoyable read; GR = good, several caveats; ER = excellent, few caveats; OR = outstanding; DNF = did not finish; NMT = not my type.
In the process of writing this post, I’ve discovered two additional books read this year. You’ll see them listed at the end.
|June||The Dream Lover||Elizabeth Berg||GR||Novel about George Sand; back and forth timeline was confusing; events felt repetitive|
|Mademoiselle Chanel||C.W. Gortner||ER||Coco Chanel in all her glories and contradictions; not quite as compelling as The Queen’s Vow or The Last Queen|
|Will Poole’s Island||Tim Weed||ER||In 17th century New England, a young man meets a visionary native; Excellent historical fiction|
|July||Death of a Century||Daniel Robinson||NMT||Read for an HNS feature; poorly written|
|Aug||The Ashford Affair||Lauren Willig||ER||A woman uncovers a family mystery; well written page turner|
|Claude & Camille||Stephanie Cowell||ER||Claude Monet and his first wife Camille; great historical detail of impressionist era|
|Children of War||Martin Walker||LR||Mystery set in Dordogne; lots of twists and turns; read as audiobook|
|The Children Act||Ian McEwan||ER||McEwan is a superb writer; this is a poignant tale that is hard to put down|
|Sept||H is For Hawk||Helen MacDonald||NMT||Book club read; memoir; way too much detail on goshawks|
|Elizabeth I||Margaret George||OR||Elizabeth I in her later years; superb characters and history; the second half is particularly compelling|
|Oct||The Muralist||B.A. Shapiro||GR||Art and intrigue at the beginnings of WWII; distracting dual time structure and multiple voices|
|Nov||Mr. Churchill’s Secretary||Susan Elia MacNeal||LR||Whodunit set in WWI England|
|Power Play||Danielle Steele||NMT||I’m sure there are fans of Danielle Steele but I’m not one of them; trite and simplistic|
|The Golden Child||Penelope Fitzgerald||DNF||Quirky people employed at a British museum|
|Dec||Circling the Sun||Paula McLain||ER||Based on the life of Beryl Clutterbuck the first woman to fly across the Atlantic; well written; rich characters & setting|
|The Secret Chord||Geraldine Brooks||OR||The life of the biblical King David as told by his prophet Natan; historically captivating|
|Oops– forgot these||Purity||Jonathan Franzen||DNF||Annoying characters and thin plot; guess I’m not a Franzen fan|
|The Lover’s Path||Kris Waldherr||LR||Novella told like a fable|
2016 is off to the races with Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay, At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Blakewell which I began in late November, and Paris Reborn by Stephane Kirkland.
Wishing everyone a great year of reading.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.