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This post aims to be free of spoilers, however there may be minor spoilers present.
War and peace
Leo Tolstoy – 1390 pages
War and Peace spent nearly 2 years sitting on my bookshelf before I finally took the plunge at the start of 2022. It was a book I had heard so much about, without really hearing anything about it at all. Other than the fact that it was long, challenging and Russian, I had no idea what I was setting myself up for.
This book is a mammoth undertaking that never leaves you regretting your choice to pick it up. In fact it can be really quite hard to put down. War and Peace is an amazingly written tale that teaches a huge amount about Napoleon, whom it transpires was a particularly unsavoury character.
The adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain – 327 pages
Having read The adventures of Tom Sawyer in 2021, I was interested in reading the follow up to this tale of juvenile adventure. The adventures of Huckleberry Finn does not disapoint as it offers more of the same.
Much like The adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn does contain some language and views that are difficult to overlook in the modern world. It’s a good read, but very dated and a true refection of it’s time.
Walking on sunshine
Giovanna Fletcher – 400 pages
In my ill fated attempt to read 20 books in 2022, I took a look at my partners bookshelf for some easy, light hearted reads that I could complete easily. A sizable collection of books by Giovanna Fletcher is what I ended up with. My expectations were not very high going in to this, but I was pleasently surprised. Although far from the most challenging read, Walking on sunshine was generally well written. I had an unexpectidly emotional reaction to parts of this book.
Overall, I enjoyed it as an easy read. As you will see later in this list, Walking on sunshine was good enough that I read other books by Giovanna Fletcher in 2022.
George Orwell – 328 pages
Big Brother is watching you! 1984 is an all time classic dystpoian novel for a good reason. The world is engrosing and the themes really get you thinking. George Orwell has done such a good job of creating an entirely convicing world. This is a novel that I think should grace the bookshelves of everybody.
George Orwell – 141 Pages
Another fantastic tale by George Orwell. A damning tale about the dangers of autocracy and communism, and how easy it can be for a population to be blindly lead being saving before they even realise it. Another classic that serves as a warning to be careful what you wish for.
Brave new world
Aldous Huxley – 268 pages
Aldous Huxley’s Brave new world was written in 1931, yet it could have been written yesterday. Some of the technological advances envisagd in Brave new world such as genetic engineering. In many ways Brave new world describes a dystopic future that is almost the exact opposite to the one described in 1984. Rather than a world where knowledge is feared and oppressed, it shows a world where knowledge is so ubiquitous that it becomes irrelevant.
The art of war
Sun Tzu – 273 pages
The art of war is a book written in the 5th century about chinese military stratgey. It’s pretty interesting, and a very easy read. All in all it took about 2 hours to complete. If military strategy interests you, then it’s certainly worth a look.
Dream a little dream
Giovanna Fletcher – 419 pages
The second Giovanna Fletcher read of the year, it was as well written as the first of her books that I read. The story was not really my kind of thing, a reasonably generic romance. If you are after a light-hearted feel good read, this may well be for you. I cannot criticise this book at all, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
Seven pillars of wisdom
T.E. Lawrence – 784 pages
Written by T.E Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, Seven pillars of wisdom documents Lawrence’s recolection of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans during WW1. It is an interesting account of a part of history that I knew very little about prior to reading. If you have an interest in military history, especially the first world war then this book is a must read.
Always with love
Giovanna Fletcher – 400 pages
The third of four Giovanna Fletcher books that I completed in 2022. Always with love is the follow up to “Billy and me” which I read in 2021. Similar to the other books that I have read by this author, it was well written. As I had read the prequel I was already aware of the characters and general plot of this book going in, this helped considerably with my enjoyment of this book as I was invested in the character development and keen to see how story ended.
Your’e the one that I want
Giovanna Fletcher – 372 pages
The final Giovanna Fletcher book of the year. Again, well written. Much like “Dream a little dream” this was a romantic tale that is not really the sort of thing that I would usually read. This time with some added complexities added around the theme of frIendship. All in all a good feel good read like the rest of Giovanna Fletchers books. Nothing to complain about if you are after a romantic feel good read.
With this kiss
Carrie Hope Fletcher – 400 Pages
This is the last of the books from my partners bookshelf that I read in 2022. With this kiss is written in a very simplistic tone that is not the easiest to adjust to, but once you do you will find an interesting story that turns the classic romance genre in to something just a little bit different. There is a supernatural flair to this book that initially took me by surprise. It certainly isn’t a book that I will be looking to read again, as I found the style of writing to be too much of a distraction, but it’s a good love story if that is what you are looking for.
A slow fire burning
Paula Hawkins – 307 pages
A slow fire burning is a good book that I found to be just a little bit disappointing; only because it comes from the same hand that wrote the fantastic “Girl on the train” and the wonderful “Into the water”. The story here never gripped me as much as those other two books, I didn’t find the characters particularly likeable and the pacing was a bit off. All in all I found this a well written, but somewhat underwhelming book given the quality of Paula Hawkins’ other works. I don’t think I would have judged this so harshly if not compared to them though, so I would still recommend for anyone that loves crime thrillers.
Franny and Zooey
J.D. Salinger – 201 pages
I read this book because I loved “The catcher in the rye” and thought I should give J.D Salinger’s other works a look. I didn’t really get on with this book as well as I would have hoped however. I found most of the characters to be quite annoying and found the overall story pretty uninteresting. I have read a number of reviews of this book that wholeheartedly disagree with my appraisal of Franny and Zooey though, so certainly don’t take my word for it.
Joseph Heller – 453 pages
Catch-22 is just pure, comedic genius. I can’t say anything more than that. One of the best ever.
Lord of the flies
William Golding – 182 pages
Considering its length, Golding has managed to squeeze so much story into the Lord of the flies. A thouroughly engrossing read that deserves a place on every bookshelf. Don’t expect a high-level literature experience as the writting style suggests this is firmly aimed at a younger reader, but the story is excellent and should not be overlooked.
Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev: https://www.pexels.com/photo/books-on-wooden-shelves-inside-library-2908984/