The most I’ve read since starting to make notes on my reading in 2018. Covid had something to do with that.

I probably need to split up the page soon. It uses the display posts plugin to pull out the content of the posts. I stopped using the Read Post Kinds and switched to Notes to avoid the link and quote provided by the post kinds plugin.

I make pretty short notes and include the 📚 emoji to share to the book discovery page. I am not sure about the stars, more a bit of fun than anything serious.

I’ve seen a few mentions of book recording systems recently, is developing bookshelves(with cover art). I sometime use GoodReads, but am more interested in DIY. I got a mention from Ton, which lead to more ideas about sharing. OPML seems to be one way. I am wondering (above my pay grade) about JsonFeed and the WordPress Rest API json and if they might be useful. JsonFeed seems to be limited to the count in your RSS feed (for WordPress).

The shortcode:
[display-posts tag="book" include_excerpt="true" include_title="false" date_query_after="2020-12-31" date_query_before="2021-12-31" posts_per_page="52" include_date="true" date_format="d/m/Y" wrapper="ol" wrapper_class="book-listing"]

I needed to up the posts_per_page when I went over 50.

  1. 30/12/2021 - Read: Antlers of Water: Writing on the Nature and Environment of Scotland edited by Kathleen Jamie ★★★★★ 📚 Marvellous anthology astonished me, the range of writers on what I consider my sphere of interest that I had not read. Lots to follow up, just one e.g. Amanda Thomson Art.
  2. 30/12/2021 - Read: Three Summers by Margarita Liberaki ★★★☆☆ 📚 3 girls growing up in Greece, lovely scenery, with the feel of long repetitive summer days. A lot going on behind the scenes that slowly emerge.
  3. 23/12/2021 - Read: The Union of Synchronised Swimmers by Cristina Sandu ★★★★☆📚Sad tales, elliptical fragments for the lives of six defectors that sync together a story.
  4. 17/12/2021 - Read: Ms Ice Sandwich – Mieko Kawakami ★★★★☆ 📚slim, slight but gently moving story of an adolescent boy in Japan.
  5. 15/12/2021 - Read: Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa ★★★★☆ 📚 a Palestinian tale way beyond my ken. Carried me along but left me sadness.
  6. 09/12/2021 - Read:An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears 📚 ★★★★☆ fascinating historical details, a tale from 4 perspectives none completely reliable, not all likeable. Science, politics and society in restoration England.
  7. 25/11/2021 - Read: Cover Her Face – P.D. James ★★★☆☆ 📚 Country house mystery. Good fun.
  8. 24/11/2021 - Read: Deacon King Kong – James McBride ★★★☆☆ 📚 Took me a while to get into the rhythm, a meandering tale.
  9. 20/11/2021 - Read: Snow by John Banville ★★★☆☆ 📚 A nice trip to Ireland & crime fiction’s past. Country houses, local colour and character. Somewhat disrupted by the gory details.
  10. 19/11/2021 - Read: Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie ★★★☆☆ 📚
  11. 18/11/2021 - Read: The Corner That Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner ★★★★★ 📚 Super book, full of small incidents, ageing, illness, deaths & disappointment in a 14th century nunnery. The Black Death, a phoney priest, riot, rape & murder. A really sense of time passing, & quite a few laughs.
  12. 17/11/2021 - Read: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ★★★☆☆ 📚 Pretty good 🦠 recovery material. Light on character, mad plot, very fast moving.
  13. 16/11/2021 - Read: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler ★★★★★ 📚 A re-read, from 9 years ago. I love the narrator’s voice, funny & smart. A tricksy telling that worked even though I knew the twist.
  14. 14/11/2021 - Read: Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead ★★★★★📚 Lighter than The Nickel Boys.I was expecting something akin to Chester Himes but this was gentler, more thoughtful & a more absorbing read. Politics handled lightly. I hope Ray, keeps out of trouble, if not I want to read about it.
  15. 13/11/2021 - Read Painting Time by Maylis de Kerangal ★★★★☆ 📚 An introduction, for me, to a strange artistic world painting trompe-l’œil. Lovely long sentences. The heroine has a ‘lazy’ eye looking two ways at once. The eye recalls Dory Previn – The Holy Man on Malibu Bus Number 3
  16. 07/11/2021 - Read: Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd ★★★★☆ 📚 This 1946 novel is a lot of fun. Miss Ranskill Returns from a desert island to war time Britain. Confusion and poking fun ensue.
  17. 04/11/2021 - Read: Birdsong in the time of silence by Steven Lovett ★★★★★ 📚a metaphor filled recount of bird listening in lockdown along with many diversions into memory & natural history. Like many I spent a bit of time with birds during the first lockdown. This is a deeper dive.
  18. 31/10/2021 - Read: The President’s Last Love by Andrey Kurkov ★★★☆☆ 📚 life story of Ukrainian President Bunin. Simultaneously recounting three different time periods. Slightly surreal, satirical with hints of Bulgakov with out going the full “Heart of a Dog”. Gentleness too.
  19. 02/10/2021 - Read: Klara and the Sun Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★★ 📚 “Never let me go” comes to my mind regularly, wonderful book & film. This is a gentler take on the same territory. Crystal clear storytelling.
  20. 28/09/2021 - Read: The Sea Is Not Made of Water by Adam Nicolson ★★★★☆ 📚 Somewhat about the life in 3 tidal pools the author made. Shoreline nature, history of Argyll, sea & planet. I particularly enjoyed the ecology of the shore, the relationship between limpets, winkles crabs & seaweed.
  21. 11/09/2021 - Read: The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov ★★★★☆ 📚 Ukrainian police and Russian KGB race around in a confusing and occasionally daft plot. The characters as lost as the reader. If you see a backward shooting gun in the first act...
  22. 01/09/2021 - Read: This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan 📚 ★★★☆☆ Three chapters, opium, caffeine, and mescaline. The opium one was recycled from some time ago, it would have been interesting to read more about the opiate crisis in modern times in the USA and the drug companies. The coffee chapter was quite fascinating, […]
  23. 22/08/2021 - Read Second Place by Rachel Cusk ★★★★☆ 📚 pretty intense narrator who is obsessed with self absorbed artist.
  24. 10/08/2021 - Read: Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby ★★☆☆☆ 📚too much driving and gun fighting for me. I should have read the blurb🤣 I can see some folk loving it, as it is exciting and tight.
  25. 09/08/2021 - Read: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell ★★★★★ 📚 I enjoyed everything about this, the detail of life at the time and the natural world and the sadness. The idea of Shakespeare as almost a secondary character is solid.
  26. 03/08/2021 - Read The Book of Echoes by Rosanna Amaka ★★★★☆ 📚 told by a ghost or spirt, it covers the lives of two folk, a Brixton boy and Nigerian girl. Both places far from my ken, educating but never dull.
  27. 31/07/2021 - Read: A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin ★★★☆☆ enjoyed this tale of older Rebus.
  28. 27/07/2021 - Read: Music Love Drugs War by Geraldine Quigley ★★★★★ 📚 Beautiful book about a group of youths in 1981 in Derry in the midst of the troubles. Their difficulty in expressing themselves & sharing feelings is heart-wrenching. I raced through this.
  29. 26/07/2021 - All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire by Jonathan Abrams ★★★★☆ 📚 Quotes from the actors, writers, producers, directors & others involved. Going through the series in order. I’ve watched all 5 series several times through and this makes me want to watch it again.
  30. 24/07/2021 - Read: The Gospel of the Eels by Patrik Svensson ★★★★☆ 📚 Great read, a mix of the history of the study & natural history of eels with the author’s eel fishing with his father. The list of folk who studied eels runs from Aristotle through Freud to Racel Carson. Includes a bit of recent Swedish […]
  31. 23/07/2021 - Read: Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes ★★★★☆ 📚 Multi narrator life story of Clio, Scottish singer & activist. Starts at her end in 2018. Revisiting most of the narrators and scenes revels more & more about all the characters.
  32. 22/07/2021 - Read: The Heartbeat of Trees: Embracing Our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature by Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst(Translator) ★★★★☆ 📚 New science about trees back up with references mixed with personal rumination and experiences. The good trees do for us and the planet and the bad we do to them. Some really fascinating snippets about […]
  33. 21/07/2021 - Read: Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan ★★★☆☆ 📚 A novel Maddox up of short stories over 100 years linked by a Edinburgh tenement. Gothic, ghosts, queer, beat, crime and more. Some seemed to flow for me better than others. Probably best read in fewer sessions than I did.
  34. 04/07/2021 - Read: Pew by Catherine Lacey ★★★★☆ 📚 The main character has little memory and their sex, colour, age and origin are all in doubt. They are discovered in church and meet the locals, good folks to their own thinking, without talking Pew revels them to us. We never find out about Pew and the ending […]
  35. 26/06/2021 - Read: Burning Your Own by Glenn Patterson ★★★★☆ 📚 1969, Mal is 10. I’d have been 11. Mal lives in a estate in Northern Ireland. Great, horrible, atmosphere. Football with his pals and building bonfires with civil rights and politics in the background.
  36. 08/06/2021 - Read: Cunning Women: A feminist tale of forbidden love after the witch trials by Elizabeth Lee ★★★☆☆ 📚 I enjoyed this well enough, unlikely plot, felt a bit like a young adult book.
  37. 29/05/2021 - Read: The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig ★★★☆☆ 📚 a take on “Strangers on a Train”. This kept me turning the pages but spelled things out a bit too much. I also guessed what was going on even before the big hint.
  38. 26/05/2021 - Read: August by Callan Wink ★★★☆☆ 📚This was a nice change from the daily introspective books live been reading. August, the main character says little and doesn’t seem to think much. The sensitive silent type. I enjoyed reading about his mum more.
  39. 20/05/2021 - Read: Jo Baker Offcomer ★★★☆☆ 📚 a bit to queasy for me, young woman who is in a bad situation cutting herself with a blade and stupid choices.
  40. 16/05/2021 - I Give It to You by Valerie Martin ★★★★☆ 📚 Set in Italy, mix of World War II history and the story of the story. Echos of The Leopard with the decline of the land owning class. More than one level of betrayal.
  41. 17/04/2021 - Read: so you’ve been shamed by Jon Ronson ★★★★☆ 📚 I think I must have read excerpts of a lot of this over the years since it was published. Still quite interesting although I kept hearing Louis Theroux in my head.
  42. 16/04/2021 - Read: The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway ★★★★☆ 📚 dual timeline kept me turning pages. The Troubles in the 80s and 30 years later
  43. 15/04/2021 - Read: The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld ★★★★☆ Fragmented stories of misogyny across time. Quite unsettling in both content and style. 📚
  44. 07/04/2021 - Read: The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey ★★★★☆ a lot of fun with an unusual take on mermaids. 📚
  45. 27/03/2021 - Read: The Margot Affair by Sanaë Lemoine ★★★☆☆ enjoyable quick read. Teenagers pov, secret daughter of a French politician and a famous actress. Suspicious adult friends, trouble.
  46. 20/03/2021 - Read: Barkskins by Annie Proulx ★★★★☆ pretty huge multi generational story of destruction of the North American forests. Side trips to China and New Zealand. 📚
  47. 02/03/2021 - READ: Writers & Lovers by Lily King ★★★☆☆
  48. 14/02/2021 - Read: The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid ★★★☆☆ I enjoyed the Wordsworth, The Mutiny on the Bounty and Lake District background more than the actual plot.
  49. 09/02/2021 - Read: The Beloved Children by Tina Jackson ★★★★☆ engaging tale of theatre & show people. 📚
  50. 24/01/2021 - Read: Summerwater by Sarah Moss ★★★★★ 📚 I love the way you are taken into the character’s heads. Feels very real to me.
  51. 03/01/2021 - Read The Heavens by Sandra Newman ★★★★☆ Time travel in dreams, madness, an unstable ‘present’, lots of fun. 📚 First book I’ve finished this year.

2 thoughts on “Books in 2021


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