<> Books Read - 2001 <>

Last modified: Sunday, 14 August, 2016

+ My recent, current, and forthcoming reading is covered elsewhere, here's what I read in 2001:

* Gary Morecombe & Martin Sterling: Morecombe & Wise - Behind the Sunshine

A gentle (Gary is Eric's son), rather undemanding biography of the two best-loved British comedians of the second half of last century.  Far more interesting about their early experiences in the north than in recounting the many years they spent right at the top of the TV entertainment tree but overall no great depths are plumbed.

* Joanne Harris: Chocolat

A heart-warming book. Compared to the equally heart-warming movie, the book deals more fully with the motivations of the priest, Reynauld in opposing Vianne Rocher's chocolaterie.  The sense of place is beautifully maintained and the characters too seem authentically French. A feel-good book of the first order.

* Hugh Sebag-Montefiore: Enigma

An accessible history that aims to give the true story of the cracking of the Germans' war-time Enigma cypher. The author is particularly concerned to give a balanced picture of the various contributions to balance recent popular fictionalised accounts. Descriptions of U-boat seizures at sea are gripping and the pace and tension is maintained throughout in true thriller style. Technical details are relegated to appendices which would be better served by more mathematical treatment. Excellently written and a thoroughly rewarding read.

* Terry Pratchett: Feet of Clay

Pratchett uses his Ankh-Morpork City Watch setting (previously seen in Guards! Guards! and Men at Arms) to examine several aspects of discrimination of minorities. Without overt preaching he asserts a warmly humanist viewpoint and, through his mouthpiece character Vimes, is bitterly scathing about the inhumanity of those who secretly seek to manipulate populations for their own veiled purposes.  Pratchett has established a characteristic approach to the themes he chooses to deal with in the Discworld books and deploys his affectionately drawn characters expertly to make his points.

* Nell Dunn: Steaming

Long-running play set in a women's turkish bath facing closure. Examines a the views of a disparate group of women on the inhospitable nature of their places in a male-dominated society and concludes that women can only attain power by banding together.

* A.J.P. Taylor: England: 1914-1945

Dry but  readable history.  Much political minutiae but the big picture shows through too.

* Peter Ackroyd: First Light

Strange story of events surrounding an archeological dig. Or is it? Several threads of unfulfilled lives are interwoven in what is ostensibly a mystery story but I have to say I finished this, ultimately rather downbeat, book with little idea of what it was really about.

* Brian Clark: Whose Life is it Anyway?

A tetraplegic debates voluntary euthanasia with his medical carers in a bid to be allowed to die.

* Walter Lord: A Night to Remember

Comprehensive and dispassionate chronicle of the sinking of the Titanic. Based largely on eye-witness accounts, it provides a clear and fascinating picture of the events of the fateful night without triviality or histrionics.

* T.A. Shippey: J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century

Tom Shippey has thought deeply about Tolkien's motivation in his fantasy writings and has a philologists's insight into the topic.  Accessibly written though it is, this book demands some serious thinking on the part of the reader to extract the full benefit of the author's scholarship.  One dimension of Tolkien's inspiration that is surprisingly little investigated here is his Catholicism but even so there's meat enough for the serious Tolkien aficionado.


[ Back to top of: forthcoming | current | recent | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 ]



[Nightwol's Perch Home Page]
[Email Me!]