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2008 Read

Starting from April 2008, I had embarked on a vigorous reading regime. Devouring books mostly of literature and fictional nature, and journalists coverage of war and inaccessible nations, an obsessions which takes me frequent trips to the local libraries, scouring Amazon.co.uk for reviews and updating my virtual bookshelf on a daily basis. It was not until in September 2008, that I realised that 2008 is the year of UK’s National Reading Year. And a lot of reading I managed to do indeed, if it is not for the housekeeping urgent matters and discovery of blogging towards the end of the year, I would have hope it would be a year of 100 books. A year of unemployment, but not reading unfulfilled. Maybe, not quite fulfilled, the more I read, the more I discover what I have yet to read. So here’s my review for 2008:  Total Books Read: 96
Total Pages Read: 32,814
Non-Fiction: 36
Fiction: 60  
Classics: 2
Comics/Graphic Novels Read: 1   
Skim Reading: 10   
Same Year (2008 ) Edition: 21  
Previous Year (2007) Edition: 28
By Women writers: 38
By Men writers: 58  
By Journalist Authors: 7
Asian origin authors: 11
Thick Books (400+ pages): 8  
Book Series by same Authors (more than 2 books): Marina Lewycka, Khaled Hosseini, Lionel Shriver, Paul Coelho, Asne Seierstad, Michael Palin, Christina Lamb, Colin Thuborn, Marcus Buckingham, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alexander McCall Smith, Kate Morton, John O’Farrell, Tony Parsons, Amy Tan, Anthony Capella.
Best Reading Month: October – 16 Books, 6,424 Pages
Worst Reading Month: January & February – None, April – 4 Books, 1,395 pages  

My Top 10 Fiction:  

  • Fieldwork by Micha Berlinski
  • Post-birthday world by Lionel Shriver
  • Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
  •  The Road Home by Rose Tremain
  • My Favourite Wife by Tony Parsons
  • Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • Short history of tractors in Ukrainian – a novel by Marina Lewycka
  • My Top 10 Non-Fiction:  

  • Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
  • The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan 
  • An Utterly impartial History of Britain by John O’Farrell 
  • Go, Put your strengths to work by Marcus Buckingham
  • Blood River – A journey to Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher
  • Sewing Circle of Herat – My Afghan Years by Christina Lamb
  • House of Stone : a family divided in war-torn Zimbabwe by Christina Lamb
  • With their backs to the world – Portraits from Serbia by Asne Seierstad
  • Google Story by David Wise
  • The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan 
  •  Full List 

    1. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
    2. Gweilo, a memoir of a Hong Kong Childhood by Martin Booth
    3. Atonement by Ian McEwan
    4. Short history of tractors in Ukrainian – a novel, by Marina Lewycka
    5. Anna Karenina – in half the time by Leo Tolstoy
    6. Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka
    7. George Michael – The Biography by Rob Jovanovic
    8. Adrian Mole and Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend
    9. Digital Photography by Jenny Glenwright
    10. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
    11. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    12. The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
    13. The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan
    14. Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins
    Binding: Paperback
    15. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
    16. Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
    17. P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
    18. A Common mistakes at IELTS Intermediate : and how to avoid them
    19. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
    20. Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
    21. The Google Story: inside the hottest business, media and technology success of our timeby David Wise
    22. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
    23. The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams
    24. First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
    25. Mister Pip by Llyod Jones
    26. We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
    27. The Tipping Point: how little things can make a big difference by Malcolm Gladwell
    28. The Witch of Portbello by Paul Coelho
    29. With their backs to the world : Portraits from Serbia by Anne Seierstad
    30. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    31. The Angel of Grozny: Inside Chechnya by Anne Seierstad
    32. New Europe by Michael Palin
    33. The Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thuborn
    34. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    35. Now, Discover your strengths – How to develop your talents and those of the people you manage by Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton
    36. House of Stone: The true story of a family divided in war-torn Zimbabwe by Christina Lamb
    37. Go, Put your strengths to work: Six powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance by Marcus Buckingham
    38. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
    39. A Season in Red: My great leap forward into the new China by Kirsty Needham
    40. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
    41. Love You, Mean it : A true story of love, loss and friendship after the twin towers fell by Patricia Carrington, Julia Collins, Claudia Gerbasi, Ann Haynes
    42. The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King
    43. Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paul Coelho
    44. The Road Home by Rose Tremain
    45. The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
    46. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
    47. Flowing like a River by Paul Coelho
    48. Lisa B Lifestyle Essentials by Lisa Baustica
    49. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    50. The Geography of Bliss, The : The grumpiest man on the planet goes in search of the happiest place in the world by Eric Weiner
    51. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series – Book 1)
    52. The Zahir: A novel of Obsession by Paul Coelho
    53. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
    54. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
    55. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith
    56. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective series – Book 9)
    57. Morality of Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
    58. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series – Book 4)
    59. The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective series – Book 5)
    60. In the company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series – Book 6)
    61. 50 Success Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon 
    62. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
    63. An Utterly Impartial history of Britain: or 2000 years of Upper Class by John O’Farrell
    64. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series– Book 2)
    65. My Favourite Wife by Tony Parsons
    66. Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Series– Book 8)
    67. Behind the Wall: A journey through China by Colin Thuborn
    68. May Contain Nuts by John O’Farrell
    69. Sewing Circle of Herat by Christina Lamb
    70. Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
    71. Man and Wife by Tony Parsons
    72. House of Riverton by Kate Morton
    73. A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal by Asne Seierstad
    74. I have a Bream by John O’Farrell
    75. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
    76. The Outcast by Sadie Jones
    77. The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
    78. Notes from Exhibition by Patrick Gale
    79. The Blood River – A journey to Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher
    80. The Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus by Tim Hindle
    81. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    82. The Family Way by Tony Parsons
    83. The Various Flavour of Coffee by Anthony Capella
    84. The Africa House by Christina Lamb
    85. Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth? by Andrew Simms / Joe Smith
    86. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
    87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    88. Sahara by Michael Palin
    89. Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan
    90. The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella
    91. Things I want my Daughter to Know by Elizabeth Noble
    92. Words 2007 Foundation to Expert by Chris Voyse, Patrick Muse
    93. Style Guide: The best selling guide to English usage (A concise edition) by John Grimond
    94. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
    95. 365 activities you and your toddler will love by Dr. Roni Cohen Leiderman, Dr, Wendy Masi
    96. Adventures of Tintin Volume 3: Broken Ear, Black Island, King Ottokar’s Spectre by Herge

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    Ratings Defined

    0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

    1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

    2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

    2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

    3 = A good read.

    3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

    4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

    4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

    5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

    Books Read

    JoV's bookshelf: read
    Hold Tight
    The Fault in Our Stars
    The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
    The Thief
    Mockingjay
    Catching Fire
    A Tale for the Time Being
    Into the Darkest Corner
    The Liars' Gospel
    Goat Mountain
    Strange Weather In Tokyo
    Strange Shores
    And the Mountains Echoed
    Ten White Geese
    One Step Too Far
    The Innocents
    The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
    White Dog Fell from the Sky
    A Virtual Love
    The Fall of the Stone City


    JoV's favorite books »
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    Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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