Friday, 28 January 2011

Top 5 Books I read in 2010

Another great year of reading. I didn't manage quite as many as 2009 but read a lot of wonderful books both contemporary and classic.

1. Cormac McCarthy "No Country for Old Men" - Reading the book helped me understand the film, and re-watching the film helped me understand the book.

2. Christopher Brookmyre "A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil" - Well structured crime novel that intertwines a murder investigation with the story of the characters growing up together from primary school to adult life. Brookmyre's black humour never far from the surface.

3. Andrew Collins "Still Suitable for Miners - Billy Bragg" - Biography of the "eighties protest singer" which proves he is actually so much more. Fascinating mix of music and political history. Bragg appears to be a genuinely nice bloke who has achieved the right balance between success and happiness.

4. David Peace "The Damned United" - Having failed to catch the film last year I thought I might as well read the novel before watching the DVD. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Peace's fictionalisation of real events it's Clough's personality that shines through and helps create a story as entertaining as his football teams.

5. Michael Morpurgo "War Horse" - Saved me from deciding which one of Chandler's "The High Window" or Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" I was going to have to leave out. "War Horse" is a moving tale of a horse sold to the British Army, during the first world war, and sent to the support the effort on the western front. Very well written story that captures the futility of war whilst maintaining a feeling of optimism for the future. A children's book that deserves much broader recognition.



Jeff said...

'WarHorse' - If you think the book's good, then go see the play. - I know its puppets, but you won't have seen puppets like these. You'll be impressed, it's one of the best things on in he West End at the moment. Don't wait for the film. Oh and take your boys, they'll be awestruck....

'The Damned United' - I was a Leeds fan during the Revie Years - showing my age - It wasn't pretty but it was effective. Cloughie pretty much screwed the team during his short tenure. I've not a single fond memory of his selfish time in charge. The book's really a bit of a whitewash, revisionist history, much more fiction than fact. Still, glad you were entertained...

'No Country for Old Men' - Haven't read this one but read 'The Road' last year. Sooo bleak but with a last glimmer of humanity showing through. The film of The Road not a patch on the book. Marvellously well written. McCarthy's probably the best contemporary US writing at the moment.

Ollers said...

Hi Chop - last year I read Phil Rostron's "We Are The Damned United" which is considered to be a more realistic account of Clough's 44 days in charge at Leeds.

I also have a copy of "War Horse" but have yet to read it; however, the National Theatre play is a joy to behold and a must see. I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

Thanks for mentioning "No Country For Old Men", which I will now go and buy. Being a huge Cohen Bros fan, I have seen the film several times, but there are still bits I don't quite get. Sounds like the book will help.

Chopper said...


The Road is the next book I plan to read.

Cloughie was undoubtedly the wrong man at the wrong time for Leeds. Fascinating character though and one I'd like to read more about.

Thanks for the tip about War Horse. I couldn't imagine the story working as a play but your comment has piqued my interest.


Might have to give that Phil Rostron book ago, sounds goood.

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