Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 in Books #2

Non-fiction. The theme this year seems to have been expatriates.

Greene on Capri: A Memoir, by Shirley Hazzard
The past really was a different world for some people: this memoir chronicles the Hazzard's friendship with Graeme Greene during prolonged residences in pre-tourist Capri.

The Smell of the Continent: The British Discover Europe, Richard Mullen & James Munson
I haven't finished this one yet.

The Scottish World: A Journey Into the Scottish Diaspora, Billy Kay, 2009
Scots are everywhere.

And the Judges Said...: Essays, James Kelman, 2008
Mostly political. Kelman is definitely not an expat.

The Secret Life of France, Lucy Wadham, 2009
I really meant to blog about this book when I first read it. On one hand, it was a great relief to read a book by a Brit on France that went further than the usual "aren't the tradesmen slow, aren't the locals colourful?" tropes. On the other hand, there was a lot to disagree with, especially the remarks on French sexual politics. Stimulating and intelligent nonetheless.

The Year Of No Money In Tokyo Wayne Lionel Aponte 2009
I blogged about this book here.

Shakespeare: The World as a Stage (Eminent Lives) Bill Bryson 2008
I like Bryson.

Lettre à D : Histoire d'un amour André Gorz 2009
This was an impulse buy in a bookshop. André Gorz was a French philosopher and his wife was originally from England. This is the story of their lifelong romance. They committed suicide together when she became ill.

A Castle in Spain, Matthew Parris, 2006
I can't remember how this book came into my possession. I don't think I would have chosen to spend money on a book by a Conservative MP. It's actually a wonderful account of his buying an ancient house in Spain (not far from where his parents and siblings had lived for many years) and painstakingly renovating it.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating Barbara Kingsolver 2008
Blogged here.

1 comment:

deborah said...

I enjoy reading your book reviews, Lesley!

Hope to borrow a couple of these soon, first A Castle in Spain.
Mathew Parris is a Conservative MP, yes, but he is also a good journalist who knows how to write. And best of all he justifiably despises T Blair and can explain why. So he is high up on my list!