Books and Rugby and whatnot

8 January 2007

It is January, so that means the Six Nations is just around the corner, and I’ve just gotten my ever-so-secret instructions from the Irish Rugby Supporters club that’ll enable me to purchase my ticket for the match against France tomorrow. Nice one. Just the one, but that won’t stop me. I’m so heading to Croker for the rugby.

We will also get a chance to buy two other tickets, either for France or for England. I’m aiming to get to for the England match, have half promised B#5 that if I get them he can come along. But we’ll see what happens.

Anyways, a before Christmas Donagh of Dublin Opinion got in contact regarding books of the year, but of course it has taken me this long to get around to it. And because I rarely buy hardback books, and pay no real attention as to whether a book is new or old, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to regard this as a “Books of 2006” type post, more a “books I enjoyed in 2006” list.

    In no particular order, my top reads of 2006:

  • The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
    This is a children’s fantasy sequence, arthurian in places, the first in the series of 5 was published back in 1965, but they really aren’t that dated at all. An example of some great writing, with no effort made to talk-down to a child’s level or anything so nasty.
  • On Another Man’s Wound by Ernie O’Mally
    Ernie O’Malley’s account of his life fighting the Irish War of Independence. Entertaining and gripping account of how people from all sorts of backgrounds ended up on the same side.
  • Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas trans. David Bellos
    I loved this book, which I picked up because of the cover Image Hosted by

    but I loved for the writing, characters and the plot. Mainly for the character of Adamsberg though, he is great, and I’m waiting for more of Vargas’ work to be translated from French so I can enjoy them.
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
    Anther old children’s fantasy, though this is very, very different to The Dark is Rising. It is simple, and childlike and totally adorable. A little dated, but who cares.
  • Thud! by Terry Pratchett
    Terry Pratchett is nothing less than a genius. Everyone should at least try to read some of his Discworld novels. But just because you don’t like one is no reason not to try another. I enjoy most of his books, but I LOVE his watch ones. Vimes has to be among the greatest of all fictional characters ever thought up.

And of course honourable mentions must go to the following:

  • Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black
  • Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace
  • George Hook’s autobiography Time Added On
  • Temeraire by Naomi Novik
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  • Back from the Brink Paul McGrath‘s autobiography, written with Vincent Hogan
  • Check out the other lists and reviews from this technorati page

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    3 Responses

    1. Donagh says:

      I've always known that Terry Pratchett was worth reading and I've been told countless times that he's one of the funniest writers out there, but I have a supercillious aversion to fantasy that has prevented me from opening one of his books. 2007 is the year to overcome my phobia. Perhaps Thud! is the one to open things up with, seeing as you recommend it. The Vargas one looks good too. Thanks. The technorati page is filling up nicely.

    2. Carl V. says:

      Good list! One of these days I'll definitely get to a Pratchett. I loved Good Omens so much that I'm sure I'll like his solo stuff.

    3. Fence says:

      Pratchett is fantastic. I'd always tell people to start with Guards! Guards! as that is the first in the Watch series, but you can pick any of the Discworld novels up, you don't have to read them in sequence.