Skip to main content

My Back Pages - December


Well, are you set for the big finish? You'll recall at the beginning of the year I'd set for myself the target of reading 50 books this year. Well, I went a little over, zipping through 6 books last month and ending out the year with a total of 67. It was an interesting month, as electric as ever, and I gave four books five/five stars.

First there was This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer, one of my favourite authors, the 7th and final book in the so-called Clifton Chronicles, a sprawling family history of business and politics.

Then there was the excellent Testimony: A Memoir, the long-anticipated autobiography of The Band's Robbie Robertson.

Then I read a book recommended by my wife, The Book of Negroes by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. Very well written. Great story.

Don't know why, but I picked up Phil Collins' autobiography, Not Dead Yet: The Memoir. Meh. It was so-so. But it had a lot of interesting trivia about Genesis and Collins' solo career.

And then I read two excellent novels. The first was Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon's Moonglow. The second was Steven Rowley's first book, Lily and the Octopus, a quirky tale about a man and his dachshund.

So here's how I rated each book:

This Was a Man - Jeffrey Archer *****
Testimony: A Memoir - Robbie Robertson *****
The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill *****
Not Dead Yet: The Memoir - Phil Collins ****
Moonglow - Michael Chabon ****
Lilly and the Octopus - Steven Rowley *****

Later this week I'll re-cap my reads for 2016 and let you in on my favourites of the year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Back Pages - November

I read five books last month bringing my year to date total to 61, well past the 50 I estimated at the beginning of the year. And I've yet to get through December.

The month started out with The Nix, the debut novel by Nathan Hill which has been receiving a lot off positive reviews. In it Hill flips back and fourth from the 1968 Chicago protests and 2011 in a desperate search for the truth behind why his mother abandoned him at an early age. In between Hill takes on politics, the media and addiction as well as other aspects of society. It's a well-spun tale and I quite enjoyed reading it.

Next up was the auto-biographical I Am Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. This was somewhat of a scattered affair but an interesting read nonetheless. Wilson - or his ghostwriter - however is no Hemingway.

Then it was on to one of my favourite authors, Ian Rankin and his latest tale of now retired Inspector John Rebus, Rather Be The Devil. I never tire of these stories and this is the 21st in …

My Back Pages - 2016

Here, as promised is a month-by-month breakdown of the 67 books I delved into this year. I got off to a strong start and then my intake dwindled for a couple of months until picking back up in April. I'll let you in on my favourites at the end of this list.

January

Here, There and Everywhere:
My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles - Geoff Emerick - ****
H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald - ***
Close To The Edge - The Story of Yes - Chris Welch - ***
Sweet Caress - William Boyd - ****


February

Purity by Jonathan Franzen 
Still Alice by Lisa Genova.


March

Natchez Burning - Greg Iles
The Promise (Elvis Cole #20) - Robert Crais

April

The Snowman (Harry Hole)- Joe Nesbo ****
Phantom (Harry Hole) - Joe Nesbo ****
The Leopard (Harry Hole) - Jo Nesbo ****


May

George Harrison Reconsidered ***
The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood ****
Dropping The Needle - The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II ***
The Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead, (Dave Robicheaux #6) - James Lee Burke****


June/.July

 Lust and Wonder - Aug…

Traveling Along Singing A Song

Pete and Paulie were strolling along one day. The sun was bright, the air was cool, the birds chirped crazily in the trees and the squirrels  munched merrily on their nuts. Well not their nuts exactly. Nuts they found on the ground and in the gardens in the park.

Paulie felt so good he began to whistle. It wasn't any tune in particular, just one of those annoyingly tuneless whistles that wandered all over the place. Pete looked at Paulie and he squiggled up his nose and he said "What the hell is that?" Paulie replied "Oh nothing in particular. I'm just happy." "But you're not even whistling a tune" said Pete. Paulie replied "If you're so wise I'd like to see you do better, Pete."

Pete went silent for a moment and seemed to mumble to himself for a moment or two. Then he cleared his throat with a little cough, he opened his mouth and he began to sing.


"There once was a king very wise
Who spoke to his enemies in disguise
T…