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  • 25) Thunderball - Ian Flemming

    This is the first 007 James Bond that I've read. Nice pacey story with simple catchy writing. I'll read a few more.

  • 26) Back from the Brink - Paul McGrath

    The Irish central defender of yesteryear tells his story. It's a sad one. The book had me wondering if it was only written to fund his next binge.

  • So, I managed 26 books in 2008, only half of the 52 I had aimed for. I was pretty busy with other stuff.

    I enjoyed the historical books most. Roll on 2009 where I'll again aim for 52.

  • 2009 :

    1) The Spy Who Loved Me - Ian Fleming

    Another James Bond novel. This one was told from the perspective of the main female character. I found it a bit girly to be honest! :pac: Thunderball was much better.

  • 2) State of the Art - Iain M.Banks

    Excellent collection of short stories. Highly recommended. Some are sci-fi, some not.

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  • 3) How to fossilize your hamster & other amazing experiments for the armchair scientist - Mick O'Hare

    Pop science. Some interesting nuggets of info.

  • 4) Against A Dark Background - Iain M.Banks.

    Rubbish. Avoid this book. Terrible plot, bland characters. Had to spent ages forcing myself through the 500 pages.

  • 5) How Long Is a Piece of String? - Rob Eastaway & Jeremy Wyndham

    Interesting analysis of mathematics in everyday situations. I liked this.

  • 6) Starting Strength (2nd edition) - Mark Rippetoe

    Great book on barbell training. I read the first edition last year.

  • 7) Living and Working in Australia - David Hampshire

    Skim read this. Way to detailed for what I wanted. This would be a great reference if actually in Australia for day to day issues. I was looking for more of a general overview.

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  • 8) A short history of tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka

    Enjoyed this. An easy, funny & quick 300 page read. The main character, an auld fellow, falls in love with a Ukrainian divorcee less than half his age. The book goes on to outline the conflict between the family and new found glamour/gold-digging wife.

    "She exploded into our lives like a pinky fluffy hand-grenade". Lol :pac:

    The bit about tractors is an interesting factual history of agriculture and the rise of the tractor interwoven with the fictional family feud.

    7/10. I docked a few points as sometimes the story seemed to go around in circles e.g. everyone getting on far too well over meals directly after bitter court battles.

  • 9) On her Majesty's Secret Service (a James Bond 007 novel) - Ian Flemming

    Enjoyed this.

    I was shocked with the following:
    He got married!

  • 10) The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (a trilogoly in 5 parts) - Douglas Adams.

    The first two books (from a trilogoy of 5 :D) were both laugh out loud hilarious. I found the last three dragged a bit. I wasn't really expecting the ending!

    It had been sitting on my shelf for the past few years so glad I got around to reading it.

  • 11) Origin of Species - Charles Darwin.

    How many times can he say the one thing? I seriously struggled getting through this. I read the first half properly, then started skimming.

  • 12) 5/3/1 The simplest & most effective training system for Raw Strength - Jim Wendler

    I'll report back in 6 months as to the claim in the title.

  • 13) Night Train - Martin Amis

    Fictional novel about a suicide being investigated by a female cop called Mike. Quick read.

  • 14) Steve & Me. My life with Steve Irwin - Terri Irwin.

    An interesting account of the man and his life. I found the ending pretty sad where the young son is crying in the bath asking where his Daddy is.

  • 15) The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition - Anita Bean

    Great book. Just what I was looking for.

  • 16) Mindstar Rising - Peter F.Hamilton

    This guy is my favourite sci-fi author. Much better than Iain Banks. Mindstar Rising is his very first book, written when he was 27.

    Enjoyable sci-fi.

  • 17) Shakespeare - Bill Bryson.

    A good overview. Enjoyed it.

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  • 18) Ronnie - Laurie O'Neill.

    A bio of Ronnie Kray, one of the infamous Kray Twins of East London back in the 50s/60s. Found it interesting as I know a lot of the places referred to.

  • 19) Chocolat - Johanne Harris.

    I did not enjoy this as I'm not a big fan of magic realism.

  • 20) A Quantum Murder - Peter F.Hamilton.

    My favourite sci-fi writer delivers again! This was written in 1994. Some of his thoughts on what the future would be like in 2005 and 2040 are interesting.
    I smiled when the butler came to tell the rich mogul that there was a phone call coming through on the house phone. It is 2040. She should have a mobile hardwired in to her brain!

  • 21) Flashman - George MacDonald Fraser.

    "Flashman" is the first in the Flashman series. About a year ago I read "Flashman in the Great Game". "Flashman" was better and a great intro to the series. Hoping to find more of these.

    These books are historical novels putting Flashman, a fictional coward and bully, in various situations where he comes out looking the hero. The books are written from his point of view as a 90+ year old looking back unashamedly on what he did. He brushes shoulders with various historical figures so these can be taken as a history lesson as well as a humorous read.

  • 22) Notes from a big country - Bill Byrson

    A collection of columns which Byrson wrote for an English paper over 3 years following his move back to the USA. He provides witty observations on everday life and much comparison between life in the UK vs the USA.

    A good fun read.

  • 23) Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle - Tom Venuto.

  • 24) Cityboy - Geraint Anderson

  • 25) The Complete Book of Dreams - Julia & Derek Parker

  • 26) 50 Facts that should change the World - Jessica Williams

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  • So, I managed 26 books in 2009 - exactly half of what I was aiming for. Now, on to 2010.