The Last 10 Books Tag

I’ve seen this popping up everywhere, but most recently at Annabel’s blog.

The last book I gave up on

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis. I wanted to read about people climbing Everest, but when I realised that a substantial amount of this doorstopper was about the First World War, I stopped reading it. I’ve read a lot of historiography on the experience of the war, and its myth and memory, for work, and so revising this just isn’t that fun for me.

The last book I re-read

Abhorsen by Garth Nix. If you haven’t read this creepy, atmospheric YA quartet, which starts with Sabriel, you really ought to. Nix brings his fantasy universe, peopled by necromancers, seers and animate corpses, vividly to life, and he wrote about a kingdom divided by a Wall behind which the dead walk before George R. R. Martin did.

The last book I bought

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley. I thought it was fabulous and will be reviewing it here soon.

The last book I said I read but actually didn’t

I can’t remember ever doing this. Unless I’ve done it by accident? I perhaps have claimed to have read Bleak House when I’ve only read half of it, but that was enough for a lifetime.

The last book I wrote in the margins of

Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform by Diane Ravitch. A popular, conservative-ish history of education in twentieth-century America. I write in all the academic books I own.

The last book I had signed

Solar by Ian McEwan. I never have books signed for myself, so got this signed as a present for my mum several years back. My impression of McEwan was not favourable.

The last book I lost

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. This childhood favourite was sadly left on a train, and I must get round to buying a new copy. Tamora Pierce’s Alanna for grown-ups.

The last book I had to replace

Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney. This Point Horror classic really isn’t very good, but I wanted it for inspiration for my current work-in-progress. It turns out the best thing about it is the cover and the title, and my teenage self was quite right to get rid of my previous copy.

The last book I argued over

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I really couldn’t get on with this at all, finding it shallow and a bit ridiculous, but many fellow members of my creative writing group loved it.

The last book I couldn’t find

My treasured chick lit collection, c. 2005-c.2010, including many titles by Lindsey Kelk, Harriet Evans and Miranda Dickinson. My dad found these books for me hiding in a box after I explained the concept of I Heart…  to him. (‘You mean it’s called ‘I Love New York?’ ‘No, I Heart New York.’ ‘A book can’t be called that.’)

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8 thoughts on “The Last 10 Books Tag

    • McEwan was a bit short with me at the signing, but that wasn’t really what gave me the bad impression, rather it was the Q&A – he seemed to think quite a lot of himself!

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  1. Thanks for the link. I loved Life after Life – happy to argue with you on it! 😉 I can put up with McEwan being a bit McEwan-y because I enjoy his books. I love getting books signed, especially those fangirl moments (Paul Auster, William Gibson) when I’ve got to talk to literary heroes.

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  2. And why can’t a book be called I Heart New York? I’m giggling over this 😀

    I once found a picture of a room filled with very pink books. Someone owns every single Sweet Valley book out there: kids, teens, college, etc. It made me want to start collecting, but there are HUNDREDS.

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  3. Great post! Thanks a million for recommending the Bedlam Stacks. It looks like everything I will love in a novel, and I am particularly intrigued that it is set in the Amazon and in the 19th century. I probably re-read Bleak House a hundred times and a lifetime will not be enough for my re-reads. But then I am into law and that book was full of that 🙂

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