Books 2004

A list of the 15 books read by me during 2004.

Alfred Russel Wallace: a Life
by Peter Raby
A very readable biography about the co-discoverer of Natural Selection—the man who nearly scooped Darwin.

Brunel: The Life and Times of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
by Angus Buchanan
A balanced biography of the legendary early Victorian engineer.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Amusing novel narrated from the viewpoint of an autistic boy.

The Crimson Petal and the White
by Michel Faber
Massive Victorian-era novel with plenty of rude bits.

Spies
by Michael Frayn
Short novel about how children misunderstand the adult world.

Granta 85: Hidden Histories
by Ian Jack (ed.)
This issue of Granta excavates histories both personal and political: repressed memories, unexplored lives, forgotten wars, secret careers.

Charles Darwin, Vol.1: Voyaging
by Janet Browne
Part 1 of an entertaining two-part biography of Charles Darwin.

Granta 86: Film
by Ian Jack (ed.)
A collection of pieces based around the general theme of films and the cinema.

The Smoking Diaries
by Simon Gray
Playwright Simon Gray's amusing and meandering reminiscences.

Last Chance to See…
by Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine
The late Douglas Adams travels the world visiting endangered species.

Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville
by Stephen Jay Gould
The late, great science writer's final book—about baseball.

Monster of God
by David Quammen
David Quammen travels the world, visiting the habitats of four man-eaters.

Granta 87: Jubilee
by Ian Jack (ed.)
Granta celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary.

Granta 88: Mothers
by Ian Jack (ed.)
An edition based around the theme of mothers.

You Are Here
by Rory Bremner, John Fortune, John Bird, Geoff Atkinson
TV satirists write a Stupid White Men for the UK.