Books 2011

A list of the 37 books read by me during 2011.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher
by Kate Summerscale
The tale of a notorious Victorian child-murder. (Not to be confused with fiction!)

Letters to Monica
by Philip Larkin (ed. Anthony Thwaite)
Philip Larkin's letters to his long-term, long-sufferring girlfriend, Monica Jones.

Captain Beefheart
by Mike Barnes
Stupendously researched biography of rock music's greatest genius.

Borderland
by Ronald Blythe
More gentle musings on the countryside and religion.

Out of the Valley
by Ronald Blythe
Even more gentle musings on the countryside and religion.

The Plot
by Madeleine Bunting
A daughter's investigations into her eccentric father.

Weeds
by Richard Mabey
British nature writer wants to cut nature's vagabonds some slack.

The Peregrine, the Hill of Summer & Diaries
by J.A. Baker
British nature writer wants to cut nature's vagabonds some slack.

The Rings of Saturn
by W.G. Sebald
A re-reading of Sebald's enigmatic masterpiece.

The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn
by Richard Mabey
Short but enjoyable book, based on a series of radio programmes.

Granta 109: Work
by John Freeman (ed.)
Pieces loosely themed on the subject of work.

Granta 110: Sex
by John Freeman (ed.)
Very poor edition, depite its sexy theme.

Granta 111: Going Back
by John Freeman (ed.)
A return to form for Granta.

Granta 112: Pakistan
by John Freeman (ed.)
All about Pakistan.

Granta 113: The Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists
by John Freeman (ed.)
An entire edition of Granta utterly wasted.

Flat Earth News
by Nick Davies
An excellent exposé of the failure of the newspaper industry.

Letters From Skokholm
by R.M. Lockley
Wartime letters to a close friend about the wildlife on a Welsh island.

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
Brontë classic, written just down the road from here.

The Emergence of Memory
by Lynne Sharon Schwartz (ed.)
Interviews with the late W.G. Sebald.

Bento's Sketchbook
by John Berger
A compelling mix of journal, reminiscences, sketches, and art theory.

The Silmarillion
by J.R.R. Tolkien
The whole of Tolkien's mythology, massively condensed into a single volume.

Under the Sun
by Elizabeth Chatwin & Nicholas Shakespeare (eds.)
The correspondence of an unusual and gifted writer.

Word From Wormingford
by Ronald Blythe
Gentle country journal.

To the River
by Olivia Laing
A literary walk down the Sussex Ouse.

On Extinction
by Melanie Challenger
How our estrangement from Nature has led to collapse and extinction of entire ways of life.

The Living Mountain
by Nan Shepherd
1940s masterpiece of nature writing.

River Diary
by Ronald Blythe
Book 5 in the wonderful Wormingford series of journals.

The Bookman's Tale
by Ronald Blythe
Book 6 in the wonderful Wormingford series of journals.

A Writer's Day-Book
by Ronald Blythe
Essays about books and authors.

Nature's Child
by John Lister-Kaye
Delightful book about encouraging a young daughter's love of nature.

At the Yeoman's House
by Ronald Blythe
Short book about veteran author's extremely old house.

Granta 114: Aliens
by John Freeman (ed.)
Typical Granta mixed bag.

A Year in the Woods
by Colin Elford
A rather special book from a forest ranger.

Vertigo
by W.G. Sebald
My second reading of the Sebaldian classic. Still impossible to categorise.

The Emigrants
by W.G. Sebald
…and my second reading of this other Sebaldian classic. Just as impossible to categorise!

Granta 115: The F Word
by John Freeman (ed.)
Far more mses than his. Poor.

Granta 116: Ten Years Later
by John Freeman (ed.)
A return to form for Granta, with several excellent pieces about the state of the world ten years after the 911 attacks.