Books 2014

A list of the 36 books and five audiobooks ‘read’ by me in 2014.

Granta 125: After the War
by Sigrid Rausing (ed.)
The end of an era (for me).

The Honourable Schoolboy
by John le Carré
Subterfuge in Hong Kong.

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

A Perfect Spy
by John le Carré
Where's Pym?

Four Fields
by Tim Dee
...in four very different parts of the world.

The Constant Gardener
by John le Carré
Who killed Tessa Quayle?

The Smoking Diaries
by Simon Gray
Re-reading playwright Simon Gray's amusing and meandering reminiscences.

Darwin & His Children
by Tim M. Berra
His other legacy.

The Happy Atheist
by PZ Myers
Relentlessly unsubtle wholesome fun.

Our Kind of Traitor
by John le Carré
A would-be defector from the Russian mob.

After Nature
by W.G. Sebald
Three long-form poems, best read as prose.

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
by Caspar Henderson
A 21st Century Bestiary.

The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Why Faith is not a virtue.

The Green Road Through the Trees
by Hugh Thomson
A Walk Through England.

Names for the Sea
by Sarah Moss
Strangers in Iceland.

A Rough Ride to the Future
by James Lovelock
Thought-provoking and infuriating.

The Creative Life in Photography
by Brooks Jensen
Thoughts on photography.

The Making of the English Landscape
by W.G. Hoskins
Classic study of how the English built their landscape.

Edgelands
by Paul Farley & Michael Symmons Roberts
Journeys into England's true wilderness.

The Shining Levels
by John Wyatt
Living in the Lakeland woods.

Mrs Dalloway
by Virginia Woolf
Stream-of-consciousness classic.

An Encyclopaedia of Myself
by Jonathan Meades
Writer and TV presenter's childhood reminiscences.

The Faraway Nearby
by Rebecca Solnit
Curiously haunting memoir.

How to Win Every Argument
by Madsen Pirie
The use and abuse of logic.

Campo Santo
by W.G. Sebald
File under Sebaldian.

Vertigo
by W.G. Sebald
Also file under Sebaldian.

The Making of the Fittest
by Sean B Carroll
DNA and the ultimate forensic record of evolution.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost
by Rebecca Solnit
How ‘getting lost’ is a great way to find yourself.

Findings
by Kathleen Jamie
A masterpiece of ‘nature’ writing. Even better on a third reading.

Sightlines
by Kathleen Jamie
A second volume of superb nature and landscape essays.

The Emigrants
by W.G. Sebald.
Still as Sebaldian as ever.

The Small Heart of Things
by Julian Hoffman
A book that demonstrates the value of paying attention—which is why I re-read it!

A Place in the Country
by W.G. Sebald
Essays on five writers and a painter who influenced Sebald's work.

The Tree House
by Kathleen Jamie
Poetry grounded squarely in the real world.

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

A Buzz in the Meadow
by Dave Goulson
A fantastic sequel to a fantastic prequel.

Meadowland
by John Lewis-Stempel
The private life of an English field.

Claxton
by Mark Cocker
Field notes from a small planet.

The Year of the Jouncer
by Simon Gray
A re-reading of playwright Simon Gray's follow-up to The Smoking Diaries.

Deer Island
by Neil Ansell
An unusual memoir.

The Last Cigarette
by Simon Gray
A re-reading of playwright Simon Gray's third volume of diaries.

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