It’s become a tradition of mine to pile up the books I’ve read each year for a once-a-year bookshelf filing binge. Which also means I can handily record in one photograph what I’ve read in the last year.
Here’s what 2023 brought:
Espionage novels crept up in their share of my reading, something I hope to repeat in 2024, spurred on by the fun of talking spy novels for a podcast.
Hope you’ve had as much fun with your books of the year as I’ve had with mine. If you’re getting any books for yourself, if you used these Amazon, Waterstones or Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops), it helps cover the costs of this site without costing you anything extra.
Now to get a head start on 2024’s reading…
For old time’s sake, here’s what I read previously…
Books of 2022
A lighter reading year this time around including a book which I’ve got no idea why I put onto my reading list. The Talbott Agreement has not aged well since it first came out, and, even after reading it, I can’t figure out what it was about the name, authors or plot that somehow got my attention and got me to get a second-hand copy.
A book that has aged much better, however, is Robert Littell’s famous fictionalised history of the CIA, The Company. To avoid giving away the final stretch of the book, let’s just say that it is even more bitter-sweet about the value, or not, of secret services given what one of the real life characters mentioned has gone on to do since the book was published. I think it’s the book that has aged best of any I’ve ever read thanks to subsequent events.
Another book that has aged well is Michael Frayn’s The Tin Men. A satire of the 1960s fad for automation, it now reads just as funnily in the age of artificial intelligence. But if you get a copy, don’t get the old version with a yellow cover from Faber and Faber as it’s missing a few sentences in a couple of place.
Books of 2021
Books of 2020
No prizes for guessing what topic I’ve been researching this year for a future book…
In the pile on the left is the fascinating Confessions of a candidate, which I wrote about on this site.