Books I reviewed in May (and some I didn’t)

I know, I know, we’re past halfway into June, but fuck it, I’ve been busy, right? Anyway, May was a cracking month, with loads of fantastic books read and reviewed. I reviewed for the Indy on Sunday, Scotland on Sunday, Scotsman, Big Issue and The List. Here the fuck they are:

Ewan Morrison, Tales From The Mall (Cargo) – Fantastic 21st century book about the secret lives of shopping malls, mixing fiction, modern folk tales, stats, history, sociology and much more. He’s a smart bastard is Ewan.
Jackie Kay, Reality, Reality (Picador) – New story collection from the always entertaining Jackie Kay, but I didn’t think this was up with her best, though.
Claudia Hammond, Time Warped (Canongate) – All about our changeable perception of time – a fine piece of pop science.
Laurent Binet, HHhH (Harvill Secker) – Very ambitious and impressive debut French novel, a literary thriller, a meta-novel and a bunch of other shit besides.
Megan Abbott, Dare Me (Picador) – Oh, I love Megan Abbott. This is her best yet, a fantastic noir thriller set in the heady world of American high school cheerleading.
Philip Ball, Curiosity (The Bodley Head) – A history of scientific method and thinking. Too much history, not enough science.
Nick Harkaway, The Blind Giant (John Murray) – Harkaway is better known for his fiction, but this non-fiction looking at how we adapt to the digital age is perceptive, smart and self-deprecating.
Jean Sprackland, Strands (Jonathan Cape) – Oh, I loved this, nature writing at its best. Thoughts and discoveries on a beach, spread over a year. Written with a poet’s eye for detail.
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Possibly my book of the year – a fantastic psychological literary thriller about a missing wife. Nerve-shredding doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Alan Warner, The Deadman’s Pedal (Jonathan Cape) – Getting a bit boring, all these great books – but this was another. A beautiful elegy to a time and place – specifically the changes in the west of Scotland in the early 1970s. This dude can write.

Interestingly, or not, the split this month is 5-5 between male and female writers, and 5-5 between fiction and non-fiction. Depending how you count Ewan’s book.

All of which meant I never had the time to read:

Tom Wright, What Dies in Summer (Canongate)
Jenni Fagan, The Panopticon(William Heinemann)
James Fearnley, Here Comes Everybody (Faber)
David Belbin, What You Don’t Know (Tindal Street)
James Sallis, Driven (No Exit)

Jesus wept, that’s annoying. I haven’t even had time to read Sallis! Shit, I need to find time.


About Doug Johnstone

I write things
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1 Response to Books I reviewed in May (and some I didn’t)

  1. Fiona says:

    Thanks. Gone Girl sounds the one for me.

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