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Free music - Best of 2009







Over the years I have read hundreds of books, most of which have been largely forgotten. At various times I have listed them in various diaries. The lists are horribly incomplete and most of the books prompt no memory whatsoever. For what it's worth here are the Steward book years.


The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton

The Riverside Villas Murder by Kingsley Amis

The Russians by W. H. Parker



Jaws by Peter Benchley 24 out of 30

The Saturn Finger by Victor Canning 26

Saint with Red Hands by Yseult Bridges 26

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte 18

Electra by Henry Treece



The Ginger Man by J.P Donleavy

Transports of Delight by Jack Burton

The Sound of the Weir by Mary Ingate

Short Stories by H.G. Wells

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

The Art of Coarse Golf by Michael Green

Topaz by Leon Uris (January book of the month)

Enquiry by Dick Francis

For Kicks by Dick Francis

Old Moke by Alexander Fullerton

Forfeit by Dick Francis

Odds Against by Dick Francis

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (February book of the month)

Gideon's Sport by J.J. Marric

13 Days by Robert Kennedy

Episode by William Taylor (March book of the month)

Gideon's Risk by J.J Marric

Gideon's Month by J.J. Marric

Lord Arthur Saville's Crime by Oscar Wilde

Rommel, Gunner Who by Spike Milligan

The Mask of the Clown by William Taylor

Gideon's Vote by J.J Marric

Our Human Constitution by Anthony Ward

Olympiad by Brian Glanville

Shankly by Bill Shankly

Mohammad Ali The Greatest by Mohammad Ali

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon (April book of the month)

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S by JP Donleavy

The Betsy by Harold Robbins

The Innocent Party by Celia Dale (May book of the month)

The Man who Gave the Beatles Away by Alun Williams

A Game of Murder by Francis Durbridge

I Start Counting by Lindup (June book of the month)

Baffling Things of the World

The West End Horror by Nicholas Meyer

Seven Per Cent Solution - Nicholas Meyer

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (July book of the month)

And This Is Me by Mike Yarwood

It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet by James Herriot

Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Brother Cain by Simon Raven

The Smallman's Guide by Ronnie Corbett

Siege of Trenchers' Farm by Gordon Williams

The Servant by Simon Maughan

The Commuter by Brendan Mulholland

The Roman Marriage by Brian Glanville

The Island of Dr Morreau by HG Wells

Return to Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (August book of the month)

Another Woman's Shoes by Francis Durbridge

Genesis 38 by Brian Cooper

The Director's Wife and Other Stories by Brian Glanville

 Dangerous Illusion by Mandy Brow

Intimacy by Jean Paul Sartre

The Graduate by Stanley Webb

Burning Bright by John Steinbeck

Gideon's Week by JJ Marric

The Death of Reginald Perrin by David Nobbs (September book of the month)

Silence by James Kennaway

The Eye Stories by Harriet Endstone?

Howard Hughes by ?

Pastime by Anthony Fowles

Carpetbaggers by Harrold Robbins

The President's Mistress by Patrick Anderson (October book of the month)

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach

The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake

Knock Down by Dick Francis

The Pink Panther Strikes Again by Frank Wildman (November book of the month)

Gideon's Staff by JJ Marric

Babi Yar by Kuznetsov (December book of the month)

The Crying Game by John Braine.



Evita by ? 21 marks out of 30+

The Listeners by Monica Dickens 21

The 39 Steps by John Buchan 22

Greenmantle by John Buchan 20

Mr Standfast by John Buchan 21

Utopia by Thomas More 20

You Want the Right Frame of Reference by William Cooper 22

The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming 17

The Keys of Hell by Jack Higgins 16

Heritage of Folly by Catherine Marchant 24

I Can Only Promise You Tomorrow by Geraldine Hersey 29 (book of the year)

Oliver's Story by Eric Seagal 18

Roaring Boys by Edward Blishen 17

The Footballer by Derek Dougan 23

The Fog by James Herbert 23

Dead Water by E and M.A Radford 12

Death of a Dreamer by Douglas Warner 26

The Plague by Graham Masterson 23

How to Survive from Nine till Five by Jilly Cooper 16

The Fellowship of the Ring by J R Tolkein 18

Dead and Alive by Hammond Innes 21

Michael and All Angels by Nora Lofty 22

Chariot of the Gods by Eric Von Danegan 16

Bishop in Check by Adam Hall 18

The Spirit of the West by Joseph Hocking 21

The Good Life by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey 23

More of the Good Life by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey 23

Ruin From the Air by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt

A Man Alone by Anthony Grey 22

The Bulgarian Exclusive by Anthony Grey 19

The Russian Novel by CJ Newman 21

Close of Play by Simon Raven 19

The Rats by James Herbert 20

The Chrysalis by William Taylor 16

Spawn by Robert Holles 23

Somewhere in England by Reg Gedney 17

Damien: Omen 2 by Joseph Howard 21

Suffer the Children by John Saul 22

In High Places by Arthur Hailey 28

The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon 23

The Stalker by Bill Pronzlni 21

Mila 18 by Leon Uris 18

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 27

Never Leave Me by Harold Robbins 17

The Final Diagnosis by Arthur Hailey 28

Everyday Life in ? America by ?  25

The Making of Tania Hurst by ?



Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

The Six Eleven


Second Form Last in the Sack Race by David Nobbs

Horton's Test by Michael Petri

Mr T by Martin Russell

The Final Checkpoint by Dennis Quigley

Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton

Passage to India by E. M. Forster

2001 by Arthur C Clarke

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Thinner by Richard Bachman (Steven King)

History of Cricket Volume 1

History of Cricket Volume 2



The Smooth Face of Evil by Margaret Yorke

Unsuitable for a Woman by PD James

East of Eden by John Steinbeck



Book reviews 1989-90

On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin

Utz by Bruce Chatwin

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbeviile by Thomas Hardy

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Look Back in Anger by John Osborne

The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy

And a Voice to Sing With by Joan Baez

La Symphonic Pastorale. Isabelle by Andre Gide

A Murder of Quality by John Le Carre

In Country by Bobbie Anne Mason



Nice Work by David Lodge

The Bridesmaid by Ruth Rendle

Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy

Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Restoration by Rose Tremayne

The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

Four After Midnight - Steven King



City of the Mind by Penelope Lively

Fat Man in History by Peter Carey

Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

Suspension by Margaret Atwood

Of Human Bondage by W Somerset-Maughan

Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maughan

Then and Now by W. Somerset Maughan

Gallowglass by Barbara Vine

Rabbit Run by John Updike

Rabbit Redux by John Updike

Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

Marya a Life by Joyce Carol Oates

Mysteries of Winterthurn by Joyce Carol Oates

American Appetites by Joyce Carol Oates



The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag

The Collector by John Fowles

Sacred Country by Rose Tremain

The Magus by John Fowles

The Door to December by Dean Koontz

The Vision by Dean Koontz

Shattered by Dean Koontz

The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz

Lightning by Dean Koontz

Because It's Bitter and Because It's My Heart by Joyce Carol Oates



American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis 29 marks out of 40*

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 35

Regeneration by Pat Barker 29

The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker 30

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker 30

Strange Highways by Dean Koontz 27

The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac

Taxi The Harry Chapin Story by Peter Coan



The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer

A Man Called Dave by Dave Pelzer

The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

The Painted House by John Grisham

Opening Up by Mike Atherton



When we were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

Man and Wife by Tony Parsons

Jack and Bobby by Leo McKinstry

Unless by Carole Shields

A Celibate Season by Blanche Howard and Carole Shields

One Hit Wonderland by Tony Hawkes

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

All Things Must Pass - The Life of George Harrison by Marc Shapiro

Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks



Any Human Heart by William Boyd *****

Nemisis by Agatha Christie

Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie

A History of Norwich School

The First Four Minutes by Roger Bannister

Middle Age by Joyce Carole Oates ****

The Last Juror by John Grisham ****

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman ***




Post Mortem by Ben Elton ****

The Complete History of Classical Music by Stephen Fry ***

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (re-read) ****

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (re-read) ****

Deception Point by Dan Brown **

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown ***

The Two of Us My life with John Thaw - Sheila Hancock ****

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown ****

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown ***



A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie ***

A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie ***

The Barclay James Harvest Story by Keith and Monika Domone ****

Inside Out - A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason ***

Saturday by Ian McEwan ****

All I Want for Xmas by Iwan Roberts ****

Moondust  by Andrew Smith ***

Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend ***

Labyrinthe by Kate Mosse ***

First Casualty by Ben Elton ***

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg ****

Standing in a Rainbow by Fannie Flagg ****

Welcome to the World Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg ****

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg ***



Book of the Year

26 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 


Book of the Year Runner-Up

26 The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson



24 Arthur and George by Julian Barnes

24 Our Hidden Lives by Simon Garfield

24 Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg

23 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

21 Can You Tell What It Is Yet by Rolf Harris

20 Richard Harris Sex, Death and the Movies by Michael Callan

20 Never Go Back by Robert Goddard

20 Careful What You Wish For by Mikey Carroll with Sean Boru

20 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

20 Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

20 On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

19 Austerlitz by W.G Sebald

18 Chart Throb by Ben Elton

18 My Summer of Love by Helen Cross

17 The Sound of Laughter by Peter Kay

16 52 Ways to Magic America by James Flint

15 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostove

15 The Apothecary's House by Adrian Mathews

15 Cell by Stephen King


Most Disappointing Book of the Year


13 The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld


no rating - Wicked by Jilly Cooper

no rating - False Impression by Jeffrey Archer

no rating - Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

no rating - The World According to Clarkson

no rating - Imperium by Robert Harris

no rating - Teller of Tales The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle by Daniel Stashower



Book of the Year

27 A Simple Act of Violence by R J Ellory 


Book of the Year Runner-Up

26 Candlemoth by R J Ellory


27 - A Simple Act of Violence by R. J. Ellory

26 - Candlemoth by R.J. Ellory

25 - A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellory

25 - A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

25 - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

25 - Ghostheart by R. J. Ellory

24 - A Quiet Vendetta by R J Ellory

24 - The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox

24 - Rock Me Amadeus by Seb Hunter

23 - City of Lies by R. J. Ellory

23 - Sir Bobby Charlton - My Manchester United Years by Sir Bobby Charlton

23 - The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne

23 - The Outcast by Sadie Jones

23 - Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon

23 - Wish You Were Here by Mike Gayle

22 - On The Edge My Story by Richard Hammond

22 - The Last Testament by Sam Bourne

22 - Blind Faith by Ben Elton

21 - Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

21 - Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

21 - Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

21 - Next of Kin by John Boyne

20 - Being Eddie Waring by- Tony Hannan

20 - Shakespeare by Bill Bryson

19 - The Conjuror's Bird by Martin Davies

18 - Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann

18 - The Rotters' Club by Jonathan Coe

18 - The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce by Paul Torday

18 - My French Whore by Gene Wilder

18 - The Olivetti Chronicals by John Peel

17 - Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka

17 - The Resurrectionist by James Bradley


Most Disappointing Book of the Year

17 - The Resurrectionist by James Bradley




Book of the Year

26 - Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper


Book of the Year Runner-Up

26 - The Road to Woodstock by Michael Lang


Full List

26 Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper

26 The Final Reckoning by Sam Bourne

26 The Road to Woodstock by Michael Lang

25 Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne

25 The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

25 Sovereign by CJ Sansom

24 Revelation by CJ Sansom

24 Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

24 At My Mother's Knee and Other Low Joints by Paul O'Grady

24 Look Who It Is by Alan Carr

24 Dark Fire by CJ Sansom

24 The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster

24 Gig by Simon Armitage

23 Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster

23 The Old Boys' Network by John Rae

23 The Timewaster Diaries by Robin Cooper

23 Slumdog Millionaire (also known as Q and A) by Vikas Swarup

23 Dissolution by CJ Sansom

22 Paul McCartney A Life by Peter Ames Carlin

22 Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

22 Engleby by Sebastian Faulks

21 Ove Fundin Speedway Superstar by John Chaplin

21 Positively Happy by Noel Edmonds

21 Parky My Autobiography by Michael Parkinson

21 A Matter of Life and Death or How to Wean a Man Off Football by Ronni Ancona and Alistair McGowan

20 The England Years by Sir Bobby Charlton

20 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

19 The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

19 One Flew Into the Cuckoo's Egg by Bill Oddie

19 The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary

18 The Secrets of the Lost Symbol Unlocking the Masonic Code by Ian Gittins 

17 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

17 The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

17 Death on a Branch Line by Andrew Martin

17 The Private Patient by PD James

14 The Birthing House by Christopher Ransome


*- marks given as follows : 10 for readability, 10 for style, 10 for story, 10 for interest

+ - 10 for style, 10 for story and 10 for enjoyment.

$ - marks given as follows: 10 for style, 10 for story and 10 for enjoyment/readability