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Annie Ernaux's The Years.The French winner of the Nobel prize for Literature (first time the award's ever gone to a woman) clearly tends to divide opinion among her French readers (my wife's not a fan for example).

Thought this was a series of sociological snapshots throughout her long life (she's currently 82) rather than a novel as such.Interesting if you've been following France since WW2 (not otherwise I imagine).
CJ Box, Badlands. Modern detective/crime/western fiction set in Montana and North Dakota present day. Very good, not super hero stuff nor as far fetched as Lee Child, Reacher books but easy reading and well plotted.
The Burning Blue by James Holland . 9/10
Story of university student who flew with part time squadron pre war and then got signed up into RAF . Certainly very unglamorous and dark side of daily life facing death several times a day for month after month.
Just finishedThe Way Back .Remarque's excellent sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front.Struck by the contrast between this,written by an enlisted man and the classics of UK WW1 literature writen by Graves ,Sasssoon etc ie Officers.Seems llike you have to go to song eg Oh what a Lovely War to find out what the British enlisted men thought of the War.
Finished Jonathan Coe's Bournville:A Novel on Seven occasions yesterday.It's a very funny and moving account of post WW2 England.I was sorry to learn that JC's own mother (who features as a central character in the story) died during lockdown.
Lionel Shriver's Abominations.Frankly I'm rather conflicted about LS.I've thoroughly enjoyed the 3 novels of hers which I've read.Not her appearences on the box in the last few years on Newsnight,QT etc.These pieces from the Spectator ,Harper's etc.are full of the same right wing guff ,which isn't evident in her novels.
At the moment am reading a Christmas present book titled "British Footballs Greatest Grounds" It's a really good read and covers 100 grounds from lowly non league up to Premier League.
John McManus's Inside Qatar:Hidden Stories from one of the Richest Nations on Earth.First off a big thank you to Blues Exile for mentioning this.

Second ,I'm glad I read it after the WC and not before.

Third, I take my hat off (metaphorically speaking), to anyone who managed to boycott the TV coverage of the WC.I couldn't.

Spome of the stories about the treatment of migrant workers mentioned here are genuinely harrowing.

Quite obviously the WC should never have been held in Qatar.
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I recently finished this book about football in the old Soviet bloc and the former Yugoslavia. I suspect it won't be of universal interest but Jonathan Wilson has compiled a well-researched personal commentary on the foibles and corrupt practices of football in these nation states from last century and into the early years of this one. It makes Sepp Blatter and his former associates seem like paragons of virtue by comparison. Nothing about Albania, sadly, but the chapter on its near neighbours in the former Yugoslavia with its ethnic and political tensions was particularly interesting.


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