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Book 29 (from 2011)

  1. Portis, Charles — True Grit (215 pages)
  2. Simpson, Joe — Touching the Void (210 pages)
  3. Bardin, John Franklin — The Last of Philip Banter (207 pages)
  4. Millar, Martin — The Good Fairies of New York (278 pages)
  5. Millar, Mark — Kick-Ass (190 pages)
  6. Sachar, Louis — Holes (225 pages)
  7. Baxter, Stephen — Moonseed (523 pages)
  8. Buchan, John — The Thirty-Nine Steps (152 pages)
  9. Bukowski, Charles — Post Office (167 pages)
  10. Palahniuk, Chuck — Fight Club (211 pages)
  11. Bemelmans, Ludwig — Madeline's Rescue (50 pages)
  12. Rennison, Nick — Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide, Eighth Edition (508 pages)
  13. Rucka, Greg & Steve Lieber — Whiteout (120 pages)
  14. Rucka, Greg & Steve Lieber — Whiteout: Melt (106 pages)
  15. Orwell, George — Homage to Catalonia (267 pages)
  16. Moore, Brian — Catholics (87 pages)
  17. Chatwin, Bruce — The Songlines (296 pages)
  18. Funke, Cornelia — Inkheart (555 pages)
  19. Eddison, E.R. — The Worm Ouroboros (521 pages)
  20. Milligan, Spike — Puckoon (152 pages)
  21. Jones, Diana Wynne — Power of Three (293 pages)
  22. Juster, Norton — The Phantom Tollbooth (264 pages)
  23. Jeffreys, Daniel — America's Back Porch (286 pages)
  24. Robinson, Marilynne — Housekeeping (217 pages)
  25. Stevenson, Robert Louis — Treasure Island (212 pages)
  26. Bissinger, Buzz — 3 Nights in August (296 pages)
  27. Rennison, Nick & Ed Wood — 100 Must-Read American Novels (185 pages)
  28. Cassar, Vincent & Nik Kalinowski — Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide: World Fiction (351 pages)
  29. Williams, Niall — Four Letters of Love (340 pages)

Page count: 7484.

What can I say, I had love on my mind, having recently gotten back together with my sweetie. And we were thinking of taking a holiday together, perhaps to western Ireland or the Aran Islands, which is where most of Four Letters of Love takes place. (In the end, we went to Provence, which explains Book 31 on my list.)

Four Letters of Love is beautifully written with wonderfully fleshed out characters. Williams writes with self-assurance and creates vivid imagery which explodes to life on the page (fittingly, as Nicholas' father is a painter), with more than a dab of magic realism added to the palette. Yes, this is a love story (with "love" manifesting itself in the most peculiar ways), but it is not a romance, per se. Certainly, "love" refers not only to romantic love but also love between family members, divine love, love of place and heritage. The story neither resorts to cliché nor fits neatly into any boxes. It simply shows us the lives of Nicholas and Isabel and those around them as they drift inexorably towards and around each other. And things never quite turn out as you might expect, creating moments of genuine surprise, grief, exhilaration….

I daresay, when you finish reading the book, you will believe in magic, miracles, and love, which will all feel like the same thing.

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