The List

County names below link to the book review pages. My challenge started on 17th September 2013, and I reviewed my last book on 14th September 2014! But I still want to hear from you about what you think of the points raised these wonderful authors. Post a comment at the bottom of this page, anywhere else on the blog, or use the contact form.

Map of England's Ceremonial Counties; the ones I'll be reading around

Map of England’s Ceremonial Counties; the ones I’ll be reading around

  • BedfordshireJust in Case Meg Rosoff (Luton, 2006), Bageye at the Wheel Colin Grant (Luton, 2012)
  • BerkshireBig Over Easy Jasper Fforde (Reading, 2005), Silver Fin Charlie Higson (Eton 2005), Unseen Katherine Webb (fictional village, 2012)
  • Bristol: Playing James Sarah Mason (2002), Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes (2011), After Phoenix Martine McDonagh (2013)Only Time Will Tell Jeffrey Archer (2011)
  • BuckinghamshireYou Drive Me Crazy Carole Matthews (Milton Keynes, 2005), September Garden Catherine Law (Aylesbury, 2012)
  • CambridgeshireWatch Me Disappear Jill Dawson (Fens, 2006), Bellwether Revivals Benjamin Wood (Cambridge, 2012)Floodland Marcus Sedgwick (Ely, 2000), A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Martina Lewycka (Peterborough, 2005), Case Histories Kate Atkinson (Cambridge, 2004)
  • CheshireMillions Frank Cottrell Boyce (Widnes, 2004), Thursbitch Alan Garner (Thursbitch valley, 2003)
  • City of London: Londonstani Gautam Malkani (2006), Night Haunts Sukhdhev Sandhu (2006), Brick Lane Monica Ali (East End, 2005), Small Island Andrea Levy (2004), Maintenance of Headway Magnus Mills (2009), Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers Xiaolu Guo (Hackney, 2007),
  • CornwallNotes From an Exhibition Patrick Gale (Penzance 2008), Finding the Fox Ali Sparkes (2010), A Gathering Storm Rachel Hore (2011), Ingo Helen Dunmore (2005), The Memory Garden Rachel Hore (Lamorna Cove, 2007), Constance Breakwater Giles Booth (2010), Five Miles From Outer Hope Nicola Barker (unnamed island, 2000), Proper Job, Charlie Curnow! Alan M Kent (2005)Our Future Is History John Angarrack (2002)
  • CumbriaMy Sister lives on the Mantelpiece Annabel Pitcher (Lake District 2011)
  • DerbyshireDeep Secret Berlie Doherty (unnamed village, 2003)Black Dog Stephen Booth (Peak District, 2001)
  • DevonMermaid Garden Santa Montefiore (2011), Deadkidsongs Tony Litt (fictional village, 2006), Time Watchers Julie Reilly (Torquay, 2011), Our Tragic Universe Scarlett Thomas (2010), Natural Flights of the Human Mind Clare Morrall (2006), Dragonfly Pool Eva Ibbotson (Delderton Hall, 2008)
  • DorsetA Half Forgotten Song Katherine Webb (unnamed village, 2012)On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan (Chesil Beach, 2007)
  • Durham: Legacy of Hartlepool Hall Paul Torday (2012)
  • East Riding of YorkshireInnkeeper’s Daughter Val Wood (Holderness, 2012)
  • East SussexNever Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro (2005), Ice Cream Girls Dorothy Koomson (Brighton, 2010)One Moment One Morning Sarah Rayner (Brighton, 2010), Return to the Hundred Acre Wood David Benedictus (Ashdown Forest, 2009), Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook Matt Dunn (Brighton, 2010), Dead Simple Peter James (Brighton, 2005)
  • EssexWhen Ravens Fall Matilda Wren (2012)Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London Keith Mansfield (fictional town, 2008), Starter For Ten David Nichols (Southend, 2003), The Minotaur Ruth Rendell (countryside, 2005)
  • GloucestershireThinks David Lodge (Gloucester, 2002)Special Bella Bathurst (Forest of Dean, 2002)
  • Greater London: White Teeth Zadie Smith (Willesden, 2000), East of Acre Lane Alec Wheatle (Brixton, 2001), Room of Lost Things Stella Duffy (Loughborough Junction, 2008)
  • HampshireDeath Cloud Andy Lane (2010), The Forest Edward Rutherford (New Forest, 2000)
  • HerefordshireFabric of Sin Phil Rickman (Hereford, 2007)Red House Mark Haddon (2012)
  • HertfordshireReading Upside Down Jo Platt (St Albans, 2013)
  • Isle of WightThe Bed I Made Lucie Whitehouse (Yarmouth, 2010), Wish You Were Here Graham Swift (2011)Telling Tales: Stories of the Isle of Wight Ed. Linda Goodwin (2012), A Stable Life Harriet J Kent (2012), Sorrow of Sisters Wendy Harris (2004)
  • KentWhite is For Witching Helen Oyeyemi (Dover, 2009)Children’s Book A. S. Byatt (2009), End of Mr Y Scarlett Thomas (fictional Canterbury, 2006), Two Caravans Marina Lewycka (2007), Fix Keith Nixon (Broadstairs, 2012)
  • LancashireKiller Instinct Zoe Sharp (Lancaster, 2001), Spook’s Apprentice Joseph Delaney (based on Lancashire, 2004), Money Can’t Buy Me Love Julie Reilly (Blackpool, 2012)Wedding Tiers Trisha Ashley (2009), Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Jeanette Winterson (Accrington, 2011)
  • Leicestershire: The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year Sue Townsend (Leicester 2012)
  • LincolnshireLate Louise West (2013)
  • Greater ManchesterGungi Blues Sanchita Islam (2008), Curry Mile Zahid Hussain (2006), Gold Chris Cleave (2013)Monster Love Carol Topolski (2008), I Have Waited and You Have Come Martine McDonagh (Altrincham, 2012), Lady Melvin Burgess (2002), Nicholas Dane Melvin Burgess (2009), The Hit Melvin Burgess (2013), First Frost James Henry (Denton, 2011)
  • MerseysideOutlaws Kevin Sampson (Liverpool 2001), September Girls Maureen Lee (Liverpool, 2005), Blood Brothers Willy Russell (Liverpool, 2001)
  • NorfolkChemistry of Death Simon Beckett (unnamed village, 2006)A Place of Secrets Rachel Hore (Starbrough, 2010)
  • North YorkshireA Distant Shore Caryl Phillips (Weston, 2003), Only One Way Jannicke Howard (York, 2011)Before the Poison Peter Robinson (Richmond, 2011), Shadowmancer G. P. Taylor (Whitby, 2002)
  • NorthamptonshirePollard Laura Beatty (inspired by Salcey Forest, 2008)
  • NorthumberlandFire Eaters David Almond (Keely Bay, 2003)Ivy Tree Mary Stewart (2001)
  • NottinghamshireWhat You Don’t Know David Belbin (Nottingham 2011), Killing Jar Nicola Monaghan (Nottingham, 2006)
  • Oxfordshire: Rebels and Traitors Lindsey Davis (Oxford, 2009), Amber Spyglass Philip Pullman (Oxford, 2000), Bleak Midwinter Peter Millar (Oxford, 2001)Waste Land Simon Ackland (Oxford, 2010)
  • Rutland: Misspent Youth Peter Hamilton (2002)
  • ShropshireNo Shame No Fear Ann Turnbull (Shropshire, 2003), Rain Before It Falls Jonathan Coe (rural village, 2007)
  • SomersetHope Lesley Pearse (2007), The Oversight Will Eaves (2001), FerneyThe Lives She Left Behind James Long (2010)
  • South YorkshirePeppered Moth Margaret Drabble (unnamed mining town, 2001)
  • StaffordshireLinden Woods Michael Taylor (2007)
  • SuffolkDream House Rachel Hore (2006), The Dig John Preston (Sutton Hoo, 2007), Sea House Esther Freud (Steerborough, 2003), Something Might Happen Julie Myerson (unnamed seaside town, 2003)
  • SurreyConfessions of a Shopaholic Sophie Kinsella (Oxshott, 2003)
  • Tyne and WearAlice in Sunderland Bryan talbot (Sunderland, 2007)Border Crossing Pat Barker (River Tyne, 2001), Taxi-Driver’s Daughter Julie Darling (Newcastle, 2003)
  • WarwickshireQueen’s Secret Victoria Lamb (Kenilworth, 2012)
  • West MidlandsTurning Thirty Mike Gayle (Birmingham 2001), Our Lady of Demerara David Dabydeen (Coventry, 2009)A Sister For Margot Emma Clark Lam (2012), Poppy Silk Michael Taylor (Dudley, 2003), Astonishing Splashes of Colour Clare Morrall (Birmingham, 2003), Rotters’ Club Jonathan Coe (Birmingham, 2001), What Was Lost Catherine O’Flynn (Birmingham, 2007), Beauty Raphael Selbourne (Wolverhampton, 2009)
  • West SussexTemple of the Winds James Follett (Pentworth, 2000), Two Pound Tram William Newton (Worthing, 2003), Talisman of El Alecia Stone (2012)
  • West Yorkshire: My Best Friend’s Girl Dorothy Koomson (Leeds, 2006), Two Week Wait Sarah Rayner (Leeds, 2012), GB84 David Peace (Leeds, 2004), Kill All Enemies Melvin Burgess (Leeds, 2011)A Woman of Substance Barbara Taylor Bradford (Leeds 2006)
  • WiltshireLegacy Katherine Webb (2011)Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel (Wulfhall, 2009), Sight Unseen Robert Goddard (Avebury, 2006), Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon (Swindon, 2003), Wives of Bath Wendy Holden (Bath, 2005), Here Be Monsters Alan Snow (fictional Trowbridge, 2005)
  • WorcestershireBlack Swan Green David Mitchell (2006)

23 thoughts on “The List

  1. Large parts of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ are set in Oxford aren’t they? FAB list; may be stealing a few!

    • I know, and I REALLY need to read that, but unfortunately it wasn’t first published post-2000 as my ‘rules’ stipulate, so I’m going to have to save that one for later! Might be shooting myself in the foot with these regulations but oh well, I’ve started now! Thanks though dearie. Let me know if you come up with any more!

  2. Rebels and Traitors by Lindsey Davis? I think that’s set in Oxford and was published in 2009 by an English author.

  3. Also for the Isle of Wight. There was a story in the news a while ago about a novel that came out 2010 set in Yarmouth. It’s called The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse. Not sure as to the nationality of the author.

    • A quick check of Wikipedia confirms that Lucie Whitehouse is indeed English (I only use the best sources, you can see) so that’s yet another life-saving suggestion. Thanks Sophie!!

  4. Telling Tales: Stories of the Isle of Wight is a kindle book on Amazon published almost exactly a year ago. Contemporary tales by 7 Island based writers, funny, mad and scary but all showing the quirky side of Isle of Wight living. But then I did write two of the tales, so I’m biased!!!! A good project here.
    Another Isle of Wight writer is Harriet Kent who writes horsey novels, inspired by Isle of Wight countryside too.

  5. The book by Harlen Coben ‘ Tell No One’ has got Portsmouth in it, the photo gallery by Waitrose always sticks in my head.
    On a more gangster not Martina Cole ‘The Jump’ includes travelling through the ‘devils punch bowl’ Hampshire to ‘jump’ out of prison on The Isle Of Wight.
    Probably not what you’re looking for, but the first two that sprung to mind.

    • Two fab suggestions – most certainly the sort of thing I’m looking for! I’ve already read Tell No One so might give that one a miss in favour of something new, but will definitely look into the Martina Cole. Thanks!

  6. Hi – I found your list through a narcissistic searching of myself as I do occasionally and was thrilled to find you have two of my books on your list. I do hope you manage to read at least one of them, and I look forward to your thoughts. Julie Reilly, author 🙂

    • Hi Julie, thanks for commenting! Your books were recommended to me by quite a few people actually and, since Lancashire’s not far away on my book hunt, I’ve pretty much decided I’ll be reading “Money Can’t Buy Me Love” in a few weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Fantastic suggestions both; they’re going straight on the list. I’m particularly interested to read of Will Eaves’ connection to my alma mater, the University of Warwick… That might just be too tempting to resist! Thanks for getting in touch.

  7. Only just come across your challenge. Great idea. I’m pleased to see Garner’s Thursbitch on the list. For North Yorkshire Ross Raisin’s ‘God’s Own Country’ (2008) is a good read.

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