Well, the purchase of a sinfully equipped laptop and home broadband installation (the result of the on-going ludricous non-net access situation at work) has given me the opportunity (i.e. time at home!) to continue LJ-ing.
I do not promise to be anything approaching consistent. However I thought this would be a nice place to record my monthly reading, if nothing else.
A lot of books this month (for me), which is what happens when you’re away with work with nothing to do in the evenings (heavy rain and blistered feet curtailed any desire to wander and sightsee in free time) coupled with a total of nine hours of delays (two hours at
The Revolt of the Eagles by Jean Plaidy (check BC)
I was really disappointed by this book. I am convinced that I’ve read other books by Plaidy but I don’t remember them being as poorly and, dare I say it, lazily executed. Most characters remained one dimensional cut-outs populating a repetitious text; the author was patently convinced that the reader was amnesiatical, requiring overt reminders of plot and character motivation. No subtle sub-text by-play here! I can only surmise that this book, generated by an otherwise competent author, was the product of strong drink.
Promise Me by Harlen Coben
Promise Me is Coben’s first Bolitar novel after a gap of several, unrelated books. I have had a soft spot for Myron Bolitar for years now. He is an ex-basketball player who lost his promising career due to injury. Following a few shadowy years working for the CIA he opened a sportsrep company and now seems to spend most of his time solving their various disappearances/murders/blackmail issues with the help of his deeply patrician (and partially psychotic) best friend Win.
I have been eagerly anticipating a Bolitar novel for years now and felt personally thwarted every time Coben brought out a non-Bolitar book. Perhaps Coben knew what he was doing. Whilst his interim non-Bolitar efforts have been well written, tautly plotted and exciting, Promise Me felt tired and lacklustre. It’s as if the Bolitar books have run their course and Coben was pressured to crank out another one anyway. Which is a great shame.
The Eagle in the Sand by Simon Scarrow
Scarrow has written a series of books set in the Roman legions starring Cato and Macro (who are both centurians at this point). Whilst dialogue occasionally fails to convince the oft-epic stories sweep the reader irresistibly along.
In this installation, our heroes find themselves sent to
The Gospel According to Chris Moyles by Chris Moyles
I adore Chris Moyles. Sometimes, he is the sole reason why I get out of bed. I love his repartee with the rest of the breakfast crew and his inability to take himself too seriously. I normally “get” his sense of humour and, in my opinion, weekday mornings without him would be a bleak place indeed.
However The Gospel According to Chris Moyles has to be THE WORST AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT I HAVE EVER READ. See how upset I am? I am SHOUTING. What on earth possessed the publishers to let this shocking piece of work hit the bookstores? I could see flashes of brilliance, here and there, especially close to the end and just wonder what would have happened if the editor had perhaps been a little more brutal with Chris and insisted that he put more of substance in. Exasperating.
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
TutleyMutley, who can be a persuasive soul at times, convinced me to try Pigs in Heaven, which is written by one of her favourite authors. In this, an adopted native American child, Turtle, saves the life of a man. The media widely publicise the story bringing the child and mother to the attention of the Native American adoption authorities because whilst Turtle is Native American her adopted mother is white. Suddenly, Turtle’s adopted mother is under pressure to hand her daughter of five years back…..
This is a book about identity. What makes you who you are? Your ethnicity? You family? You yourself? Recommended. PM me if you want to read this.
The Lonely Dead by Michael Marshall
This is a gory and oft disturbing story about the pursuit of a serial killer by an ex-CIA agent. Great story full of shoals of red herrings and a veritable city block of blind alleys, but honestly, if I were
The Crimson Petal & the White by Michael Faber
This is an entertaining romp through 18th century
Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
This is an old favourite. I’ve read this twice before, so when strength-sapping fatigue irresistably swept over me one rainy Saturday afternoon I was only in the mood for comfort reading. Dead to the World is, I think, number four (or five?) in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series. Set in the
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
Proven Guilty is the latest in a series of books about
am stupid live in the hope of a return to form.
Falling Angels by Tracey Chevalier
I’ve never been a Tracey Chevalier fan before and really only began to read this in the expectation that it would fail the fifty page rule. Instead I was drawn into the lives of two families following Queen
The Worlds of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
There’s just something about the writings of DWJ that’s incredibly seductive. I swear she could write about the most tedious subjects and make them sparkle and fascinate. On the face of it, there’s very little of substance to The Worlds of Chrestmanci. For a start, this is a remarkably slim volume with the feel of an extended short story, which perhaps encourages the younger readers that this book is aimed at to pick it up. The Worlds of Chrestomanci returns us to Chrestomanci, a powerful magician, and one of his pupils, who is about to receive a nasty surprise. Whilst the book can be read as a stand alone, it would benefit from prior immersion in the Chrestomanci universe. But that’s just a minor quibble. Pick up the book, go with the flow and enjoy the all too short ride. Send me an email if you want to read this. Highly recommended.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Ah. If only I could write like Mr Bryson. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed this (as ever) humourously written autobiography, I can’t quit wishing that he’d turn his hand to fiction. I’d love to see the result. This is a non-BC book and is already nestled amongst his earlier work on a shelf.
Right. I'm off to put my plump chicken from a nearby farm in the oven.
I may even stick half a lemon up its bottom.