Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh yeah, remember the chick lit?

The ones I was going to read in the hospital?

Well, I did start one while there, and finished it after coming home. I've previously read two books from Elaine Viets's Dead-End Job series, and I thought they were cute. Not very well written at all, but with some funny points. These two new ones I found at church are from her Mystery Shopper series, featuring Josie Marcus - a single mother who works as a mystery shopper because the flexible hours allow her more time with her daughter. And OMG, I hope there wasn't as much sex in the one I let my daughter read. She's not reading this one, which is about Josie busting shoe fetischists. Anyway, this series is far less cute and funny IMO. It was just that much duller to read.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dags att komma ikapp?

Okej, till att börja med läste jag för ett bra tag sedan (dvs pre-Minimus) Tarzans tårar av Katarina Mazetti. Min syster lånade mig den för länge sedan, och nu höll jag på att ge tillbaka den oläst för jag tyckte den verkade lite meh, men syrran sa att jag borde läsa den för den var lite lagom feel-good sådär. Så då läste jag den, och det var den. Jag kan inte påstå att jag helt och fullt förstår alla karaktärernas motiv och personligheter, men svagheterna på den punkten uppvägs till viss del av charm och ett rätt bra sidoporträtt av den schizofrene barnafadern.

I've also read a lovely Peter Dickinson, The Yellow Room Conspiracy. This is Dickinson showing some of his best sides, a complex tale which is sometimes almost epic in character, yet really quite limited in time and space. The story is told in 1992 by two people, the lovers Paul Ackerley and Lucy Seddon, née Vereker. In 1956 a man died in the Vereker family home, and the whole place was destroyed in a fire. All these years Paul and Lucy have suspected each other of murdering him. His death was also the start of the revelation of a huge political scandal involving Lucy's then husband Lord Seddon.

So the question of the death makes the story a whodunnit, but it is, as always with Dickinson, more a story of Britain during the war years and just after, how people worked, thought, acted. There are class and race issues, and the beginnings of sexual freedom. I liked it a lot, but found the ending perhaps a little rushed. On the other hand, I kind of skimmed the last few pages in the maternity ward.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Here's the baby!

Meet Minimus, our latest family member. Here he is, chilling on his eldest sister's lap, 3 days old.
If I ever say anything like "well, giving birth isn't that hard really", which I was wont to do after last time (ten years ago), feel free to kick me hard. I was in SUCH pain people, because things moved too swiftly for pain relief to be much good at all. Also, Minimus decided that 4,5 kg was a good birth weight - I beg to differ, young man. My vagina doesn't appreciate being stretched beyond the 4 kg mark. Your sisters were much kinder to me.
Although I suppose I should be grateful that the process took about 3 hours in total. Never again, I say.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Raus! Bitte.

Still no baby. I am as of today a week overdue. *zzzzz* My father is annoying the hell out of me by ringing every other day to see if anything is happening. No, we did say we would ring when there is news. Ergo, e contrario.... I've taken to checking who's calling.

Well, last week I stopped by our local library branch and browsed. Picked up a few detective stories I thought I hadn't read, but discovered I had. Well, I'd read 2 out of 5. No matter, I didn't remember much of them.

Lawrence Block: The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian

I've read one Block before, and although I found it rather fun, that was all. I never blogged properly about it. In any case, this one was much better. Characters felt both more real and more detailed. It was cheekier and funnier, and had a less silly storyline. The end was so confusing with a myriad of Mondrian paintings real and false that I'm not sure it all fit together, but let's assume it did. Block's books are not easy to stumble across here in Sweden, but I'm going to keep an eye open for them. Apparently (I now learnt from the inside of the cover) he is astoundingly productive and just churns 'em out. Who knew?

John Dickson Carr

I got three books, and I'd read two of them before. All three are from the late 1940s (well, the youngest was published 1950), so the setting is an England during food and fuel shortages, with plenty of references to the war. The oldest was Till Death Do Us Part from -44. In the small village of Six Ashes the writer Dick Markham is told that his fiancée, of whom he knows virtually nothing, is a dangerous woman who has killed two husbands and a lover with poison. The police could never prove anything, since the deaths appeared to be suicides inside locked rooms (Dickson Carr's favourite theme). The next day the man who tells him this is found dead by the same means, and Gideon Fell makes an appearance on the scene. It's not a bad example of its type, but not brilliant. Then comes He Who Whispers from -46. Miles Hammond, who recently has inherited a library, a house and a lot of money, is invited by Gideon Fell to a meeting of the Murder Club. The subject of the evening will be a murder of an Englishman that took place in France just before the war. However, once there there are no members at the dinner, only the speaker and another female guest, so the story is told to Hammond and the woman alone. The next day Hammond discovers that he has just hired the prime suspect of the murder to work for him, cataloguing his library. Etc. Again, sort of interesting, not brilliant. Over-dramatic, with lots of hints of dark sexuality and so on. Below Suspicion is the youngest, and a most farfetched tale including Satanists and underground nightclubs filled with vicious Cockneys. Our main character here is an extremely self-assured Irish-born lawyer, who successfully defends a young woman accused of murdering her employer, even though he believes her guilty. I almost laughed out loud at the Satanist bits. Hum hum.