Friday, August 27, 2010

Donna Leon x 2

In my next life I’m going to be great at writing snappy headlines for blog entries instead of these boring “x 2/3/4” ones. Promise.

But hey, it’s a dull post. First, Death in a Strange Country, about the discovery of the corpse of an American um, something army something … well, he’s a doctor at the nearby US base, whatever rank that meant he was. Great pains have been taken to disguise this murder as a mugging, and Brunetti discovers that it’s connected to illegal dumping of toxic waste. Alright. Then we have About Face, which features prominently a woman whose face has been altered into ugliness by plastic surgery (we find out why at the end), and more illegal waste disposal. I sense a theme. Alright, again. Easy bus reading.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Melvyn Burgess: Bloodsong

I’m struggling a little to condense/describe Bloodsong, one of the most extraordinary books I’ve read this year. I mean, a mixture of science fiction and Norse mythology … how does one even begin?

Jasper Fforde: First Among Sequels

And the pièce de résistance – an entry commenced on the 9th of May in TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT. And it’s pretty much done! Look!

The latest in the Thursday Next series, a series I’ve had great pleasure from. Now,we’re not in the eighties any more. Thursday and Landon are long married, with three children. Thursday no longer works with the Literary Detectives, since most of Spec Ops has been dismantled. She still works at Jurisfiction however, and her carpet laying business is a front for covert Spec Ops work with former colleagues – not to mention her cheese-smuggling side income. None of this is known to Landon though. Now, people seem to be reading fewer books, which puts the Book World at risk, and the Goliath Corporation seem to be up to something. And Thursday’s and Landon’s firstborn, Friday, is not looking as though he means to fulfil his destiny of heading the Time Police.

Nice blurb eh? All from memory. Go me.

I got a tad tired of this one, to be honest. There are too many puns and Bookworld jokes, and just not enough story. The Nursery Crime series looks like the better one at the moment – shame, because I love Thursday Next as a heroine. Love.

Jasper Fforde at his best manages to combine nonsense, wit
and there it stops. But it'll do, won't it? I can't for the life of me remember exactly what scathing put-down I was preparing.

Ellery Queen: A Fine and Private Place

This entry was started on the 8th of March 2009. 4rlz. If I had anything else to say, I don’t remember. This is what I wrote more than a year ago, and this it what I shall post now:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Simon Brett, a duet

Here is an entry from 8 of March 2009, people. Why didn't I post it then? Who knows.

I got these two Bretts, so I thought I'd do them in one post. First I started reading The Witness at the Wedding, and after a while started feeling like I'd read it before. Sigh. Not only had I read it, but it's the only Brett I'd actually WRITTEN about. Double-sigh. All the ones I hadn't blogged about I was aware of having read, but this one felt unfamiliar. Typical.

The other one was Death Under the Dryer. Carole Seddon goes to have her hair cut and a dead girl is found in the back room at the hair dresser's. I don't have much to say about it - it's a Brett, so it's weak on characterization and the plot is shaky. But it has a certain charm, of that type that makes The Midsomer Murders so popular outside the UK. I think these books are best read when you are recuperating from an illness. Not demanding at all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ngaio Marsh: Scales of Justice and Hand in Glove

Let’s go on with two entries that have been (empty) on my draft list since 25 of June this year. I bought a stack of Ngaio books, as you may recall, and of course read them a long time ago. I’ve been putting off blogging about this because I wanted to have the covers in the post too, and I’d scanned them at work (norty norty), and I had to e-mail them to myself, and then remember that I’d done so … clearly this sank on my list of priorities.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Diana Wynne Jones: Archer's Goon

Let’s have a look at an entry draft that I started on February 1st, shall we? All I had written then was:

I read this to have something to read that wouldn't make me cry, and I have to say that it's perfect for that purpose. Archer's Goon has actually been filmed, too (extensive review here).

Now, it’s tempting to leave it at that. I could too, because the title is distinctive enough to allow me to remember it, and this blog is all about the purpose of me. But reading that Diana Wynne Jones is struggling with cancer and has decided to cancel her chemotherapy treatment means that I feel I owe her more. And now I am crying, a bit.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Andrea Camilleri x 2

My sister (the one who doesn’t read science-fiction) recommended Camilleri as better than Donna Leon, funnier, very Sicilian (“only in Sicily” is what you think while reading these I think she said).

Friday, August 20, 2010

Charlaine Harris: Lily Bard x 3

These are some of my summer reads, all mingling together in my memory now of course. Writing about the first Lily Bard I read I remember saying something about how racism is alluded to but not a main issue – well, they are a main issue in the series, I take it all back. It is still interesting to read that the status quo in the South seems to be that the best people, Charlaine’s heroines for example, are not racists at all, but there are plenty of racists still out there and it’s just not done to call someone on their bigotry. You leave people to themselves with their opinions, which they happily state quite openly, and then you only intervene if crime ensues. Must be a bloody awful society to live in, really.

Back to Blogger templates!

Seeing that they're so much better now. And I can get pages, something I'll be playing around with I think. The perfectionist in me would like a photo of my own books as a background, but, well, one has to actually snap the pics and upload them then, for starters ...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alexander McCall Smith: La’s Orchestra Saves The World

I’m falling out of love with Alexander McCall Smith, I am. Clearly his writing works best on Botswana, because I don’t know it and therefore can just take his version as written (oh the puns, they do keep flying). In all books that deal with a cultural context that I’m not entirely unfamiliar with the simplifications get too much.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

David Weber: On Basilisk Station

Another one borrowed from my sister of the eclectic reading taste. She mentioned reading these weird space opera sci-fi novels a while ago, and upon my interest offered to lend me one, which happened when she came by last. And I have never read anything like this in my entire life. It is the oddest idea.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cory Doctorow: Little Brother

Ha, it only just now struck me that “little brother” is obviously the opposite of Big Brother, the all-seeing dictator. I can’t remember now if the hero of this teen novel is ever called Little Brother, which is what I was asking myself as the computer was starting up, but since this novel is about private integrity being threatened by state surveillance of, amongst other things, computer traffic … can’t believe it didn’t strike me before. How thick of me. Possibly I just don’t think about the titles of novels a lot once I’ve started reading them – or ever, I certainly have enough trouble remembering them at all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gerd Brantenberg: Egalias döttrar

Vi bestämde i bokcirkeln att vi behövde något lite lättare och roligare efter den senaste tidens dysterheter, så från den lista vi hade valde vi Egalias döttrar. En feministisk klassiker som jag vagt kom ihåg namnet på, men inte mer. Jag hade aldrig kommit på att välja den själv, kredd till bokcirkeln alltså, och tack. Det här är en av de mest tänkvärda böckerna jag läst på länge.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I will catch up, I will I will

You have no ideaaaaaa how far behind I am. And I have a bunch of posts waiting to be edited and then published! Frightening.