Saturday, July 30, 2011

Charlie Higson: Double or Die

Why not? I said to myself, and read the third book in the Young Bond series, since the first wasn't in. In this one Bond and his group of friends discover that Eton's teacher of mathematics has been kidnapped, since he sends them a coded letter that only the student crossword buffs can decode. Pretty much same as last time. I pondered a little on how it seems as though Higson is gradually breaking Bond down into a sociopath, but I'll have to read more of the books to tell. I also think boarding schools seem so shite. And that's it from the Efficient Blogging Machine.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jasper Fforde: The Last Dragonslayer

His kiddie book, borrowed 'coz I saw it. Funny, but Fforde can be a bit tiresome when there is too much Clever floating about and there is a bit here. Nonetheless I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind more of this universe. I like the idea of the Ununited Kingdom etc. Read about it more somewhere else, we're on an efficiency roll here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kathy Reichs: Spider Bones

Borrowed this in the large print edition, which feels a bit like reading a shout. Anyway, I've gone of Reichs quite a bit, her writing isn't great even if I like THE REAL BONES thankyouverymuch as a heroine and find the actual facts interesting. This is the one where they find a dead man who turns up as reported dead and buried during the Vietnam war, and then find more bones that might be him and go to Hawaii. It's a bit slow and choppy. But still - a fairly good travel book.

Charlaine Harris x 2

One I own, Club Dead, one I recently borrowed, All Together Dead (had a fabulous library haul!). I haven't been following True Blood lately and I don't read the books in any order, only one now and then as they happen to cross my path, so the storyline in Sookieverse is jumping all over the place for me. In Club Dead she turns down a nice romp with the were Alcide because she's faithful to her man Bill who is captured by his maker Lorena in cahoots with the king of Mississippi (seen that bit in the True Blood version), whereas in All Together Dead she's not with Bill at all 'coz he LIED to her and now she's with this were-something or shifter or whatever named Quinn instead and they go to this convention thing and there's a bomb. I remember turning over a book in the series (where? where was I? where did I see this book?) and reading that she gets together with Erik the vamp later on, so my timeline is totally unsequenced here.

(Basically I only want to note down the titles so I can keep track of which ones I've read.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

I done gone did a good deed

A colleague and I got to talking today about how she'd seen all the Twilight films recently and ended up reading the final book to see what would happen. She was surprised at herself because the book was so thick (cue me "one should never judge a novel in advance based on the number of paaaaaaages it's all about the stoooooooryyyyy...") and because it was fantasy. So she was rather pleased with this venture into a new genre, and I immediately tipped her off about the Sookie Stackhouse series. And I wasn't snarky about Twilight.
And now I'm off on my holidays. Good times.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jack London: A Daughter of the Snows

If I ever ventured to surmise based on my positive recollections of one book that Jack London maybe was worth reading, could write or anything else of a positive nature - consider it revoked. I take it all back. The man was, and his writing still is, obnoxious, chauvinist, monotonous and most of all despicably through-and-through racist, in the vilest pseudo-scientific manner. This book made me gag many many times. All my former prejudices were proven true. Before Adam must be an anomaly; I'm guessing since it's all imagination there's no room for ranting about how Native Americans must be inferior to Europeans (especially the Nordic "races") because otherwise why would the Europeans have won? 

Utter utter shite. Avoid avoid avoid. I took notes but it was ages ago and frankly I don't feel it's worth the effort now (three months later).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bill Bryson: Made in America and The Lost Continent

Oops, I had started a blog post on Made in America. Silly me. On March 30th as a matter of fact - well, I have no trouble repeating myself, so here goes again. (My husband has pointed out that most of my blog is me complaining about how I never get to blog, how crap I am at blogging, how I never have time for it and so on in aeternum. He isn't wrong. But I got defensive. You had to be there.) I remember now that I had planned to write about these two together since they're both about America. A thematic blog entry, like. Possibly I even had very smart things figured out. I distinctly remember thinking as I read the one that aha! he write about that in the other too! but I'm drawing a blank now and didn't keep notes.

Anyway, so you all should read both. The Lost Continent is about Bryson driving across America to rediscover the country he has left and the road trips of his childhood. It's also I think a form of grieving process since his father's death; this is never the main point, but now and then Bryson's memories are very touching and poignant. Since the book is by now a little older (first published in 1989) it's also by way of being an historical document, almost. Made In America is about linguistics, about how that special kind of English called American evolved. It's tremendously interesting for those of us who like that sort of thing. I especially enjoyed the bits about the oldest records, Pilgrims and all.

Very much recommended, always.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

George Sylvester Viereck: The House of the Vampire

This entry was started May 3d this year, FYI. I downloaded this novel to the Aldiko because the author is written up as the man who introduced gay pulp fiction. I was curious alright? No harm in that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lasse Berg: Skymning över Kalahari

This book is not translated, but you never know: it might be. Or at the very least someone may write a very similar book in English, and then one can, you know, draw parallells, should one so wish. The title means "dusk over the Kalahari". Lasse Berg is a Swedish journalist who has reported from many war zones over the years, and says that until quite recently he believed in the old idea that humans were intrinsically dark creatures, prone to aggression and violence when thwarted. "The veneer of civilization" you know. Survival of the fittest and throw the weak ones overboard, that sort of thing. Then he started reading about recent research into our earliest development, and changed his mind.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Charlie Higson: Blood Fever

The Young Bond series, so - y'see I'm experiencing withdrawal waiting for the next zombie books. Which, by the way, is set to be an everlasting series now, and I can't say I'm very pleased. Chances are it'll just go on and on and on like fecking Tribe. Anyway, so I took a chance at the library with this. From whence, by the way, it is probably overdue by now. I believe this is the second book, but don't let that stop you, you don't seem to need to read them in order.  I am actually very impressed by the level of action, by how closely Higson follows the Bond template (exotic location, eccentric megalomaniac crook, girl interest - Young Bond isn't that into it though - , explosions, fast boats and cars and so on). Bond is just not a psycopath/sociopath. Yet? Shall we follow him as he gets older and his mind more perverted? (Recently watched a bit of that Bond film with Roger Moore and Jane Seymour, the Haiti voodoo one - Live and Let Die, that's it - what a bunch of psycho racist shite. And Bond's the psycho - the voodoo seems reasonable by contrast.) I think I might borrow a few more this summer for light entertainment. I like his style. I like how he's set things in the 30s or so too. Clever!

Summary: this is the one where young Jimmy-oh is on/in (which is it? surely on?) Sardinia and meets a lunatic art-collecting local "prince" who has kidnapped the sister of one of his schoolmates. All coincidental of course - if real life was like James Bond storylines the police would solve all crimes. They'd go into shops to get a fresh pack of cigarettes and overhear the crooks making plans behind the deodorant shelves.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Bill Bryson: At Home (maybe also Made In America)

My husband gave me this for our wedding anniversary on the 15th of June,  and I didn't read it at first because I thought I'd save it, and reward myself with it after finishing all the blog posts that are waiting - but what the hell. Just a quickie then.