Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tomas Sjöberg (Deanne Rauscher, Tove Meyer): Den motvillige monarken

Kolla, kungen! På väg till bokcirkeln, hann med tåget med ett nödrop. Detta är dagens bok, av mig lånad på bibliotek. Var ju synnerligen aktuell 2010 då den kom ut, märkligt nog aktuell även nu när kvällspressen skrev om någon intervju som Camilla Henemark gjort nyligen om skandalen. Hon är, för den som missat det, den enda av kvinnorna i denna cirkel runt kungen som namnges, och hon pekas också ut som kungens regelrätta älskarinna. Inte bara utpekas, hon säger det själv och i den ovan nämnda intervjun menar de att kungen erkänt det han också då han talade om att vända blad och sådär.

Boken inleds med en evighetslång beskrivning av kungens uppväxt och familjebakgrund (nazister). Här citeras barnjungfrun, systrar, rektorer, officerare från självbiografier och intervjuer. Bilden vi ska få är av en gosse som inte ville bli kung. Gott så - tråkigt men gott. Sen kommer vi till snasket. Kaffeflickor och allmän sexism, fester, festlokaler som ägs eller hur det nu var av kriminella. Sjöberg säger att han vill lyfta hur anmärkningsvärt och olämpligt det är att vår statschef umgås i sådana kretsar, hur han skulle kunna utpressas osv. Att det inte i första hand är moraliserande så. Men det är det. Jag tycker inte vi får någon analys av kungen, så bakgrunden känns lite jahapp, och den stora poängen är snasket. Klart som sjutton det är moraliserande, och varför inte säger jag. Med en mer fokuserad och ärlig bok hade kanske debatten kring den blivit bättre. Ni dog den i Anne Rambergs upprörda tal om elakt skvaller. Jag tycker att bokens historier är fullt trovärdiga, och hade det rört statsministern hade det tagit hus i helvete. Varför tillåts det glömmas när det rör statschefen? Konstigt konstigt. Men som sagt, egentligen inte jättebra som bok. Läsvärd dock!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nicola Upson: An Expert in Murder

I actually bought and read this after a tip here on the blog the other day, after I'd written about Josephine Tey (thanks oh swine of madness!). I got so curious, the library didn't have it and I realised they probably wouldn't get it either, so I thought what the hell. Treat myself even though it's an unknown quantity so to speak. Excellent service as per usual at The English Bookshop (link to the right), I ordered online and chose pick-up as delivery option. When I popped in for it your man in the shop said that he'd heard lots of great things about it and that the second one was supposed to be even better, so I was very favourably disposed towards the novel before ever cracking the spine. Although, luckily, not MADLY excited, thanks to the moderate wording of my internet tipper-offer there (a person I've internet-known for years and whose opinion I can trust, I feel) - " I quite enjoyed it, worth looking up for a bit of light fluff" she wrote, and I didn't really expect more then. Good for that, because if I had been I'd've been disappointed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spoiled

Keep losing track of what's happening on stage, because I'm waiting for the murder mystery. This is the fault of Nicola Upson (more on that tomorrow). Also maybe I've read too much Ngaio Marsh in my life. Maybe. 

Charlaine Harris: An Ice Cold Grave

Am sitting on the train, same as every workday, but today is Saturday and I'm headed for the capital to go to the theatre with mah hubby. I'll say this for weekend travel - it's nice, nay fantastic, to have no trouble getting a seat. Amen. So why not avail myself of my seat (including the one next to me since the train is far from full) to write a blog entry? I'm sure you all agree, and with that you-all let's move to the South (well, North Carolina)  and re-visit Harper Connolly who sees dead people. Rather, feels them; rather, the presence of their bodies. In this one she discovers the hunting ground of a serial killer, whose anger at being thwarted might lead to her own death. Also, she has a fair bit of fairly explicit sex. Very difficult to read sex scenes on a crowded train I'll have you know. One glances through the page hoping none of the standing passengers will look down and see the phrase "his phallus was long, not as thick as some I'd encountered" (oh Charlaine. Phallus. Why?).
Quite a dark book. I like that side of her, it's genuine I feel. Like I've said a million times. Fluff, but not the worst kind. Reading this I was also struck by how well her books work to describe the minds and culture of the places she writes about. Small-town, semi-rural, bigoted yet capable of goodness America.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Charlaine Harris: Dead to the World

This is the one in which Eric is cursed by witches, remembers nothing about himself and has to hide out at Sookie's house. And Jason is kidnapped and we're introduced to the were-panthers of Hotshot. I've been wanting to read this in a not-very-active sort of way, because it's been a gap in the storyline for me - read the ones before and after, so knew what would happen but just hadn't read it.

Think I spotted several plot flaws, but I didn't keep notes (you don't when you're standing up reading on a moving fecking train) so don't remember specifics. Things like Sookie guessing something and two pages later treating it as fact. I do so wonder what Harris could turn out if she took her time instead of being so productive, but seeing as all her heroines (bar one) have low-paying jobs, struggling to get by, and Harris clearly writes from experience, I certainly don't blame her for wanting to keep a steady income coming in.

I'd've taken one of those fabulous book-in-my-lap photos, since this was a commuting read alright, but I forgot the book at home today and am tapping this out just before starting a new one. Hey ho.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: Storm Front

My sister listens to these as audio books, mostly because James Marsters does the reading. She readily admits that her keenness for the Dresden Files may have more than a little to do with Marsters' delicious voice, but claims that they're fun even without this added spice. This is the first novel and introduces Harry Dresden to us in a classic noir private-dick-in-the-office scene. Except Dresden is a wizard. It's a fun idea, a kinda pastisch on noir with a supernatural twist.  I suspect that the subsequent books start suffering from that repetition of facts that is the bane of all serials, but so far so relatively snappy. A few lame one-liners. Not too many. Very filmable, but not written as if this is the author's main hope. The image of a tall, lanky guy stumbling around in trackie bottoms, cowboy boots and some sort of trenchcoat while shouting pseudo-latin spells is pretty original. Not all original (hello, Buffy) but ok. Good good. I might read more if I stumble across any.

This is the one in which people's hearts are magically ripped out of their chests by an evil wannabe wizard.

Oh, note to my sis: the love interest is TOTALLY OBVIOUS.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Incidentally

Parked my bike next to the window of a second-hand book shop ten minutes ago, and walked past their display on my way to the station. Among the children's books I noticed a book by Christianna Brand, about a little Matilda. Huh, don't think I knew that she'd written books for kids. That would be interesting to read ... but I'd want it in English obviously. Note to self, however.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time

Reread this today. Well, started earlier, but finished today. Read it years ago, but this copy was a gift from my cousin. It's a nice one, because it has the portrait of Richard III on the cover, which is helpful considering that the story starts with that and they keep referring to it. I love this, even though I do lose track of some of the historical characters. Mr Bani started to read it in an attempt at solidarity with my hobbies but he wasn't too keen apparently. Philistene. I wonder if the Babes in the Tower are ever mentioned in the tv series, The Tudors I mean? I think not, right, it starts with Henry VIII doesn't it? And it's his father who is the true murderer, according to Tey. Great book anyway.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lee Child: The Enemy

Bought myself this second-hand. Quite enjoyed reading it. It's a prequel, set before Reacher leaves the army, starting just as 1989 turns to 1990. The Berlin Wall is coming down and Reacher discovers that the various fractions in the military are panicking over what the new world order will mean for them. The best part for me was that Reacher and his brother Joe visit their mother in Paris, and she obviously lives right next to where I lived when I was an au-pair. Awesome! Brought back memories that did. Pretty nice complicated plot, but not too hard to follow, despite military jargon and all. Am writing this on phone on the train home, so will try to insert snapshot of book on my lap, on lovely Boden bag my sister gave me.