pandop: (Kali)
As I am now on goodreads, there are going to be some slight changes to how I track my books here, so they match up with my tracking on goodreads - so some short stories are going to count as books, and some omnibuses of several books are only going to count as one. With the short stories included, I have read quite a bit this month.

Read more... )

The reason so much on the kindle this month - you can read/turn the pages without taking your mittens off. Perhaps this should be in their marketing!
pandop: (Kali)
37: Return to Mandalay Rosanna Ley

Very nice tidy ending, as you would expect from a romance. But a good read , with a nice mixture of past and present and some good characters.

38: The Distant Echo Val McDermid

So good, lots of misdirection and excellent characters. I didn't guess who had done it at all.

39: The Sunday Philosophy Club Alexander McCall Smith

A much gentler mystery than my previous read. Brilliant characters though, he writes people so well.

40: Death Comes to Pemberley P.D. James

A reread after seeing some of the tv adaptation again over the bank holiday. I had forgotten how detailed it was, and how PD James had managed to work in some of Austen's other characters too. Much enjoyed. 

July Books

Aug. 3rd, 2014 05:59 pm
pandop: (Kali)
31: Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

This was a re-read prompted by the Literaure of the Country House MOOC I was studying. It did give me a slightly different perspective  - as did knowing more about the Georgian era than I used to. It is still one of my favourite Jane Austen novels though,

32: The Mortal Institruments: City of Glass Cassandra Clare

Really good, very well written - I love that the heroine is always active, even if not wisely. Great series.

33: Thug: the true story of india's murderous cult Mike Dash

This was really interesting - particularly about the investigation into Thugee, which was very impressive considering this was still early in the nineteenth century, and the East India company didn't really have the resources, the authority, or the manpower. it can definitely be counted as one of the earliest achievements of the British in Indiia, having sad that, once they got going, they also took the investigation too far, again a sad pattern of the British in India. Very readable book.

34: The curious incident of the dog in the night-time Mark Haddon

This is my second choice for the book group - mostly to get me to read it, as it has been on the 'to read' pile for years. I am glad I finally read it, as it is great. Brilliant story, and the writing is excellent, it really puts you inside Christopher's head.

35: Solomon's Tale Shelia Jeffries

Quite sad and sweet. Not sure about the writing style  - bit too much of the angels for my liking. Still on the whole I did like it, and I was glad Mum warned me it would make me cry.

36: 44 Scotland Street Alexander McCall Smith

I loved the serialised aspect of this, and I also loved the characters - I definitely want to read more about them

May Books

Jun. 2nd, 2014 10:08 pm
pandop: (Kali)
Bumper crop this month, because a lot of them were on the short side. Doubt I will have time to read so much next month.
Read more... )
pandop: (Kali)
Despite my best intentions, I have again not been updating LJ. So here comes an update on the 4 shows I have been to recently.

1: Blood Brothers - Bridlington Spa

Yes, a West End show came on tour to Bridlington for the first time ever. There is hope it won't be the last though as this was a success. Sold Out/Standing Ovations etc.
Maureen Nolan was playing Mrs. Johnston, and she was excellent - as were all of the cast to be fair. I loved the way the adults portrayed children early in the show, it was very funny. I knew some of the music, and the basic plot, but I hadn't seen the whole thing before, and I really enjoyed it. Teared up a bit at the end too, even though I knew what was coming.

2: Dancing on Ice Live - the Final Tour  - Leeds Arena

I have no idea why, but I never really watched the tv show, even though it is the sort of thing I like. But when your friend texts you with the offer of a free ticket, you say yes anyway!
The first half of the show followed the format of the show, routines, interviews, judges, voting - I voted for Kyran Bracken (because Rubgy), and then the second half was showcase routines from the professionals, the celebrities, and Torvill and Dean. Sadly the sight of Joe Pasquale in neon pink lycra will stay with me some time. Fortunately, this was more than outweighed by seeing Torvill and Dean do both Lets Face the Music and Dance  and Bolero  - it is hard to believe it is the 25th Anniversary of that routine!

3: La Boheme  - Leeds Grand Theatre

I had never been to the opera at all until a couple of years ago, and now I seem to be going all the time. Mostly as I have access to discounted (and sometimes free) tickets through work (the University is apparently a partner of Opera North - loosely translated this means 'gave them money')
I knew the story of this and had heard some of the music, but most of it was new to me - and it was wonderful. Loved the sets too, they were very well done.

4: West Side Story - Leeds Grand Theatre

This is Mum's favourite musical, so when a production with the original Jerome Robbins choreography was coming to Leeds we couldn't not go. It was quite dear, but was worth every penny. We nearly didn't make it due to the rubbishness of bank holiday buses, but an emergency taxi later, we got there in time.
The singing and dancing was amazing - so much energy! I loved the use of projected photos of New York in the backdrops. The night we went the understudy was playing Tony - and both Mum and I thought he looked like a young Aled Jones! Not that that is anything against him, as he was very good.
pandop: (Kali)
I have been very bad about posting to LJ lately, so I am going to run some things together in an attempt to get caught up. The first of these is going to cover a couple of days out - one dating back to March!

Halifax )
London )

Bridlington )

April Books

May. 5th, 2014 10:38 am
pandop: (Kali)
13: The Ides of April Lindsay Davis (Audiobook)

A very appropriate book to start the month with. Slightly different in style from her Falco books, but I liked the chatty style she gives to Flavia Albia. I worked out both the twists, but I wasn't disappointed, as I wanted things to be that way. Must read more of the next generation of Falco.

14: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Cassandra Clare

I went to see the film of this last year with my friend Lynn, who has read the books already and said 'you'll like this'. She was right, I did. Now I have got round to reading the books, I liked them even more. I am going to have to pace myself though, or I will run out.

15: A Darker Domain Val McDermid

I don't read so much morden crime, but this was recommended to me by Mum, and I really liked it. Although I found the ending quite annoying in a way, the rest of the book was fantastic, lots of really good twists and characters.

16: Campbell's Creek Michael J. Robinson.

I was leant this by a colleague at work - and now we are both waiting for the follow up. Set in the early days of Scottish settlement in New Zealand, particularly around their gold rush. Very well written with excellent characters.

17: Quarrantine Jim Crace

This was the choice for the May meeting of the book club. I am not sure how I felt about this, as I didn't enjoy reading it, but found it very satisfying by the end. It provoked a lot of very good discussion at the meeting though, and was an unwittingly appropriate choice to be read over Lent and Easter.

March Books

Apr. 7th, 2014 07:53 pm
pandop: (Kali)
9: The Sweet Smell of Decay Paul Lawrence

Freebie proof copy that had been hanging around at work for ages. It got better towards the end, but I don't think I want to read any more chronicles of Harry Lytle. The ending was too convienient, and I wasn't a fan of the writing style.

10: Arms of Nemesis Steven Saylor

Last of the Roma Sub Rosa series I bought for the kindle after Christmas. I do love the mixture of real historical characters and fictional ones, and the use of history to weave a mystery around. Really liked the ending to this one too.

11: In Destiny's Hands: Five tragic rulers, children of Maria Theresa Justin C. Vovk.

Another kindle bargain after Christmas. This covers the life of Maria Theresa, and five of her children, including Marie Antoinette, who went on to rule key areas of Europe in the run up to the Napoleonic Wars. It isn't a period of history I have studied before, and I found it very fascinating - and also very sad. These people had such poor relationships with their mother, it really affected their lives.

12: The Shipping News Annie Proulx

This is for the April meeting of the book group. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it grew on me. By the end I wanted to know more about the characters and the town. 
pandop: (Kali)
4: Orlando Virginia Woolf

This was the book club choice for February, and I hated every word of it. I didn't like the style of writing, the plot (or lack thereof), even the illustrations were wrong. It was in dire need of a decent editor. I have a feeling this is the sort of book you get when you keep telling someone they are special and clever. Also people kept telling me this was the most 'accessible' of her books - I hope that doesn't mean the best ...

5: Roman Blood Steven Saylor

Nice to have finally read the first book in the series (Gordianus the Finder), and find out about the origins of Eco, and some of the origins of Bethesda. I thought the way the real case was used as the basis for the mystery was very clever, and I like the mix of real and fictional characters.

6: The Reader Bernard Schlink

This is me being organised and not last minute with the March book group book. This one I loved. Well up until the well meaning, but unthinking email of one member spoiled it for me. Still it didn't change the fact that I thought it was beautifully written and very moving.

7: The House of the Vestals Steven Saylor
8: A Gladiator Dies Only Once Steven Saylor

These were the middle books of the Gordianus the Finder omnibus that I bought just after Christmas. They are both collections of short stories filling in some of the gaps between the main Rome Sub Rosa novels. Saylor also uses the chance to explore some other aspects of Roman life, and locations. Lovely to see how his family life develops too.

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