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... )

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.
pandop: (Kali)
1: The Moonstone Wilkie Collins

My choice for the book group, and I am pleased to say everyone seemed to like it. It was a re-read for me, and I found it odder to re-read knowing the culprit than I do some mysteries. It struck me again how very much of its time it is in terms of language and attitudes - although equally surprising that there was no overtone of the Indian characters being in need of conversion to Chrsitianity.

2: The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite Beatrice Collin

Odd, but enjoyable. It was interesting to find out at the end that it had been based on real stories. I think it gave a good feeling of what Germany was like before, during and after the First World War  - certainly the latter part had a feeling of Cabaret about it. Lily was on the whole likeable, unlike most of the rest of the characters.

3: Sick Notes Tony Copperfield

Very funny tales from a GP's surgery. Does make you feel guilty for having gone to the doctors, ever, though - although most of his vitriol is reserved for NHS bureaucracy!

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