Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie

This is a Marple mystery. In the same way I was surprised to find how funny Poirot is, I discovered Miss Marple is actually very irritating. Her quirk is to make comparisons between characters and events in the plot with people in her own village. So I found that part of this quite annoying, but the actual story was pretty good in the end.


The Seven Dials Mystery - Agatha Christie

A country house mystery with lots of jolly ladies and chaps - all baffled by how ghastly the murder and throw themselves in to solving the mystery. A touch famous five, but a pretty good story.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

This month's book club, written by same woman who wrote The Lovely Bones and strange in a similar way. It's about a woman who kills her very ill mother...(not a nice theme). Not sure if you are supposed to sympathise with her or not but still quite an interesting read...and like her other two, a quick read.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

This author wrote The Remains Of The Day which became an excellent film 'starring' Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Get that from DVD club if you want to see 'below the stairs' life in the ... 1920s?

This is 5 short stories picturing life in England. Suzie bought it for my birthday. They are an easy read and enjoyable but nothing exciting or insightful. Borrow it if you want some light reading (no vampires or Torchwood).


Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

T R S's first novel, well reviewed in Sunday Times and then a birthday pressie from Sheila who hadn't seen the review - coincidence. Detective drama with a harrowing theme (serial child murder) and a stunningly portrayed setting in post-Stalinist russia. A good thriller and a terrific insight into everybody's life in that crazy era (the farce of trying to eat and live in those conditions, and not only do your neighbours betray you, you partner will. Sound like 1984?). My only problem was that it was the book I took into hospital with me on 19 May - not a good time to read something as harrowing as this. But I did, eventually, and it is a good read. Sheila has now bought me his second novel. . . . watch this space.


A short history of nearly eveything - Bill Bryson

One of the new genre of books popularising science. Very successful. Gave lots of information in a way which was undestandable/accessible. Allowed the reader to grasp the scale of the universe and the tiny stuff inside DNA, and the emergence of homo sapiens. But 573 pages made it hard work overall so you need to need to read it or take it in small chunks.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Big Four - Agatha Christie

This was marvellous. A crazy international spy thriller with poirot solving countless mysteries as he uncovers the identities of the wicked four trying to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Very funny. The comments about race and sex aside, it's quite hard to think this was written in the 20s.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Keeping the world away by Margaret Forster

This month's Book Club and one which I wouldn't have chosen for myself. It centres around a painting from the turn of the last century and the effect it has of 5 women over the years ending with the present day. Surprisingly I enjoyed it and more exciting is the fact that Noelle lent me a book about the life of the painter (Gwen John).

The Midden by Tom Sharpe

I swapped this book through Readitswapit. Many years ago Dad and I read a selection Of Tom Sharpe books and found ourselves laughing out loud. Sadly this didn't cause the same reaction.....not sure if it's not as funny as his early books or maybe I'm just that bit older! Typical Tom Sharpe story about the gentry getting into all sorts of mishaps and corrupt police will be going back on my RISI list for exchange.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

Well, I've started the "read all the agatha christie books" quest. One down - a very quick and gripping read. This was her first novel, and it's a Poirot. Loved the style and the slightly crazy characters. Now I will go and see what Kate and James have said about it and I missed.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Devil may care - Sebastian Faulks (as Ian Flemming)

Sebastian Faulks wrote this in the style of Ian Flemming (apparently he's a fan) to commemerate his centenary. It was a good read - and in general a good plot, although sometimes a little confusing with the references to other people. It's set in the 70s so Bond gets away with being a little dated...


Members Only - Leone Fox

At least these were written before she met rich. entertaining.