Books, life the universe

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Busy Kindling . . .

Is Kindling a verb created from a noun or is it just a new meaning for the word which means the wood you use to light a fire with? I seem to spend a lot of time reading at the moment and the novelty of my Kindle has not yet worn off.

Recent reads in e-book have been:

Georgette Heyer - Death in the Stocks - a body is found in the village stocks and leads Superintendent down some very murky byways of family life

Wendy Holden - Gallery Girl - this was a paperback - I enjoyed it though not as much as some of hers. I did enjoy the jibes at the pretensions of some of the more way out parts of the art world - artificial legs sprayed gold and hung on a washing line - your for £20 million. There are some absolutely priceless scenes towards the end of the book which make the whole thing worth while.

Georgette Heyer - Footsteps in the Dark - a brother and two sisters inherit a dilapidated country house only to find that it appears to have a resident ghost or two. They quickly realise that the ghost may be rather more corporeal than it would like them to think.

Richard Wiseman - 59 seconds - sort of distilled self help and psychology. It was interesting but as I can't remember anything about it now it clearly wasn't that memorable!

The Complete Idiot's Guide to dealing with Difficult People - interesting with a few tips I shall make use of such as lowering your voice when someone is getting angry. It reminds the reader that you can never control the behaviour of others - only how you react to that behaviour.

Currently reading:

Georgette Heyer - Detection Unlimited - murder of a very unlikeable solicitor in a country village - featuring Chief Inspector Hemingway.

Jenni Mills - The Buried Circle - set around Avebury featuring two parallel narratives from the point of view of India in the present day and Frannie, her grandmother in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Trisha Ashley - The Twelve Days of Christmas - this is a paperback which I'd bought before I realised there was an e-book. I'm getting through it slowly and I'm starting to think her recent books are not as good as early ones.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

And yet more reading . . .

Death at the Opera by Gladys Mitchell - e-book - the first I've read by this author and very enjoyable it was too. She is one of the Golden Age of detective fiction writers from the 1920s and 1930s. This story features psycho-analyst Beatrice Lestrange Bradley trying to find out why a school teacher apparently committed suicide during the school's performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado.

Georgette Heyer's Penhallow - e-book - not what I was expecting because the reader knows who the murderer is and how it was done. The portrait of a family tyrant - Adam Penhallow - and the effect he has on his nearest and dearest deserves to be better known. It is an excellent psychological novel

Games People Play by Eric Berne - I first read this about 30 years ago and had forgotten a great deal of it. Very instructive about the way people operate and you find yourself looking out for the games people play in every day life.

Currently reading:

Georgette Heyer - Death in the Stocks - e-book - a body is found in the stocks on the village green. Superintendent Hannasyde is his usual self and the story exposes a very strange family set up.

Risk: the science and politics of fear by Dan Gardner - e-book - fascinating book about how bad human beings are at assessing relative risk

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Doesn't time fly . . . .

Reading in the last week:

Coffin, Scarcely used by Colin Watson - 1950s crime in seaside town in Lincolnshire - paperback

Our Lady of Pain by M C Beaton - Edwardian Crime featuring Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart - private investigator - e-book

Pursued by Love by Georgia Hill - love story set against the filming of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - e-book.

The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh which is a new Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane story set in 1951 and featuring a case which is mentioned in other Peter Wimsey books. It is very good and I could imagine Sayers herself writing this one - paperback.

What's Up Doc? by Hilary Jones - the doctor who appears regularly on TV - good but not as good as some - e-book.

Cranford by Mrs Gaskell - Victorian life from a female perspective, e-book.

A Medal for Murder: a Kate Shackleton Mystery by Frances Brody - Yorkshire crime set in the 1920s - very good it was as well - I can thoroughly recommend this series. Paperback

A predominance of crime set in other eras.

Currently reading:

The Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni - chick lit with bling and shopping but seems pretty well written - paperback

Wives and Daughters by Mrs Gaskell - 19th century literature - e-book

What would Jane Austen do? by Laurie Brown - time travel and ghosts - e-book

59 seconds by Richard Wiseman - sort of self help/popular psychology - e-book - I will be writing a post shortly about this type of book - which I've always enjoyed reading.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

More reading . . .

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler turned out to be pretty good - more like an historical novel with Jane Austen related asides. Not great literature but still entertaining reading.

I have also read Holday SOS by Brian McFarlane about a doctor who was involved in repatriating people who had been injured or taken ill when abroad. It was interesting reading and showed how complex the situation becomes if you need to be repatriated while abroad. It is also a reminder to make sure you have adequate travel insurance cover!

I finished Merchants of Culture by John B Thompson and thought it was interesting and well written even if it did take some getting through because it was packed full of information.

Then I've read another in M C Beaton's Edwardian mystery series featuring Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart. This was the third one in the series - Sick of Shadows. It is entertaining reading and I am currently part way through the fourth one - Our Lady of Pain.

I'm currently reading Thomas Love Peacock's Nightmare Abbey - which is a bit of an acquired taste. As light relief I'm also reading Pursued by Love by Georgia Hill - romantic comedy set against the filming of a new version of Pride and Prejudice. There are just so many Pride and Prejudice spin offs - whether set in the present day or the past. Some better than others of course.
Also reading: Frances Brody - A Medal for Murder