Category: Books

What I’ve been Reading – July, August and September 2018

Well. My reading went off the rails a little over the summer. I picked a book from the pile to start off July and kept trying to read it but in the end I decided I wasn’t bothered about finding out who the murderer was (shocking I know!) and I put it down. That wasted most of the month. I am so picky with my books that I very rarely put one down without finishing it but sometimes is has to be done.

I went back to familiar territory I’m afraid after that little disaster. The Enemy by Lee Child. This is the only photo I have of the cover as I’ve returned it to my sister who is keeper of the Reacher collection!

I think it’s pretty clear that I like these books! Quickly read and enjoyed.

After that it was more familiarity with The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Patton Walsh based on the characters of Dorothy L. Sayers. Really liked this one. Patton Walsh has taken these well loved folk and made them even more loveable.

Our holiday began with more Reacher, Tripwire by Lee Child. If you recall my sister and I are trying to buy all these books second hand and this one, the third in the series has been tricky to find. But she located a copy and kindly let me read it first.

And then I went back to good old Stephanie Plum. I read this one on the kindle so no photo. It was quick and I admit the same old same old. But for a holiday read it was fine.

So there we are three months and only four books so I’m still playing catch up. My tally for the year is sixteen. Better get cracking if I’m going to make it to twenty four!

What I’ve been Reading – June 2018

First the good news…… I read three books in June so caught up on my goal of reading two a month thus 24 in the year.

The bad news is that I am still stuck in my comfort zone. But I have decided I don’t care right now and am reading what I like!

I started The Affair by Lee Child in May but finished it in June. Like all the Jack Reachers before them they are quick to read because I can’t put them down. This one was a trip back in time to when Jack was still in the army. It takes place just before the very first Reacher novel and sets the scene for why he decided to quit that institution. Enjoyable.

Next I went back to Inspector Montalbano. August Heat by Andrea Camilleri. This one was on ‘the pile’ as I bought it some time ago from Barter Books. Have to say it wasn’t a favourite and makes me want to have a rest from this series of novels.

And oh dear yes, my third book was more Jack.

Really liked this one. Very on the edge of your seat tense and full of suspense. It also gave a hint that Jack could be fallible (I don’t think it would be a spoiler to say he always wins in then end, well in all the books I’ve read so far anyway!) which I liked because everyone is at some point even our fictional anti-heroes.

I may try something off the pile this month who knows?

What I’ve been Reading – May 2018

Oh the heady heights of literary fiction…….. May was not the month for such novels. I appear to have forsaken my quest to reduce the pile of books already!

And I only managed two.

The first was another of the Lord Peter Wimsey written by Jill Patton Walsh. Presumption of Death. It was very enjoyable. Set in the second World War it gave an insight into country life during that period and we got to know the characters a little better. I have leant the book to my Mum which is why my photo is less that perfect!

My second book was another Jack Reacher – pictured at the top. Not too much death and destruction in this one and perhaps all the better for it. A quick (because you can’t put them down) read to finish the month.

I’ll try for three in June so I can make my goal of twenty four for the year……

What I’ve been Reading – April 2018

Since around 2012 The British Library has re-published long-lost crime novels.There’s quite a collection and I’ve read two of these novels already. Murder in the Museum by John Rowland has been on my pile for a year or so now. My Mum borrowed this book a couple of months ago but couldn’t get into it. Her reason for not enjoying the book is exactly my reason for enjoying it.

She found the idea that they were ‘old’ difficult to get her head round. Perhaps it was the knowledge that they are long-lost books that put her off? I mean in all honesty if they were classics they wouldn’t be long-lost and out of print would they? But for all that I like them. This particular one transported me back in time and gave me a few hours of lovely reading. It could have been the setting of course, the British Museum, a place I adore and know well. Or it could simply have been the gentle-ish story. I liked the two police characters and would happily read another book with them in it.

This was the only book I managed this month so I failed in my two books a month quest. I must catch up and read three in May!

What I’ve been Reading – March 2018 and a Few Thoughts

I’ve been pondering the big pile of ‘to be read’ books ever since I mentioned them in January. Lot’s of those book have been on that pile since 2015!

Anyway those thoughts got a jump start at the beginning of March as I found myself falling down a rabbit hole……. I’ve haven’t read Alice in Wonderland yet but it’s on the pile!

It was the 6th and I know this because the catalyst for my foray into a warren of my past reading history was the google doodle for that day. It was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 91st birthday doodle. Which got me thinking that somewhere down the line I’d read one of his books. So off I tumbled……..

I hopped (sorry!) to his wiki page and pinpointed the name of the book I’d read. It was actually a novella and called Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

Then I jumped (tee hee!) back to my blog to search for a review of that book. Hmm…. after searching and searching (which made me want a web site with a search facility….GAVIN!….) and not finding any mention of it I discovered that I read it before I started the blog! Eventually I located of this book included on a list I’d used for a scrapbook page made in 2009! Here is the blog post that introduced my intention to share the books I’d read and the layout that references the Marquez novella.

I have to say that I loved going back and reading both that scrapbook page and the post about my reading quirks. It also made me realise I have become very boring in my choice of books over the last few years. I think that the reason some of the books are still on the pile is because they were added when I was trying to be more adventurous and reading less in my comfort zone. So by actually reading some of those I’ll be broadening my literary horizons and reducing the pile. Win, win.

In the meantime here are the two I managed to remove from the pile in March.

This is the fifth of the Campbell and Carter mysteries from the author. Easy to read detective stories that usually keep me guessing as to who did it and set in lovely Cotswold countryside.

I think I’ve read about eight of the Inspector Montalbano novels by this author now. And again they are easy to read crime fiction. It’s good to read about Sicily and have that different perspective, always enjoyable.

Here’s to a slightly more adventurous April and lowering that ol’ pile of books.

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2018

I started off reading another Jack Reacher novel The Visitor by Lee Child. I finished this in a couple of days right before I started the new job. You can see in the picture above that I was indulging. Coffee, treats and an afternoon or three of reading before my afternoons were not all free ones!

The book was another on the edge of your seat thriller and the twist at the end was excellent.

I finished this one yesterday. Maise Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. It had been on the go since mid January. A gentle-ish detective story, the first in a series of novels about a lady detective in the 1920’s + era. It was well written and interesting and I will definitely read more of these.

Still on track of two books a month!

What I’ve been Reading – January 2018

I made the claim, the other day, that I was going to read at least two books a month, I also said I would come back here and list all the books I read in 2017! Here is a perfect reason for listing the books in a blog post as I read them because I cannot remember them all. Which makes me cross as I’ve kept track of my reading for several years now.

Here are a few I can recall –

  • Tricky Twenty-two by Janet Evanovich
  • Top Secret Twenty-one by Janet Evanovich
  • Dead in the Water by Ann Granger
  • Die Trying by Lee Child
  • A Cotswold Killing by Rebecca Tope
  • Thrones and Dominions by Jill Paton Walsh – Dorothy L. Sayers
  • The Voice of the Violin – by Andrea Camilleri
  • The Patience of a Spider – by Andrea Camilleri
  • Christmas at Tiffanys by Karen Swan

To be honest I didn’t read much last year so this was probably it along with the two I did post about at the time I read them.

But this year will be different. Ha! I’m going to read all I can from my pile of ‘to be read’ before buying any more and I am putting a priority on reading over computer time through practice I should have no trouble in getting through them all.

Here are the first two from this year.

A Cotswold Ordeal – Rebecca Tope

This is the second book in the series (I think she has written fifteen). They are what I would describe as gentle murder mysteries if there could be such a thing. I like the village settings and that look at rural life even if I’m not sure it is realistic. The main character is interesting, she has a dog too so that goes in her favour…. and she is braver than me! My Mum has the whole series so I will most likely read them in time. Not my favourite but still enjoyable.

Next up was Bad Luck and Trouble – Lee Child

My third adventure with Jack Reacher.

I just went back and read my thoughts on the first novel. I laughed at my own comment about not reading just before bed because I did the same with his second adventure, that I read last year and this one. The author is just too good at keeping you on the edge of your seat to read before I try to sleep!

This book is actually the eleventh in the series so I have read them out of order. It doesn’t matter in my opinion. He is still a wanderer, still alone and still as tough as they come. As with both other books this was a page turner, you just have to find out what is going on. Always a twist in there, but then it is a thriller, and often violent and brutal. But I enjoyed it for all that.

And by total coincidence my Mum was over for lunch last Sunday saw my book and said she was sure my sister had mentioned these novels and that she was reading them. I spoke to B and yes, indeed she is reading them. I was surprised as they are so violent. But then I remembered from years ago that my Dad and my sis both used to read the same thrillers. Funny isn’t it the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

And the up shot is I now have another two to read and the way my sis is visiting all our local charity shops I’m sure she’ll have collected the entire series by the end of February!

Read – The Lake District Murder by John Bude

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This is another of a pile of books given to me by a friend. Previously I read the Cornish Coast Murder but don’t think I blogged about it!?

Anyway this is a detective story set in the 1930’s and this edition is the first time it has been re-published. It is locked in its time but I don’t think there is anything wrong with that and if you like a detective murder mystery then this would suit you well. A little slow and perhaps too long but as with the Cornish novel the characters are interesting and overall I enjoyed it.

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Read 2016 – The Vinyl Detective by Andrew Cartmel

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Don’t you think that sometimes it’s the cover of a book that pulls you in? Those folk who design covers are very good at their job! I picked this book up in a bookshop a few months ago based on the word ‘detective’ in the title and the jazzy! (pun intended) cover. I didn’t buy it that time but then spotted it again recently and thought it looked interesting so I did buy it.

And I was right it was interesting. A little bit silly too but overall I’m glad I bought it. I think that it’s more for the male market but I usually don’t mind that in a book. I liked the central character and the overall plot, there is something so romantic about vinyl! Takes me right back to my youth and this book made me want to search through charity shops for records, find a turntable and listen to a good old fashioned LP.

So yes a good read!

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Read – Brazen by Katherine Longshore

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This was a good holiday read. YA and set at the time of King Henry VIII. It was  recommended over here. (I really like Jamie’s blog even though she is twenty years younger than me!)

I don’t often pick up historical YA – or historical anything actually, I’m never sure about the mix of fact and fiction, so this was something new for me.

The book takes place during Ann Boleyns time as Queen in the court of Henry and is told from the perspective of a young courtier who has been married off, at the age of fourteen,  to Henry’s illegitimate son. It was enjoyable and interesting and made me do some research about the period and people so that alone has to make it a success. The author just about manages to keep it a romance while dealing with the facts of that time.

I did enjoy it but don’t think I’ll read any other historical YA. Having said that though it may have tempted me to pick up Hilary Mantel’s final installment of novels set in the same time period. Gav and I watched the BBC dramatisation of her previous books, Wolf Hall.  Although, like I said,  I’m never sure about mixing fact and fiction this series was excellent and I wonder what Hilary will do with the last one.

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