Friday, 28 October 2016

October reading

Our books are a bit higgledy-piggledy at the moment

I never got around to writing a September reading post.... Life got in the way. So today, I give you a round-up of the past two months. Here it goes, in no particular order:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I just love Neil Gaiman. How could I not? I like the witty plots, the language and the fantastical ideas this talented man thinks up. Anansi boys centres around Fat Charlie and his increasingly complicated life after his estranged father dies during a karaoke performance. Fat Charlie didn't know his father was a god, and he didn't know he had a brother, Spider. Fat Charlie's features in American Gods, too and I like it how Neil Gaiman created a spin-off of this fabulous epic tale without serialising it.

Slade House by David Mitchell. I found this rather disappointing. I don't know why I bothered, I really only liked one of David Mitchell's books and I can't even remember the name of it now.
It is a ghost story of sorts, involving a pair of somewhat immortal and awfully evil siblings as well as a haunted house that reveals itself only every nine years and only to individuals that are 'different' and/or lonely. Immortality comes at a cost. The book just didn't capture my imagination.

Why Did You Lie? by 


The Darker Side by Cody Mcfadyen. Three words: crude, violent and vulgar. I finished my holiday book too quickly and picked up one at the flat were we were staying, at random. This particular book starts with murder victim 143 (!) and is largely set in Los Angeles. There is not a single likeable character in the book, everyone is damaged, psychopathic or both (and I am talking about the good guys here). It is probably one of the worst crime novels I nearly finished.
The author must assume its readers are dumb, that they enjoy reading vulgarity and can't handle  fiction that doesn't involve a completely crazed prolific serial killer and an investigating team that is so severely damaged that under normal circumstances everyone of them would be sectioned.

Unwanted and Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson. There are five books in this series and I have finished the first two. It is set in Stockholm and is thankfully much more pleasant to read than the previous book. Murder is murder of course and the murderers are no saints but in these books, the author is more focused on the why and the social impact of of crime than the unnecessarily gruesome descriptions of murder victims and crime scenes. The investigators are normal people with normal flaws. The main investigator in the above book has been raped and disfigured by a serial killer who then went off the kill her husband and daughter; she also adopted the daughter of a friend who was killed by another serial killer. The girl was tied to the murdered mother and was not found for three days and is seriously traumatised. Do I need to say more? The investigators in Kristina Ohlsson's series have marital problems, loose partners to cancer and have childcare issues. They are likeable but not always and work in an environment where mutual respect and collaboration is valued. In the first book, a child is abducted and murdered, awful really. The investigation focuses on the child's father, a man with a history of partner abuse, but eventually it turns out that the motif rather different and buried deep in the past . The second book focuses on the murder-suicide of an elderly couple and we soon learn that the suicide is staged. The main theme in the book is that of illegal immigration and people traffickers. I am currently listening to the 3rd book in the series.

As always, my 'reading' is a mix of listening and actual reading. What have you read lately? Anything I should read, too? 

P.S. I feel the need to apologise for my 'absence' on your blogs, I have been awfully tired lately and didn't seem to have enough energy to leave a comment. 

18 comments:

  1. Love Neil Gaiman have read most of his books.

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  2. Thanks for your reviews. Why did you lie looks very interesting. I would like to listen to books a bit more...

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  3. Still haven't tried Neil Gaiman, I really must give him a go, he is popping up everywhere at the moment. I'm reading "I See You" by Clare Mackintosh at the moment. I'm just trying to get to the end of it to be honest. And I'm reading Carl Hiassen's Flush to the children. Enjoying that one more. CJ xx

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  4. Love Neil Gaiman too, even his stuff for kids. I love seeing what you're reading because it's all almost always new to me so it gives me good ideas! Don't worry about your "absence"...I've decided to relax about the commenting thing myself. I love to read blogs but I can't always comment anymore. Life changes. I'm just glad to be able to see what everyone's up to when I have the chance. :)

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  5. These are all new books to me. I've been reading a real mix of excellent books and some rubbish but I must get around to writing a post soon. I've really enjoyed " All the light we cannot see". Never need to apologise for not being around much... Life takes priority!

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  6. Like the sound of 'why did you lie'. Always enjoy thrillers set in a different place to mine. Swedish crime novels sound fascinating too. I'm in a bit of a lull reading at the moment. Just finished unforgettable walks by Julia Bradbury which was fairly lightweight. Just about to start the new Peter Robinson 'When the Music's Over' . Will need to get a move on because it's due back to the library soon and I hate to renew books if I can help it ! Love the look of your pile of books. Have a chilled out weekend...if that's possible :) B x

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  7. You've done a lot of reading/listening! Thanks for the warning about that book by Macfadyen. If a book or program doesn't have a single redeemable character I refuse to waste my time on it. I made that vow after reading JK Rowling's Casual Vacancy. I'm a JK Rowling fan, but that book was one of the most depressing I've ever read.

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  8. You have been a busy reader! Glad you mostly enjoyed. I have just ditched a book today and not finished it - I will be writing about it - so annoying when you get a book that isn't a good read isn't it.

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  9. I've never read a Neil Gaiman book. Which would you recommend as best? Haven't read much recently apart from rather strange crime book called 'The City and the City' by China Meiville. It was a bookclub read and took me ages to get through but I enjoyed it in the end. Like one of those crime dramas on tv that you have to work hard to follow plot.

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  10. A very varied reading list Christina. I don't like reading about murders etc, but my husband enjoys crime fiction so I shall pass in your recommendations. X

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  11. Thanks for that list Christina, I think I will take a look at The Long Earth' series. I am always thinking about branching out and reading something from a different genre, I will put it om my list. I am currently reading Madame Bovary and I have just finished 'Outwitting the Devil' (non fiction) by Napoleon Hill. xx

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  12. What a great variety. I think Why Did You Lie? appeals to me, but I must admit that the books by Kristina Ohlsson sound really good. I think you needed something much better after reading The Darker Side. I'm not fond of books where you can't identify with at least one of the characters, or at least like them.

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  13. That's an impressive book pile! I am itching to alphabetise and categorise those titles, and put them on shelves...please let me loose on your book pile Christina! What a lovely job that will be when your building work is done.

    But reading, yes. I like the sound of Why Did You Lie, thanks for the recommendation. I'm currently reading a great Agatha Christie style whodunnit called The Affair of the Blood Stained Tea Cosy by James Anderson and am enjoying is hugely. x

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  14. People often comment in awe at my crafting mojo but I am in awe of anyone that reads that many books. I used to read a lot before we had children but now I just need to follow my own plot of life never mind another one! Hope the Kitchen stuff is not too stressful. Jo x

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  15. That photo is an eye catcher! I always say I love to read, but I'm lucky if I get through half a dozen books in the year these days. I did just finish "The Tiger" by John Vaillant and quite enjoyed it. It was a surprising book, and not one I would have chosen myself (given to me by a friend). Gives you a new appreciation for tigers and Russia both.
    Wendy

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  16. Thanks for the reviews! Happy Tuesday ♥

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  17. these books kept me busy in the late summer and fall - the audio versions are also fabulous: https://www.goodreads.com/series/42154-chief-inspector-armand-gamache

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  18. I haven't read any of your Sept/Oct reads so more titles (can't resist an Icelandic thriller) to add to the list. Current book at bedtime here is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood which I can unreservedly recommend. Such well written narrative about a true crime, the slaughter of a well respected family in their isolated ranch, committed in the final part of 1959. Unputdownable.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx