stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
First Among Sequels - Jasper Fforde

Re-read. I had forgotten quite how much fun this series is. As ever, I found the BookWorld parts much more interesting than the AU!Swindon, but it's all very enjoyable.


The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - C S Lewis

Re-read of an old friend. This isn't my favourite of the Narnia books (that accolade goes to Dawn Treader) but it has some wonderful moments and is a joy to revisit.


61 Hours - Lee Child

Trying this to see what all the fuss is about. It took me a while to get into, for all that the first thirty hours take up a lot less page space than the remainder. Once I did, it was harder to put down, but I still don't quite get all the Jack Reacher-mania.


Deadheads - Reginald Hill

As ever, I am hopping around all over the place within the series. I started off quite well with Dalziel and Pascoe (that is, with A Clubbable Woman) but I've skipped about ten years, I think. I liked this one - the use of rose varieties for the chapter headings was interesting, characterisation fantastic, lovely twist in the tail. Poor Sergeant Wield, though!


While the Light Lasts - Agatha Christie

A collection of not recently republished short stories. Something of a disappointment, as I found that I'd read most or all of these before, even if not necessarily in this particular form. A number of them are in The Hound of Death. Quite interesting as a curiosity, anyway, and it's good to have re-read them.


Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean - Justin Somper

Shipwrecked twins, each fearing the other dead (so far, so Twelfth Night) get picked up by pirates. The boy ends up with normal pirates (in so far as this is possible, it being the 26th century); the girl with the titular Vampirates. They spend the book trying to find each other. Blood and guts and gore, usual piratey stuff. Unimpressed that Grace spends most of the time stuck in a cabin while Connor gets to do sword-fighting and such; maybe the balance is redressed in later books?


The Mind-Readers - Margery Allingham

Couldn't get into this; gave up.


More William - Richmal Crompton

More William? Absolutely. Vastly improves a day in bed with the flu. My favourites in this one: A Busy Day, William's Burglar, The Ghost, The May King, and William and the Smuggler.


The Morning Gift - Eva Ibbotson

Another Ibbotson romance featuring refugees and desirable Englishmen. While still fairly formulaic, this is a departure from Ibbotson's usual form in that the protagonists get married in chapter 2 and then spend the rest of the book working out that actually they might want to stay married. Though of course it's considerably more complicated than it needs to be, and at times I was wishing to smack both of them round the head. I love the backgrounds, though, and in this case particularly intellectual Vienna.
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Two households, both alike in dignity... This book is a real breath of fresh air. Set in an alternative universe where magic is part of everyday life, and where history has happened a little differently (so Italy, for example, is still divided into city states well into the twentieth century) it's beautifully written and has a superb sense of place. The characters are well defined, and the atmosphere remained with me through lesser, more adult, books. Perhaps my favourite of the Chrestomanci series.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10125880/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
When I was little my ma used to read to me from Eleanor Farjeon's Nursery Rhymes of London Town, a lovely book that made the names that make London what it is into people. (King's cross/ What shall we do?/ His purple robe/ is torn in two...) It was a long time before I saw London itself, and so even to this day the London map in my mind is populated by these personages. Neverwhere is a book that gets this, that makes London a place of two layers, of a richly peopled fantasy world running beneath the surface. Dark and funny, with heroes and villains and swashbuckling, and a wonderful sense of history. My only gripe, really, is that this was an American edition, and so I was constantly being thrown off by pants and flashlights.

Other than that, this was a rather fantastic book, in every sense of the word.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7604999
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
This novel managed to be both clever and amusing. It was rather like a cross between Small Gods and something written by one of the more competent chicklit authors. The Greek pantheon has come down in the world (literally) and is now crammed into a north London flat. The cheeky updates - Aphrodite doing phone sex, Artemis the professional dog-walker - and the occasional philosophising on the nature of faith combine with a predictable but rather sweet romance to make an extremely enjoyable read.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10056850
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
There is nobody quite like Diana Wynne Jones for evoking an utterly convincing real life setting, creating a horribly plausible fantasy element, and combining the two in a way that makes you wander around the house casting shifty looks at the lightbulbs for the next few days. I enjoyed this book very much, finding the tribulations of the everyday family afflicted by the attentions of a family of wizards most amusing. I didn't see the twist coming at all; possibly I am not observant. I used to read a lot of DWJ; must seek out some more.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/4339578/

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