stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
The book of the blog. Hilarious pictures, and a plentiful dose of snark. An enjoyable half hour. More, if you then go back to the blog, as I may be doing at this very moment...

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10008237
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A collection of short comedy pieces by the US talk show host. I think I'd probably have enjoyed this more if I'd been a particular fan (rather than just knowing the name from afterellen.com, I mean). This was a fun read, but felt very shallow - mostly a series of very obvious jokes.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10440050
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Nancy Mitford on top form. I'm not sure that I have actually read much, if any, Nancy Mitford before, but this was just as much fun as I thought it was going to be - impressive, given how depressing it could have been, what with failed marriages all over the place and then the Second World War. A gorgeous froth of fun with a satisfyingly acid edge to it, and a lovely ambiguous ending. And, my goodness, nobody does class like Nancy Mitford.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10262594
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)
My first foray into the world of vampire romance. I have to say that I wasn't entirely convinced; this was due mainly to a) poor editing; b) enduring squick at the non-consensual vampire-turning. I do appreciate that the poor hero faced a rather difficult choice, but I'd have appreciated the narrative addressing this with greater attention rather than skipping straight to the unresolved sexual tension. (Also the resolved sort.) And the quasi-date-rape stuff was rather nasty, too.

All that said, it was a compelling story, and I raced through it. And it was hilarious in parts - particularly the sequence with the police at the end. I don't know. I wanted to like it, it being a sweepstake prize and all, but it kept throwing me off. A pity.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6219147/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I have seen this recommended around the Harry Potter Britpicking communities as a way of getting one's head around the Malfoys, and the vexed question of whether Rowling meant to write them as nouveau riche. Well-observed, though rather dated now (try Kate Fox's Watching the English for something more immediately relevant) and one comes away feeling rather nastier than one did before.

[personal profile] countertony read the last chapter over my shoulder and immediately pounced when I put it down.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9896829
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
One of those charity tie-ins that only really makes sense if you're familiar with the original source material, but that are quite fun assuming you are. This includes the funny bits of Bridget Jones without the irritating plot, and I therefore enjoyed it rather more than the original novels, neither of which I finished.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9950588
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I thought I had read everything that Norman Hunter ever wrote by the time I was 10. But no! Here is some more! It's set in the same 'verse as The Dribblesome Teapots (and, apparently, as Professor Branestawm, since he is referenced as living in England) and is more of the same comedy Ruritanian shenanigans. One rather cringes, now, at the procession of 'oriental potentates' with silly names. (Everybody has a silly name, of course, but...) Apart from that, good fun.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9948222
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A freebie off the front of some car magazine, picked up in a charity shop to go in the Short and Sweet bookbox. Short, yes; sweet, no. It was quite funny in places, I suppose, and at its best had the kind of sick compulsiveness that you get with Roald Dahl's adult fiction, but I wasn't convinced. Mostly it was just blokey and unpleasant.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9950478
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
One long fart joke, and not even a particularly funny one. Or it might be a searing satire on both conventional and alternative medicine; you never know. But it took an awfully long time to say not very much.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/4241141
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Subtitle: 'Classic Lit signs on to Facebook'

This is a harmless enough waste of an evening: the premise is that various characters from the canon of English Literature have joined Facebook, and their stories are told through status updates. Very funny if you know the stories, not so much, of course, if you don't. Happily I have a degree in Eng. Lit. for just this sort of eventuality.

My favourite was the amalgamated Shakepeare's comedies, of which I quote a very little:

Antipholus of Syracuse, Orlando, Oliver, The King of Navarre, Berowne, Longaville, Dumaine, Lucentio, Viola, Olivia, Gratiano, Proteus and Claudio fell in Love at First Sight! with Luciana, Rosalind, Celia, The Princess, Rosaline, Maria, Katherine, Bianca, Orsino, Cesario, Nerissa, Silvia and Hero.

Oliver, Orlando, Duke Senior and Duke Frederick are in Blood Feuds

Egeon, Emilia, two Antipholi, Viola and Sebastian were Shipwrecked.

And so on. The jokes wear a little thin after a while, as is the way with these things, but it's good for a giggle.


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