stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
'And "proliferation" became the word of the day...'

Very different from the film. This is not such a bad thing; I am finding the oeuvre of Roger Moore rather slow going. (No quibbles about his performance, but the actual films are terrible.) There is a villain called Hugo Drax, and that is about the only similarity.

Ian Fleming's tedious style aside (a series of info-dumps linked by occasional bursts of action), book!Bond is much less slappable than film!Bond.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/11193534
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
An utterly unmemorable book. I didn't exactly dislike it, but it didn't grab me, and it was a bit of a struggle to plough through to the end. The plot was unconvincing, the characters less so, but difficult to relate to, and OK, I admit it, I'm not a dog person.

The author obviously has a very defined sense of place, but, not knowing the Cotswolds, I was unable to plug into this, and it all rather passed me by. Perhaps if I knew the area I'd have enjoyed this more. As it was, it all felt very flat.

I did pick up the next one in the series to try to work out what I felt about this book, and discovered within a few pages that my prevailing emotion was boredom.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8101473/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A three-in-one edition comprising Venus in Copper, The Iron Hand of Mars, and Poseidon's Gold. After this I think Davis ran out of elements. Never mind. These are possibly the only Falco books I have read in the correct order; fortunately this doesn't make too much difference, as Davis is good enough at characterisation (and not relying on the reader having read all the other books in order) for me to keep a reasonably good grasp of who was who and what was what.

I've not really much new to say about these. Venus in Copper is a potential grooms-in-the-bath case; The Iron Hand of Mars deals with Germany - the Roman Empire and beyond; Poseidon's Gold has Falco in more trouble than usual, and involves his disreputable and amusing family. (I love reading about other people's disreputable families.) All told with the usual wit and good humour, not to mention the sense that, though the past is a foreign country, they speak the same language there. I enjoyed these.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10063696/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A Montgomery series I'd not previously come across. It's very much along the same lines as Anne and Emily (more the latter, thinking about it, though that may simply be due to its being a short series). I recognised a lot of my younger self in Pat, particularly in the attachment to house and family and things not changing. While I'm old enough now both to recognise that attitude as unhealthy, and to second-guess Montgomery's plot to the extent that I was skimming a lot of the second book, there were bits in both of them that still brought a tear to my eye. A good comfort read.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8617774/

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8617781
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)
Ngaio Marsh leaves her usual habitat of the professional stage in this one, and descends to the level of amateur theatricals in the village hall. Perhaps fortunately, we never get to see any of them (and I say this as a once-eager participant myself) as the murder happens before the curtain rises on the opening night.

I am getting better at picking up clues that aren't remarked on, and I got the identity of the murderer from one of these. I still can't be bothered to follow through and work out the boring opportunity bits, though. When you know how, you know who, etc, and who cares about when?

Aside from all that, the general setting left a rather nasty taste in my mouth. It was a dotty English village in spades, with not one but two cassock-clingers, and a scheming widow. Misogyny, much? Also Comic Dorset Accents, which made me cringe rather. Generally, an reasonably interesting mystery, but, like pretty much all of Marsh's, nothing that really elevates it to the level of greatness.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10065739
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Two books in one. A large chunk keeps falling out of the Highland Twins part of the book, but so far the Chalet School at War remains intact.

Aside from alarums and excursions of the more than usually sensational sort, there being Nazis, U-boats and spies to contend with, not to mention moving the entire establishment, and Welsh and Gaelic being added to the polyglot cornucopia, this is pretty much Chalet School business as usual. Just a little more so. A nice unchallenging read (apart from suppressing my murderous inclinations towards Joey, that is...)

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9881025/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Re-read. I don't think I'll be able to read this one again, because I remember too well Who and How, though it's very interesting to follow the plot through with that knowledge. Nobody does misdirection like Christie, and this has one of the many 'accusing parlour' scenes that had me hooked the first time round. It's fascinating now to see how she does it. Questions hidden in plain sight, and all that.

The last sentence still annoys me, though. In the past I'd have given Christie a pass for something like that, because The Past Is Another Country, and all that, but given what she achieved herself, that won't wash.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9880680
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I'm not wildly keen on Reichs' style (at least, when it's first person Temperance Brennan; I don't think I've read anything else of hers) - too terse and slangy when not jargon-ridden, and correspondingly tiring to read. And I saw straight through the red herring by the lake, so I was not impressed by Brennan failing to get it until three chapters before the end, but there you go. All that aside, I got on reasonably well with this. A sympathetic and (so far as I could tell) well-researched portrayal of some generally maligned religions, and an adequate solution to an interesting problem.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10056896/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Another series I've returned to after an interval of several years. That said, I never got into Dalgliesh the way I did some others, possibly because they're such weighty tomes. I like to be able to devour the whole lot at once if I get into a series, and that's a bit impractical when you're talking 500+ pages per volume.

None of which is to say that I did not enjoy this. On the contrary, it was a satisfying mystery with well-rounded characters and a fantastic sense of place, even if I did roll my eyes a bit at a) Dalgliesh's broody manpain; and b) the political intrigue plot.
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A relatively late Abbey Girls book, and exceedingly confusing because of the vast number of a) twins; b) people with names beginning with J; c) Queens of the Hamlet Club. It always amuses me how the longer school story series end up with very little school at all. I like the Abbey stories, though, baffling as they are, because they are very generous-spirited with it, even if one is not into all the folk dancing.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8263834/

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