sarahkbee: Doctor Who books (book)
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Ben Aaronovitch wrote one of my all-time favourite books, "The Also People", so when I saw "Rivers of London" in the bookshop I snapped it up, and would have read it sooner if it weren't for my ongoing efforts to reduce the backlog of unfinished books (trying to finish a part-read book in between each 'want to read' book).
Peter Grant is a constable just finishing up his probationary period in the Met when he accidentally interviews a ghost about a murder - accidentally because until then he didn't believe in ghosts.  This leads to him becoming the apprentice of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.
It reminds me of the Harry Dresden and the Felix Castor series', with someone discovering that there is still magic, and he can do it, while the rest of the world (us) carry on oblivious.  But for all that it's readable and enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

sarahkbee: Doctor Who books (book)
The Misogynist by Piers Paul Read
Bought this sometime in the early summer, as part of a 3 for 2 offer.  Read a bit, got distracted, read some more in the late summer and ground to a halt about halfway through the book.  It's not bad, but it's a rather depressing view of men and relationships, which I think was part of why I kept stopping.  Finally finished it a couple of days ago, and I'm not sure I'd re-read it - one of the main reasons I actually finished it was because it's part of the shelf-and-a-half of unfinished and unread books that I'm determined to try and get through (or at least reduce) before I buy any more books.
The main character is a retired chap called Jomier, whose wife left him some years ago.  He's bitter about this, and definitely bitter towards her, but not so much a misogynist, perhaps, as just a misanthrope in general.  The book tells of him starting a relationship with another divorcee, a similarly aged woman called Judith, and how this relationship plays out, together with what's happening with his children and grandchildren.  
Possibly I've just read far too much chick-lit, but I definitely found the view of relationships in this book very grim - not necessarily wrong, but not cheerful.
sarahkbee: Doctor Who books (book)
Fascinating book.  I bought it after watching the film - if I love a book and then see the film I almost always dislike or am disappointed by the film, but if I love a film and then read the book I often enjoy the book more than I perhaps might have done otherwise.  Granted, that's a hard one to test, since I can't be sure how much I'd have liked the book otherwise, but I do know the first time I managed to finish Watchmen was after I'd seen the film; before that I'd always ground to a halt about a third of the way through.
Certainly with 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' I found that keeping all the different characters straight in my head was helped hugely by the fact that having seen the film I had a face to match to each name, even though some of the descriptions of the characters' appearances in the book weren't matched by their appearances in the film.
It's a gripping novel and, like the film, I found it very sad - all the betrayals, both professional and personal, and just a sense of loss all through it.  But it's also fascinating for the history aspect of it; I was about four when it was written so it's obviously not a time I really remember, and the world has changed so much since then.  The early 1970's are now closer to the second world war than they are to the present day and reading this really brings that home - how much technology has changed the world in the last 10-15 years, and all the political changes: the fall of the Iron Curtain, Czechoslovakia returning to being two different countries - it's fairly mind-boggling.
Anyway, excellent book, and I went and bought the other two in the set on Thursday, so I shall look forward to reading them.
sarahkbee: Tree covered in snow (Default)

SuperFreakonomics

This is an absolutely fascinating book.  I bought it yesterday, but didn't intend to read it right away as I'd just started the second book of the John Marsden "Ellie" trilogy.  But I thought I'd just look at the first page and see if it was as interesting as the original "Freakonomics" book.  That was at about 9:30 last night.  Read steadily 'til midnight, and then finished it when I got home from work tonight.  Takes all sorts of preconceptions and blows them away - well, some of them it blows away, others it shows are depressingly true.

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sarahkbee

August 2012

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