Another roundup

Not to be avoided, obviously.

The Great Western Beach by Emma Smith – charming.

The Rune Blade Trilogy by Ann Marston, consisting of The Kingmaker’s Sword, The Western King and Broken Blade. Engaging, well worth the time. My one gripe, if you can call it that, was that I’d have preferred to stay with the same protagonist throughout the trilogy. But I suppose that’s more of a «the books were too short» kind of complaint, which isn’t neccessarily a bad thing. Picked up the whole set as bookcrossing copies and have been meaning to release them, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Must see about picking up further books from Marston.

One of our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde. A delight as usual, even more twisted than its predecessors, though I’d hardly have though that possible.

At Home by Bill Bryson. If anyone can tip me off about other authors who are as good at collecting, organising and relating anecdotes as Bill Bryson, please, please do.

That Old Cape Magic and The Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. Both quite magical in a very everyday, humdrum sort of way, if that makes any sense. Confirms Russo, again, as one of my all-time favourite authors.

And that’s mostly what I read during the holidays. Now, what did I read between March and July I wonder? Think, think, think.


Update number 1: Well, of course, I reread the whole series that will not be named. That took a couple of days.

Update number 2: The School at the Chalet by Elinor Brent-Dyer. I’ve never read any of the Chalet School books before, and found this copy by chance so thought I’d try it. It’s niceish. I’ll probably buy more from the series if I come across them second-hand, but I doubt I can be bothered to search very hard.

Update numer 3: Karin Lindell, better known as Ketchupmamman, of course. I even registered it on Bookcrossing before passing it on. Her blog is hilarious at times and thought-provoking at times, which is a good mix. The book follows along the same lines, and is highly reccommended as a present for any new parents.

The Whore’s Child


What? Two short-story collections in a row? And I actually enjoyed them? Shocking. Well, I don’t suppose there’s any reason to be surprised that The Whore’s Child was enjoyable. Russo normally is, after all. Though enjoyable might be the wrong word, certainly these stories are enjoyable on a very disturbing level.

Another disturbing thing is that the nun on the front cover of my edition (the same one as the picture above) looks like she’s a character out of The League of Gentlemen – one played by Reece Shearsmith. Really disturbing in ways you can’t imagine unless you’ve seen the show and read the book.



More rereading, this time Richard Russo gets the benefit (or, perhaps I ought to say that I get the benefit of Richard Russo? Anyway:) Mohawk is a tale of small-town USA which grabs you and stays with you. Russo makes the people of Mohawk come alive in a way that makes their lives and actions instantly recognisable on a human level. Reading Russo is always very pleasant and quite unpleasant at the same time. The story ambles along, making for a pleasant read, but once you stop to think you have absorbed something about humankind and society which is not entirely pleasant to consider – there is something about being trapped and of destiny being predetermined, but there is also a sense of goodwill towards people in general, even the most pathetic are portrayed in a not entirely unsympatetic manner.