What an exciting book to have as book 52, the end of the first collection of 52 books that I have read or listened to. Having not read any Jo Nesbo before I had some concerns as to what he would be like. I know the hype had given good headlines but I have started books before that have had similar claims and they have not matched up with what has been said.
In this case it was the opposite, this is a real page turner. Maybe this is because of the unfamiliar Norwegian names, making it a requirement to concentrate just that little more on the text, what ever it is an utterly complex captivating story that spans a time frame from the 1940's to the current day.
I thought I had worked out who the killer was, before the end, but the script had a totally unexpected twist that was very clever. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series and I hope it is as good as this.
This was book book 52 – week 38 – fiction 46 (13 on audio) non fiction 6 and the end of the 2011 to 2012 book list. Next book will be starting a new book list
This is book 14 in the Jack Aubrey series, and carries on from where the last book left off which I read last September Jack and Stephen are stranded on an uninhabited island in the Dutch East Indies, having been attacked by pirates.
They manage to get off the island with the help of some bird nests, and eventually manage to find themselves in New South Wales, where Patrick provides a fascinating description of life living among the convicts who have been deported and transported to Australia. He manages to capture the vastness and untamed wilderness of the country, whilst at the same time imagine what life would be like for those who have now set up a life for themselves in Australia. He manages to have characters who range from those who are completely poverty stricken to those who seem to own most of the area.
Professional critics have said that this book was one of his finest – it certainly was a pleasure to read as book 51 – week 38 – fiction 45 (13 on audio) non fiction 6
This is a lovely Hercule Poirot mystery. He is invited to a dinner party held by Mr. Shaitana, a strange old man who informs him that four of his fellow guests are murderers who have pulled off their crime without getting caught. After dinner the criminals assemble to play bridge in a separate room with their host, and Shaitana is promptly killed. It's up to Poirot to ensure that the murderer doesn't get off a second time, which of course he does having gone round the hosues to get there.
I listened to this as an audio book and it zoomed along as book 50 – week 38 – fiction 44 (13 on audio) non fiction 6
There are novels which can only be described by a single word: epic. John le Carré's A Perfect Spy, published originally in 1986, is one of those novels to be certain.
The plot covers the latter half of the twentieth century in the form of the life of Magnus Pym, the perfect spy of the novel's title. It goes back to Magnus' life as a child and his relationship with his father. It then moves on from there tripping to and fro between the present and the past.
The detail given as in fine le Carré tradition, is a cross between the spy thriller and a human drama and is all the better for it. I listened to this as an audio book, on longer journeys so it came a quite large long chunks, up to five or six hours at a go. This allowed me to get totally immersed in the story. At the end of it I felt as if Magnus was really alive. It was sad to get to the end.
An enjoyable story the fourth Carré audio book I have listened to helping motorway travel to pass by quickly as book 49 - week 37 – fiction 43 (12 on audio) non fiction 6
This was an interesting biography a book of two parts, firstly it took the story of 9th Century BC Elijah and brought it up to the present filling in a lot of the gaps that the text in Kings does not have. He highlight how Elijah was a spearhead of God's new and unexpected initiative to the kingdom of Israel. In his role Elijah was one of the greatest prophets.
Secondly Lance goes on to discuss how the story is relevant to us today, all the more poignant as the book was written in 1989. A good thought provoking book as book 48 - week 37 – fiction 42 (11 on audio) non fiction 6
This is book five in the Conqueror series, about the Dynasty of Genghis Khan, during the latter half of the thirteenth century. It continues the saga of the great family, and how they ruled a very significant part of the world during this time.
The text is beautifully written painting pictures of what life was like as a Mongol warrior during this time as they rode thousands of miles from one side of their known world to another.
The plot line is all about the brothers in competition with each other, a scheming mother, murder and double crossing. - Civil war. My only grip was that there was a family tree at the start of the book which was very helpful in putting the characters in context, but it also allowed one to work out the outcome of the various struggles between brothers, as it gave the dates of their deaths and marked who was the Khan at that time.
Still that did not really spoil a very well written story. The numbers of warriors and horses involved were staggering, especially as it is a story told around historical fact. To recall just one he sites the siege and fall of Baghdad by Hulegu. Here over 800,000 of the population were killed. The ruler of Baghdad the Caliph had a harem of 700 women. Compared to our lives now this is all very hard to comprehend, and the way the story is told brings it all to life.
It is a shame that this is the last of the series. I look forward to the next one coming out but as I have not read Conn's earlier series on life with the Romans I will have to look that out and put it on my future reading list.
A typical Poirot mystery - Light must be shed, indeed, on the fateful dinner party staged by the famous actor Sir Charles Cartwright for thirteen guests. It will be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, whose martini glass, sent for chemical analysis after he chokes on its contents and dies, reveals no trace of poison. Just as there is no apparent motive for his murder. The first scene in a succession of carefully staged killings, but who is the director? Hercule Poirot is then called in to help solve the mystery of this and the subsequent murders.
The plot includes a test murder – make a slight difference when trying to guess who done it, but it is all part of the fun. I listened to this as an audio book, and it made a great way of passing several hours on the motorway. This is book 46 – week 35 – fiction 41 (11 on audio) non fiction 5
This was a very readable book, the only criticism being that it is a fairly thin book and I zoomed through it in a couple of days. Surprise surprise I am now behind again with recording my book reviews.
The main theme of the book was comparing the times of Elijah 900BC with those of Britain today. Sadly there is quite a close comparison, and shows the state of our broken society.
Elijah was a great example and inspiration, of his time and also for ours. He stood up to the King (Ahab) and the false religious establishment at the time proclaiming the truth, and challenging their false claims.
The great thing about Elijah was that though he was such a great man of God, it is also possible to identify with him, especially as he goes through the whole gambit of human emotions during the several years of his life that we read about in the Bible.
John is able to take these and make them relevant to us today. This is a book to recommend. This is book 45 – week 35 – fiction 40 (10 on audio) non fiction 5
What a lovely book, bits of it were so funny that it had me laughing out loud. I am sure that God has a sense of humour and He has given Adrian the ability to see the funny side of everyday things.
It is also so nice to have good comedy that is essentially not rude or plan nasty, as so often portrayed on the TV. One sketch in the book that was oh so real for anyone who has dealt recently with a solicitor about a house, is the questionnaire from “Umbrage, Hubris and Strop” - Than answers that Adrian gives are ones we would all love to give, but probably feel that he is being just a bit to honest, in pointing out all the faults with the house.
Adrian is very clever at exploring the heart of life, especially Christian life, and then letting humour, bring out all the more profound points.
Over the years I have read and enjoyed, (and given away as presents) several of Adrian's books, and this now gets added to the list. This is book 44 – week 34 – fiction 40 (10 on audio) non fiction 4
This is a Roderick Alleyn Mystery – though he is in disguise until almost the end of the book. The plot is fairly unbelievable, but it was good fun and made a light hearted read. All about spies, bullion, and assorted exiles in the back of beyond in New Zealand. The murderer uses boiling hot mud pools to kill – and no-one seems to be guilty.
Other reviews state that this is one of Ngaio Marsh's best written novels. Having not read many others I could not say, but I did enjoy it.
This is book 43, week 33 read novels 30, poetry 1, study 2, audio 10.
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.