Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

The endlessly interesting question is asked here:

That picture to your left? represents the books that are currently residing on my bedside table. All of them - apart from American Gods - have some kind of bookmark in them. I've started them all, but they're a fairly accurate representation of just how slow my reading is going this year - I don't think I've got past page 50 in any of them yet.

On the other hand, in the past two weeks, I've finished two books: Private by James Patterson; and Blackwork by Monica Ferris, who writes cosy needlework mysteries.

If you're peering at the titles, or if they're hard to read, they are - from top to bottom:
The Two Towers; American Gods; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Horns, Gone With the Wind and The City & The City.

That's pretty much my reading pile for the forseeable future. Not bad; not bad.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guardian of the Dead review

You know those books, that you start reading and kind of make you a little bit flaily from the start and you hope that the rest of the book lives up to the flail and then it does?

Yeah. Guardian of the Dead is definitely one of those books.

I can't put my finger on exactly what it was about Karen Healey's debut novel, but I clicked with it right away.

Main character Ellie is awesome - brave and funny and so very, very human, as she negotiates daily life as a boarding student at Mansfield College in Christchurch - a far cry from her home in Napier, but with her parents overseas, boarding school it is.

So far, so very normal ... until Ellie accidentally touches the charm bracelet worn by mysterious student, Mark.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Guardian of the Dead is the kind of New Zealand novel that I love - it's very, very Kiwi; while at the same time, it definitely has universal appeal. It's steeped in Maori myth and legend, which is fantastic, and it just ... I don't even know how to describe it properly. The whole book just works.

Anyway. It turns out that Mark is one of the last of a very long-lived race, who are trying to become immortal - by distracting Hine-nui-te-po - goddess of the underworld - with enough death that she forgets about them.

Mark - who has a human father - is determined to stop them, and although Ellie gets drawn into events by accident, it turns out she has latent powers of her own.

I seriously cannot adequately describe my love for Guardian of the Dead, and Ellie as a heroine.

The fusion of the modern world, and the Maori myths is amazing; all of the characters are sharply realised and it's incredibly easy to read. A+. Will definitely read again.

8/10 That movie that you've watched 100 times and you never get tired of

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I haven't done this meme in the longest time! Hosted here now:

Hrm. I'm still having a very slow reading year; so I probably don't have a whole lot to report.

What I'm reading now - and I'm nearly finished as a matter of fact - is Private, by James Patterson. I like Patterson for fast reads that don't take up too much brain power, and Private is no exception.

After that ... would you believe I'm still reading The Two Towers? And the LOTR readalong finished in APRIL!!!

I have so many books on my want to read list that I really don't know what's going to be next! Although I should finish The Two Towers, and possibly restart The City & The City. I started the latter some time ago, but it's been long enough that a re-start is in order, rather than a pick u where I left off. And I do want to read it - it has a very intriguing premise.

So ... what are you reading?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weekly Geeks

Gosh, I haven't done a Weekly Geeks for ages! Topic here:

Now; I'm not going to talk about my TBR specifically, because basically all of my bookcases contain TBR books and if I ever counted them ... let's just say the resulting fall out would not be pretty.

A couple of nights ago - completely coincidentally - I took pictures of my books that I keep nearest to my bed. My mosst immediate TBR pile if you will.

So. There you go, Geeks, that is my immediate TBR pile ...


Live long, and prosper, Geeks <3

Friday, June 11, 2010

American Gods readalong

Okay. This is how this will work, and it's going to be very, very loose around the edges - lol.

Starting July 10 - which is a month from today - I'll be hosting a readalong of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

I know there was the One Book One Twitter readalong of it in May, which I missed. :(

I love American Gods, and I've been meaning to re-read it for a while.

The 'plan' such as it is, would be to read it over the course of about four to six weeks - whatever people who decide to play along think is best.

For discussions - I'll throw that open to the floor - one post at the end of the readalong? Or periodic updates?

Sign up/let me know what you think in the comments. :)

Hashtag if you're on twitter: #agodsreadalong

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whose Body

My novel for the Classics Circuit tour - found here - - is Whose Body by Dorothy L Sayers.

Short, slightly vague review follows:

Whose Body by Dorothy L Sayers

It's always interesting reading the first book of a series – seeing the author's thought-processes and the way they start working out their characters.

Whose Body is the first novel in the series by Sayer featuring Lord Peter Whimsy.

Lord Peter is a man of many interests, one of which is crime, in which he dabbles here and there.

He's called on to do a little bit more than dabbling when a body is found in the bathtub of a respectable family.

I was very curious to read Whose Body – I've been a longtime fan of Agatha Christie, and I enjoy finding crime authors from the same era.

Whose Body is a short novel and – for me – didn't really pack a big punch, although it was readable, and I enjoyed the characters.

As I understand it, Sayers' novels improve greatly and because it is a time-period I love reading about, I spent a very pleasant few hours with Whose Body.

For me; it was enjoyable and diverting rather than outstanding, but I am looking forward to reading more of Sayers' novels – I liked her writing style very much. :)

7/10 Someone else cooks dinner – yay!