Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Books I've read recently . . .

First Truth by Dawn Cook (fantasy)
This was OK. In truth it didn't live up to expectation. I first came across the title when I was browsing 'favourites' lists on Amazon, and someone's list included just about all my other favourites, plus four books by Dawn Cook. I reasoned this was a pretty good bet. I enjoyed it in a mild way. The plot was very simple, there are only four characters of note, plus a couple of logic/plot errors that annoyed me. Not sure if I'll continue -- probably will if I happen to see the next one. It meets my night time demand of 'not too intellectual'.

An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer (audio)
I have read just about all Heyer's books, with the exception of some of the historical novels, and this was one on the borderline -- partly history, part historical romance. The romance part is between the grandaughter of favourite hero/heroine pair from Devil's Cub (Mary Taverner and Dominic Alastair, Marquis of Vidal) and the brother of the hero of Regency Buck. I enjoyed parts of it a lot, but it went a bit too much into the detail about the battle of Waterloo (both the lead up and the battle itself). I ended up 'reading' the last half (as opposed to listening), purely so I could skip through the tedious sections, which were largely narrative and, although educational, not terribly interesting. I am glad to have finally read it though.

Various 'Thursday Next' novels by Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots)
These are really rather strange and defy description. They are set in an alternate 1985, where Shakespeare is almost a god, reverse engineering allows mammoths and neanderthals to live again, international travel is via a tube through the centre of the earth, the Crimean War has only just ended . . . it goes on . . . oh, and some people can go INSIDE the world of books to interact with the characters there. Thursday Next is the main character and she is a literary detective -- one of those who goes inside books. With these books I find the premise and world really interesting, but the books and characters themselves rather lack heart, and I am far more intellectually engaged than emotionally. As a result I can pick them up and put them down again just as easily. (I find my ambivalence rather fascinating in itself.)

Currently reading:
The Silver Road by Grace Dugan -- exciting because I sort of know the author (and various friends know her really well). She is part of the Aus fantasy/sci-fi crowd, which is how I 'know' her. I saw her first novel the other day and picked it up in a show of support and interest. I thought it sounded OK. So far, it hasn't wowed me, but I am enjoying it in a mild way.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (audio) -- more 'walking to work' fare. Need I say more?

Supposed to be reading:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (for Page Turners) -- I really want to read this, but haven't picked up a copy yet. Funny how not many shops keep such a classic in stock! Will have to try harder this weekend, because I'm running out of time.

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