Sunday, 30 January 2011

January wrap-up

I gave up doing monthly wrap-up posts some time ago but I'm going to return to them I think. The reason being that I'm not reviewing every book I read these days and a monthly wrap-up post is a way of just mentioning those I haven't reviewed. Otherwise they tend to sink without trace, and that's a shame.

I actually read six books this month; my normal tally for January is two or three. I'm not sure why January is often such a dismal reading month for me but noticing a bit of a reading slump this month it probably explains why - perhaps I always experience a bit of a reading lull at the beginning of the year? Anyway, my six books are as follows:

Eating for England - Nigel Slater
City of Pearl - Karen Traviss
Winter at Thrush Green - Miss Read
News from Thrush Green - Miss Read
Storm in the Village - Miss Read
The Winter Garden Mystery - Carola Dunn

The three Miss Read books represent my reading slump, imo. I couldn't get into anything else but those are so readable and relaxing that I can always read them. I've just started another as my bedtime reading as a matter of fact, Thrush Green, which is the first book in the Thrush Green series. Feels odd reading that after book two and three as the series is progressive, so I'm going back to how the characters got to where they are in two and three. (Not sure even I understand what I mean by that...)

Favourite book of the month? Probably City of Pearl by Karen Traviss. But then I do love a traditional sci fi novel.

My final read of the month was The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn.

This is book two in the author's Daisy Dalrymple crime series, set in the early 1920s. Another delightful installment which sees Daisy off on another of her jaunts to a stately home to write an article for her magazine. Whilst exploring the house's Winter garden she is instrumental in the discovery of a body, buried under an azelea. It seems it's the body of a parlourmaid, Grace, who, it was thought, had run off with a salesman for a corset company. Obviously she didn't and Daisy's friend from the first book, Chief Inspector Fletcher of Scotland Yard, is brought in to investigate with Daisy variously helping and getting under his feet. This was again an utterly delightful read... great fun, pacey, and Daisy is her usual irrepressible self. So pleased I have another six to read and already thinking about where to get the rest.

To finish up this post, a quick 'recent acquisitions' section. This is what I bought in Cardiff last week.

The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch are the first two books in his Gentleman Bastard series. I gather they're pretty good so when I spotted them cheap in Asda, of all places, I nabbed them. (Was actually rather impressed with their selection!)

Wagner the Werewolf by George W.M. Reynolds is classic horror but not a book I know a lot about so I nabbed it and will probably save it for Carl's RIP challenge later in the year. That one was purchased in Waterstones in Cardiff. I checked out a few charity shops and a bookstall in the market as well but didn't find anything of interest.

As I mentioned before I'm currently reading Thrush Green for my 'book at bedtime' and am also about to start The Forbidden Tower by Marion Zimmer Bradley for Carl's Sc Fi experience.


fiction-books said...

Hi Cath,

I let a whole boxed new set of six'Daisy Dalrymple' mysteries go, without bothering to read them first. Now I have heard such good things about them, that I am rather 'kicking myself'.

Like the 'Miss Read' and 'Agatha Christie' books, they are just the thing to keep to hand, for those times you need something light to read, or when you get the proverbial 'mental reading block'.

I checked out the 'Scott Lynch' books and must say they sound great, what made you pick those up? The covers on their own are quite compelling and dramatic, aren't they?

verity said...

Miss read is lovely! I have the opposite effect for January - I start as I mean to go on and thne it drops off somewhat...

swlove said...

I can't thank you enough for turning me on to the Thrush Green series. I am enjoying it immensely and now feel like the residents of Thrush Green are dear friends I want to visit over and over.

swlove said...

Looking forward to your reviews of the Darkover books. As I mentioned, Forbidden Tower is one of my all time favorite books. MZB's books are a lesson in world-building for the casual writer and totally captivating for the reader.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Cath, I am in the worst reading slump ever. Truly. I feel like my head has been cut off. LOL

Maybe something will suit me this week. It's not that I need to feel productive or am under any deadlines, I just feel better when I read.

Glad you enjoyed #2 Daisy. I love that series. Of course, my copies are packed away. LOL

DesLily said...

Geez, with one day to spare I finished my 3rd book LOL.. pathetic but ask me if I care lol..

but you did sterling! I'm proud of you sis!!!

Cath said...

Yvonne: *Groan* about the DD books because you don't see those around all that often. I think my library has the later ones but not the first few.

You're right, there are certain books that are perfect for reading slumps. I would include Alexander McCall Smith's books in those too.

I think the covers made me pick the Scott Lynch books up first of all. Then I realised what they were and in the basket they went... I'm hopeless. But Hubby bought two by Lee Childs as well so I didn't feel bad for too long. ;-)

Verity: I'm not sure which is worse, starting well and losing momentum or starting badly and spending the whole year catching up! LOL.

Sue: My pleasure re: the Miss Read books. Always nice to spread the fun around.

I've started The Dark Tower and already I'm intrigued so will report back. Hoping to get a good spell of reading in this afternoon because tomorrow there will be no chance. We have young S, not just for the day, but overnight as well. All I'll be up to at bedtime will be Miss Read! zzzzzzzz

Kay: I feel so sorry for you with your reading slump, mine is only mild in comparison. Hope you find something to suit you this week. I sometimes find that a change of genre will reawaken my thirst for books.

I think I could easily overdose on Daisy... she is so readable.

Pat: Truthfully, I'm just glad to be reading at all. For several months last summer all I read was two books so I'll settle for six that include four easy reading books. That's fine and, like you, I'm not in any mood to stress too much about it.

Nan said...

I think I've read three of the Daisy D. books, and so enjoyed them. I was just going to say that Kay loves them when I saw her comment. :<) There are many more than six for you to read!!

I own Thrush Green and Winter at TG, and though I've read the library copies a few times, I look forward to reading mine.

swlove said...

I read three books in January which was fabulous after not being able to read for 9 months. The list is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Thrush Green, Gossip from Thrush Green. I've just started Winter at Thrush Green and have a Star Trek book underway as well. We'll see how February goes.

Kailana said...

My slump months are usually November and December... Depends on what is going out, but that seems to be my norm. So, January I generally read a lot because I am so behind in everything!

Cath said...

Nan: I have a feeling that there are around 16 to 18 Daisy books now. I have the first 8 so am contemplating what to do about the rest. Can I sneak another 10 books into the house...

Sue: I'm so glad you're now able to read again and I'm sure you are too. Horrible not being able to! Good luck with February!

Kelly: Funny how our slump months all vary. January is definitely mine though, sometimes I think it takes me until February to wake up after the Christmas hectic-ness.