Friday, 1 February 2013

Books for January

I tend to average six books a month so it looks like I had quite a good reading month in January. Especially as in years gone by I often found Janaury was a kind of slump month for me, reading-wise. No idea why that was but it doesn't seem to be the case this year as I read seven books last month. I'm not so interested in the number as I am the mix. Of the seven books, four were fiction and three non-fiction and I'm quite happy with that, delighted in fact as one of my reading 'hopes' for this year was to read a lot more non-fiction.

Anyway, books read last month were:

1. Rifling Through My Drawers by Clarissa Dickson Wright - essays of her comings and goings through a typical year. Very enjoyable.

2. High Rising by Angela Thirkell. From my review you can see how much I enjoyed this one and I plan to read more.

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Brilliant.

4. Serving Victoria by Kate Hubbard. Superb.

5. Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. Reminded me why I love classic science fiction as much as I do and made me look into a few more space opera type books, with help from that skilled enabler, Geranium Cat. I now have a whole bunch of them including, Consider Phlebus by Ian. M. Banks, Helliconia Spring by Brian Aldis, The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and Hyperion by Dan Simmons (library book). So I can forsee a good science fiction year this year.

6. & 7. Tempest Rising and Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler. A few brief words about these two.

These books feature Jane True who lives a pretty ordinary life in small town in Maine, working in a bookshop and looking after her father who has a heart condition. Two things make Jane stand out. Her mother mysteriously disappeared when Jane was six, almost as mysteriously as she appeared in the town after a violent storm. And Jane knows herself to be slightly odd anyway, as she has an addiction to the ocean and swimming in it - often dangerous swimming involving a local whirlpool. In fact she feels she may have been partly responsible for the drowning of her first boyfriend. Jane's life changes forever when a body is found on the beach where she swims, and murder is suspected. One night, Jane is chased on the way to her cove by a huge dog and there she is approached by a tiny woman, Nell, a gnome, and told she is a halfling, half human, half selkie. The dog is Anyan a shape shifter. She's told that the dead man, who jane knew from the bookshop was also a halfling and that her life could also be in danger. Someone would come to investigate. That *someone* turns out to be a vampire, Ryu, and Jane finds herself falling for him. Ryu introduces Jane to a hidden world of supernatural beings of all descriptions that exists in secret and that humans have never known about. But someone is out to add Jane to their list of murdered halflings and Ryu has his work cut out keeping Jane safe.

In the second book Jane is back in Rockabill and Ryu in Boston and the two are trying to conduct a long-distance relationship. On Valentine's Day he sends her airline tickets to visit her for the weekend and she goes, anticipating a wonderfully romantic weekend. What she gets is murder and mayhem. A fire-demon halfling, Conleth, is on the loose and taking revenge for a lifetime of captivity it seems. Jane believes there may be a connection between where he was kept and some supernatural beings she ran foul of at the King and Queen's court; one, Jarl, had in fact tried to kill her, unbeknownst to Ryu. So he is hard to convince. Until it's discovered that Conleth has developed an unhealthy obsession with Jane and is probaly coming after her... but with what end in mind?

I do quite enjoy having a kind of 'nonsense' series on the go that is light and fun and completely daft. These books have a lot of humour in them, an element of crime, and quite a lot of the supernatural. I enjoyed hearing about the various supernatural beings, and Jane is a fun heroine. I like her determination to remain independent and in the second book she underlines this quite strongly; things don't quite turn out as you'd imagine, romance-wise. These are not children's book's or even YA... they're definitely for adults as there is a small degree of eroticism, nothing offensive, but something to bear in mind if that's not your bag. These will probably be my light reads of 2013 - along with my Daisy Dalrymple books by Carola Dunn, as I still have six of those left to read. There are six Jane True books altogether, although that sixth book is not out until May I believe.

I'm currently reading a Daisy Dalrymple book - Fall of a Philanderer which I'm loving as it's set in a Devon seaside village. Also dipping into The Book of Frank Herbert which is a science fiction anthology by the author of Dune. This month I'd like to read a book of letters, something about Queen Victoria, some Wilkie Collins, and some more science fiction. We'll see how that pans out, I'll probably end up reading none of those!


DesLily said...

good golly miss molly but you had yourself a winner of a reading month!!! It must have been all that snow so you could just relax and read! That Tempest Rising sounds good!.. we know I am bogged down with books I haven't read yet! (yeah I know that never stops me from buying new ones!..I am trying hard to make 90 percent of my purchases Cheap!..*used or friends of the library)

Geranium Cat said...

Cor, can I put "skilled enabler" on my CV, Cath?! But it's really a euphemism for "bad influence" isn't it?

Going to have to read the Tempest books, they sound just right for me at the moment. The "bad influence" thing works both ways, especially as our library is so hopeless. Though I may be able to persuade my new ally that they are needed - she's even more of a scifi/fantasy addict than me, which is fantastic!

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

That's a nice mix of books, Cath. I think we have a copy of the Arthur C Clarke book somewhere - must look for it. And the Dune books were great favourites years back (D & I both loved them).

I'm interested in Rifling Through My Drawers - have you written a post about it?

fiction-books said...

Hi Cath,

'High Rising' and 'I Know Why Caged Birds Sing' are both on my reading list now.

'Serving Victoria' is a possibility, if I see a copy at a reasonable price.

Nice reviews of these books, swung it for me, so thanks for that!

I really promise to do my best to try out the 'Daisy Dalrymple' books this year, so that I can participate in some kind of informed discussion with you, about them.

Enjoy your reading week,


Cath said...

Pat: Yeah, this time of year when we can't get in the garden I do tend to get a lot of books read. I try to make my books cheaper buys too, silly to pay more for a book than you have to.

Geranium Cat: Yes, you certainly may put that on your CV. I think it will create just the right impression...

You found a library assistant who's into science fiction? Good spot!

Margaret: No, I didn't write about Rifling Through my Drawers. I made a decision that I didn't have to write about every book I read and it's taken the pressure off me a bit. The book is, however, a very good read indeed.

Yvonne: You may be lucky and see Serving Victoria a bit cheaper somewhere. I got my copy from the library and probably would not buy it full price.

LOL... no worries about Daisy... the trouble is that there are so many of them now: about 20 I think.

Vintage Reading said...

I must revisit Maya Angelou. I read all the volumes of her autobiography many years ago but I need to re-read. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is the best.

Cath said...

Nicola: I suspected it might be the best as it seems to be the most well-known. I do hope to read all of them though.