Sunday 19 August 2012

Not blogging and books

Well, I really haven't done very well at blogging this month. I plead the Olympics, a few days being unwell this past week, and next week I won't be here, I'll be in Cardiff. So it's a quick post today or none until almost the end of the month.

And it isn't even as if I haven't been reading, because I have. Four books this month as a matter of fact. So I thought I'd do a very quick word about each of them to bring me up to date.

The first book of the month was a reread of my favourite Georgette Heyer - Sylvester.

Sylvester, Duke of Salford has decided it's time he married. He's not in love, or of a romantic persuasion so just needs a suitable girl. He goes to check out Phoebe Marlow, the daughter of a late friend of his mother's who lives, not that happily, with her father and step-mother and sisters. Phoebe takes offense at being looked over like a horse and takes flight with a child-hood friend, Tom. Sylvester has already lost interest in the girl and leaves but comes upon the two in an inn after they've crashed their carriage. Thus begin his adventures looking after the two and escorting Phoebe to London, where Phoebe turns out to be not at all biddable and falls into scrape after scrape. I've read this one four or five times now, and it's always fresh and delightful. I have other favourite Heyers, Frederica, Arabella, Venetia, The Black Sheep and so on but Sylvester is the one that keeps asking to be read... and so I do.

Next, Kisscut by Karin Slaughter.

I'm pinching the Amazon synopsis for this as the book went back to the library. When a teenage quarrel in the small town of Heartsdale explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton - paediatrician and medical examiner - finds herself entangled in a horrific tragedy. And what seems at first to be a terrible but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications when the autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse and ritualistic self-mutilation. Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, but the children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime. And unless Sara and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it's going to happen again... Not for the faint-hearted this one. I mean *really* not for the faint-hearted. It involves child-abuse which is something I'm normally not happy reading about but Karin Slaughter's writing tends to carry you through and so it did this time. An excellent read and I'm happy to have book 3 of this Grant County series on my library pile.

Next, The case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola Dunn.

Daisy is in New York meeting her publisher while husband, Alec, is in Washington advising a gov. dept. She's staying in the Chelsea hotel and soon becomes entangled in the various comings and goings of the other guests. Visiting her publisher, Daisy sees one of the hotel guests is there, a newspaper man, Otis Carmody. Suddenly there is a shot and Otis Carmody plummets to his death down a lift-shaft. Daisy's done it again - fallen over a dead body. Eventually, Alec joins her and the two set about trying to find out which of the hotel guests was the murderer. Another delightful Daisy Dalrymple book. I loved the 1920s American setting, the quirky guests in the hotel - especially the two elderly sisters - and the flight across America that Alec and Daisy end up taking in order to get their man. Huge fun.

Lastly, Snuff by Terry Pratchett.

Sybil has taken her husband, Sam Vimes, Commander of the Anch-Morpok city watch, away for a holiday. This is problematic partly because Sam is addicted to his job, but also the place he's being taken to, Sybil's ancestral home, is in the *country*. Sam is a city boy through and through and wants no truck with the countryside. Young Sam, their son, is in his elememt though as his new obsession is animal poo, of which there is an abundance out in the country. Once there, it doesn't take Sam long to discover that something isn't right. But what? His policeman's nose can sniff a mystery a mile off but first he has to find out what the secret is. It doesn't take him long. Unfortunately it also doesn't take him long to get himself arrested for murder... I think this is book 8 of Terry Pratchett's Sam Vimes books, which is also part of his larger, Discworld series. I've read and loved them all and this one's no exception. In fact, I thought this was the best, although The Fifth Elephant is very close behind. The mix of comic fantasy and mystery is a brilliant one, and Terry does humour better than anyone writing today, in my opinion. It's subtley done and I chuckled my way through the whole thing. Aside from that there is a serious theme to the story... that of how we treat a race of beings we consider to be vermin despite the fact that they have artistic and musical talent and language. Extremely thought-provoking. I wish some of the biggoted idiots we have in the world today could be force-fed Terry's books. Simply wonderful, this book, likely to be in my top ten for 2012.

So that's it from me for a while. RIP might be my next post at the end of the month, or there may be Welsh photos, we'll see.


GeraniumCat said...

I've only read Sylvester of these - the DD and Snuff are on the TBR pile, but I'm kind of saving Snuff up because I love Sam Vimes! I think I'll probably pass on the Karin Slaughter.

Shall look forward to your RIP post :-)

DesLily said...

re: snuff: one of 8? ack! I think I will hold off on those! lol.. you've done really well reading this month so far.
I am reading the Hobbit or I should say rereading..but it's been so long there is much I have forgotten!

Cath said...

GeraniumCat: Snuff is well worth saving up, I just really hope it's not the last Vimes book. In the meantime I plan to start at the beginning and read them all again.

The unsettling thing about the Karin Slaughter was that I was reading it at the same time the police were looking for Tia Sharp. It felt most disturbing.

I'm very keen to start on RIP this year and have a few good books lined up, includng the latest Tiffany Aching.

Pat: Yes, one of 8... but 8 brilliant books. I wish I could somehow magic mine over to you.

Yes, I reread The Hobbit a couple of years ago and was shocked at how much I didn't remember.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cath, good to hear about your reading. Glad you've enjoyed the further adventures of Daisy and can take Karin Slaughter's stories. I think I told you that I scared my mystery group by having them read a couple of them. I still love them.

I've not ever read Terry Pratchett, but have heard good things. If I were to start, where would I begin? Aren't there several series?

Cath said...

Kay: Yes, it seems I can take Karin Slaughter's books, which pleases me as she's a darn good author. Yes, you said about your mystery group... still giggling but I do understand why they had a problem. ;-)

Pratchett has one massive series called Discworld and within that umbrella there are stand-alones and series and recurring characters, some for young adults, some a bit more adult. Sam Vimes is a crime series within the Discworld books, I think to start with maybe aimed at YAs, but which are more adult now. I don't think it really matters that you haven't read anything else in Discworld, you could always look on the net for a description of the universe but it's not strictly necessary. They're set in a big fantasy city called Ankh-Morpok... I don't know if Pratchett based it on London. Possibly. But the book to start with for this series is Guards! Guards! Best to start at the beginning and work your way through as there is real character progression, and the Sam Vimes we see in Snuff is very different to the one in Guards! Guards!

In order the books are, Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!, Snuff. I hope you give them a go as I think you would really appreciate the clever humour.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

I didnt actually get to watch much of the Olympics, usually just for a couple of hours in the evening, which is a shame, as I do enjoy watching all sports. I really only got to enjoy the swimming, the days highlights and of course, 'Super Saturday', with its three gold medals!

Sorry to hear that you have been unwell, nothing too serious I hope and all being well a few days break will see you back on form again, so have a great time in Cardiff.

I like the sound of the first three of your books, however I am not that keen on the fantasy genre, as you know, so I would probably give the Terry Pratchett a miss.

I have just finished read a historical romance, they are always good as a little light reading and you have reawakened my interest in Georgette Heyer, as I haven't read any of her books for years.

Speak to you after the Bank Holiday,


Nan said...

Very eclectic reading month!

DesLily said...

oh my Cath LOL.. you and I even in the same COUNTRY would be dangerous! LOL LOL

Kailana said...

August has been busy for me, too. I look forward to your RIP post!

Cath said...

Yvonne: My health problems were to do with something called GORD or 'relux'... it's a stomach thing. Now on medication and doing much better. Thanks for your concern.

We had an excellent time in Cardiff, thanks. Hope to put some photos up here soon.

Georgette Heyer is always worth a reread in my experience. I even bought one I don't own in Waterstones in Cardiff, Sprig Muslin, so will be reading that soon.

Enjoy the bank holiday!

Nan: Yes... I suppose it was. Although I seem to be on a rereading kick at the moment.

Pat: You're not kidding! LOL.

Kelly: Yeah, a lot going on this month and not finished yet either. Roll on RIP. I'm ready!

Susan said...

I want to read Snuff, I haven't found it in paperback here yet. I like the variety you are reading, and your reviews are so fun that I want to run out and find a copy of Sylvester to read! lol

Still looking for book 1 of the Daisy Dalyrimple series, you'd think I'd be able to find it in a used shop somewhere! with so many books out in the series now.

Cath said...

Susan: I really do think Snuff is one of the best Vimes books yet. I'll be rereading The Fifth Elephant for RIP, which has been my favourite for a while, so it'll be interesting to compare. As it has vampires and werewolves it's likely to remain my fav but not by much.

It's so sad you can't find book 1 of Daisy D, I know you would love her exploits. lol