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Readwine

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Everything posted by Readwine

  1. P. D. James

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto
  2. Shutter Island By Dennis Lehane

    MG, I have not seen the film so I do not know how closely the movie follows the book. In my opinion, as you already know the twist, I would not waste time reading the book. There is so much more out there
  3. Solar by Ian McEwan

    Blurb from Booklist: Customarily, McEwan
  4. Sound a little like David Drake's Fortress of Glass where there is a creature named The Bird that helps out the hero. Maybe that series????
  5. Orange Prize for Fiction 2010

    Read Lacuna, Wolf Hall and The Help. Pity Help did not get short listed. It was fabulous. Little Stranger is on my wish list. Thanks for the list. I shall research the others as I have not heard of them
  6. I am not a real thriller (tecno or otherwise) but off hand you may want to check out (I have not read them, just heard about them): Tom Clancy (Hunt for Red October) Joe Buff (re submarine technology) Dale Brown Dan Brown's Digital Fortress Stephen Pavlou (nanotech) Daniel Suarez Victor Grippi
  7. Bummer!

    LOL. Love it
  8. My first thought is Into Thin Air by John Krakauer - Unputdowable Princess by Jean Sasson. Bio of a member of Saudi royal family. Unbelievable - very very interesting
  9. Poppy's Paperbacks 2010

    From the ones you borrowed, I've read three - my favourite being Poisonwood. Excellent book. Also enjoyed BR but absolutely disliked CA. I will be interesting to see how you like them Good reading, Poppyshake
  10. C.J.Sansom

    I don't know about the rest of the series, but in Dissolution it all takes place in a monastery on the south coast of England and it is your typical Christie recipe which I love (isolated place, suspects are all there, nobody comes in and out, all gather around for the solution, etc).
  11. Great question and thank you for your tuppence Bookjumper - I had no idea of the difference either.
  12. Readwine's Reads 2010

    The Postmistress by Sarah Blake Blurb from Publisher’s Weekly: Weaving together the stories of three very different women loosely tied to each other, debut novelist Blake takes readers back and forth between small town America and war-torn Europe in 1940. Single, 40-year-old postmistress Iris James and young newlywed Emma Trask are both new arrivals to Franklin, Mass., on Cape Cod. While Iris and Emma go about their daily lives, they follow American reporter Frankie Bard on the radio as she delivers powerful and personal accounts from the London Blitz and elsewhere in Europe. While Trask waits for the return of her husband—a volunteer doctor stationed in England—James comes across a letter with valuable information that she chooses to hide. Blake captures two different worlds—a na
  13. Readwine's Reads 2010

    The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson Blurb from School Library Journal: An ordinary crime novel is made extraordinary through Eriksson's exquisite character descriptions and circuitous plot. Former small-time crook Little John Jonsson is found brutally murdered, with clear evidence of torture. The Uppsala police force investigates and eventually identifies the killer. The author skillfully constructs the personality of each character, revealing, for example, the weaknesses inherent in policeman Ola Haver and Ann Liddell versus the hidden strengths of the victim's brother, Lennart Jonsson, and son, Justus. Haver leads the investigation while managing a strained relationship with his wife and an attraction to his former boss, Liddell. Lennart Jonsson's guilt and grief over his brother's death eventually destroys him, but not before he exacts his revenge (albeit unrecognized) and becomes a hero. Justus had a secret pact with his father that may have saved Little John's life had he shared it with his mother or the police. The likely suspect is a demented, pathetic person who knew his victim as one of his tormentors in school a period that haunts him in his adult life. The entangled relationships among the police, the victim, and the victim's family are compelling. I do not agree that this novel is in anyway “extraordinary” or “compelling” as the blurb states. It is simply “okay.” Perhaps this was due to the fact that I was not aware that this is Eriksson’s second novel in the Ann Liddell series, but the first to be translated into English. I was left with the sense that Eriksson’s characters were incomplete and slightly watery. The novel does present a dark and cold life in Uppsala and Eriksson crafts a good sociopsychological portrait all around. The murder mystery is bland. No more to say really. I give it a 3/10
  14. Readwine's Reads 2010

    Dissolution by C.J. Sansom Blurb from Publisher’s Weekly: Murders on the grounds of a monastery, 16th-century intrigue, an unconventional sleuth-readers might wonder if this is a knock-off Name of the Rose set two centuries later, but Sansom's debut is a compelling historical mystery in its own right, with fewer pyrotechnics and plenty of period detail. It is 1537; the English Reformation is in full swing; and Lord Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's vicar-general, is busy shutting down papist institutions. When one of his commissioners is beheaded at a remote Benedictine monastery, Cromwell dispatches a second emissary, hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake, to investigate the murder. What Shardlake and his companion, eager young Mark Poer, discover is a quietly bubbling cesspool of corruption, lust and avarice. The scope of the investigation quickly expands when a novice is poisoned and Shardlake finds the remains of a girl who served the monks in the monastery pond. Shardlake presses on by testing the alibis of the various corrupt monks, but Poer's objectivity is compromised when he becomes involved with the girl's successor, a bright, attractive woman named Alice Fewterer. As the investigation unfolds, Shardlake survives a murder attempt, and finally returns to London to tie his findings to higher-level intrigue. Sansom paints a vivid picture of the corruption that plagued England during the reign of Henry VIII, and the wry, rueful Shardlake is a memorable protagonist, a compassionate man committed to Cromwell's reforms, but increasingly doubtful of the motives of his fellow reformers. With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer. I have already bought Dark Fire, the second in Sansom’s Shardlake series, as Sansom paints an intelligent but ambivalent protagonist and I am curious as to his next adventure as well as learning a little more about that period in history through the eyes of likeable yet flawed characters. In this first case, Shardlake is working directly for Cromwell and at first appears to support his boss’s anti-papist sentiments. Shardlake soon begins to have doubts as to the severity of Cromwell’s views as he and his assistant, Poer, discuss the consequences of the monasteries persecutions; Poer acting as the sound of reason. The pairing of these two characters works well in the novel to outline the arguments for and against the dissolution of the monasteries as well as to underline the choices an individual makes when he believes in himself and his God versus believing in a religion dictated by those in power, be it the Pope or Henry VIII. As for the murder mystery itself, it is well wrought until the end which was a little disappointing as certain clues comes out of left field. It is okay though. As it is the first in the series, we shall see how the second evolves. Worth a read all around. I give it an 8/10
  15. Blurb from School Library Journal: An ordinary crime novel is made extraordinary through Eriksson's exquisite character descriptions and circuitous plot. Former small-time crook Little John Jonsson is found brutally murdered, with clear evidence of torture. The Uppsala police force investigates and eventually identifies the killer. The author skillfully constructs the personality of each character, revealing, for example, the weaknesses inherent in policeman Ola Haver and Ann Liddell versus the hidden strengths of the victim's brother, Lennart Jonsson, and son, Justus. Haver leads the investigation while managing a strained relationship with his wife and an attraction to his former boss, Liddell. Lennart Jonsson's guilt and grief over his brother's death eventually destroys him, but not before he exacts his revenge (albeit unrecognized) and becomes a hero. Justus had a secret pact with his father that may have saved Little John's life had he shared it with his mother or the police. The likely suspect is a demented, pathetic person who knew his victim as one of his tormentors in school a period that haunts him in his adult life. The entangled relationships among the police, the victim, and the victim's family are compelling. I do not agree that this novel is in anyway “extraordinary” or “compelling” as the blurb states. It is simply “okay.” Perhaps this was due to the fact that I was not aware that this is Eriksson’s second novel in the Ann Liddell series, but the first to be translated into English. I was left with the sense that Eriksson’s characters were incomplete and slightly watery. The novel does present a dark and cold life in Uppsala and Eriksson crafts a good sociopsychological portrait all around. The murder mystery itself was bland. No more to say really. I give it a 3/10
  16. C.J.Sansom

    Blurb from Publisher
  17. Turning Japanese

    My most favourite about Japan so far is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  18. Poppy, you are I'm for a fabulous treat. The narrators are superb. The whole novel is one of this decade's best
  19. I am not sure if I am angrier at myself for finishing this book or at Mankell for deceiving the reader into believing that this book is a murder mystery. I cannot even post a summary of the plot as there really is not one save a concoction of poorly connection stories that try, but fail, to present a plausible story. It is simply unbelievable and impossible. Practically the whole book is Mankell's ecomonic and political treatise of China's modern imperialistic strategy. This should be listed under the political science section and not marketed as a crime novel. Even his attempt at creating a main character fails miserably as Birgitta Roslin, a Swedish judge, is a terminally tired woman (drink a cup of coffee already) that is dumb as a stump. So maddening because the characters that are suppose to be key to this so called story are all women and all are painted as lazy idiots. Please do not waste your time or money on this one. So disappointed as Mankell's Wallander series is very good. Okay, end of rant. I give it a 0/10 (I have never given a book this mark before)
  20. The Sixth Lamentation by William Brodrick

    Sue, I remember reading this book several years ago and really enjoying it. In fact, I recommended it to someone. But alas! it has been too long and my plot memory fails me. Perhaps it is time for a reread. Glad you enjoyed it.
  21. I get angry with an author that is lazy in his or her portrayal of the main character - whether that character is likeable or not. Give us some substance, I say, whether it is good or bad. I just finished The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell (and I continue my rant here after posting a bad review) and his main character is simply just tired. Good grief, it was tiresome to read about her. Okay, he did develop another characteristic: she is dumb as a stump. Urrrgggh I love books that teach me something through its plot or its characters; books that make me think and consider; books that have characters whom I shall miss when I am done reading a book.
  22. Readwine's Reads 2010

    The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell I am not sure if I am angrier at myself for finishing this book or at Mankell for deceiving the reader into believing that this book is a murder mystery. I cannot even post a summary of the plot as there really is not one save a concoction of poorly connection stories that try, but fail, to present a plausible story. It is simply unbelievable and impossible. Practically the whole book is Mankell's ecomonic and political treatise of China's modern imperialistic strategy. This should be listed under the political science section and not marketed as a crime novel. Even his attempt at creating a main character fails miserably as Birgitta Roslin, a Swedish judge, is a terminally tired woman (drink a cup of coffee already) that is dumb as a stump. So maddening because the characters that are suppose to be key to this so called story are all women and all are painted as lazy idiots. Please do not waste your time or money on this one. So disappointed as Mankell's Wallander series is very good. Okay, end of rant. I give it a 0/10 (I have never given a book this mark before)
  23. Trying to find a book I read once

    I think it may be For the Love of My Mother by JP Rodgers ?
  24. Poppy's Paperbacks 2010

    Great review of Arthur and George. I read it a couple of years ago and I remember really enjoying. Of course, I've forgotten much of the plot. It may be time for a reread. Glad you loved it.
  25. Readwine's Reads 2010

    The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova Blurb from Barnes & Noble: Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism. Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope. First, I must thank Peacefield for recommending this book. Thank you, I loved it. It is a beautifully written “work of art,” and by this I mean that the book reads as if Kostova was describing to you, in great detail, an impressionist painting which tells a story, but you cannot see the painting save in your mind’s eye. She details its color and shading, texture and smell, composition and form, which all comes together to present you a story of sadness, defeat, brilliance, mundaneness, independence, duty, growth and love. I felt as if I wanted to stare at the story as if I were visiting a quiet museum and viewing this picture – taking my time. This book cannot be read quickly; it needs to be savoured and really imagined. Though there is a mystery to the story, it is revealed slowly and gently. At the same time, however, I did not find it slow or boring. Kostova’s descriptions keep you wanting to find out more and more. Kostova really presents her characters well and as they paint their story, you like them, but as in a museum, you abandon one picture for another, and in the story one character becomes the focus over another, except for Marlowe who is at the center of the picture. As the story unfolds, you also begin to see the dark shadings of the protagonists in the painting which you did not realize was there before. The Swan Thieves is really like staring into a painting - the more you do, the more you see. If you do not like a lot of detail description in a story, you may find this book a little long. I loved it; I give it a 10/10
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