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Marie H

Your Book Activity - July 2020

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July already!

 

So, I’m reading Don’t Tell Alfred in the final book of The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford 

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 I have been reading my way through Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices Trilogy. followed by her Mortal Instruments series (6 books), and now her Dark Artifices Trilogy. Very easy reading, fast paced, urban / supernatural / young adult. it has been just what I have needed these past weeks. Bubblegum reading - low nutritional value, but sometimes just the thing you fancy. :) 

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I've been picking off a couple of Iain M. Banks Culture novels that I've not read before. 

 

I finished Inversions at the end of last month and am now onto Surface Detail.

 

Picked up a book of Japanese short stories and the second Tegan Frost novel last weekend.

 

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4 hours ago, Chrissy said:

 I have been reading my way through Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices Trilogy. followed by her Mortal Instruments series (6 books), and now her Dark Artifices Trilogy. Very easy reading, fast paced, urban / supernatural / young adult. it has been just what I have needed these past weeks. Bubblegum reading - low nutritional value, but sometimes just the thing you fancy. :) 

Always been a bit tempted by the Infernal Devices Trilogy because of the Victorian setting. Also love the term 'bubblegum reading'!

 

 

I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (while I was waiting for the hosts to email me about our disaster restore!) and it was so good. Now I can't decide what I want to read!

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Flagging with Don't Tell Alfred :dry:. so I'm started with Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

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I'm halfway  through the Mortal Instruments series and enjoying them, I have the Dark Artifices and Infernal Devices too, and she's just started a new trilogy as well, I can't remember what it's called though.

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3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I'm halfway  through the Mortal Instruments series and enjoying them, I have the Dark Artifices and Infernal Devices too, and she's just started a new trilogy as well, I can't remember what it's called though.

 

A neat series I think. Imaginative and well paced. I do feel old sometimes though - there's a mental "For goodness sake tell an adult!" every once in a while that bursts forth. But I do appreciate that, in most YA books such as these, the parents are generally purposely removed from the main 'stage'. :)

 

On 11/07/2020 at 10:11 PM, Hayley said:

I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (while I was waiting for the hosts to email me about our disaster restore!) and it was so good. Now I can't decide what I want to read!

 

I have this on my TBR pile (pile can = kindle or a physical tree book pile). Glad to see you enjoyed it. :)

Edited by Chrissy

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On 12/07/2020 at 9:02 AM, Marie H said:

Flagging with Don't Tell Alfred :dry:. so I'm started with Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

 

I've not read any Joe Abercrombie, but the name has always caught my attention. I look forward to reading what you think of him. :)

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I'm about halfway through Storming the Eagle's Nest by Jim Ring.

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46 minutes ago, Chrissy said:

 

I've not read any Joe Abercrombie, but the name has always caught my attention. I look forward to reading what you think of him. :)

Yeah, this is my first of his books, as I thought they weren’t my type of genre - swashbuckling and gory things. The protagonist is a Viking prince with a disabled hand, so swashbuckling isn’t his specialty! But Abercrombie’s writing is really good so far. :)

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21 hours ago, Marie H said:

Yeah, this is my first of his books, as I thought they weren’t my type of genre - swashbuckling and gory things. The protagonist is a Viking prince with a disabled hand, so swashbuckling isn’t his specialty! But Abercrombie’s writing is really good so far. :)

I have Half a King on my shelf, my sister gave it to me. Glad it seems good so far!

 

22 hours ago, Chrissy said:

I have this on my TBR pile (pile can = kindle or a physical tree book pile). Glad to see you enjoyed it. :)

I can’t wait to see what you think! I loved it so much I’m actually sad I don’t have any more to read! 
 

I decided to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and that’s brilliant so far too.

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Finished manga  BEASTARS #1. A 6 out of 6 rate! And looking forward to #2 next.

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Catching up on the first part of July, I've completed 4 books:

 

The Library of Ice by Nancy Campbell ****

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood ***

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell ******

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd *****

 

As the star ratings show, absolutely adored Hamnet - the best book I've read so far this year.  The Living Mountain was excellent too - wonderfully lyrical writing about the Cairngorms.  The Library of Ice was as well written, but was just a wee bit random at places, lacking the tighter focus and structure of Living Mountain.  The only, mild, disappointment was The Penelopiad.  OK, but lacking depth - it felt like it was written to order.

Edited by willoyd

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On 11/07/2020 at 10:11 PM, Hayley said:

I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (while I was waiting for the hosts to email me about our disaster restore!) and it was so good. Now I can't decide what I want to read!

 

I have a copy of that to read.

 

On 12/07/2020 at 9:02 AM, Marie H said:

I'm started with Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

 

And that.

 

9 hours ago, Hayley said:

I decided to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and that’s brilliant so far too.

 

Have read that one, though...

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21 hours ago, willoyd said:

Catching up on the first part of July, I've completed 4 books:

 

The Library of Ice by Nancy Campbell ****

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood ***

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell ******

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd *****

 

I am very tempted by Hamnet, I've only seen good things about it (well, aside from the fact that it seems to make a lot of people cry). I was interested in The Penelopiad too but I've seen quite a few reviews that suggested it fell a bit flat and wasn't the same quality as Atwood's other books. 

 

16 hours ago, Raven said:

Have read that one, though...

 

I finished it yesterday. It's definitely the kind of book that stays with you! 

 

Now I'm back to not knowing what I feel like reading...

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4 hours ago, Hayley said:

I finished it yesterday. It's definitely the kind of book that stays with you! 

 

I read it quite a few years ago now, and don't remember it all that well, except for the idea of handing on stories by an oral narrative.

 

Quote

Now I'm back to not knowing what I feel like reading...

 

I know that feeling!

 

What kind of story are you in the mood for? (if any).

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17 minutes ago, Raven said:

 

I read it quite a few years ago now, and don't remember it all that well, except for the idea of handing on stories by an oral narrative.

 

 

I know that feeling!

 

What kind of story are you in the mood for? (if any).

Yeah I liked that part!

Spoiler

It’s quite a comforting idea that even if they burned all the books in the world the things inside them can’t be destroyed, as long as people remember. (Just thought at the last second that I should put that in a spoiler box since it is kind of the point of the ending!)


I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for! Something fairly quick to read again I think, but not short stories. I’m thinking maybe Bone China by Laura Purcell or The House Without Windows by Barbara Newhall Follett. Possibly The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans. Or A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie. I should probably stop hoarding books and then it would be easier to choose...  

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On 15/07/2020 at 3:08 PM, Hayley said:

Now I'm back to not knowing what I feel like reading...

 

On 15/07/2020 at 8:03 PM, Raven said:

I know that feeling!

 

Me too!  Actually, I've felt that for a while, but have got over that by allowing my reading to be largely driven by the 'need' to read particular books for book groups (eg Hamnet) or a couple of challenges I'm doing (eg latest book).  Seems to have been keeping me going, not least because the book group selections have generally been OK.  I also have a stack of library books I took out at the start of lockdown, so am steadily ploughing through them without a lot of thought as to 'which one next?'.

 

On 15/07/2020 at 3:08 PM, Hayley said:

 

I am very tempted by Hamnet, I've only seen good things about it (well, aside from the fact that it seems to make a lot of people cry).

 

I can totally understand those reactions.  I'm not normally an emotional reader (far from it), but I found Hamnet very moving - beautifully written on that front. I wouldn't let that put you off though -  I also found it very life affirming.

 

Have just finished Jill Paton Walsh's Thrones, Dominations, the book she finished off based on Dorothy Sayers' unfinished Peter Wimsey manuscript.  Really engaging read - more to do with the characterisation and relationship between Wimsey and his new wife than the mystery, which was more a howdunnit than whodunnit - no less enjoyable for that.  Walsh definitely in the Sayers mould - the Wimsey books are a distinct cut above the crime novel norm  5/6.

Edited by willoyd

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P D James.

An unsuitable job for a Woman.

Really good this1972 classic.

Now on to Of age and Innocence by 

George Lamming.

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On 11/07/2020 at 8:19 PM, Raven said:

I've been picking off a couple of Iain M. Banks Culture novels that I've not read before. 

 

I finished Inversions at the end of last month and am now onto Surface Detail.

 

Picked up a book of Japanese short stories and the second Tegan Frost novel last weekend.

 

I read a Japanese short story collection recently.

All in all it was really good 

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I've started 2 new books in the last few days, The Second Sleep by Robert Harris, and Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark. I'm really enjoying The Second Sleep so far, it looks like another great book from Harris.

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I decided to pick up Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski, really got into it and finished it in two days. Thinking of going for a classic next. Possibly Agnes Grey

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Joe Abercrombie’s Half of a King #1- 44% read, and it’s very good!

 

Starting BEASTAR #2 manga.

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Just 'finished' Gold by Chris Cleave.

I say 'finished', because I've not actually completed the book, simply finished with it - after about 25 pages.  It's a book group choice (not mine), and I struggle to recall when I last tried reading anything quite so badly writtenl.  I knew I was in trouble by the top of page 2: She tried to smile back. The smile came out like a newborn foal - its legs buckled immediately.  OMG, did an editor really allow that? As a quick exercise, I stopped reading a couple of dozen pages or so later, and did some random openings and, yes, I was pretty much guaranteed more of the same, or worse.  So I stopped, or at least I went into skim read mode, which confirmed my first impressions.  The story is a cliche too.  A generous 1/6.

 

I've gone back to the book I was previously enjoying, Greenery by Tim Dee.  It's lost it's way a little bit, but the writing is infinitely better. 

 

Edited by willoyd

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I have finished with Cassandra Clare's universe for now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my months of very easy reading. It ended up being twelve books, plus three collections of short stories. It very much fulfilled my reading needs of recent months. Now all I have to do is decide what to read next. 

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