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11 books read in a shade over six months. I need to pick up the pace if I want to finish my target of 24 for the year.

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11 books read in a shade over six months. I need to pick up the pace if I want to finish my target of 24 for the year.

 

I've heard that buying a lot of books can be good for one's mojo. Just an idea...

Edited by Kylie

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I finished reading Doctor Who: Legacy, by Gary Russell, this morning. A long slog - probably the worst book I have read for a number of years.

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I've heard that buying a lot of books can be good for one's mojo. Just an idea...

 

Wow Kylie, your mojo must be flying!!!! :giggle:

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Unfortunately not. :( And I've been buying more books than ever. I guess I'll just have to buy more... ;)

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I have to admit I've been reading more books since I stopped buying (still swapping though), I was spending so much time on the internet researching new buys that I figured I'd prefer to spend that time reading. I've bought a few but I actually feel less stressed since I stopped too. (Putting some of the books I know I won't get to for a while out of sight has helped too - I have tidiness OCD so too many books piled around the house really wasn't helping!! :blush: )

 

I hope you manage to entice your mojo back soon Kylie :empathy:

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First few posts [of this thread] updated with my reading list for the last year or so.

 

Gone a little Potty . . .

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Also waiting for your 'What I did on holiday' essay. It should include drawings of rock pools and sandcastles. :D

Glad you have popped back. Missed ya. :flowers2:

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Also waiting for your 'What I did on holiday' essay. It should include drawings of rock pools and sandcastles. :D

Glad you have popped back. Missed ya. :flowers2:

It rained all summer, I never got to go to the beach.

 

:D Reminds me of my English teacher telling a story from his school days. When asked to write an essay on a sports event, he just wrote 'Game cancelled due to rain'. I think he got the cane.

 

Good to see you back Raven :smile:

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Welcome back, Raven, and where the heck have you been?! :D Never mind, I hope all's good and that you stick around :smile2:

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A couple of quick reviews to start bringing me back up to date:

 

Chicks Dig Time Lords

Edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O'Shea

 

Summary: Lots of girls telling you why they like Doctor Who

 

Review: Some interesting essays, but a lot of repetition. If you like Doctor Who it is worth a read, if you don't, it's probably not one for you.

 

Recommended for Who fans only.

 

-----------

 

The Death of Grass

by John Christopher

 

Summary: When a virulent disease wipes out the world's supply of grass, society falls apart and an ill-assorted group of survivors are left to fend for themselves.

 

Review: The Death of Grass is like reading a dark version of The Day of the Triffids. It pulls no punches, is genuinely thought provoking and is a vivid reminder that civilised society is only three decent meals from meltdown.

 

Highly recommended.

Edited by Raven

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A few more . . .

 

The Man in the High Castle

by Philip K. Dick

 

Summary: Several interconnected stories set in a world where the US lost the Second World War and the States are being occupied by Japan and Germany.

 

Review: I had long been told this was PKD's best novel, but I struggled to see why. I quite like alternate history novels; Keith Robert's Pavane and Ward Moore's Bring the Jubilee are both crackers, but this was a slog. There are some good ideas, but like other PKD books I've read I found it hard going and I suspect this might be the last novel of his that I read (despite having several more on the shelf).

 

Disappointing.

 

-----------

 

Call for the Dead

by John le Carré

 

Summary: The first George Smiley novel finds the spy trying to find out why a man he interviewed over an apparently trivial matter was mysteriously found dead the next day . . .

 

Review: This was my first outing with John le Carré and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book perfectly evokes the grim, dour reality of post-war England and the world of the cold war spy. Maybe not as good as some of his later novels, but a good introduction to both the character and the writer all the same.

 

Recommended.

 

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Pavane

by Keith Roberts

 

Summary: Set in 1960's England, where the rule of the Catholic Church has surppressed technological advancement since the assassination of Elizabeth I, this is a set of seven loosely related stories that are set in and around the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.

 

Review: A very enjoyable book that paints a vivid picture of an England that never was. My favourite chapter was the story of The White Boat, but all seven are interesting and well worth the read.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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The To-Do List

by Mike Gayle

 

Summary: Author Mike Gayle writes a To-do list and gives himself one year to tackle the 1,277 items on it.

 

Review: I like Mike Gayle's books; if I have a guilty pleasure - reading wise - they are probably it and I've been reading them since seeing an interview with him for his first book, My Legendary Girlfriend, on the now sadly defunct BBC program Bookworm. Reading a non-fiction book by an author you have read a lot, which is about the author himself, is a bit of an odd - but interesting - experience because you start to see facets of him in the characters you have previously read about. This is quite a light read, but overall very enjoyable.

 

Recommended.

 

-----------

 

Generation X

by Douglas Coupland

 

Summary: A book that gave its name to a whole generation, Generation X follows three twenty-something graduates who have dropped off the corporate ladder in a bid to escape a world they have come to despise.

 

Review: This is an example of Coupland at his best; witty, razor sharp writing that cuts through the gloss of modern life to expose its grimy comercial underbelly. The book is both insightful and poignant and as relevant today as it was when written. I also found myself laughing, an awful lot.

 

Highly recommended.

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I've still got The Death Of Grass on my wishlist from when you nominated it for a reading circle a while back - good to hear you still recommend it.

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That was my review for the one and only time I've read it! (I'm trying to post a review for each of the books I've listed in the first page of this thread!).

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I finished Apocalypse Cow, by Michael Logan this evening; a lightweight, easy read, but not one I would recommend (and one to steer clear of if you are at all squeamish about how that steak ended up on your plate). A pity, I had expected more given it won the Terry Pratchett prize.

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Chalk up my 15th book of the year; The Cleft by Doris Lessing.

 

This was a bit of an odd one for me, quite different from my usual reading material. I picked up a copy shortly after Lessing won the Nobel prize for literature because a lot of science fiction web sites and publications were getting excited that someone who wrote "science fiction" had bagged one of the biggest awards in writing. Reading the back covers of several of her books the premise of The Cleft sounded the most interesting; in a world populated solely by women a baby boy is born - chaos ensues. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but a book on gender politics wasn't it! (Although if I had stopped to think about it, I probably should have).

 

The story is narrated by a [male] Roman historian who is trying to piece together the oral history of The Clefts (as the female society called themselves) from historical fragments written down in ancient times. The fragments chart the first births of The Monsters, as the females call them, and the impact it has on their rather stagnant society. The book tells how the first monsters are dealt with and how males gradually become a part of the female's lives (there's an awful lot of anatomical comparison in one section of the book, along with the inevitable pregnancies that result). The latter part of the book is largely taken up with the social differences between the two sexes and the problems they cause (this can largely be summed up as "women nag, men don't think" and after a while this message becomes a bit tedious).

 

The book raised some interesting ideas, but the story telling - because of its nature - was quite disjointed and I didn't really feel any empathy for the characters in the historical section of the book (although I did quite warm to the narrator and his parallel story). If I had my time over again I'm not sure I would chose to re-read it, but it was quite a short book which I think is the main reason I stuck with it to the end.

 

Something for those interested in gender politics only(?).

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I have this on my (far too big) TBR shelf I am looking forward to reading Doris Lessing's take on gender politics. You have me intrigued Mr Raven.

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Well, as I say, it largely boils down to: "women nag, men don't think", but there are some interesting ideas early in the book about how a different sex could develop and why a different sex might be needed in the first place.

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I finished Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch in the pub earlier this evening. I will comment on it further at a later date, but suffice to say it was a good, if slightly light-weight read.

 

I now have just over a week to complete one final book and make it 18 for the year, which would make it approximately one book every three weeks (which is pretty good for me when four of them were Game of Thrones sized tomes!).

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Gone straight on to Moon Over Soho and am just over half way. With a train ride home on Friday and a couple of days to spare I should be able to chalk up book 18 easily!

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