Group Reading Log: February 2011
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Picked up An Instance of the Fingerpost this morning. One of those books that I've been meaning to read since it came out. About 12 years ago, according to this copy. *ahem*
I am reading The Lazarus Vault which is a rather strange book which jumps from the 12th century to the 21st century with obvious parallels between both stories. So far I can't see the connection but since it falls into the classification which I call 'the da Vinci Code genre' I am sure that there will be one somewhere; at some stage.
Am about to read The Book of Lost Things which I had as an audio book a while ago, but my ears didn't have time for it. Now I have more time, so I might get there.
I am reading, and really enjoying, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a great book. I enjoyed it too.
I quickly knocked off The Middleman: The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, a comic book sequel to the short lived TV show "The Middleman", which was itself based on a comic series called "The Middleman". Good, silly fun.
"Sheer elegance in its draconian complexity!"
(It was a late Xmas present from my partner; he also got me the DVDs of the series, which is a HUGE YAY!!! because we only had crappy downloaded copies of it so far.)
(And we seem to have touchstones back, hurrah!)
I *finally* finished The Quantum Thief... It was not my usual sort of read and took a bit of getting used to. And I was totally distracted by other RL things as well. But then that says something about the fact that the book just didn't grab me - as otherwise I *would* have found time for it (even in multiple small units of time).
Despite all of the above, it was an OK read. Interesting, and for what it was I think well done. Although who am I to judge, really???
Now reading Jasper Jones and already thoroughly loving it. A totally different kettle of fish, so to speak. :D
Oh, I loved Jasper Jones, I'm glad you're loving it too!
Still reading An Instance of the Fingerpost. Curious to know what a "fingerpost" is, but I believe I'll find out next section. It's a remarkably fascinating book, but I do dislike all the characters with a deep intensity. (I think that's the point, though.) And it's very dense. Very, very dense. AND 700 pages, just to make it an even longer read.
In the meantime, I did knock off Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, the first in the legendary "Sandman" graphic novel series. I'd previously read it, but a ridiculously large number of years ago. It's a strange one, as Gaiman's setting up the world and the characters and it's not until the last story (the epilogue, even) when it all feels right. Hoping to re-read the series this year.
I have An Instance of the Fingerpost buried somewhere in the mountain, but I must admit that it's size has put me off a bit. So I'll be interested in your final review/thoughts wookie.
And according to wiki, a fingerpost is "a name given to traditional British and Irish sign posts comprising a post with one or more arms — known as fingers — pointing in the direction of travel to named places on the fingers." But of course it may refer to something completely different in the book.
Thanks crimson-tide, that seems about right. It's taken from a quote from Francis Bacon, something about instances of fingerposts. (I'm too lazy to go and find the book right now. :)
I am recommending it, but it is a fairly difficult and dense read. My main problem is I didn't pay close attention to many "minor" characters at the beginning, only for them to become major characters later! Not the sort of book one can skim, it's also pretty dense with politics, and religion. (It is making me interested in reading Rose Tremain's Restoration which is around here somewhere... I'm getting hooked on the 17th century, I think.)
Turns out the final section of An Instance of the Fingerpost was a much easier read than the others - also helped by the fact that the narrator of this section was much more likeable than any of the other characters. Hooned through that last bit, and found it a very satisfying read.
Funnily enough, I then picked up Susan Hill's The Small Hand and in the first paragraph is the word "fingerpost". Makes a lot more sense having it in context. :)
Jasper Jones was certainly a great read and lived up to expectations. It's up for discussion at our book group on Wednesday evening, and so far everyone in the group I've spoken to has also loved it. It may be one of the few books where we have agreement in the group. Will be interesting to see.
Now I'm reading The Blind Owl by Ṣādiq Hidāyat, which is a 1001 bookring.
edited because no matter how carefully you read posts there is always one typo that slips through...
The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea lies neglected, as I couldn't put down The Hours, an excellent read. I'd rush out and read some Virginia Woolf now, only I noticed that The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein is due back at the library this weekend, so I've started that. Unfortunately, I'm not enjoying it as much as I did the original Frankenstein, although I'm reading on in the hopes that it suddenly turns a corner and becomes fascinating.
crimson-tide, I read The Blind Owl a while back. I remember being quite confused.
I've finished The Blind Owl and must agree with you wookiebender, that was one truly weird little book! Can't say I enjoyed it at all, and can't say I appreciated it either. Good thing it was a short one! ;-)
Now onto The Busconductor Hines by James Kelman, which is another 1001 book. I've read Kelman before so I know what I'm getting into - but already the male characters are annoying me with their boorishness.
I think I'll need to do a tandem read with something lighter. Probably Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.
I've been avoiding these threads since they mostly serve to remind me how severely I'm failing reading this decade..
I finished Jodi Picoult's House Rules this morning. having read a few of her books now I pretty much know what I'm in for when I start one - I enjoy the melodrama but dread her awful endings. this one was less of a kick-in-the-teeth for the reader than I've come to expect.
I've now started Rosanne Cash's memoir: Composed
#17 I so agree with you about JP's books. Weak and predictable characteristaion, the writing is full of cliches, and the endings are unspeakable. But I do enjoy the fact that she tackles current adolescent and medical dilemmas. Having said that, I won't be rushing to read her next one. I have read House Rules but it's really hard to distinguish from the rest of them. 19 minutes I think was her best, and apart from the appalling ending, I thought My Sister's Keeper was one of the more interesting.
My workmate showed me to just read the last few pages of a Jodi Picoult. Fascinating, if you just do that on a few in a row, makes it some sort of strange art.
Well, Merry-Go-Round in the Sea is definitely neglected. Got a fair chunk of the way through Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell instead (there's a "Fantasy February" theme over on the 75 book group, which is rather fun, although I haven't been very focussed), only to realise that Started Early, Took My Dog is due back at the library, er, tomorrow.
Loving SE,TMD, Kate Atkinson is just brilliant. And then it'll be back to Jonathan Strange, which is a good fun entertaining romp. I'm just not in the mood for realism right now, sorry Merry-Go-Round. (Nothing wrong, just very very tired and very very busy and just wanting reading to be escapism.)
I thought the ending of Started Early, Took My Dog was slightly disappointing - usually I seem to remember that she ties up everything, but not in this case, there was a large question mark hanging over one character/incident. (Unless I missed something.) All the other multitudinous threads were neatly tied off, however, and she did her usual trick of making me cry at the beginning of a paragraph, but be laughing by the end.
I'm not well this weekend (stupid tonsils), so have been mostly sleeping. In between naps, I read The Doll's House, the second Sandman graphic novel. Excellent.
And now it's back to bed, and to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I think I should be reading a bookgroup book, but I'm not in the mood.
Have been lazing about the last few days camping on the south coast and managed to get a bit of reading done . . . yahoo!
The Busconductor Hines by James Kelman. 1001 book that I can't say 'enjoyed' as such. Typical Kelman writing about typical Kelman characters in Glasgow.
6 out of 10
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Great ya story from the master Gaiman. The premise, and characterisation of the graveyard characters was wonderful. Felt the baddies and the action scenes where they got their come-uppance (?sp) didn't really match the rest though.
8 out of 10
Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates. Another 1001 book and my first JCO. Powerful, and at times pretty harrowing.
8 out of 10
Now I'm reading and loving The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Found The Hunger Games an utterly compelling read. Well written and well paced, with decent characterisation and full of suspense. The concept is horrifying and yes, it is pretty brutal in parts, but it does touch on a number of interesting topics that teens would do well to think about; reality tv, the role of the media, responsibility to oneself and others, power structures in society etc.
At the end I just wanted more . . . so it's just as well that I have the second in the trilogy, Catching Fire, as I'm well into that one now. :-)
And I'm back from the camping trip. Had a great time loafing about. :D
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