April so far…..

How did we get halfway through April without me posting anything (yes, I know my posting “schedule” is always erratic at the best of times)?

I’ll tell you why – coming down with the dreaded lurgy, that’s why.

Saying that, I should make it clear that I am not talking about Covid, just your common or garden spring head cold with added allergies (tree pollen is going mad at the moment) but it’s the first cold I’ve had since long before the pandemic and I was wholly unprepared, though in a (misguided) generous impulse as I recovered I gave it to my husband.

So I basically spent the last seven days or so slumped on the sofa. The good news was that I didn’t have any headaches so I was able to read…

A few thoughts on the books I finished:

Broken Dolls by James Carol – I am unable to resist a hunter of serial killers and this is the first in the Jefferson Winter series. I enjoyed it enough to buy the sequel, but this is clearly the introduction to a new character and suffered a tiny bit from that, but like I said, intriguing enough for me to want to read more.

Mimic by Daniel Cole – talking about serial killers, Mimic is the latest novel from Cole, who wrote the Ragdoll trilogy which I liked very much (but don’t ask me about the TV adaptation unless you really want a bit of a rant). This is a standalone novel, set initially in 1989 then jumping ahead to 1996. So no mobile phones or any other whizz bang technology, just good old fashioned police work. I liked it.

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan – possibly my favourite author name in recent years; I can’t remember on whose recommendation I got this, but it’s a very atmospheric novella set on a prison planet where Bee, a telepath, is being held for crimes she can’t remember. It’s a strange book but was quite moving and beautifully written.

Suspects by David Thomson – better known for his non-fiction work on the history of the movies, this is the first of Thomson’s novels that I’ve read and I found it really intriguing. It’s basically a biographical dictionary of about a hundred (I didn’t count) characters from film noir, giving them backstories and often details of their probable future taking place outside the films in which they appear. I can see that a lot of people wouldn’t like this because there isn’t really an easily discernible narrative but I found it fascinating, though I definitely got more out of the characters whose films I had seen.

Currently reading:

  • The Cabinet by Un-su Kim – a literary work from South Korea, I’m not sure if it’s a novel or a set of linked short stories but it is definitely interesting and I just need to remember to pick it up…
  • Unquiet Spirits by Bonnie MacBird – the second in her Sherlock Holmes series, all about ghosts, murder and of course whisky; I’m struggling with this a bit because I’m just not in a Holmesian mood at the moment, so will probably set it aside and come back to it later….
  • Alice Diamond and the Forty Elephants by Brian McDonald – as much about general London lawlessness as it is about this all woman shoplifting syndicate, I’m not quite a fifth of the way in and haven’t yet met Alice….
  • The Fall of Paris by Alistair Horne – the Franco-Prussian War, the siege of Paris, the fall of Louis Napoleon and the Commune; if you’re at all interested in French history, especially where it intersects with war then you should definitely read Horne’s work
  • Last Days by Adam Nevill – independent filmmaker is hired to make a documentary about a cult focussing less on the disastrous ending of the group and more on the potential supernatural elements; definitely not going to end well and I probably shouldn’t have started reading it at bedtime….

What I’ve been watching:

No films this month(so far), but I really enjoyed working my way through:

  • Peaky Blinders S6: the last outing, on TV at least, I had never watched this series before though the Mr B has been encouraging me to do so. The presence of Diana Mitford as a key character got me interested and I was hooked. Will be going back to the very beginning to watch the whole thing
  • The Ipcress File: I remember watching the sixties movie starring Michael Caine which in some respects can’t be beaten, though this was a very stylish and well acted version of the story; I hope they adapt the remaining Harry Palmer books

Hope you are all staying safe. How is your April going so far?

12 thoughts on “April so far…..

  1. It doesn’t have to be Covid to make you miserable so I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better!
    And wow.. If I tried to read that many books at once, my head would probably spin right off, it’s impressive.
    Thank you for sharing, I’ll enjoy checking several of these out!

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      1. I’m happy you’re back on your feet.. it’s a shame about your poor husband, though. Many prayers that he recovers soon as well.

        And I’ll read multiple books ocassionally but I mostly like to give all of my attention to one.
        Do you ever mix up characters? 😅

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      2. I’ve never mixed up characters because I try to make sure that I’m not reading books from similar genres at the same time. At the moment I have 1 modern & 1 historical true crime books, 1 x 19th century French history and a crime novel on the go, so boundaries are clear 😀

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  2. Very surprised that you didn’t follow Mr B’s advice regarding Peaky Blinders, although you have a massive binge treat coming. Prepare the popcorn and choklit.

    I totally loved the Ipcress File. Very stylish, very 60’s, brilliantly done. Can’t wait for a follow up.

    I enjoy reading your book summaries. Mainly because I will never read most of the same books. I am trying very hard, and often failing, to break away from academic reading for fiction. Although I have earmarked going back to His Dark Materials before reading the later sequels…..

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    1. Thanks Mike. I confess that I have never managed to get beyond the very first His Dark Materials book.I quite enjoyed the film version though where it ended seemed odd. Couldn’t get on with the TV adaptation though I gave it a good try. It just doesn’t speak to me I’m afraid….

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  3. Whew, can’t believe the month is already more than half over! I have done a lot of reading but still feel that I haven’t accomplished anything, which is a discouraging way to feel. (Alas.) Please keep me posted on your opinion of Last Days, which sounds fascinating. Is it inspired by any particular cult?

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    1. Hi Jenny – I finished and enjoyed Last Days – its classic horror, gruesome and bloody but then I like that. In his afterword the author mentioned a number of books that he read when trying to come up with his own cult – Manson seems to have been a major influence, a bit of Jim Jones, a bit of fundamentalist Mormonism and a lot of the Process Church of the Final Judgement which is on that was new to me.

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