I’m currently reading a second novel by Mons Kallentoft and that’s all for the moment, which is unusual for me as I almost always have more than one book on the go, and I’m sure that practice will start up again soon.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – I tried to read Jonathan Strange twice, and gave the TV series a shot (gave up on that too), but Piranesi sounds fascinating and less hyped and hopefully that will help
It has been a very quiet reading week. I’ve been spending my Me Time binge listening to True Crime Bullsh** – an excellent podcast focussing (at least in the first two seasons) on serial killer Israel Keyes.
I’m currently reading the third Robert Hunter thriller by Chris Carter, and I’m about a quarter of the way through. If you’ve been paying attention, you will know that I turn to true crime when I’m stuck with fiction, and that’s where I am at the moment. Hoping to move on this soon.
I failed at my no spend this week but I’ve kept it limited to a couple of new books:
The Quickening by Rhiannon Ward – Feminist gothic fiction set between the late 19th century and the early 20th century – an era of burgeoning spiritualism and the suffragette movement
Indecent Advances by James Polchin – A skillful hybrid of true crime and social history that examines the relationship between the media and popular culture in the portrayal of crimes against gay men in the decades before Stonewall.
It’s going to get very warm again in south west London this week so I may be hiding indoors with the aircon switched on – ideal conditions for reading.
It’s the first Sunday Salon post of the autumn and a chance to round up what I’ve been up to since my end of summer post which was only a few days ago but, you know, I have Notes.
Books finished in September so far:
Only one, The Executioner by Chris Carter, the second in his somewhat addictive Robert Hunter series. I read the first one just at the end of August and have already started the third. What can I say, if you’ve been around here for any length of time you know about me and serial killers 🙂
As well as the two I’m currently reading or about to start, the following arrived chez Bride this week:
Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling – I enjoyed The Luminous Dead which I read while on holiday in Scotland last October, and this looks like its going to be equally interesting
Written in Bone by Sue Black – Drawing upon her years of research and a wealth of remarkable experience, the world-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black takes us on a journey of revelation. From skull to feet, via the face, spine, chest, arms, hands, pelvis and legs, she shows that each part of us has a tale to tell. I admire her deeply so was always going to get this.
Mr Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal – the first of her Maggie Hope novels, recommended by a commenter on a GFY post as aoething those who like Maisie Dobbs would enjyoy.
We’ve been watching quite a bit of TV (who hasn’t) and this week said good-bye to Penny Dreadful: City of Angels which was flawed but had enough good stuff that I would have liked to have seen how the story would have developed in a second series. Sadly its been cancelled.
[Take Two – I wrote this post earlier and somehow managed to completely lose it, so here we go again!]
This has been a really good reading week, I mean, really good. I managed to finish four, count them, FOUR novels; two were complete cover to cover reads, and the rest were left over from June (if not earlier).
I feel this is a great achievement for me after several lacklustre weeks.
So, I finished:
The I-5 Killer by Ann Rule – not one of her best books in my opinion; it could have been shorter and still got all of the information across, but I was in the mood for some true crime and this caught my eye first.
True Detective by Max Allan Collins [the first in the Nathan Heller PI series]
Reviews of the last three will follow soon which is why I haven’t said very much about them here.
I haven’t picked my next book yet, but it will definitely be from my 20 Books of Summer reading list (which you can find here if you’re interested)
New books this week:
The Son and Heir by Alexander Munninghoff – full disclosure, this was a free ebook as I’m an Amazon Prime customer. What can a son say upon discovering that his father wore a Nazi uniform? Reporter Alexander Münninghoff was only four when he found this mortifying relic from his father’s recent past in his attic. This shameful memento came to symbolize not only his father’s tragically misguided allegiance but also a shattered marriage and ultimately the unconscionable separation of a mother and son.
The Truants by Kate Weinberger – this has been likened to one of my all time favourites The Secret History, so it was inevitable that I would succumb sooner rather than later. Starting out under the flat grey skies of an east Anglian university campus and ending up on an idyllic Mediterranean island, The Truants is about a group of clever and eccentric misfits who yearn to break the rules.
Relic by Preston and Child – I saw the movie version of this donkey’s years ago and though it would be fun to try out the series of novels featuring Agent Prendergast. As I am that person, I will of course start at volume 1 🙂 – Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…
Let’s hope this coming week will be just as productive! Stay safe everyone!
We have watched all four series of Cardinal, and was sad to see that there will be no more series; a real shame. But series 3 of The Sinner has just appeared on UK Netflix, and along with Russian Doll is keeping me occupied. Also excited to start watching the new Perry Mason series.
Hoping this week will be more productive. Stay safe everyone!
When is a Sunday Salon post not a Sunday Salon post? When it’s on a Tuesday, that’s when.
You know I had to check what day it is, right?
So here we are already in another week and I thought I’d round up what’s been going on since I last wrote here, not in the whole world because, let’s face it, there isn’t enough space in my wee blog to even begin to tackle what’s going on everywhere else. I’m just going to tackle my little bit of it.
This is not a summery illustration but it has been very oppressive and we have had quite a few thunderstorms around here over the past few days so this feels about right!
I haven’t finished any books in the past week, but I am still reading (almost) every day.
I’m happily making progress on my reading challenges, and so far:
PBB Book Club – I’m 64% of the way through Middlegame
20 Books of Summer – I’m 15% through Gideon the Ninth
They are both really excellent and I would recommend.
New books this week (excluding any pre-orders which I mentioned in my May 31st post) – all links are to Goodreads:
Where Are the Women by Sara Sheridan – a guide to an imagined Scotland, where women are commemorated in public spaces. Couldn’t resist.
Judas the Hero by Martin Davey – a recommendation by the Book God, which doesn’t happen often and is to be respected when it does, this is all about Judas Iscariot “cursed with immortality by a vengeful and angry God, [he] finds himself in present day London and head of the secret occult crime division known as the Black Museum at Scotland Yard.”
The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem – we watched Motherless Brooklyn this weekend and when I realised that it was based on a novel I went looking for the author, and this caught my eye, especially as one of the main characters has his pet opossum in his desk drawer
Devolution by Max Brooks – I adored World War Z so wasn’t going to miss this, an oral history of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre. Bigfoot is real, people!
Hopefully I’ll have some finished reads to report on next time. Take care and stay safe.
I wasn’t sure whether I was going to post today given everything that’s going on in the world and that I’m a Scottish white woman pushing 60, but keeping quiet is how the status quo is maintained even if what you say sounds trite.
Black lives matter and anyone who has a problem with that needs to stop and take a look at themselves. Access to equal treatment for other doesn’t mean that you somehow lose out, and for too long people of colour have been disproportionately suffering at the hands of authority and a system that was stacked against them from the outset.
I developed a love of history when I was at school and went on to get my degree in that subject (early modern history in particular which explains my obsession with the sixteenth century) but as I got older it became abundantly clear that the history we are taught doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality experienced by many, many people. The racism inherent in the British colonial/imperial rule is rarely addressed in those terms. We talked about our role in ending the slave trade without acknowledging our heavy involvement in starting it. As a Scot, I learned about the wealth brought to our cities, especially Glasgow, by those trading tobacco and cotton but with only oblique references to the slaves and that even after abolition Glasgow shipyards were still building the ships that would end up carrying slaves. In the UK we have huge swathes of people who don’t realise that there have been people of colour in our country for centuries.
And we don’t talk about issues surrounding police behaviour. It isn’t a crime to be black. We don’t have the same tendency to militarise our police force here in the UK (though some politicians would very much like to) but that doesn’t mean we are free from police brutality, deaths in custody and racial profiling.
This needs to stop. I want to continue learning about this issue, speaking out where I can while knowing that I may get it wrong sometimes. Better to make the occasional mistake in trying to be an ally than to stay silent. I also know that I need to read more widely than I do now; my TBR pile doesn’t have as many works by people of colour as it should, and I’m going to try to improve.
And don’t get me started on JK Rowling and her latest anti-trans stuff. Just don’t.
But let’s talk about books.
It’s been a good reading week. I finished two books – The Deep by Nick Cutter and Transcription by Kate Atkinson – and reviews will follow. Honest.
I made good progress on the two reading challenges/programmes in which I’m taking part, namely:
PBB Book Club – Middlegame by Seanan McGuire (I’m 30% in); and
Twenty Books of Summer – the two books I read this week were for that challenge, and I have just started the third, Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.
My full currently reading list is on the sidebar.
Three new books arrived chez Bride this week:
Closure Limited (and other zombie tales) by Max Brooks of World War Z fame (I loved that book so much);
Putney by Sofka Zinovie; and
Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough, which was a pre-order that I thought wasn’t arriving until later in the summer but the Kindle edition was released and just appeared in my app the way ebooks just do.
And that’s it for this week. Please stay safe everyone.
[Bloggers note: yes, it’s the 1 June but this was all ready to be loaded yesterday and I just …. forgot 😦 ]
The end of May already. This year has been so weird but one constant for me has of course been reading and buying books. Mostly buying if I’m being honest 😀
So here is my round-up of the month.
Books read = 6;
Number of Pages = 1968;
Progress against Goodreads challenge = 52% (7 books ahead of schedule)
May Book Haul
Because I’ve been flaky when it comes to updating new books I was going to do a list here BUT when I looked at how many there were and considered that my last two posts were basically just lists of books I’ve decided not to do that again, or at least not so soon. But in case you are interested…
4 x sci-fi/fantasy titles;
7 x crime;
1 x general fiction;
2 x true crime; and
6 x non-fiction
This list excludes pre-orders. That’s a lot. I’m going to try to do better next month by which I of course mean less. Having said that…
Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. – JCO – “a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.” JCO is one of my favourite contemporary authors so, you know, had to be done. A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by HG Parry – “A sweeping tale of revolution and wonder in a world not quite like our own, [it] is a genre-defying story of magic, war, and the struggle for freedom.“ Riviera Gold by Laurie R King – the latest in the consistently excellent Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver – volume 3 in a series of which I haven’t read any so far, but the premise sounded great and I can always go back to the others later
In other stuff……
Currently watching Stumptown and Snowpiercer and despite the horrors of the world enjoying John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) whenever he appears – this week’s should be a must-watch.
20 Books of Summer – it’s that time again, and you will already have (hopefully) seen my reading list post
Celebrating our wedding anniversary during the quarantine involved my home-made lasagna, a couple of glasses of fizzy wine and two hours of Chinese sci-fi on Netflix because that is how we, as a couple, roll.
Moaning about the fact that hardly anyone except me seems to be wearing masks when outside.
Hope you have a great reading week, and stay safe!
So here we are after a break of 3 weeks and I thought it might be fun to look at the books I’ve finished so far this month.
It’s been a fairly good month for reading but not a great one for blogging; what can I say? More mini-reviews are likely to follow, but let’s stick with these six for now, along with an update on what I’m currently reading and some other stuff that might be of interest.
Somewhere Beneath Those Waves by Sarah Monette – a collection of short stories missing fantasy & science fiction which I really enjoyed, especially as it includes a Kyle Murchison Booth story (see my review of her collected Booth stories here)
Follow Me by Angela Clarke – an enjoyably fast read, a police procedural with social media right at the forefront. I read it in one sitting and have bought the sequels
Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky – a very creepy sci-fi novel which was almost psychedelic in its language and imagery. Very unsettling. So good.
The Love-Charm of Bombs by Lara Feigel – as I’m getting older I’m finding that my interest is shifting from WWI to WWII, especially social history and the home front. This is a joint biography of several authors (namely Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay, Henry Green, Graham Greene and Hilde Spiel) who were all based in London in the Blitz. It was fascinating to find out about their complicated personal lives.
The Last Book on the Left – from the guys who write & present the Last Podcast on the Left, this is a quick trot through the lives and crimes of several very well-known serial killers. Now, if you’ve been here for any length of time you will know that I cannot resist true crime and I follow many podcasts (I’m a proud Murderino for example) but I’ve never found this one particularly engaging. The book is fine but the comic interjections just didn’t work for me.
The Killing Streets by Tanya Bretherton – another true crime read, this covers the story of what appears to be the first known serial killer in Australia. Set in the 1930s in Sydney, the main interest for me is the social history elements – the expectations on women, the behaviour of the police and so on – but I wasn’t totally convinced that these murders of young women were connected.
In terms of what I’m currently reading, I seem to be stuck in the middle of several books and not making much progress.
Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch – the seventh in the Rivers of London series, I started this in January and have been making very slow progress for reasons I don’t understand, but I do want to finish it because I have three more to read 🙂
The Outsider by Stephen King – enjoyed what I’ve read so far and really want to know how it turns out so this will get finished
True Detective by Max Allan Collins – the first Nathan Heller novel, I picked this up because the Book God has read many (if not all) of the series and thought I would enjoy it and so far he has been spot on.
As none of these titles is on my list for this year’s Twenty Books of Summer challenge, I need to make an effort to finish them by June 1.
As if that wasn’t enough, my need for non-fiction has led me to start a book about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, which ticks so many boxes for me it isn’t true.
And I have finally succumbed and signed up to Audible so that if nothing else I can listen to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman when it launches in July.
Being indoors apart from forays for groceries and exercise, we’ve been watching more films – I miss going to the cinema more than anything else – and some great TV. Killing Eve hasn’t finished yet so I’m reserving judgement, but last night, so much later than everyone else, of course, we finished watching DEVS. I loved it so much. I think Alex Garland is an amazing writer/director and the series was thought-provoking and beautiful. A highlight of this year so far.
How are you guys holding up in these unusual times?
So, it’s been a while. Again. I must confess that I just haven’t been in the mood for blogging, and although I have been reading I’ve not finished anything, flitting from one book to another. But given it’s the beginning of a new month (apparently – who knows any more) I decided to shove some thoughts down in the hopes that it kickstarts me into blogging more regularly
But don’t hold your breath. I mean that, breath-holding really isn’t a very good idea at the moment.
This was going to be a longer list but the current situation has seen schedules being moved around quite a lot. The new Stephen King was brought forward to April and a couple of others on my original list have been moved forward to late summer. But these three still seem to be heading my way
The year is 2049. When a deadly non-viral agent intended for biowarfare spreads out of control, scientists must scramble to ensure the survival of the human race. They turn to their last resort, a plan to place genetically engineered children inside the cocoons of large-scale robots–to be incubated, birthed, and raised by machines. But there is yet one hope of preserving the human order–an intelligence programmed into these machines that renders each unique in its own right–the Mother Code.
Return to a twisted version of Jazz Age New York in this follow up to the critically acclaimed fantasy Westside, as relentless sleuth Gilda Carr’s pursuit of tiny mysteries drags her into a case that will rewrite everything she knows about her past.
I really, really do need to read the first book in this series…..
A small-town librarian witnesses a murder at his local deli, and what had been routine sleep paralysis begins to transform into something far more disturbing. The trauma of holding a dying girl in his arms drives him out of his own body. The town he knows so well is suddenly revealed to him from a whole new perspective. Secrets are everywhere and demons fester behind closed doors.
I love Jeffrey Ford so I am very much looking forward to this.
What are you looking forward to bookwise this month?