Friday, April 02, 2010

Book List - reading and re-reading.

Some of the things I've been reading over the last month.

The Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb. I love Robin Hobb, in a vaguely fangirl-ish sort of way. Her trilogies always follow the same pattern, though. The hero/ine is doing ok. Then something bad happens. Then something else unfortunate happens. Then BONG! A further terrible thing.* This trilogy may well be the most depressing one yet, but she writes so beautifully, and so engagingly, that it doesn't matter. Or rather, it does, in that you are rooting for please, just one good thing to occur to the hero? But they are wonderful because of, as well as despite, that.

*Sorry, Bill Bailey reference.

Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker - a follow-up to Screen Burn. Ok, a thing you should know - Charlie Brooker is a genius. A misanthropic, hilarious genius. I'm a big fan of his articles for The Guardian, and he has the dubious honour of being one of only two people whose writings have made me guffaw out loud on public transport (the other being Terry Pratchett).

And speaking of Terry Pratchett... Wintersmith. The third? Fourth? time I've read it.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I saw a copy of this book years ago, and saved the title and author name in my mobile. I came across it in a branch of Waterstone's the other day, and bought it immediately. Ok, yes, it's a novel aimed at teenagers. That doesn't, however, mean it's badly written. I've found out it's actually the first of a trilogy, so I'm keen to get hold of the other two novels. I am, in fact, planning to drop in to Waterstone's this afternoon to purchase the second novel, Pretties.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell. What can I say about this book? It's an autobiography of Bruce Campbell. Bruce. Frickin'. Campbell. The man is a god! It's actually a fascinating insight into his life, featuring a cubic shitload (totally a real unit of measurement) of photos and an interesting peek into Campbell, Raimi, et al's younger days. I laughed a lot, I learnt new things... it's just awesome.

I've also been re-reading a lot of Agatha Christies - Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Mystery of the Blue Train, They Came to Baghdad, Murder at the Vicarage... the list goes on and on.

Anyone have any good recommendations for me?

Oh, and I just joined up to, where I shall be posting photos of me with books. Come see!

And I hope everyone has a great Easter / chocolate day.

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At 4:11 pm, Blogger Tah said...

Oh! I've been wanting to read If Chins Could Kill. I keep forgetting about it. I'm going to put it on my Amazon wishlist right now!

Bruce's other book, Make Love!* *the Bruce Campbell Way, is excellent. It's a humorous novel. And it's a good thing I wasn't reading it in bed (like I normally do). I would have woken Anne up more tan once laughing hysterically.

At 2:35 am, Blogger Smerk said...

If you like Robin Hobb, you should check out her other books under her other psuedonym Megan Lindholm. I've yet to get my hands on the Soldier Son trilogy...

I also recommend Kerry Greenwood for crime novels - either Phryne Fisher series, set in Melbourne in 1928, or Corinna Chapman series, set in Melbourne in the current day (where she makes a lot of pop culture references that had me giggling constantly).

At 9:22 am, Blogger Nettie said...

I agree with you about Robin Hobb's writing style - I can never re-read the Tawny Man trilogy again though after Nighteyes died *sob*

I would recommend any of Diana Wynne Jones's books. They are a little like the Harry Potter books - aimed at older children but trust me, adults will enoy them just as much, maybe more. The Chrestomanci series is awesome but my favourite is Black Maria, it is so wittily dark.

Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn is worth a read too but stop after the third. I think after that she was just money spinning and the storylines become really weak.

Also I just can't go past the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. Starts off great, bear with him through the middle, 5th and 6th books but the ending is great. He gets a bit preachy at times but you get so emotionally invested in the characters. At the end of the fourth book I threw it across the room and refused to read any more for about a fortnight because I was so agahst at what the characters were going through lol.

At 3:35 pm, Blogger Hieronymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Tah. he says in his intro to this book (the UK edition) that (I'm paraphrasing here) his agent basically told him he hadn't "done enough" since writing Chins to warrant a second autobiography, so he wrote a semi-autobiographical novel instead. I'm looking forward to getting hold of it.

Y'know, Smerk, I knew RH also wrote under a pseudonym, but it hadn't occurred to me to actually look for any of those books! I'm not so bright, sometimes. And I'll take a gander at Kerry Greenwood, providing anywhere over here stocks her (I'm not sure how big an author she is).

Nettie, I LOVE DWJ! I think my favourite is Charmed Life, but I haven't read Black Maria.
*adds that to the book list*
And yeah, I've been told before that I should read Terry Goodkind. I think a friend of mine has the Sword of Truth series, so I might see if I can borrow them.

At 7:30 am, Blogger Shawna said...

I think you've probably read most of what I have. Right now I'm reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels, which I'm really enjoying. Dave has read the first in the Harper Collins mysteries (also by Charlaine Harris), and said it was okay, though he figured out the mystery about a hundred pages into the book. Rachele has loaned me a book called Tempest Rising, by Nicole Peeler--evidently the main character discovers that not only is she half-human, she's also at the low end of the supernatural totem pole. Rachele said she enjoyed it a lot.

Oh, almost forgot--I also like the Peter Pan (sort of) books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The first book is called Peter and the Starcatchers, and is basically the story of how Peter and his friends come to Never Land (and how the island came to be called Never Land), complete with Wendy, Captain Hook, the mermaids, and Tinkerbell--though it's nothing like the Disney version! Right now there are 4 or 5 books in the series, and I need to get back to them, because I really like the way the books are written.

(Ooh, and the verification word: "wastery")

At 8:54 pm, Blogger Acci said...

Heh, a number of quite authors tend to write according to a formula and yet still write very entertaining books. Every single book written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, for example, follows the same basic plot: manly man ends up somehow in a strange and dangerous land, manly man meets beautiful independent strong capable woman who happens to get into more trouble than even she can get out of, manly man rescues woman, romance ensues. That describes nearly every book of his. Yet I've never read a book written by him that I didn't enjoy.

As for other books that you might like. . .ummmm. . .well, there's Ellis Peters' series about the monk Cadfael, a mystery series set on the English/Welsh border shortly after the Norman Conquest. Not too different from Agatha Christie in style. Or if you want to try something more sci-fi, then you could try reading some of H. Beam Piper's books; he unfortunately didn't write all that many before he died, but all of what he wrote is quite good. James H. Schmitz is another good and often overlooked sci-fi author.

At 12:37 am, Blogger Nettie said...

Oooh, I almost forgot, the Ender saga by Orson Scott Card is really good too :)


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