Wednesday, 25 December 2013

2013 Reading Summary - July thru September

Amazing that today is already Christmas Day (now evening) 2013. The year has soared by. It's been a lovely Christmas Day for us. Relaxing with the dogs, we Skyped with the Sis-in-law in England, watching each other opening the presents we'd sent across the ocean. We kept some presents back, went and had croissants for lunch, watched some British Xmas Day specials; Coronation Street, Downton Abbey. The missus put the turkey on around 2 p.m., we then skyped with my daughter from Kingston, had a lovely chat while we opened our final few prezzies. I got some lovely sweaters, new slacks, boxers, soaps and a vintage Gruen watch that looks great on my wrist. :) I think the missus liked her presents, especially the Smallbone of Devizes catalogue (brochure) and her Archers mug.

Just waiting for Xmas dinner to be ready, smells great so far. So while we wait, I'll continue with my review of my 2013 book reads; this Blog entry will cover July thru September.

July 

52. The Mad King (Fantasy) by Edgar Rice Burroughs (3 stars)
53. Titanic, First Accounts (Non-Fiction) by Tim Maltin (3 stars)
54. The Water Rat of Wanchai (Ava Lee #1) (Mystery) by Ian Hamilton (3 stars)
55. Passport to Eternity (Science Fiction) by J.G. Ballard (4 stars)
56. The Moon Men (Science Fiction) by Edgar Rice Burroughs (3 stars)
57. The Maltese Goddess (Mystery) by Lyn Hamilton (3 stars)
58. A Train in Winter (Non-Fiction) by Caroline Moorehead (5 stars)
"Excellent history, well-told story. Disturbing subject matter, but still a must-read. Tells the story of one group of women, ladies who were part of the French resistance, who were taken prisoner by the Nazis or French Police, during World War II and ultimately sent to one of the Nazi death camps, Auschwitz in Poland. It's well organised, telling of their activities in the resistance, the terrible ordeals they were put through in Auschwitz and other places and ultimately the return of those who managed to survive to France and the adjustment to that new life, life without husbands, children, friends.. Of course, this story is just a microcosm of the killing machine of the SS, but it is presents a picture of heroism, friendship, survival (in some cases, too few cases), of torture, abuse.. It brought me to tears at times."
59. A Princess of Mars (Barsoom #1) (Fantasy) by Edgar Rice Burroughs (4 stars)
60. Murder in the Central Committee (Mystery) by Manuel Vazquez Montalban (4 stars)
61. The Gods of Mars (Barsoom #2) (Fantasy) by Edgar Rice Burroughs (3 stars)

August

62. Sharpe's Havoc (Sharpe #7) (War) by Bernard Cornwell (4 stars)
63. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Fiction) by Howard Pyle (4 stars)
64. Sharpe's Gold (Sharpe #9) (War) by Bernard Cornwell (3 stars)
65. Consider Phlebas (Science Fiction) by Iain M. Banks (5 stars)
66. The Maltese Falcon (Mystery) by Dashiell Hammett (5 stars)
"Dashiell Hammett has produced an excellent example of a hard-boiled mystery and Sam Spade is the penultimate gumshoe, staying one step ahead of trouble and playing off the baddies against each other. It's a classic mystery, turned into an excellent movie by John Huston, one of Humphrey Bogart's best movies. A great cast of characters, from Brigid O'Shaugnessy to Joel Cairo and Kasper Gutman, through his faithful, lovely secretary, Effie Perine. A story that everyone should read and marvel about."
67. Sharpe's Escape (Sharpe #10) (War) by Bernard Cornwell

September

68. The Deep Blue Good By (Travis McGee #1) (Mystery) by John D. MacDonald (4 stars)
69. Sir Nigel (Fiction) by Arthur Conan Doyle (4 stars)
70. Nightmare in Pink (Travis McGee #2) (Mystery) by John D. MacDonald (3 stars)
71. A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee #3) (Mystery) by John D. MacDonald (5 stars)
"Definitely the most enjoyable so far, this is the 3rd Travis McGee story. He's developing into such an interesting, 3-dimensional character. The story was interesting, the mystery was solved without my assistance and the other characters had flaws, strengths. Very good."
72. The Courtyard (Graphic Novel) by Antony Johnston (3 stars)
73. Sin City Vol 1, The Hard Goodbye (Graphic Novel) by Frank Miller (4 stars)
74. The Quick Red Fox (Travis McGee #4) (Mystery) by John D. MacDonald (4 stars)
75. Death is No Sportsman (Mystery) by Cyril Hare (4 stars)
76. A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5) (Mystery) by John D. MacDonald (3 stars)

Well, there you go. Three months to go. It's been an enjoyable year. Starting to really look forward to 2014 now. :0)

Summary
                                                   Jul - Sept                     Total
Mystery -                                        10                            36                      
Science Fiction/ Fantasy -               5                             11
Fiction -                                           2                              6
Horror -                                           1                              2
Non-Fiction -                                   2                             4
War -                                               3                              9
Spy -                                               5                              5
Graphic Novel                                2                              2

                                                       30                             76

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