Monday, 7 April 2014

A Quick Update

I don't have a lot to say this morning, just sitting at my desk on a drizzly sort of Monday, sipping a Tim Horton's coffee and watching the workmen finish off the sprinkler system installation. Hopefully the last day as the puppies do get excited whenever they hear the fellows working, especially Bonnie. At the moment they are both lying down relaxing, Bonnie on the floor at the entrance to the study and Clyde on the poof beside my desk. I think he's part cat.. lol

Yesterday, I stopped off at my local used book store when I went out to get some milk and bread. I've mentioned it in one of my first posts ever here, Nearly New Books. A very nice place to wander around; I always find something. I was a bit surprised when I was told they are moving two doors down, into the shop on the corner. I think it's encouraging news as I imagine that means the couple who run the store plan to stay with it for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, I did find three books that caught my interest; one that continues a favourite series, one by one of my favourite authors and a new author for me... So here they are -

1. A Dance With Dragons is the fifth book in George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series. I just finished book four last month and now that Season 3 of the TV series is starting up, I thought, since they had an excellent copy in stock, I should get the next book. It's such a great series and has been translated to the TV screen so professionally. Jo and I were so happy to watch the Season 3 premiere last night. We have become quite engrossed in the world of Westeros. As I understand, Books 4 and 5 were originally to just be one book, but it got so cumbersome that Mr. Martin decided to break it apart, with Book 4 featuring events more in the Westeros region and Book 5 the rest. Anyway, this is the back page synopsis for anyone who hasn't given the series a chance. (Don't read if you haven't finished the books before as it might give clues to some of the things that happened before.. I still think it's pretty generic, but I don't want to ruin anything for you)

"In the aftermath of a colossal battle, Daenerys Targaryen rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousand of enemies, and many have set out to find her.Fleeing from Westeros with a price on her head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way east - with new allies who many not be the ragtag band they seem. And in the frozen north, Jon Snow confronts creatures from beyond the Wall of ice and stone, and powerful foes from within the Night's Watch. In a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics lead a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skin-changers, nobles and slaves, to the greatest of all."

2. C.J. Sansom is the author of one of my favourite historical mystery series, that of the dwarf lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, which is set during the political and religious intrigue of the reign of Henry VIII. I've enjoyed every book I've read so far; they've improved with each story. I was pleasantly surprised to see he's delved into the realm of alternate history with this book, Dominion. I have enjoyed this genre, Harold Turtledove has written many excellent books, wondering what might happen during specific points of history, if events had turned out differently. This book by C.J. Sansom explores WWII and wonders what might have happened had England lost. This is the synopsis -

"1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany. The global economy strains against the weight of the long German war against Russia still raging in the east. The British people find themselves under increasingly authoritarian rule  - the press, radio and television are tightly controlled and British Jews face ever-greater constraints. But Churchill's Resistance soldiers on. As defiance grows, whispers circulate of a secret that could forever alter the balance of the global struggle. The keeper of that secret? Scientist Frank Muncaster, who languishes in a Birmingham mental hospital. Civil servant David Fitzgerald, a spy for the Resistance and university friend of Frank's, is given the mission to rescue Frank and get him out of the country. Hard on his heels is Gestapo agent Gunther Hoth, a brilliant, implacable hunter of men, who soon has Frank as well David's innocent wife, Sarah, directly in his sights."

3. The Mongolian Conspiracy is by a new author for me, Mexican ex-diplomat and author, Rafael Bernal. I saw the book sitting on a table by the door, was drawn by the cover and then the synopsis sounded very interesting. The success or failure of the book will be down mostly to the translation. I've had some books that I just couldn't read because the translator failed to pass along the story so that it was accessible. Having said all that, I'm looking forward to giving this a try.

"Just days before the President of the United States arrives in Mexico City, rumours swirl of a Chinese-Mongolian plot to assassinate the Mexican and American presidents at the ceremonial unveiling of a statue. To investigate the truth of these reports, the Mexican police turn to Filiberto Garcia; an impeccably groomed 'gun for hire', former revolutionary - and classic antihero. Garcia travels through the opium dens, curio shops, and Cantonese restaurants of Mexico City's Chinatown, sifting through clues and dispatching numerous bad guys along the way. As the bodies pile up, he discovers traces of slimy political dealings. Are local gears turning the cogs of this 'international incident?' Behind the smokescreen of this classic noir are fierce curses, a surprisingly innocent and tender affair, dialogue that smolders, and unforgettable riffs about women, the meaning of life, how real men do things, the Revolution and the best gun to use for close-range killing."

So there you go, some new books to tease your appetites. Check them out and let me know what you think of them. :)

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