Sunday, 23 August 2015

Ah, the weekend visit to my locals....

It's been a lovely weekend. I had Friday off as a reward for working last Saturday during our local Armed Forces Day Air Show, so that made it even more enjoyable. The Blue Jays have had a reasonably successful weekend so far, staying in the hunt for a playoff position. Hoping they continue their good play today to finish off the weekend. Jo and I went out Friday, always nice to spend an afternoon out with her, even if this trip included stopping at the hospital for her to get some x-rays and blood work done.

Yesterday I went out by myself for a little while, wandering around 5th Street in Courtenay and then dropping off a number of books at Nearly New Books and then replenishing my stocks. (Not that my stocks really need replenishing). Last night, while we watched the Blue Jays and while Jo kept track of the World Athletic Championships, I restacked my shelves and reorganised them. Downstairs looks great now, even if my bedside table is full to overflowing. Of course the reason for that is that I did manage to buy a few books while I was out yesterday, as well as trading some in. I bought one new book at The Laughing Oyster and a few used ones at Nearly New. So what did I buy, you ask with baited breath? I thought you'd never ask. Here goes!

The Laughing Oyster

1. Stolen Lives by Jazzy Mackenzie (Jade de Jong #2) - This is a new author for me, with a story set in South Africa. I've read a few books set there the last couple of years; one by Malla Nunn, which I enjoyed immensely and a Canadian book, The Water Man's Daughter, that involved a voyage to South Africa to find out why her father was murdered. This story also looked quite interesting and I figured I should give it a try. We'll see.

Nearly New Books

 I bought a nice mix of classic fiction, mysteries, horror, etc. Now to get around to reading them.

1. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane - I've never read any books by Dennis Lehane but, from his titles, he's had a successful career having his books translated into film; Gone, Baby Gone and Mystic River, as well as Shutter Island. This story seems to have an interesting mix of mystery and suspense from the write up.

2. Sleeping Dogs by Thomas Perry (#2 in the Butcher's Boy series) - I'm reserving judgement on this series. I read The Butcher's Boy recently and enjoyed it overall; lots of action, lots of travel and very suspenseful. Still, it left me somewhat unsatisfied. However, I've had difficulty finding copies of the series so when #2 showed up on the bookshelf at Nearly New, I thought fate was calling and I decided to give it a try.

3. Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake #18) - The Anita Blake, vampire hunter, books have been one of my guilty pleasures, although it's been quite awhile since I dusted off one for a read. The series is sexy, violent, thrilling and at one time I read them voraciously. I think in some of her later books, she's started writing the stories in, meaning, she was just keeping book store shelves full. But, still, the stories are always entertaining and I want to see what disaster or creature Anita is 'flirting' with now!

4. The Martian by Martin Weir - This was a pleasant surprise, finding a copy of this book at my used book store. It's one of the books and maybe movies of the year, from a discussing point of view at the very least. The premise, when I first looked into it, reminded me of an old movie I remember watching; Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Of course this will be all tech'd up and more fascinating than that movie from the '60s, but I've been looking for it for awhile and was thrilled to find it before anyone else did.

5. Serpent by Clive Cussler (NUMA Files #1) - I've been more in the mood for old-fashioned adventures of late and have started exploring Clive Cussler. He wrote the Dirk Pitt books, amongst many other series and I think he's worth exploring. I've got the first books in a few of his series now so shortly I hope to start one.

6. The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott (The Raj Quarter #1) - OK, here you go, my first 'classic' sort of fiction. Jo and I were discussing this the other day as we do sometime. We were talking about the various TV mini-series that were centred on the Raj; The Jewel in the Crown, A Passage to India and I added this book to my list. I didn't realise it was a series but I want to try this and see how deeply I feel like exploring the series. It definitely sounds interesting.

7. Gently in the Sun by Alan Hunter (Inspector George Gently series) - This is one of those series that will take me a few years to get through but it's also one of those series that I look forward to exploring more fully.

8. Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry - Another new author for me, one I've been checking the book store shelves for and was happy to find at Nearly New. This will probably by an October, Halloween type read, a horror story from an exciting new author in the genre.

9. Shroud for a Nightingale by P.D. James (Inspector Dalgliesh #4) - I'm glad I finally took the leap and tried an Inspector Dalgliesh mystery as it was one of my favourites in a long time. James writes with intelligence and a nice pace. I've read a couple now and plan to go through this series over the next couple of years.

10. Demelza by Winston Graham (Poldark #2) - Another series that I want to try because of the TV version, which Jo and I started watching almost by default; you know how it is, one of those lazy afternoons, checking the channels and stopping at the 2nd or 3rd episode of the mini-series and becoming hooked on it. Yup, one of those. I've read a couple of Graham's books, quite enjoyed Marnie. Looking forward to starting this series.

11. Sharpe's Waterloo by Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe #20) - This is one of those historical adventure series, along with the Hornblower series and Flashman series, that I want to read and also want to have on my bookshelf. I like the covers! I'm slowly whittling them down.

So as you can see, my bookshelves are brimming, but I'm working methodically at getting through them. At the moment I'm reading -

Currently Reading

1. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - This is a slow project, but a very interesting one. I've been working my way through this for a few weeks now and I'm enjoying very much. I like the characters, even though they aren't necessarily the most sympathetic. Having said that, they also possess redeeming features that flesh them out. I also enjoy Thackeray's humour and his way with telling a story. Enjoying very much so far.

2. The Palace Tiger by Barbara Cleverly (Joe Sandilands #4) - I've enjoyed the first three books in this series, set in the Raj's India after WWI and featuring Scotland Yard Commander Joe Sandilands, very much. I really like the setting and the time period. With each story, Cleverly seems to be finding her stroke more and more. Unfortunately for me, this is the last of the series on my bookshelf so I'll have to start searching for number 5 and beyond in the next months. I do like the covers too.

3. The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver (Kathryn Dance #1) - Deaver writes a tense, well-crafted thriller normally. I've enjoyed the Lincoln Rhymes stories I've read so far (still have a few in that series to finish). This is the first featuring Kathryn Dance, a California Bureau of Investigation Special Agent who specialises in kinesics, the science of interpreting behaviour. I'm just starting this but already enjoying. I think it'll be a tense, thrilling chase as Kathryn and her team try to track down escaped serial killer, Daniel Pell.

So there you go, almost time for the Blue Jays and then back to work tomorrow. Enjoy your week!!

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