Saturday, 1 August 2015

July 2015 - Monthly Reading update.

It's another hot sunny day as we start off August. It's been hot and dry for the past few months. The yard is basically brown as we're on Level 3 water restrictions. Of course this is just the second year we've had our in-ground sprinkler system and we've been unable to use it since May because of the restrictions. So, once again, I've been out there with the hose and hand watering all the flowers. (not well enough unfortunately, as they've taken a bit of a beating too. But, that's life. More of the same weather for the next few days anyway.

Anyway, onto my July update. I've had a pretty successful month, managing to complete 8 books and about 1/3 of my major quarterly read, Vanity Fair. Total pages for the month, roughly 2700. Overall in 2015, I've completed 57 books, which according to the Goodreads master statistician, leaves me two books ahead of my schedule of I want to complete my challenge total of 95 books. Overall, I've also read approximately 18,750 pages. OK, so let's see, what other stats can I throw down...

Gender of Author
Male - 5
Female - 3

Genre of Book
Mystery/ Thriller - 6
Memoir - 1
Fiction - 1

Rating of Book
4 star - 3
3 star - 5

So no real classics this month, but overall, an enjoyable reading list. My favourites were -

Cover Her Face by P.D. James (Inspector Dalgleish #1) - "I've previously read a couple of other of PD James' Inspector Dalgleish mysteries before and enjoyed very much. I like how intelligent James writes. This is the first Dalgleish mystery and I must say I enjoyed as much as the others I've read. Dalgleish is almost a peripheral character in the story, James rather focuses on the other characters/ suspects and their activities, motivations as she develops the story. Basically, Sally Juup, a housemaid is found dead (strangled) in her bedroom. All of the family members are suspects. The story follows Dalgleish as he performs his police work, interrogating the family members, travelling around the area to discuss Sally's character and past with family members and other relations. But at the same time, the story also follows around the people from the estate, allowing us to see their motivations, their thoughts on the murder, their own investigations. It's an interesting way to present a case and I found the story well-written and interesting. There were some nice little surprises which added to the story. All-in-all, most enjoyable and I will be continuing my experiences with Inspector Dalgleish."

Go Tell a Watchman by Harper Lee - "I'm not exactly sure what to say about this book. To Kill a Mockingbird is such an iconic book and has long been my favourite all-time story, so even just picking this up, I did with some trepidation. However, the way I thought about it was this. This is not Mockingbird, rather a continuation of the story. Scout, now 26 years who has lived away from Maycomb for many years is making her yearly journey back home to see Atticus. Atticus is now an older man, of course. Henry Clinton, Scout's (or rather Jean Louise's) boyfriend, is an associate in the practise. Scout has been influenced by her life in New York and during this visit receives a number of shocks. Maybe Atticus isn't the man she grew up thinking he was? Maybe Maycomb is no longer a home for her. The story is set during the time of race upheaval in the South and Harper Lee tries to portray some of the impact on this small town. Some of the philosophy Lee tries to explain is a bit jumbled, but I think she gets the point across. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Scout's childhood, it does remind me of those stories that make up Mockingbird. I liked Atticus' brother, Scout's Uncle Jack. In fact he plays a greater active role in this story than Atticus. The basis of the story is Scout's need to find out why Atticus is acting in a manner she finds incongruous to her picture of him. Is he someone she doesn't know or does he just work in mysterious ways? I think if you're expecting more of Mockingbird, you may be disappointed. But at the same time, I found the story satisfying in a different way. It will never leave me with the imprint that Mockingbird did, but I'm glad the book came out and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it."

The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty (Sean Duffy #1) - "I was very pleasantly surprised with this book. It was a most entertaining book, a police procedural set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The case involves a series of murders of homosexual men in a country which at the time still had homosexuality in their books as a crime. Throw in an old mystery involving a missing woman and also hunger strikes by prisoners in The Maze and riots and bombings as a normal day-in-the-life and you've got a scary, but very interesting setting for this mystery. I enjoyed McKinty's writing style very much. I liked the main characters; Sgt Duffy, a Catholic police officer working in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and I liked his partners in the RUC and many others of the cast. The book moved along at a steady pace, with enough action to satisfy any enjoyer of thrillers. While scary at times (this was a place I would not have ever wanted to live and yet people still tried to live normal lives, to keep things moving along), there is also a nice light deft touch to the story. The characters are nicely developed and the mystery is interesting. Highly recommend."

Currently Reading

I've 3 very different books on the go, one Classic, Vanity Fair by William Thackeray, Excession, the 4th book in the Culture SciFi series by Iain M. Banks (an excellent SciFi series) and The Blessing Way, the first book in the Lt Joe Leaphorn (of the Navajo Tribal Police) series by Tony Hillerman, a series I've heard many good things about and have wanted to try for awhile now.

Recent Purchases

I turned in about 7 books at Nearly New Books in Comox, yesterday so took he opportunity to purchase a couple (4) new (used) books as well. Here they are, all mysteries - Raisins and Almonds, the 9th book in the Phryne Fisher mystery series, set in Australia, written by Kerry Greenwood, Heavenly Pleasures, the 2nd book in the Corinna Chapman series, also by Kerry Greenwood, Tucker Peak, the 12th book in the Joe Gunther mystery series, by Archer Mayor and The Treatment, the 2nd Jack Caffery thriller, by Mo Hayder. They've been placed lovingly in my TBR bookshelves.

So there you go, the Jul update. I will be on the road for a few days in the next week, so will take a few books with me for my flight. I hope to have at least one more entry before I go. Have a great Saturday!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails