Books Jan/Feb 09

A mixed couple of months

  • Sword Song; The Pale Horseman Bernard Cornwall. I love the Sharpe books from Cornwall, Here he turns his focus onto the Dark Ages, to the time of Alfred and the wars between the Saxons and Danes. He brings his customary story telling to these early wars, although not quite with the level of historical detail you find in the Sharpe books as there’s just not the documented history. I read a couple in the series from the library this month. A new series to add to my collection.
  • The Boleyn Inheritance, Philippa Gregory. Focusing on Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn, Gregory continues her tale of the wives of Henry VIII. This was OK, not as good as some of her others, I tended to just skim to many of the sections which went into the detail, I just wanted to know how she was going to get to the conclusion.
  • JPod Douglas Coupland. Weird story, it got very meta when the author turns up.Kept me interested, even if to find out what weird thing happened next.
  • The Burning Stone & Child of Flame. Kate Elliot. I’d ordered the next one in the series from the library and had the happy co-incidence that there one after that was there as well, so two installments of this fantasy series. It’s still going strong, being fairly typical of the genre but having characters I’ve invested with.
  • Mendeleyev’s Dream. Paul Strathern. A history of chemistry (and alchemy) throught he ages, built around the idea of the periodic table. Fascinating journey from the Greek philosophy of Aristotle through the 19th century focus on science and the periodic table dreamt up by the Russian Mendeleyev.
  • On Basilisk Station. David Weber. a free book from Baen, a pretty hard military scifi which at its heart is a story of overcoming the odds. I’m looking out for more by the author.
  • Disobedience, Naomi Alderman. Gorgeously written book about a woman’s return to her origins, an Orthodox Jewish community in London and the impact on her and the community she’d left. Not my normal kind of book, it was authored by someone I’ve met on occasion who ran a blog competition to win a copy. Glad I did, as I got a lot out of this book.
  • Designated Targets, John Birmingham Completely silly book about an alternate timeline, where for some reason, a whole bunch of warships and armed forces have timeshifted from about 2012 to 1942 and what would happen in WW2. Got this from the charity shop and obviously missed the first book. Silly but strangely readable.
  • 7th Heaven James Patterson. Standard Thriller by best selling author. The Women’s Murder Club (a book series I think has been made into TV) look to solve a series of murders and arson attacks. Same fun formula.
  • This is the Day Daniel Blythe A moment in life story, what happens to a couple and their children when the man loses his job and decides to have an affair at the same time as the woman decides to quit her job and do something different. They lose everything and this is the story of how they rediscover just what is important to them.
  • 1632, 1633 Eric Flint. Another couple of free books from Baen. I was definitely on a timeslip rampage this month. In these, a whole town from the US suddenly finds itself in the middle of the Thirty Year War in Europe. These books tell how they sort themselves out and get involved in all the politics, changing the face of Europe (ie managing to get Oliver Cromwell thrown into gaol before he even thinks about challenging the crown)
  • Time Travel. Edited by Barry Malzberg. Another bunch of time travel stories. Most I liked, some I skipped. A good anthology.
  • The Ghost Brigades John Scalzi. A re-read, after my read of Zoe’s Tale last year, I got this one again and enjoyed it just as much.
  • The Grave Tattoo. Val McDermid I like McDermid, never found one of her thrillers/crime books I didn’t enjoy. This one is set in the Lake Distrcit and manages to throw in a whole lot of history about Wordsworth and Christian Fletcher, leading me into a whole load of web reading about the Mutiny on the Bounty.
  • Grub Street Irregular, Jeremy Lewis. This is a series of pieces about the publishing industry, one of my semi-regular attempts to read biography. Not the best choice for me, the first story completely confused me; I stuck with it and some of the later pieces were enjoyable but I never managed to finish it.

2 thoughts on “Books Jan/Feb 09

  1. I’ve been looking for it! Not found it yet, but on my list and the next one as well. It will happen.