Tuesday, 9 October 2012

2012 Reading Part 6

Another eight books have passed through what passes for my brain!

I enjoyed this better than the last one. It went back to characters that I knew for one thing. The trouble with long drawn-out series is that they keep introducing new characters and I find it hard to keep track.

There's been some criticism of this one that I've read in reviews. People complaining that the story doesn't move on, that Daenerys is twiddling her thumbs instead of attacking Westeros. Well she is supposed to be a young girl... Even battle-hardened kings sometimes feel unsure what to do.

This book was apparently six years in the writing and it's already been quite a few since it appeared. The faithful are getting impatient. Strange because, as an author myself, I look at the book forum sites and see lots of readers annoyed at authors trying to promote their books. "They shouldn't expect anything of us readers!" they cry. Quite right too. Any published comment is a bonus. But it obviously doesn't work the other way round and readers feel quite obviously angry that authors take their time to bring out the next in a series. Gulp, I suppose I'd better crack on with my own... I'm onto the fourth chapter at the moment of a prequel to King And King To Be.

I love the Thursday Next novels of Jasper Fforde, but I must confess I liked the ones set in Bookworld more than the later ones set in the real world. Again a complicated scenario/environment that must be hard to sustain. But this certainly had its moments and I enjoyed it a lot!

This was an impulse buy in Waterstones. After having got my own Blackpool book safely off to the publishers, I had been thinking along the lines of a book on the Pleasure Beach. Ah... this is the book... Someone beat me to it! The "someone" being Professor Vanessa Toulmin of the University of Sheffield. I couldn't have topped this - it is absolutely superb and full of photos of the past and present, many of which I hadn't seen before.

Back to fiction! Continuing my nostalgic read of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books, this is number six in the series, where Uncle Quentin does the unthinkable! Yes... he's gone to live and do experiments on Kirrin Island without even asking George for permission! Eileen Soper's original illustration had the telescope the wrong way round with the children wondering why the island was so far away...

Whilst we are talking about number six in the series... The Harry Potter re-reads reach the penultimate book which introduces the horcrux and features a very significant death. Being discreet just in case there is anyone left on the planet who hasn't either read it or seen the film... I haven't bought J.K. Rowling's new book for adults yet. I've still a few books to read (a few! ha ha ha!) so am hoping it will come down in price a bit before I'm ready to read it! Meanwhile I am going to savour the final HP book once I get round to it!

This was not the first Sudden book written, but is the first in sequence of the western gunslinger-turned-marshal books written by Oliver Strange between 1930 and 1971. Gosh, his fans had to wait for the next book to come out didn't they? Twelve books in 41 years! This was the third to be written and came out in 1934. It tells the tale of a promise to a dying man and some unfortunate events that saddle the innocent James Green with the status of outlaw and with a name that will draw anyone wanting to make a name by killing him. But he's just one plum ornery cowpuncher...

Well would you believe it? Number six in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series in which King Alfred the Great takes a final bow leaving our hero Uhtred to pull his cakes out of the fire! I've been reading these since the first book came out so I do wait on tenterhooks for the next to come out each time... He's getting on a bit now is our Uhtred, but he still knows which is the pointy end of a sword!

Finally for this entry, the 13th in Bernard Knight's excellent series about the Coroner of King Richard's day. In this one Crowner John has been called to London to be Coroner of the Verge - the royal court. Someone sneaks away with a hefty lump of Royal Treasure and John has to contend with a perplexing series of murders, the nearby City of London which disputes his authority, and the beautiful Lady Hawise who lusts for his body. I know the feeling... I cope with a perpetually perplexing series of events, have a family who disputes my authority and... and... well two out of three ain't bad...

I couldn't solve this one in advance of John this time - I was no help to him at all. He's off back to Devon for the next instalment which so far is the last and may well be the last...

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