Saturday, 4 January 2014

2013 Reading Part 8 and 2014 Part 0.5...

A full three months almost since I last presented a list of books, but it's taken me that long to get through another eight books. I tried my best towards the end of last year, but I finished 2013 only halfway through the eighth book... Must try harder...

Way back in October I flagged up that I had started this book. It takes the story of Thomas of Hookton, a 14th century archer who had starred in an excellent trilogy of Bernard Cornwell's, a stage further. Ten years have passed since the last book and the Holy Grail has been lost to the world. But now a new holy relic has surfaced and sinister powers think that once again Thomas will lead them to it. Another excellent book from the master of historical fiction.

Bill Bryson is another of those authors that I actively seek out. Whether it's a travel book, his own remeniss... remoniss... memories(!) or a well-researched slice of history, his writing style appeals to me and there's always something interesting on each and every page. This book looks at what was happening in America during the summer of 1927 and weaves the stories of murderers, gangsters, pioneers of flight and sports stars such as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey together with ease and wit. Loved it.

This is the final of the trilogy about the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and follows on immediately from the ending of the second in the series where dire happenings have er... happened! With Lisbeth a virtual prisoner she has to fight against a conspiracy that would see her back in a secure institution. With help from journalist Mikael Blomkvist the book tells how she prepares her case for the court appearance that will see her tried for murder and possibly declared criminally insane. It is just as gripping and awesome as the previous two books.

So relax with a shorty! This is one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories about Sherlock Holmes, in which he foils a dastardly crime. 'Twas ever so...

By gum, this blast from the past came from a foray into the darkest regions of a second-hand book shop. A global setting, a storyline still relevant and lots of mucky goings on... Terribly embarrassing for one of my tender sensibilities. I blushed like anything... I persevered though because this was one I hadn't read before. Grips until the final orgasm - er... I mean finale. Er... look, just take a bow you two ok? Oh... there's three of you...

Ha! None of those shenanigans in this one! Heck no, George would fetch you such a clout to the head if you tried any of that! Instead the four children plus Timmy the dog go off and soon bump into some ne-er-do-wells. From there on, it's all secret tunnels, torches at night, gun-toting baddies and lashings of ginger beer. Stop that Dick... it's not nice...

Yay! At last! Haunting the second hand shops failed to turn this up, but some sensible person in a publishers somewhere decided to re-release Dennis Wheatley onto the reading public once more and I was able to buy a new copy. Rubbish covers, I found an old one to copy off t'internet. Gregory Sallust - you remember him? We last saw him way back in April when he duped the Germans into splitting their efforts onto two fronts to invade Russia. In this, the fifth of the WWII spy books, we see Gregory sent to Russia whilst in his absence the beautiful Erika manages to fall into the hands of Gestapo baddy, Grauber, on the Swiss border. After overcoming all sorts of deadly peril in Russia, Gregory races off to rescue his beloved. Phew! I'm back into the series!

Talking of Gregorys... I've looked at this series once or twice without biting, but then it turned up on TV as a drama series and whilst from the Queen's point of view (and thus not the sort of detail in the battle scenes that Bernard Cornwell or Simon Scarrow might include) this was good enough for me to make a mental note to find the next in the series. I was halfway through the book when 2014 suddenly happened. So welcome to 2014 Reading Part 1! 63.5 books read in 2013 (though one was a comic if you remember and a few were short stories). Still it will be interesting to see if 2014 matches it! I have some Amazon vouchers from Christmas still to spend. Better get cracking!

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