Books and Reading

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


I was wondering if anyone would like to take part in a blog version of A Good Read? For those of you not familiar with it, it's a Radio 4 show where the host and two guests pick a favourite book each and then all read and review them. Sort of a mini book club I suppose, but with the potential for a bit more diversity and interest in the choice of books. Let me know if you're interested – I haven't thought about the specifics just yet but I'm sure I can work something simple out. I'm up for playing host once a month - 3 books won't take me long to read - but I know I read a lot faster than most people. If you're interested but don't read that fast, or don't have that much time spare, don't be put off! You'd only need to take part once and it can be bimonthly if that's more convenient for people.

Anyway, whilst I'm thinking books, here are some thoughts on what I've read recently:




I remember exactly why I bought this book. I was wombling around Blogland (as you do) and came across a hilarious post and comments section about awkward sex scenes in books. Someone recommended this and I thought why not and headed to Amazon.


It arrived and I stayed up till 3.30am (on a school night) finishing it. That's how good it was.  Now I should warn you that I sobbed like an absolute child at large sections of it. That's just my personal reaction but if you have body image issues or have been big or lost weight, it may push certain buttons for you. It really did with me and was kinda painful to read someone else's version of a lot of things that I have thought.  Don't let that put you off though. It made me laugh just as much as it made me cry.  Probably more so.  I love, love, love her writing style.  It's funny, true and utterly captivating. She's straight onto my auto-buy list.



People.  If you are a fan of crime fiction and haven't read any of his books yet, go out and buy one right now.  Start with Cold Granite and work your way through the series till you get to this one. You can thank me later.

 The series is set in Aberdeen so you'd imagine a bit of dour Scottishness to flavour the books.  Well it does - they're not exactly chirpy and happy-clappy - but the setting is wonderfully described and the books are worlds away from being miserable reads. If you don't chuckle your way through them, we can't be friends.  I honk laughing at some of the things that DI Steel comes out with.




I got this out from the library as I like her books and didn't recognise this particular cover.  Turned out a few pages into it that I'd already read it (clearly a different edition), but that didn't bother me as I like rereading books.  And there are definitely things about this book to like - it's an interesting premise, she's a good author and I am a total sucker for anything set in and around a country house.  I must have forgotten (or perhaps blocked out) the thing that really annoyed me about it.  It's as if she'd read a lot of books about the Mitfords and regurgitated chunks of them into this.  I can't even describe the dialogue of the characters in the 20s & 30s sections of this book as being Mitford-esque, because she hasn't made any effort to look beyond them and change things even a little bit.  It's just wholesale lifting of terms and nicknames and little sayings that belonged to one particular family.  An iconic family, yes, and one with a heavy literary influence, but you can't honestly tell me that every vaguely upper class person in that era talked like that and shared that very specific set of vocabulary.  It really irritated me, and it's a shame, because I enjoyed the book apart from that.

22 comments:

  1. I would be up for this. I'm mainly crime, historic and sci fi in my reading for pleasure (reading proper literature for work means I love a bit of genre at home) and time for non-work-related reading varies but I reckon I could manage bi-monthly.

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  2. Need you even ask?! But thank you, you've finally made me write my first review for Judging Covers; The Paris Wife which I HIGHLY recommend. I also can't stop reading Phillipa Gregory. I've put your first book on my wish list, thanks! x

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  3. I would definitely be up for this! xo

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  4. I would love to take part in this! Such a good idea x

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  5. I'd like to be involved. Time is not something that I have a lot of but this could force me to sit down and relax a little - just what the doctor ordered. I look forward to hearing more...

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  6. I would definitely be up for this! Such a good idea!!

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  7. Thanks for your recommendations I'm always on the lookout for something new to get into. I have just finished Gillespie and I by Jane Harris and it was a right good read I think it would be up your street.
    Kandi x

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  8. Fricking love the Stuart MacBride stuff, it's just brilliant, might have known you'd like DI Steel.

    I'd be in on the Good Reads/Bookclub if you go ahead.

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  9. I'd be up for this, put me on the list!
    I read Birdsong for the first time last month and it just knocked my socks off. So much so that I've found it hard to get into anything else since, though I've just started Love in the Time of Cholera which is really bizarre so far

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  10. I would love to have a go too Alex, but I'm not the fastest reader so time would tell.

    X x

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  11. Me too (does it matter I don't blog?)
    Twice a month would be achievable - & poss leave me time for another off my list :-)

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  12. Yes! This is an excellent idea! After four years of English Literature I could do with some blogger tips for books that aren't 'classics'... I've missed out on years of contemporary literature!

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  13. I reckon I could be up for this, I'm currently out of my 'kings n queens' historical lit phase and having a YA reading binge (keeping my total up for the Good Reads reading challenge ;-)) but am generally happy to give most things a go.

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  14. I've wanted to do a blogger book club for a while. I think it would be good.
    I think if you get enough people involved, one person per month should pick a book for everyone to read then maybe tag a few people to do reviews.
    Great idea!! x

    @shereemilli

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  15. I'm off to Amazon soon to order a CD. I think I may just have to slip "Cold Granite" onto the order too!!! Do you know Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series? They're a series I really enjoy.

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  16. Oooooh, yes please Alex. Count me in! Off to read book 1 of the Hunger Games trilogy. It really doesn't appeal but I shall try to keep an open mind! xx

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  17. mmm...words for thought....... I wish I had more time to read more..... I really wish I had time to re-read books already read...... have fun with the books!!

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  18. Great, we can still be pals! I love Stuart Macbride too! Seriously though, I'd like to blog-a-read. I'm a real fast reader and I like trying new genres. Except for chick-lit....don't think I'd like that at all!!!!

    K xx

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  19. I'd love to join in but I dont have a blog :(

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  20. Definitely want to say yes to this - been a mad month, so don't know how fast I'll be reading, but count me in? :)

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  21. Totally up for it! Am a fast reader so should be ok!

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  22. I'm a slow reader but trying to improve so go on, count me in!

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