Thirteen books read this month, several new authors and some familiar ones. I’ve read some more from The Big Read list and at the halfway point of the year am just over halfway through my challenge with 31 of the 60 books read. I’d also challenged myself to read 40 books from the 1001 list and have read 20 so that’s going nicely too. With only 88 books read in total so far this year, I’m obviously reading a lot less than I did last year but then I am doing rather more sewing.
Magician – Raymond E. Feist
I used to read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy so I’m surprised that I haven’t read this before but I’m really glad that its inclusion on The Big Read list meant that I’ve finally got around to it. It was excellent and I have every intention of reading the next two books in the series once I’ve completed The Big Read challenge.
Mia goes forth – Meg Cabot
Yup, another Princess Diaries. I’ve got all ten so expect to see more of these over the next few months. This was as amusing and entertaining as the previous three.
Six geese a-slaying – Donna Andrews
The last of my Meg Langslow mysteries stash. Now I need to buy more, but I just couldn’t resist the call of this one any longer. I did enjoy it though as it was just as good as all the others. I love this series.
The far pavilions – M. M. Kay
A whopping great 960 page story that I had the greatest difficulty in putting down. It was absolutely superb. I particularly liked the touch at the end. There was a short piece to tell you where the historical fact came from, which parts were true and which were fiction and which characters were real people. It saved me having to Google it to check for myself as I’m always curious when I’ve enjoyed a novel that much and have got that involved with the characters. I was surprised at how much of it was true and it made the book even more fascinating looking back. I’d really recommend this. Yes it’s long but it’s so easy to get drawn in to it that you won’t notice the pages whizzing by. (or the family clamouring for food, or the dust piling up – but we won’t mention that, eh?)
Witches abroad – Terry Pratchett
I enjoyed this one rather more than I expected. I usually prefer the Discworld books that are set in familiar territory and with my favourite characters in but this was a lot of fun and had loads of sly references to be picked up on. I loved the nod to Lord of the Rings. Greebo the cat was marvellous, especially towards the end of the book. I still like the ones with Death or The Guards in most of all but this was definitely a good one.
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
This was far more readable than I expected and was even rather good considering the subject matter. It was more tasteful than I thought it would be but even so was a tale of something that the majority would find distasteful. There are three more books by Nabokov on the 1001 list and I’m quite looking forward to hunting them down now that I’ve tackled the most notorious and found it to be ok.
The last dragonslayer – Jasper Fforde
I enjoyed this one. This was a teen book and I Iiked it much better than Shades of Grey. It was a smashing story, very well told and showed Fforde back on top form. Thanks Tree for recommending it on your Books read in May post, otherwise I might not have bothered with it. I read it in one gulp too.
Plum lovin’ – Janet Evanovich
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this as I didn’t like the first Diesel book as much as I have done the other Stephanie Plum books. I’m glad I did though as I really enjoyed this one so either it was much better or I was just in the right mood for it. It was a lot of fun and a quick read as it’s only a thin book. Happily I got it from the library as I’d hate to pay full price for a book of only 160 pages.
River God – Wilbur Smith
This wasn’t bad for something that was a bit out of my comfort zone. It was a fairly quick and easy read for a 550 page novel and was fairly interesting as far as the bits about Egyptian culture went. Of course you can never be too sure exactly how accurate fiction is and as this isn’t one of my regular authors, I didn’t know how well he did his research, but on checking the internet afterwards it seems it was reasonably accurate, although not datewise. If you don’t mind a few liberties being taken with your history, and this was an awfully long time ago, then it’s not a bad adventure to read.
Give me five – Meg Cabot
Another migraine, another round of The Princess diaries. What on earth will I do when I’ve run out of these? There’s not much you can say about it really except that it was light and fun and pleasant to read.
Sixsational – Meg Cabot
I did like the bit about the snails. Other than that – light, fun etc.
Bullet – Laurell K. Hamilton
I really liked this series when I started reading it many years ago. It’s evolved a lot since those early books and it seems to be a lot more about the adult themes than anything else now. That’s probably why I’ve had not one, but two of them on my shelf for a while, when before I’d have read them as soon as they popped through my letterbox. Not that I mind a bit of hot and spicy, but when the book is nothing but that, it can get a bit tedious. Once I did get around to picking this one up though, I found that it had a bit more substance to it than some of the previous ones and I’m quite keen to pick up the other one that I have waiting now as well. There was still lots of the raunchy stuff too, mind…
The last concubine – Lesley Downer
I enjoyed this one, the more so as it wasn’t one that I’d intended to read. It was very much an impulse pick up at the library thanks to a recommendation by the librarian who took back my returns. I think what made it an even more interesting book for me was having read Shogun earlier this year. Shogun was set in an earlier period and you saw the events through the eyes of a foreigner to Japanese culture, which made a lot of the customs very familiar. I knew what the Black ships were, and why it was repugnant that the foreigners smelt of meat. Little things like that all help you to feel at home in the book. It described a fascinating period of history and made it all come alive thanks to using fictional characters woven in with the real people and the factual events. Definitely worth reading.