Eleven books read this month and three of them were read on my shiny new Kindle. I'm really loving my Kindle for so many reasons. The ability to make the print bigger. The free and cheap books. Being able to get a book 'right now'. Access to books that are available in digital format only. Having over fifty books on there already and it weighs less than one paperback. Why on earth have I resisted getting one for so long?
Of the books that I've read this month though, I think my favourites were both library books. Darkside by Belinda Bauer was excellent and possibly even better than her first book. Prime Time by Liza Marklund was another great book from this author. I really do love her books. Altogether I've had a pretty good month and have enjoyed all of my reading. In between the books listed I've been reading bits of my current Dickens, which is so much easier on the Kindle in sensible sized print. It's taking longer than anticipated though as I keep getting distracted by other books. I must crack on with it as I'd like to finish it this year.
Second Son – Lee Child
This was just a very short book and I think it's only available in digital format. It's one of the reasons why I wanted that Kindle and I downloaded this and read it the same day that the Kindle came to live with me. This story takes you back to Reacher's teens and shows you a couple of days in his life. I enjoyed it, thought it was worth the small fee, and would definitely download more short digital books.
Sons and Lovers – D. H. Lawrence
I've had this on my TBR shelf for a while. It's one of those small green recycled editions that are only £2. Bargain, eh? Not so much if you value your eyes. The print is tiny. Which is why it's been on my shelf for so long. It was however available free on the Kindle store so I've just read it on my new toy. In a sensible sized print, it was so much easier to read.
This probably wasn't my favourite Lawrence. I really didn't like Miriam. She annoyed me. I kept wanting to give Paul a good shake too. I loved all the detail of general life though. You get such a feel for the time. Overall I enjoyed the book. I'm quite looking forward to the other Lawrences that I have on Mt. TBR.
Once bitten ( a thriller with bite) – Stephen Leather
This was a short novel and a very cheap download from the Kindle store. I wasn't sure if I'd read any Stephen Leather before and as this sounded vaguely Vampire-ish, I thought it might be a good one to start with. It was actually rather good. It's sort of a vampire story but not quite. The start of the book lets you know that it's not going to end well, and the ending was indeed very good. I really enjoyed it and will definitely see what else the author has to offer.
Darkside – Belinda Bauer
I wanted to read this as I read the author's first book, Blacklands, and thought it was a terrific read. This one sounded really good too so I was hoping it would be as good as the first one. It's set in the same village as the first book so the setting is familiar but this time it's centred around the local policeman and a series of murders that happen in the village. He has to call in expert help from the city but gets involved in the investigation more and more as it goes on. I got really drawn into the story and read the book in almost one sitting. I had to put it down as it was a work night and it was getting very late. I may as well have finished the book as I spent the next hour tossing and turning trying to figure out who the murderer was. It really got inside my head. When I finally got to finish the book it was well worth the wait. Brilliant!
Prime Time – Liza Marklund
This is the third book by Liza Marklund that I've read after discovering the author through the Transworld Book Club. This one was set before The Bomber but after Exposed and like the others was an excellent read. I'm very glad that I read Exposed first though, as this one mentioned in some detail some of the events of that book and would have spoiled it a little for me. This book was about the murder of a TV personality that could have been committed by any one of twelve people who were present in a castle where a TV show was being made. The reporter Annika is digging into it from the start and this time has a personal interest as her friend is one of the twelve people involved. There was a lot more going on besides the murder, with newspaper politics and Annika's personal life and somehow I managed to lose half a day reading this in one go. Don't you just love it when a book demands your attention that much?
Just after sunset – Stephen King
I happened to glance at my bookcase yesterday and this one caught my eye. Actually, I swear it winked at me in a 'read me next please' kind of way, so I felt I ought to to pick it up and see if it needed to be promoted to 'Bedside Table' status. It did, and got read in a very short time due to the nature of the book. It's a collection of short stories. I'm not always a fan of this type of book as I find that I'm just settling into a story when bam! It's finished. I find that a bit unsettling and then I can't get straight into the next story. I don't have that problem with some authors though and Stephen King is one of them. I think it may be because each story is very different from the next, and also he very considerately provides notes on each story at the end of the book. Reading those gives me a few minutes to reflect and then I'm ready to carry on.
I enjoyed all of the stories contained in this collection, some more than others. I loved Stationary Bike as it reminded me of another short story that I read some time ago. I think that was by King too. I loved The Things They Left Behind which was about 9/11. N. was just creepy and I wish I hadn't read it just before putting out the light to go to sleep, and A Very Tight Place was gross, but very good. The Gingerbread Girl was more like a thriller and not like a Stephen King at all. I kept waiting for something 'more' to happen but it didn't. I think I need to read something longer now though. Much as I enjoyed this, I do prefer full length books.
Clutch of constables – Ngaio Marsh
I bought this at The Works some time ago. It's one of those three-in-one books and has been sitting patiently on my bookshelf, waiting for me to notice it. I spotted it a couple of days ago and just fancied trying it. I read the first story in the book and it wasn't a bad read at all. It was a proper old-fashioned detective story. I rather enjoyed it and will be reading the other two some time soon. (When the book catches my eye again.)
The unbearable lightness of being – Milan Kundera
This was a lovely odd little book. It was slightly disturbing and rather sad, but I did enjoy it. It gave an interesting glimpse into life in Prague and the surrounding area during a very unsettled time in its history.
Vicky Angel & Dustbin Baby – Jacqueline Wilson
Having a heavy cold I felt unwell enough to not want to read anything requiring any sort of concentration. I didn't want to sew, I didn't want to do anything really, but I did feel like reading these books which I had on my TBR shelf for The Big Read challenge. I'm pretty sure that I'd have loved this author had she been writing when I was a child. They weren't bad for my befuddled state today.
Full dark house – Christopher Fowler
This is one of the books that was in the huge box that Tree sent to me a few weeks ago. I've got it under my desk in the craft room as there just isn't any room for them on the bookshelves. And so I completely forgot about them until yesterday when this book popped into my head and demanded to be read. I have no idea why, but I never argue with a book. I would never have picked it up if I'd been browsing in a shop as the cover doesn't appeal to me at all, but the story itself was excellent. It was nicely bizarre with dark humour and some wonderful characters. I particularly liked the stuffed cat. The ending was great with a smashing twist.