Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Reading update: still going strong


The spider tells me I'm doing quite well. I am currently reading the books in bold

Fiction:
The Confidential Agent by Graham Greene
The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
Cross and Burn by Val McDermid
Watch Out for Me by Sylvia Johnson
My Island Homicide by Catherine Titasey

Non-fiction:
Le Freak by Nile Rodgers
Eureka by Peter FitzSimons
The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper
The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane
The Butterfly Isles by Richard Bakham
White Beech by Germaine Greer

It's going to be interesting to read the Val McDermid book because one of the recurring characters has my name. If you're a regular listener to ABC Radio National's Books & Arts Daily, you'll know why.

Quick impressions
The Confidential Agent: I didn't enjoy this as much as other Graham Greene books and I'm not sure why. It could be the setting or the claustrophobic plot.

The Impossible Dead: You know where you are with Ian Rankin. This is a Malcolm Fox novel. I don't think the character has had time to settle in, so he's not as colourful as Rebus. There's a very promising ensemble cast, so I'll be reading more.

Over Sea, Under Stone: Parents in children's books are so irresponsible, letting their kids wander off all the time, facing supernatural (and natural) monsters, discovering the Grail, etc. Lucky kids.

Watch Out for Me: This by a friend of mine. It is written from multiple viewpoints with intersecting time lines, which I found intriguing. I'm fascinated by stories that play around with plotting in that way. It's not easy to do.

Le Freak: I've mentioned this before, but Nile Rodgers has had a heck of a life. The story concentrates on his (hair-raising!) childhood, but really takes off when he starts talking about his musical career from Chic onwards.

Eureka: I don't know that it's possible to retell the story of the Eureka Rebellion in a completely fresh way, but I did enjoy this version by Peter FitzSimons. Lots of colour, lots of detail.

The Tall Man: Devastating story of the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee while in custody on Palm Island. I strongly recommend this one.

The Old Ways: Macfarlane has an eye for detail and a very fine skill for description. I wasn't sure if I was going to take to this as much as I enjoyed Roger Deakin's books, but I did. Now I want to go walking along the old roads, but not the Broomway, which runs offshore on a tidal mudflat on the south-east coast of England. That's crazy stuff.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good On You!
I do like your comments.
I've avoided the Tall Man ... cannot bear to go there ... recall it so vividly ... and writing this on 26th January makes me feel it even more strongly.
For those who do not know much about Australia's black history though ... it's a subject to know about.
jj