Sunday, 5 June 2011

Stasiland (Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall) by An Funder

I've been interested in what went on behind the Iron Curtain ever since I found out that it existed. This meant that as soon as I was offered the opportunity to learn Russian I grabbed it with both hands, and was lucky enough on two occsions to get a personal glimpse behind that curtain and even try out a bit of my schoolgirl Russian.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer

A Georgette Heyer Regency romance. Fantastic. The writing is equally as good as other famous regency writers of that time (yes, Jane Austen, I'm looking at you) and this is no exception. There's also a bit of a murder mystery - although the murder happened before the novel begins.

This time the cast includes a dashing nearly-anti-hero, a dashingly reckless hero, a feisty heroine and a reckless young heroine. It jogs along beautifully, nicely paced with no horible surprises - actually not many surprises at all but that's not a bad thing.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Critical Mass by Phillip Ball

Wow. What an interesting book. After what seemed at the time to be a slow start, it turned into a ripping read about how social science can learn from the laws that are usually applied to statistical physics.


This wasn't any part of my coursework for my social science studies, but it fitted in with them perfectly and I'm sure that I'll be referring to it in future.

Highly and thoroughly recommended.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith

This is a follow up to his phenomenally brilliant first novel, Child 44. This time Leo and his wife Raisa are trying their best to be good parents to their two adopted daughters who are not cooperating. And then Leo's past comes up to bite them...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

I'm always happy to pick up a Discworld and find out that it heavily features death. This one turns out to be a bit complicated, but fun and I really enjoyed reading it.

Monsieur Pamplemousse by Michael Bond

Yes, that Michael Bond. Of Paddington Bear fame.

The first of a series about Monsieur Pamplemousse - late of the Paris sureté - and his side-kick, Pommes Frites - ex-police bloodhound. M. Pamplemousse now works for France's premier culinary review, like the Gault Milleau, and is inspecting a restaurant to determine if it will keep its two "stock pots" or, indeed, be awarded another.

But instead of getting the chef's signature dish, M. Pamplemousse is served up with what appears at first glance to be a man's head. Much hilarity and ridiculousness follows until the case is solved.

A most excellent start to a series.

Broken by Karin Slaughter

This one is marked as read but I stopped very soon after starting it. I didn't enjoy the writing and I didn't like any of the characters who seemed very two dimensional.

I was quite proud of myself for actually putting this one aside and not continuing with something that I didn't like and wasn't enjoying. Reading is for pleasure and now I've started my OU course in earnest I have to be more selective with my fun reading, and ready to cast a book aside even if I haven't read it to the bitter end.