Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Tales of Beadle the Bard by JK Rowling

Just a few "folk" tales the muggles didn't know about previously...

I've been ill and off work for the best part of a week and my brain couldn't cope with anything more strenuous. This is a rather silly book, written for a good cause and now I can take it off my "to be read" shelf and put it with my other Harry Potter books. I need never read it again.

But as a wee bit of fluff to pass a few bored hours it did the trick. (the tale of the Three Brothers is told so much better in the first of the Deathly Hallows films anyway)

We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea by Arthur Ransome

I didn't like this as much as the others in the series so far, mostly because there is too much technical sailing jargon and discussion of sandbanks to really grab me, as a non-sailor.

Basically the action moves from the Lake District to the east coast - Harwich to be exact. The Walker children meet a young boat skipper, Jim, and (after their mother has checked his background) they're allowed to spend the night on his boat, the Goblin, as long as they remain in the harbour.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Oh my goodness. What to say about this? Both the book (which was unputdownable) and what Shackleton did (incredible).

Let's start with Shackleton. His plan was to be the first man (with team) to cross the Antarctic continent on foot. To that end he got sponsorship, found a ship and got a crew together: some of whom would take part in the track accross the continent.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis

I really don't know if there is anything else to say about this book that hasn't been said elsewhere and better.

It's the only of the Narnia books which is set wholly in Narnia and has nearly no involvement of any of the children from our world (and then, only late on, briefly, as grown-ups).

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer

When I was a girl we had a family Saturday tradition. We'd get up, do the supermarket shopping and head into town to visit the market and run our errands. The last thing would be to go to WH Smiths (opposite Windsor Castle and I never failed to gasp as I came out, the view is breathtaking) to spend my pocket money.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Max und Moritz: Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen by Wilhelm Busch

One of my books of Classic German Literature that I got for Christmas. It's a series of short poems about the very naughty Max & Moritz who came to a very sticky and final end.

God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

As an atheist I'm interested to see what other atheists have to say about the whole God and Religion theme. I'm reluctant to read Richard Dawkins at the moment because I find his brand of atheism a tad on the firebrand side - a bit, if I may say it 'evangelical'.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Percy Jackson: the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

As I started this I suddenly realised that I can't really remember much about the others that went before, beyond the basics.

But nevermind - I didn't expect them to grab me in the way, say, the Narnia books did because I've come to them as an adult (#2 of the Gruesome Twosome is currently reading number 4 and loves them and remembers every tiny detail)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The cover quote from Ian Hislop says "Bizarre, Bonkers ... rather brilliant" and it is all that and more. Much, much more.

The blurb on the back tells us a little bit more: 'Fat Charlie Nancy is not havinga good week. His estranged father recently dropped dead on a karaoke stage and has left Fat Charlie with much more than embarrassment. Because, you see, Charlie has discovered that his dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi the trickster spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and even baffle the devil. No wonder Fat Charlie's life is about to be turned upside down.'