IndianSkimmer (indian_skimmer) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Some 50 Book Challenge Tidying

I'm up to about 66 on the reading, but I'm not quite as up to date on the reviewing side of things...

41- Fairweather Eden by Mike Pitts & Mike Roberts
Genre- Non-fiction, History, Prehistory
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 8/10

42- A Tale Etched In Blood And Hard Black Pencil by Christopher Brookmyre
Genre- Crime, Humour
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 8/10
Review- My love for Christopher Brookmyre is unshakeable. This is a re-read and doesn't get any less funny for being read again. This lays bare the true, utter, unforgettable horror of school and especially of how cruel and judgmental children, and adults for that matter, can be.

43- The Death Of Dalziel by Reginald Hill
Genre- Crime
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 8/10
Review- I put this on my list and gave it an 8 so I enjoyed it! Forgot to write comments at the time though, and a month or so on I'm not sure I could do one now!

44- A Place Of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel
Genre- Historical Fiction
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 8/10
Review- I've got Wolf Hall waiting patiently for a free five days and I'm looking forward to it even more after this. The depth and breadth of this book is awe-inspiring (and I did have to have Mark Steele's Viva La Revolution to hand to help with some of the politics) but to have a novel that deals with such a huge range of characters in such a confusing time in a pretty amazing achievement. The only slight downside is that some of the characters do come across slightly superficially, Desmoulins in particular is flashy and alluring but somehow doesn't have much beneath the surface and Robespierre can seem deeply unbalanced which I'm not totally sure is deliberate. On this other hand this is a story of a mad time with mad protagonists who made incredible decisions so to make them come alive at all must have been hugely difficult.

45- Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Genre- Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 4/10
Review- I'm going to be a bit cross and give this a 4 because I was so genuinely *disappointed* in it. I listen to Mosse a lot on A Good Read and Book Club radio and she always seemed far too intelligent to produce this sub-Barbra Erskine rubbish. There was even a point where it was so clichéd I thought she might be writing a parody. Sadly she seems to be serious the whole way through and the mix of cheap romance, seriously flawed grail mythography and the most banal revelation finale is almost a waste of my reading time.

46- A Captain's Diary 2007-2009 by Graeme Smith
Genre- Non-Fiction, Sport
Summary- via South African bookshops because Amazon doesn't accept that it exists
Rating- 8/10
Review- First of all I want to say that I'm only giving this one less than Hoggy because it doesn't have any games and none of it is written by a pet. I'm not sure Graeme has any pets, although he could have let AB do the games page. Smith is funny and deprecating and honest and all the things that make him *Graeme* and has stories of Steyntjie climbing out of windows and pretending to be Rambo and a two page e-mail about how Kevin Pietersen is inherently disappointing. What more could you want?

47- A History Of World Agriculture by Marcel Mazoyer & Laurence Roudart
Genre- Non-Fiction
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 8/10
Review- Bit of a professional read this one. Firstly I have to admit that it's taken me roughly two months of piecemeal reading to finish, and that the section on global economic policies lost me completely, but the rest of it is superb. It's highly technical and very detailed (at one point it patiently describes a spade. With a diagram) and not exactly a barnburner, but if any is studying, working in or interested in agriculture it's verging on essential reading.

48-51 The Alexandria Quartet by Laurence Durell
Genre- Literary, Classics
Summary- via Amazon
Rating- 7-9/10
Review-Ooh, hard to review this one. Which okay is what this section's for, but sometimes it's tricky! I loved quite a lot of this, I love what Durrell is doing and I love the style, and I see how he wanted to have a novel of experiences without a driving plot, but damn this is a lot of book to spend without any kind of plot. 'Clea' is by far the best of the four if only because it actually has a narrative. The rest is superbly written and languorous and slow and warm and tropical but perhaps I should tackle it in smaller doses next time.
Tags: academic, autobiography, crime fiction, fiction, historical fiction, history, humor, literary

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