June 29th, 2011



Tom Clancy's Against All Enemies, a joint venture with Peter Telep, envisions a joint venture of Islamic militants and Latin American druggies to wreak havoc of several kinds in the United States.  No spoilers in Book Review No. 18.  But I have to wonder if Mr Clancy is rethinking a line from Patriot Games, in which some Irish militants who seek the help of Islamic militants come to view insh'allah as "manana without the urgency."  Or perhaps he's making use of some of his connections, and alerting readers to a possible threat, or to a threat already blocked.  Or maybe he's making it up.  Whatever.  Quick read.  Finished it in the course of a recent train ride.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
book fail, black books

Books 57-58: Dr. Yes and The Fry Chronicles

Book 57: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 03) .
Author: (Colin) Bateman, 2010.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Black Comedy. Satire.
Other Details: Hardback. 375 pages.

The third in this series of playful send-ups of the crime/thriller genre has a cover tag line that reads Beauty is in the Eye of the Beheader. Dr. Yes of the title is a charismatic plastic surgeon with a client list of the rich and famous. When the wife of obscure and paranoid crime writer Augustine Wogan disappears shortly after entering Dr. Yes' exclusive clinic, he persuades the Small Bookseller with No Name to investigate. Of course, our neurotic hero soon finds himself up to his neck in murder, make-up and madness and comes face to face with the most gruesome serial killer since the last one.

Another brilliantly funny outing for the Small Bookseller with No Name and his minions. It is very like 'Black Books' with dollops of murder and mayhem. I still think that some of the crime fiction references go over my head though I have enough familiarity with the genre to get a fair few of them. Great fun if you enjoy satire.

Book 58: The Fry Chronicles: an autobiography.
Author: Stephen Fry, 2010.
Genre: Autobiography. Memoir.
Other Details: Hardback.448 pages Unabridged audio; Length: 12 hours, 28 mins

This second volume of Stephen Fry's memoirs picks up from his 1997 Moab is My Washpot and covers the period from his entry to Cambridge University in 1979 and then charts his subsequent rise to fame, ending just after his 30th birthday in 1987.

I don't often read autobiographies or memoirs but this was chosen by one of my reading groups as its June selection. Still I was fairly confident that Stephen Fry's intelligence, charm, and wit would make this an enjoyable read and I was right. It also is written with a refreshing candour, which makes it very accessible.

Although I did have the print book to hand, I chose to mainly listen to the book on audio. I found this ideal as Stephen Fry has such a rich voice and it was like sitting down for an hour or so a day and listening to someone recount stories of their younger years. Although on occasion he popped about in time, in general it was a very fluid account. I also found it quite a nostalgic journey as he recalled England of the 1980s. I do look forward to his next instalment even though I know that will be a darker journey.
did you know you could fly?

(no subject)

Book #45 -- Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, 247 pages.

Took me awhile to get around to this, but it's wonderful. I had wondered weather Cat's style would make the transition well between adult and children's fiction, but it worked beautifully.

Book #46 -- Krista Russell, Chasing the Nightbird, 200 pages.

A YA historical fiction novel set in New Bedford, MA in the immediate aftermath of the Fugitive Slave Act. Lucky has been accompanying his father on the crew of a whaling ship for years, but when his father dies, his estranged older brother gains custody and forces him to work in the mills. Determined to escape back to sea, Lucky allies himself with Daniel, a young fugitive slave working in the mill, and Emmeline, a Quaker ship captain's daughter. But when the 'kidnappers' come to town, Lucky's plans are thrown into disarray and he has to decide if he will strike out on his own, or stay to help his friends.

Progress toward goals: 179/365 = 49.0%

Books: 46/100 = 46.0%

Pages: 14737/30000 = 49.1%

2011 Book List

cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven
FUNNY - Elephant Trampoline [ANI]

Hey everyone....

I am slowly working through my list lol long process and not much time to read as of late but i come today to ask a question...

My 11 year old daughter is interested in reading books about ghosts...I suggested a few to her in her age group as well as a couple in the young adult section of our local library. I was wondering if anyone might know of any young adult books dealing with ghosts and or hauntings...

Thanks so much to anyone that might be able to help.