January 11th, 2012

Book #7 The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander Mccall Smith

Title : The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
Author : Alexander Mccall Smith

Genre : Fiction - Mystery/Detective
My rating : 4/5

Teaser : 

Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective.
Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger . . .

This book is the first of the Ladies Detective Agency series and it made me eager to read more of Smith's works. I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series. This book is a great introduction to Botswana and Africa with all the smiles and the tears from the land. It makes me want to know more about Botswana and drink the famous red bush tea. Bush tea seems to be a very comforting and calming drink. But then again, it might be just the effect of Precious Ramotswe or Mma Ramotswe. She's an endearing character and I find myself emotionally involved throughout the story. I really want to know what happens to her next. I gave the book 4 stars out 5 because the cases in the book did not provide me with that elements of surprise, awe and puzzlement. They're simple cases and sometimes very predictable but still delivered in a good and obviously not in a boring way. The book is more of a story about life in Botswana and the problems that come up in everyday life, instead of deep mystery detective story. But I'm loving it and will read more!


#2 - Yeah, that's right, Shakespeare; your plays suck!

I had to read The Winter's Tale for something I'm translating, and while any "A++++++ 5 stars would read again" review is kind of beyond irrelevant at this point - ehhhhhh. The onset of Leontes' jealousy is too sudden to get any dramatic traction, as is his repentance and - well, nigh *every* single plot development, and the denouement hinges on us rooting for Susan Smith here to get his wife and (surviving) kid back. Please remember this the next time someone tries to tell you that The Taming of the Shrew is not meant as a straight take on Shakespeare's views of marriage.

Side note: Good God, was Paulina the most aggravating "all talk, no walk" character. Good job on not serving that kid up on a silver platter to be turned into Purina Wolf Chow, lady. Really excellent, there.

World War Z - 1st book of 2012

World War Z by Max Brooks

B&N Synopsis

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This book was a good read - engaging, thoughtful and a page turner. However, that being said, I didn't like all the thinly-veiled pop culture and political references - Paris Hilton, Bush, Obama, TV shows etc. I've always felt that books which include dated references become outdated in the end. I think Brooks could have foregone those and had a stronger story.

I also would have liked seeing the narratives snippets tied together a bit more. It felt like the book was left hanging a bit at the end.

Aside from those criticisms, I thoroughly enjoyed World War Z and would love it if a sequel was written - one that delved more into the stories left untold.

Books completed: 1/50

(no subject)

Still Currently reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini, am almost halfway through now.

Book 1 2012:-  I started Eragon back in march 2011 while heavily pregnant, and only just getting some me time back as my son is now 6mths old. I read alot when his down for his nap or gone to bed for the night, Am almost halfway through now and am hooked

Genre:- Fantasy, magic very descriptive and detailed
Pages:- 497 currently upto 234 45% done
Thoughts:- Having seen the film before reading the book i was very sceptical, but ever since i started the book i've been hooked. The detail of the dragon and how Eragon trains to become a Dragon rider is brilliant. Will add a more detailed review once im finished.

Hugs Emma x

M is For Magic

M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

B&N Synopsis
Taking both inspiration and naming convention from Ray Bradbury's R Is for Rocketand S Is for Space, Gaiman's first YA anthology is a fine collection of previously published short stories. Although Gaiman's prose skill has improved markedly since the earliest stories included here, one constant is his stellar imagination, not to mention his knack for finding unexpected room for exploration in conventional story motifs. Jill Dumpty, sister of the late Humpty, hires a hard-boiled detective to look into her brother's tragic fall; the 12 months of the year sit around in a circle, telling each other stories about the things they've seen; an elderly woman finds the Holy Grail in a flea market and takes it home because of how nice it will look on her mantelpiece. Collectors will be pleased to note the inclusion of several stories that were previously published in the now-hard-to-find collection Angels & Visitations. Also of note is fan favorite "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," which has been nominated for a Hugo Award for 2007. Though Gaiman is still best known for his groundbreaking Sandmancomic book epic, this volume is an excellent reminder of his considerable talent for short-form prose.

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I started the first story, but after a few pages, I was quickly hooked and enjoyed this collection of short stories. There were a few I'd read here and there, but it's always nice to revisit anything Gaiman.

Books completed: 2/50


Hello, this is my first post in this community, please let me know if it's not appropriate in any way. Nice to meet everyone ^^
 1) Eulalia by Brian Jacques I saw a copy of a Redwall just kind of randomly at an antique mall so I decided , why not, I would try it. I never seriously read Redwall before, except Triss in high school. This book (Eulalia!) is near the end of Jacques writing career, I think book 17 in the series, but fortunately each volume is standalone. The main character is supposed to be a badger, but one of the characters, a female boxing hare, overshadows him, I think.
Overall, I thought it was pretty charming. My favorite scene was when The hare was tied up by a bunch, but it didn't stop her from taunting them and kicking them in the face- she was completely unfazed no matter what the situation.
Of course, my major complaints for the series in general is that all the 'vermin' species are born evil, and are just unredeemably evil their whole lives, until they are killed. I know it's a children's book but that doesnt mean it has to be so black and white.

2) Muhyo and Rohji's Bureau for Supernatural Investigations by Yoshiyuki Nishi (manga volumes 1-10)
for the second week I read the first half of this under-rated Shonen Jump manga series about Muhyo, a diminuative practicioner of magical law and his assistant. Basically, if they find any supernatural creatures, usually ghosts, they sentence them to either Heaven, hell , or the River Styx (to be absolved of their crimes before eventually gaining access to heaven.) I like how the art style manages to be both cute and scary at the same time. What I like most about this series is that the plot is paced very well, and stays on one track the entire time.
The first volume is a bunch of one -shot stories establishing the characters. My favorite scene is when grumpy Muhyo calls Rohji useless. Rohji decides that he can cheer Muhyo up if he buys him a 'fancy chair' (???) Muhyo calls him stupid again and throws out the chair. Depressed, Rohji sits on the chair and STARTS EATING HIM because it is a DEMON. See, Muhyo was just trying to protect Rohji the whole time from the demon and he is just bad at expressing his emotions and all that. lol.
Volume 2 starts going more in depth into the magical law thing when they go to the Magic Academy and learn about Enchu, Muhyo's former classmate who turned bitter and is now the major villain of the series.
I really like this series and I would recommned it to people who like creative monster design, as it is some of the best I've seen. (My favorite is the owl of no return.) I think all the charactesr are likeable and relateable, and all in all it is a good read.


I finished A Feast of Crows by George R. Martin and reserved the fourth book in the series, A Dance of Dragons. I also read the first book in Sara Douglass' series The Wayfarer Redemption.  While at the library I picked up 1Q84, the much acclaimed new novel by Haruki Murakami, who is one of my favorite authors. The reviews have called it a dystopian novel. I'm almost 1/4th way through it and so far don't think it dystopian; rather it seems to be more a dark fantasy. Perhaps I will see why it was called dysptopian the more I read. It IS very engaging, though. I read a bit and then stop to think about what I've read and ponder the threads connecting various parts of the two protagonist's lives.
Highly recommended.

This is my third book to read for 2012. I'm listening to Christopher Moore's Fool as a digital talking book. It's a very funny take on Shakespeare's Lear and is as off-the-wall as most of Moore's books.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative


The first entry in this year's Fifty Book Challenge will be Tom Clancy's Locked On.  I read it rather quickly, and it has a lot of the usual characters going after the usual suspects, with some of the usual antagonists.  Maybe I should call it a work "in the school of Tom Clancy," as one Mark Greaney is stealthily listed as a coauthor.  Maybe I'm getting jaded with the genre, or maybe the electoral tussle between Jack Ryan, seeking to be the first President since Grover Cleveland to serve non-concurrent terms, and a thinly disguised Edward Kennedy with the policy preferences of Barack Hussein Obama, right down to the Alinskyite allies who are more transparent in the book than in real life, is beginning to crowd out the plot and character development.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)