August 4th, 2013

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Just to give an idea how kludgey my desktop computer has become, here's the latest books I've read, only the first of which I didn't finish sitting right here in front of the monitor:

First was The Mystery Knight. It's not quite as good as the other Dunk & Egg stories, but it's still good, and worth reading. Again, a wandering knight and his squire come upon some trouble, and mess it up for the bad guys. That's the simple plotline.

Next was Osprey Men-at-Arms #3: 30th Punjabis, not bad. Why this regiment, though?

Then Osprey Men-at-Arms #35; Wellington’s Peninsular Army; Osprey goes back to this army again and again. Heck, this war is the source of many miniature armies because of the stunning uniforms. This book gives some general background of how this particular force was organized.

Next, Osprey Men-at-Arms #47: The South Wales Borderers famed for the defense of Rorke's Drift in the Zulu Wars. Sad ending, though, as the British Army shrank in the latter part of the Twentieth Century, lots of famous regiments disappeared, swallowed up in reorganizations. This one, two; it's part of the Royal Welsh Regiment.

Finally, for the moment, Osprey Men-at-Arms #52: The Royal Green Jackets; riflemen in an era of muskets. Better accuracy but slower rate of fire.
Jazzy Looking Around the Corner

July Reads

61.       Twisted by Sara Shepard
62.       Irish Hearts by Nora Roberts
63.       Upstairs Downstairs by John Hawkesworth
64.       Plantation by Dororthea Benton Frank
65.       The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
66.       Ruthless by Sara Shepard
67.       The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
68.       Dateable: Are You? Are They? By Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco
69.       Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope by Karen Kingsbury In this conclusion to the Baxter saga the Baxter family suffers a tragedy during a family get together.  The way that the family handles the tragedy is unrealistic, even for Christians.  Anyone who has suffered such a tragedy will start to question God and that is not shown in this book.  The family is not showing going through the grieving process they seem to accept it quickly sometimes too quickly.  At this time all of the Baxters are either upper or upper middle class and they are not struggling financially which does make it easier to believe in God.  Also Ashley is dreading having to face her past with her oldest son Cole starting to ask questions about his biological father.  The issue with three of Erin's girls birth mother coming back into the picture brings another complication to the story.  The less privileged girl's birth mother and even their own grandmother are portrayed as being greedy and not really concerned about the girls well being.  While the more well off Erin and her husband Sam are portrayed as being better parents for the girls.  There is too much going on in the book for the timing to work out for the length of the book, the book does feel rushed at times.
70.   Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy
71.   Communicate with Confidence by Dianna Booher
Jazzy Looking Around the Corner

July Reads

61.       Twisted by Sara Shepard
62.       Irish Hearts by Nora Roberts
63.       Upstairs Downstairs by John Hawkesworth
64.       Plantation by Dororthea Benton Frank
65.       The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
66.       Ruthless by Sara Shepard
67.       The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
68.       Dateable: Are You? Are They? By Justin Lookadoo and Hayley DiMarco
69.       Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope by Karen Kingsbury In this conclusion to the Baxter saga the Baxter family suffers a tragedy during a family get together.  The way that the family handles the tragedy is unrealistic, even for Christians.  Anyone who has suffered such a tragedy will start to question God and that is not shown in this book.  The family is not showing going through the grieving process they seem to accept it quickly sometimes too quickly.  At this time all of the Baxters are either upper or upper middle class and they are not struggling financially which does make it easier to believe in God.  Also Ashley is dreading having to face her past with her oldest son Cole starting to ask questions about his biological father.  The issue with three of Erin's girls birth mother coming back into the picture brings another complication to the story.  The less privileged girl's birth mother and even their own grandmother are portrayed as being greedy and not really concerned about the girls well being.  While the more well off Erin and her husband Sam are portrayed as being better parents for the girls.  There is too much going on in the book for the timing to work out for the length of the book, the book does feel rushed at times.
70.   Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy
71.   Communicate with Confidence by Dianna Booher
vampire

July Reading: 115-128/200

Where the Heart Is by Fyre
Midnight Temptations with a Forbidden Lord by Tiffany Clare
Shadow Magic and Daughter of Witches by Patricia C. Wrede
Saga: Volume one by Brian K. Vaughan
The Walking Dead: Vol 18 by Robert Kirkman
Dealing in Arrangements by FiestyFox
It All Comes Tumbling Down by Bad_Faery
To Conquer Mr Darcy by Abigail Reynolds
The Subconscious Speaks Volumes by daxcat79
The Dylan Dog Case Files by Tiziano Sclavi
Stranger by rufeepeach
The Time of the Hunter's Moon by Victoria Holt
Mending by Amali
miss fisher

Book 140: Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood

Book 140: Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3).
Author: Kerry Greenwood, 1991.
Genre: Period Fiction. 1920s Australia. Murder Mystery
Other Details: Unabridged Audiobook (4 hours, 48 mins) Read by Stephanie Daniel.

When Phryne Fisher arranges to go to Ballarat for a week, she eschews the excitement of her Hispano-Suiza for the sedate safety of the train. But as the passengers sleep, they are all overcome by chloroform poisoning. In the morning Phryne is left to piece together all the clues: a young girl suffering from amnesia, the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings and rumours of white slavery and black magic... the last thing Phryne was expecting of this train journey was that she will have to use her trusty Beretta .32 to save lives! - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

While marketed as a 'cosy' mystery the themes here of child abuse and human trafficking makes this a lot darker than what I would consider as 'cosy'; though there still is an overlay of glamour and Phryne's ever present wit to soften the narrative.

I had seen the TV adaptation of this third instalment earlier in the year though as often is the case there are side-plots and other elements that were dropped in order to make the story fit into the required length.

This proved another enjoyable foray into the world of The Hon. Phryne Fisher that was enhanced by Stephanie Daniel's narration that was spot on for the characters and also included some singing! I've decided that the Phryne Fisher Mysteries are going to be my audiobook-in-the car as they are prefect fare while driving and quite modest in length.
rose

book 27. Win, Place or Die, by Les Roberts

27. Win, Place or Die, by Les Roberts. Another enjoyable installation of the Milan Jacovich series. I especially like this one because I've always had a soft spot for horses, myself. I took riding lessons for many years and read just about every book by Marguerite Henry and Walter Farley. But I digress. Roberts teams up with Dan S. Kennedy for this novel, using Kennedy's horse sense to paint a realistic feel at the fictional harness racing track that serves as the point of action for the story. Milan and his new partner K.O. O'Bannion are invited for a fun night at the harness racing track, along with their respective sweethearts Tobe and Chloe, by Glenn Gallagher, a wealthy horse owner and driver. Jacovich had assisted Gallagher in a recent case. But the Cleveland private investigator finds himself with another case on his hands when Glenn dies that night, and his son suspects it might not have been a simple case of coronary failure, like the coroner concludes. Jacovich and O'Bannion soon see all sorts of possible suspects -- both off and on track -- as they find out more about Glenn. I figured out pretty quickly how Gallagher was killed, but the who stumped me until the very end. Also loving the dynamic between Tobe and Milan, and K.O. and Chloe. I'm curious to see how this will develop over the next few books. Also, I think I may have been wrong on a supposition I had after the last book. Ah well. Time will tell, ultimately. Additionally, the details regarding horses and racing were all spot-on, from what I can recall (admittedly, my own horse knowledge is a bit rusty).
miranda_colour

#42-43

#42 Peter Tremayne: Atonement of Blood (Sister Fidelma Mysteries 24)
Another good story from the series.

#43 Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter: The Long War
This is a sequel to "The Long Earth". People spread to inhabit the multitude of parallel Earths and as a result there are racial tensions with other sentient species as well as with the home base. Fairly similar to the settlement of America and the War of Independence. I've quite enjoyed the book, except for one little thing which kind of bugs me.

Ok, so languages are difficult and therefore it is easy to pretend that in whatever imaginary world everybody just happens to speak the same language. In the galaxy far-far away, it is called Basic. In the Long Earth some sentient species have previously had contact with humans and that's why they all speak... English? Seriously!? Sure, it seems ubiquitous now, although there are a lot of places, where it won't help you. But historically it has not been spoken all that much.

And a girl-genius who joins an equivalent of Chinese space program and the crew always talk to her in English. She is a genius but can't be bothered to learn mandarin?

Not that it is particularly important for the story. But it is a bit absurd.
kiki dreams, spidergirl

Book 141: The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison

Book 141: The Taming of the Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #3) .
Author: Louise Rennison, 2013.
Genre: Young Adult. Comedy. Chick-lit.
Other Details: Hardback. 395 pages. Unabridged Audiobook (5hrs, 51mins) Read by the author.

Tallulah Casey is putting all thoughts of wild boy Cain behind her. He is literally an animal in trousers… oo-er. Not like nice boy Charlie (who she’s totally not thinking about either). The Tree Sisters are chasing those golden slippers of applause at performing arts college but Dr Lightowler seems hell-bent on spoiling everything for Tallulah. And with all her mates loved up, can Tallulah resist the call of her wild boy? - synopsis from author's website.

The story picks up again with the new term at Dother Hall as Tallulah rejoins her mates, the Tree Sisters, for more adventures. For these to make sense it is best to read from the start of the series where both characters and running jokes are introduced including Tallulah's spontaneous Irish dancing and the owls that feature on the covers.

I am very fond of this series and Louise Rennison's quirky humour. Audio is probably my favourite way of experiencing the novels given Rennison's narration that reduces me to laughter over and over. It isn't an audiobook that I'd listen to in the car as it is far too funny not to be distracting.

Reading the print edition borrowed from the library a few days after listening to the audio allowed me to take another visit to Tallulah's world and also to pick up on some details that I had missed first time round. Overall just a great deal of fun.