August 4th, 2014



#47 Kevin Ashman: Roman - The Fall of Britannia (The Roman Chronicles).
I am sorry to say, that must be one of the worst books I've read in quite a while. The author evidently knows a lot about the Roman army and this knowledge and admiration for the efficiency of the Roman 'killing machine' is apparent. But that's about it. The protagonists are absolutely cartoonish and their attitudes are strange and not really believable. The 'true Roman' Cassus is constantly belittling and insulting his freeman Prydain and does not lift a finger to help him, and yet from time to time there is talk of the 'best friend of his childhood'. Erm...? The druids are seen by everyone (?) as a bunch of perverts, whom nobody dares to cross because they've got an army of their own. Erm...? There are many more erms, but I'll stop here.

#48 Linda Lafferty: The Drowning Guard: A Novel of the Ottoman Empire
I've enjoyed this book, which tells about Esma Sultane - a sister of the Ottoman Sultan, who tried to create a free world for women, when such freedom was unknown. However, there were a lot of loose ends and hints which never materialised.

#49 The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits, ed. Mike Ashley
A nice collection which almost makes me want to read Dickens.

#50 Laini Taylor: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
A perfect end to a fantastic trilogy. I want more.

Book 148: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Book 148: The Shock of the Fall.
Author: Nathan Filer, 2013.
Genre: Contemporary. Coming of Age. Mental Illness.
Other Details: Paperback. 314 pages.

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’ - from UK publisher's website.

The Shock of the Fall takes the form of a memoir written by Matt Holmes, a 19-year old schizophrenic as he seeks to come to terms with his illness and the complexities of the UK mental health system. Although some reviews seem to suggest that Simon's death when Matt was young was the trigger for his mental illness, schizophrenia often presents in the adolescent years and as far as I am aware is not likely to be 'caused' by such an event. Matt though is haunted by the memory of Simon.

The Shock of the Fall didn't impress me as much as I had expected given its glowing reviews and it winning The 2013 Costa Book Award. While it is obvious that the author has had experience with 'service users', I found his depiction of a schizophrenic 19-year old somewhat patchy. Still it did have its moments even though I didn't find it as powerful as Poppy Shakespeare. I did appreciate that it highlighted the crises in the NHS mental health services that has led to the closure of facilities leaving people with mental illness feeling abandoned. In that respect I am glad that its reviews and the award has meant that many people have read it and hopefully are more aware of these important issues.
plot bunny hunter

July 2014 Reading

July 2014 reading:

25. The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan (375 pages)
This book reminds me very much of series like Harry Potter and Erec Rex. There's a fun and dangerous world created here, and it's mesmerizing. I couldn't put it down.

26. Second Grave on the Left, by Darynda Jones (307 pages)
Charley is barely done with her first adventure when she is forced to embark on another. Again, this puts her in life-threatening danger, and not just from her case.

July pages: 682

Pages to date: 9,434

Progress: 26/52

July 2014 comics/manga reading:

288. Azumanga Daioh: Volume 2, by Kiyohiko Azuma (161 pages)
289. Claymore: Volume 4, by Norihiro Yagi (187 pages)
290. Serenity Leaves on the Wind: Issue 6, by Zack Whedon (28 pages)
291. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne: Volume 6, by Arina Tanemura (192 pages)
292. Time Stranger Kyoko: Volume 1, by Arina Tanemura (200 pages)
293. Fullmetal Alchemist: Volume 9, by Hiromu Arakawa (183 pages)
294. Ooku: Volume 7, by Fumi Yoshinaga (224 pages)
295. Naruto: Volume 7, by Masashi Kishimoto (192 pages)
296. Naruto: Volume 8, by Masashi Kishimoto (192 pages)
297. GTO: Volume 2, by Tohru Fujisawa (192 pages)
298. Blood+: Volume 5, by Asuka Katsura (190 pages)
299. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne: Volume 7, by Arina Tanemura (176 pages)
300. D.N. Angel: Volume 6, by Yukiru Sugisaki (176 pages)
301. Bleach: Volume 32, by Tite Kubo (200 pages)
302. Dengeki Daisy: Volume 8, by Kyousuke Motomi (192 pages)
303. Dengeki Daisy: Volume 9, by Kyousuke Motomi (200 pages)
304. The Wallflower: Volume 27, by Tomoko Hayakawa (176 pages)
305. Boy Princess: Volume 8, by Seyoung Kim (197 pages)
306. Skip-Beat!: Volume 7, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
307. Skip-Beat!: Volume 8, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
308. Skip-Beat!: Volume 9, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
309. Skip-Beat!: Volume 10, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
310. Skip-Beat!: Volume 11, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
311. Skip-Beat!: Volume 12, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
312. Skip-Beat!: Volume 13, by Yoshiki Nakamura (208 pages)
313. Skip-Beat!: Volume 14, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
314. Skip-Beat!: Volume 15, by Yoshiki Nakamura (210 pages)
315. Skip-Beat!: Volume 16, by Yoshiki Nakamura (210 pages)
316. Skip-Beat!: Volume 17, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
317. Skip-Beat!: Volume 18, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
318. Skip-Beat!: Volume 19, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
319. Skip-Beat!: Volume 20, by Yoshiki Nakamura (192 pages)
320. Skip-Beat!: Volume 21, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
321. Skip-Beat!: Volume 22, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
322. Skip-Beat!: Volume 23, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
323. Skip-Beat!: Volume 24, by Yoshiki Nakamura (192 pages)
324. Skip-Beat!: Volume 25, by Yoshiki Nakamura (184 pages)
325. Skip-Beat!: Volume 26, by Yoshiki Nakamura (184 pages)
326. Skip-Beat!: Volume 27, by Yoshiki Nakamura (193 pages)
327. Skip-Beat!: Volume 28, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
328. Skip-Beat!: Volume 29, by Yoshiki Nakamura (185 pages)
329. Skip-Beat!: Volume 30, by Yoshiki Nakamura (200 pages)
330. Skip-Beat!: Volume 31, by Yoshiki Nakamura (192 pages)
331. Skip-Beat!: Volume 32, by Yoshiki Nakamura (180 pages)
332. Skip-Beat!: Volume 33, by Yoshiki Nakamura (192 pages)
333. Skip-Beat!: Volume 34, by Yoshiki Nakamura (192 pages)
334. Girl Friends: Omnibus 1, by Milk Morinaga (496 pages)

July pages: 9,071

Pages to date: 66,483

Progress: 334/365
Reading - La Liseuse

Books #18-19

18. Gravity by Tess Gerritsen, 342 pages, Thriller, 1999 (Medical Thrillers, Book 4).

There’s an outbreak of unknown origins aboard the International Space Station, and the astronauts and their support crew back at Johnson Space Center must work around USAMRIID and the federal government to discover what was in that payload experiment and how to counteract the infection before all on the Space Station are dead. I almost got lost at the beginning, with so many characters being introduced, but it was fascinating to watch how they all wove into the main story. I’m a fan of Tess Gerritsen’s writing, and this book did not disappoint in the least!

19. Heat Wave by “Richard Castle”, 198 pages, Mystery, 2009 (Nikki Heat, Book 1).

The TV show “Castle” features writer Richard Castle as he tags along on Detective Kate Beckett’s cases. The book he writes based on her, “Heat Wave”, was a plotline in the show. And someone, somewhere, decided to make the book a reality. Detective Nikki Heat has to solve crime while dealing with a magazine writer tag-a-long, Jameson Rook. It’s like reading an episode of Castle, with the names changed. Since I like the TV show, I was amused. Not the best thing, but a nice bit of mind-candy.