Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

A Swedish crime novel, recommended to me by my friend Pierluigi after I complained about not liking The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson very much... He reads a lot of Scandinavian crime novels and assured me that Larsson wasn't the best writer around. I'm grateful for the tip and the opportunity to read Faceless Killers, I would never had picked it up if it wasn't for him!

Faceless Killers is the first book in the Kurt Wallander detective series. This particular story is about a violent crime and racial hatred - very interesting in the way that the story is put together, including comments on in how far the police can actually help a situation. The crime/detective part was great, I liked Wallander and I liked the way the case was solved. I look forward to reading more of Mankell's books!

A short post this time, I'm trying to catch up on reviews!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What's in a Name 3 Challenge

The third edition of What's in a Name is hosted by Beth of Beth Fish Reads. I've always really liked Beth's blog, I hope to spend more time there than I have up till now!

The challenge blog itself is elsewhere though - check it out for the exact rules and to see how everyone is doing. The challenge lasts till the end of 2010, the categories, along with my possibles, are listed below.

I love this challenge! :-)

Completed: ALL 6/6 as of 15 September 2010 (read my wrap-up post here)

A book with a food in the title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

A book with a body of water in the title: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

A book with a plant in the title: The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn

A book with a place name in the title: Gods in Alabama by Joshlyn Jackson

A book with a music term in the title: The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On chick lit

If I don't sit down and write and actual review I'll end up with quite a backlog at the end of the year!!! Since Shane arrived I've had so little time for reading and even less time for blogging... Actually the blogging part isn't so much a time problem as a concentration problem. I've had completely different things on my mind and I don't always feel like exploring my feelings about what I just read. Plus I tend to think that if I magically get a half hour I should be reading rather than blogging.

But I miss you! I miss the community. I miss all the good stuff. And after reading Trish's post I started thinking that maybe my blogging self needs to be reinvented. Maybe I should be blogging about all sorts of things on here, not just books. I don't read enough to post regularly anyway. Something to think about in any case, I'll work it out.

In the meantime, here I am catching up.

When I have too much on my mind I crave chick lit. Not just romance but chick lit, stories about women just like me who had loads of stuff happen in their lives but who ended up with their happy ending. I don't know too much about the genre, because I'm too wary of most of the books out there. I like intelligent chick lit and I'm always afraid of ending up with something too fluffy, so I stick to my favorite authors.

One author I always thought I'd like but didn't is Candace Bushnell who wrote the book that tv's Sex and the City is based on. I love the show but really didn't love the book - I didn't find the characters real enough. Yet, when I saw that Candace Bushnell wrote  the introduction to Mary McCarthy's The Group, I thought it was a great selling point. McCarthy's book is marketed as Sex and the City in the 1930s - a group of New York women go to college together and then try to come to grips with what being a woman in the 1930s actually means. I love the idea, since I love that time period and anything to do with the challenges of being female (not that it's more challenging than being a man, I mean the specificities of being a woman)... but I didn't like the characters at all. First of all there were too many of them and I couldn't keep them straight. Maybe that's because Baby Shane needed something every 5 minutes and I had to keep putting the book down, I don't know. I also didn't actually care for the characters though. I thought they were over-written and flat. I confess that I didn't bother finishing the book, so perhaps it got better. With such limited reading time though I preferred to just move on to the next one on my list.

Since my craving for chick lit had not been satisfied, the next one on my list was Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. Now this one I loved. Kinsella is my favorite chick lit author - her books are thoughtful and funny and entertaining. This one was no different and I enjoyed it immensely. Great idea too - a girl has an accident and ends up with partial amnesia. She doesn't remember the last three years of her life, which is apparently when she changed from an ugly duckling to a rich bitch living the good life. But , alas, things aren't always what they seem... Defintely recommended, as are all Kinsella books.

That's it for now - I enjoyed writing this post! :-)

P.S. I wanted to include pictures of the book covers but I have a new Mac and I have no idea what the equivalent of 'right-click-and-save-as' is... :-)