Sort of a Book Review: Dodger (Pratchett)

I think the most unusual thing is this post is that I am actually writing a blog post and I have read another book.

Another book about real live people and a made up story. Pratchett is, of course, brilliant. This is very good YA fiction with an excellent in joke that is only (partly) revealed at the end.

There is a theme developing that will soon be crushed by one of the next books that I am considering reading.

It’s probably time for a classic. It may well be Dickens. It might not be.

Very busy with life (real and otherwise). I’m swimming a lot. A lot. This is fantastic news for me and very boring for you. I will soon also be cross-training a lot. Ditto.

I have hit on a writing idea that, at the moment, I am throughly enjoying spending time playing with. I mean, properly enjoying, not occasionally dabbling with and then forgetting about. This is good therapy. It really is.

For completely different reasons, I need to spend time on my interview answers and examples.

And cleaning. And getting fresh air. Once it stops snowing. If it ever stops snowing*…

Oh! Also, I am stupidly happy that PJ and Duncan AKA Ant and Dec are all set for a Number 1. Just a childhood thing. No biggie.

*Want to read a good SF book about snow? Read Adam Roberts’ aptly titled Snow.


Tell me what you’ve been doing busy little bee…

It’s been so long I was actually shocked to see that the format has changed.

I’ve been trying to read a load of really awful books (some of which I really didn’t think would be awful…) and not getting through them.  I am half tempted to do another poll. The last one worked out OK. Why not? You have until I decide to try to read a book again. Probably this weekend. The options have changed since last time. Here:


Also, I have been working. And I went to Covent Garden. I do love Covent Garden. I’d like it more without all the French school children. I bought tea and, in a huge change from tradition, coffee.

Listening to something on Radio Four Extra that sounds like a cross between Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Hitchhiker’s Guide – it’s called World of Pub. Interesting. Turned over to Radio 2. There’s a history of comedy programme on.

Bon nuit!

The Next Book

Well, it didn’t go as badly as I thought it would. Thank you to the 9 people who voted. That is better than none, in fact it is better than 8. It is not better than 126 which is the number of Twitter followers I have. Miserable sods all 117 of you.

EDIT: A late entry for Carter Beats the Devil. Thank you the the 10 people who have now voted. This may change everything!

The results:

  1. Last Bus to Woodstock (Colin Dexter)   (2 votes)
  2. The Shape of Things to Come (HG Wells) (2 votes)
  3. The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins)  (2 votes)
  4. Carter Beats the Devil (Glen David Gold) (2 votes)
  5. The Truth (Michael Palin)  (1 votes)
  6. Inconceivable (Ben Elton) (1 votes)
  7. By Light Alone (Adam Roberts) (0 votes)
  8. Abe’s Legacy (Margorie P Dunn)  (0 votes)
  9. Swiftly (Adam Roberts) (0 votes)
  10. Night Music (Jojo Moyes)  (0 votes)

Firstly, you all obviously need educating to the delights of Adam Roberts and Jojo Moyes. Secondly, I can’t believe you almost made me read The God Delusion. Honestly. Finally, looks like I have the casting vote so:

Right, good. I’m going for Carter Beats the Devil. Well done that last vote!

Radio Ga Ga. A poll.

I have totally added a gorgeous radio to my New Year’s stash. My 3 pre-set stations are R4, R4EX and R2. Currently listening to Simon and Garfunkel & ABBA (Ahahhhh) on R2. I am just so rock and roll. Last night I went to bed at 9pm!

Anyway, I’m a bit stuck on what to read next so I thought I’d try a poll thingy on a few books I have on my shelf. Idea is that you guys vote and I pick the book that gets the most votes and read it. Then review, I guess. Let’s see how spectacularly this fails.

The only thing I have written recently is a long discourse to Anglian Water on how they still owe me money.

Anyway, here:

Edit: poll is over, too late.

Book Review: The Year of the Hare (Arto Paasilinna)

Weird book but then it is Finnish. Recommendation taken from a blog that I follow.

The translation was OK. I can’t say I’ve read worse because this is the only Finnish book translation I have ever read. It had a beginning, a middle and an (happy) end. And I don’t blame the protagonist for his actions.

I think I should like to move to Scandinavia.

6/10 – worth a shot.

52 Books (ish – don’t judge me) A Year

And so, after nearly a whole year, I have finally completed my resolution to read and review 52 novels. That is what I did.

Sort of.

The real (main) idea was simply to read more because for the last couple of years I’ve only read a handful of books and I love reading. The secondary idea was to have a go at a review or two because I enjoy that as well. How did I really do? Here come the stats!

I read a grand total of 26 novels, 1 play, 3 loo books, 4 (officially) kids books, my first e-book, a science book, a CV, a biography on Shakespeare, 2 autobiographies, some letters written by horses, at least 3 really bad books, a good few short stories, a Pratchett, a practical guide for wartime American soldiers, a social reading project book (mammoth count of 5 books because it was huge) and 1 non-finisher. And I reviewed them all! Even if some reviews were very short. I’ve tried some new genres and re-discovered my love of Science Fiction. More importantly I have read more! I think the most I read in a week was 4 books. Unheard of.

I have also found a plethora of weird photos online.

So, that’s that. I will continue to make more time to read. I collected a good number of book recommendations and will enjoy reading them at my leisure. I hope to continue to review the ones I like too.

Which brings me to my 2013 resolution…

Read and review 20 books AND write 13 short (or long) stories.


We’ll see how it goes. And, oh yes, next year… no cheating!

And finally, book 52: Joined-Up Thinking (Stevyn Colgan)

My mind is befuddled by all the facts in this book. But I like a book full of facts. Facts and the odd innuendo. It’s the sort of book you’d read a chapter of here or there (maybe but not exclusively on the loo) and then have to read it again every other day to try to learn then regurgitate in the pub.

Why not take the book to the pub? You’ve obviously not met my friends. If they knew I got most of my facts from a book they’d be very disappointed. Where they think I get my facts from is another debate entirely.

8/10 – It’s just like those conversations you (I) had as a kid which start off with yesterday’s botched chemistry experiment, to clouds and tennis then end up with Henry III and pickled onions. Really interesting.

Book 41: Back Story (David Mitchell)

The comedian.

Mitchell still comes across as a nice enough guy. There’s a sweet chapter about Victoria. I like his bit on agnosticism.

And it made my laugh.

I’m not going to give an autobiography marks out of 10 because that would be silly. I had to read it so quickly because I’ve already sold the thing (for a profit).

In other news, still reading The Quincunx – although, hilariously, I’ve almost finished it (this does not mean that I am not still counting it as 5 books!). This just goes to show that it’s not necessarily that I read slowly…

The Quincunx #quincunx

This is my first, very quick, comment on the book. I am trying to get ahead, deliberately, because I was always a swot but also because I can be a slow reader who is constantly distracted by life and other miseries.

Anyway, I have motored ahead today and I just want to comment on how fantastic the book is shaping out to be. Personally, I find the Dickensian style gratifyingly easy to read and being able to translate the odd bit of Latin makes me feel clever (like I said, I was always a swot). I am completely drawn into the story which is both incredibly well set out and intriguing, the more you read the greater the mystery and the thicker the plot. I’m kind of glad that the book is as long as it is! I have high hopes for the rest.

I am very much looking forward to sharing thoughts with the others reading it at the moment. I hope they are enjoying it as much as I am!

Also, in the 52 books a year stakes, I reckon this counts for at least 5 separate entries.

All further comments will be made via this blog: