Book Count (since 1 January 2012)

Book Count (since 1 January 2014): 30

Monday, 27 January 2014

Carver's Quest by Nick Rennison

A very enjoyable mystery story about Adam Carver, a young gentleman in Victorian England and his servant Quint.  Adam and Quint enjoy a relaxed, respectful relationship and are both drawn into a murder mystery when they discover the body of a man who had apparently uncovered an ancient secret.  This book is very easy to read and the characters are likeable and charming.  The plot is engrossing but not particularly demanding.  A fun historical mystery story.

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman

An American thriller involving an ex-FBI agent who is reluctantly drawn back into a case she investigated before retirement.  The case was unsolved and it now appears that the perpetrator has confessed, but have the police found the right man?  Easy to read and fairly gripping with writing which is just the right side of average this is a good holiday thriller.  There is nothing literary about this book but it is entertaining and inoffensive trash.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I really enjoyed this novel about a young boy growing up without a stable family after the tragic death of his mother.  The characters in this book are really engrossing and very realistic, which makes it easy to be drawn in to their lives.  The story is captivating and unusual and although slow in places maintains the readers interest, particularly as the writing itself is easy to read but very rich.   This is not a quick read but the pace of the plot prevents this from ever becoming boring.   Definitely recommended.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates

A novel about a curse which apparently befalls the University town of Princeton, and seems to particularly affect one wealthy and powerful family.  It sounds brilliant but I found the story heavily slow, the characters one dimensional and uninteresting and the writing cumbersome.  I found it very difficult to finish this book and my sense of relief when I came to the end did feel like the lifting of a curse.

The Honey Guide by Richard Crompton

This novel is about a Kenyan detective, Mollel, who buries himself in work following the tragic death of his wife.  In the run up to an election, tribal tensions run high and Mollel and his partner struggle against Kenyan politics to try and solve the murder of a young girl.  The Kenyan backdrop for this detective story is very interesting and the plot is gripping.  As a character Mollel is perhaps a bit too much of a stereotypical emotionally wounded maverick policeman but he is still likable and it is easy to root for him as he pursues the case.   Overall an enjoyable easy to read and slightly different detective story which would be good for holidays.

Stoner: A Novel by John Williams

This is a very well written book about a young farmer who, whilst studying a course in agriculture, becomes mesmerised by a Shakespeare sonnet which kickstarts a long career in literary academia.  The plot is very unassuming and Stoner's life is not unusually remarkable but it is the writing and the observations on a normal life which make this a very powerful read.  Stoner is a very principled, just man who encounters personalities during his life which challenge his definition of right and wrong which leaves the reader feeling both desperately sad for Stoner and also questioning their own morality.  I enjoyed reading this very much but it will not appeal to those who look for an explosive plot in their novels.