Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CHALLENGE: RIP (Reader's Imbibing Peril) VIII

Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings is hosting the RIP VIII for September and October, reading creepy and scary books. My favorite kind! I've participated almost every year and these are my favorite kinds of books.

Dark Fantasy

Peril the First:
Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.

Books In My Pool I'm Looking At

Blood Safari by Deon Meyer
A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley
The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

leftover from last year
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffennegger
The Reapers by John Connolly
Undone by Karin Slaughter

plus assorted ongoing mystery series by : Mo Hayder, maybe a new Indridason?,

Books I Read
1. Mr Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal (audiobook)
2. Death Angels - Ake Edwardson
3. The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
4.  The Treatment - Mo Hayder (audiobook)
5.  Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffennegger
6. Nemesis - Jo Nesbo

Monday, August 26, 2013

BOOKS: The Serpent's Dark Match of Truth by Franklin, Lindsay, Ross, and Winspear

Next in a series books...

The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin, 443 pages
Book 2 of 4

Love this 12th century series about Adelia Aguilar, an Italian doctor who studies the dead. 'Trapped' in England by King Henry II, and with a settled life on the Fens, Adelia is drawn back into investigating Henry's mistress Rosamund's death. That leads her to some dealings with Eleanor of Aquitaine who is being set up. Royal intrigue with a strong women going against what is expected of them. Some great minor characters round out the good series.
Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay, 302 pages
Book 3 of 6

This Dexter novel felt a little different. It seemed a little slower overall, and more introspective. Dexter has lost his 'Dark Passenger' and it seemed like he lost a bit of his humor as well. The wedding is rolling along, and the future step-children are becoming creepier and creepier. There was more of a battle between the dark forces inside the serial killers.Hopefully the next book is more like the first couple. I'd like to read the books before I start to watch the shows.
Miss Julia Meets Her Match by Ann B Ross, (10 h 42 min)
Book 5 of 14

These novels, of a type of Southern life, can be hit or miss with me. They can be slow, and frustrating, but also simple and amusing. Cozy reads as it were. This was the first time I listened to Miss Julia, and it worked for me as a book I could listen to for small bits, and then leave for a while. In some ways like a Three's Company episode (why don't you just say what you mean, instead of trying to trick someone into believing things, or to avoid being embarrassed! arg!) but what I've noticed is that the books all build (slowly) to a grand finale that pays off for me, but it can be a slow process getting there.

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear, (11 h 11 min)
Book 4 of 10

I loved listening to Maisie Dobbs on audiobook, and I was pleased with how Maisie is making some decisions about her future, and growing up a bit. Georgina Bassington-Hope asks Maisie to investigate the accidental death of her brother, Nick, and artist who fell to his death. Maisie follows her unique investigative approach and is exposed to the artistic lifestyle of the Bassington-Hopes. Meanwhile, her assistant Billy Beal is dealing with his own family troubles as the lower class deals with the troubled economic times of the early 1930s.

How strange was it that the only audiobooks my library had in both of these series' were the next ones I had to read? 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

BOOK: Night Street by Kristel Thornell

Night Street by  Kristel Thornell, 242 pages

Aussie Author Challenge

The imagined life of one of Australia's most intriguing artists. (from the back cover)

Clarice Beckett, 1887-1935, was an Australian painter of some reknown in her day, but who gained attention years after her death. She lived a solitary life devoted to her art, in defiance of what was expected of a young lady in her day.

 "[Thornell] attempted to 'look' at Beckett as she might have looked at a landscape, squinting to soften edges and reach beyond detail in the search for patterns of light and shade." author's note, p 241

Beckett studied under Meldrum, developing her style and learning ideas of painting. eventually becoming confident enough to have her own style. She preferred landscapes, and avoided portraits and flowers. 

Duncan Max Meldrum (3 December 1875 – 6 June 1955) was a Scottish born Australian painter. He is known as the founder of Australian Tonalism, a representational style of painting, as well as his portrait work, for which he won the Archibald Prize in 1939 and 1940. (wikipedia)

The novel manages to capture the paintings, and the life, of Beckett. Not much is actually known of Beckett, but portraying her life as a reflection of her paintings is inspired, especially as Thornell pulls it off. I waited until after I finished the book to look up her paintings and they match the book. The writing is wispy, blurred, but definite.

While this is not a book I would ever have picked up myself, I am glad that I read it. How did I end up with this little gem of a book? I won it as a prize for participating in the Canadian Book Challenge, hosted by John Mutford at the Book Mine Set. So, big thanks to John for hosting and organizing, and Goose Lane Editions publishers for donating the book.