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I'm a little way into Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson.  It's great so far.

 

I'm halfway through Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles by Mark Russell & Mike Feehan.  LOVING it!

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I am three chapters into 'The seven deaths of Evelyn 

Hardcastle' by Stuart Turton.'

 

 

 

'

 

 

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2019 has started fairly inauspiciously for me, I started the year with The Liars Wife (review in 21st century literature) which i liked but wasn't totally bowled over with, then I read the completely dire and dreadful Damien by J Kenner (review available in the Stark Series review I posted).

 

So now I am reading a trilogy of books which I picked up dirt cheap as a deal of the day thingy off of Amazon and it is something I have never really read before, organised crime and underworld series by Kimberly Chambers which follows the lives of two London  families who despise each other.

 

The Series begins with The Feud (which I have just completed) and I am now on book 2 The Traitor and the trilogy ends with The Victim.  So far I have been pretty blown away by it and The Feud was the first book of 2019 which inspired me to pull an 'all nighter', I will of course post a full review when I have completed the series.

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I've decided to leave off "Little Women" for a while, as I'm finding it a bit twee, plus I know the story (I've just got to Amy's mishap on the ice), and instead am reading Ann Cleeves's "The Seagull", the latest in the Vera Stanhope series, as the TV version will be shown in a few weeks' time, and I want to read it first!

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On 11/01/2019 at 10:39, Madeleine said:

I've decided to leave off "Little Women" for a while, as I'm finding it a bit twee, plus I know the story (I've just got to Amy's mishap on the ice), and instead am reading Ann Cleeves's "The Seagull", the latest in the Vera Stanhope series, as the TV version will be shown in a few weeks' time, and I want to read it first!

My view of Little Women has been completely changed by Samantha Ellis's How to be a Heroine. What she wrote about how the underlying theme of LW is about the girls having to suppress their natural natures in order to become a proper little woman rings so true that I don't think I could read it now.

 

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Just started Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness, Luna messaged me privately and pointed out that the ebook version was at that point in time just 99p and considering the last time I looked at it it was £9.99, I had decided (albeit reluctantly) to wait till it came out in paperback as if I was going to pay that kind of money I wanted something physical to show for it (plus I had the All Souls Trilogy in book book form), but with a deal like that I didn't think twice about getting it, it immediately leaped to the top of my TBR list and I started reading it on Tuesday and so far I am loving it.

Edited by Apple

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Having many, many, many times said on BGO that I didn't like short stories  I am currently reading Poirot Investigates a collection of short stories  by Agatha Christie.

I had been an avid reader for many years, and would sit reading for long periods of time, or with quite short periods between reading sessions; short stories just did not fit my reading 'timetable'.

For several years now, for various reasons, mostly inexplicable, I have just not managed to 'settle into' whatever book I tried, butpicked this book up on the way to a hospital appointment, thinking that it would do to pass the time in the waiting room. 

As it turned out, my waiting time was remarkably short, and I didn't look at the book. However, because of periods of back pain I find myself sitting for the odd half-hour during the day, and finding nothing remotely watchable on the TV in the afternoon I have been picking the book up and reading these short stories.

Depending on the length of the story, i can read one, or two at a sitting, and because they are individual stories I can put the book down for a few days and not have to remind myself of what came before.

Of course, this is Poirot, so a puzzle to engage my mind, and other short stories may not work as well for me - but it is a start!

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I'm not that into short stories either, but sometimes they can be an easy read, and you can dip in and out of a collection, they're especially good if you don't fancy a long book for some reason.  The British Library do some good collections on various themes, mainly crime.

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I've just started The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide.  Too early to say if I'm enjoying it or not!  The translation seems (to me) a little awkward.  I had a hard time getting the gist of the layout of the area as the translator described it.

 

I'm a third of the way through Midnighter: The Complete Wildstorm Series by Garth Ennis and others.  Lots of bloodthirsty superhero fun.

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I finished The Guest Cat and did NOT enjoy it.  Perhaps it lost something in translation.  I found it dreadfully dull.

 

I've just started How To Be a Normal Person by T.J. Klune -- which makes it sound as if it's a self-help book, but it's actually a novel.  Only a few pages in, but it's already made me laugh out loud a couple of times, so that's promising.

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After The Aftermath I've been on a detective kick - largely because bargains kept on popping up for the Kobo. First was the Crow Trap by Anne Cleeves which was excellent, The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths, OK, and now The Mechanical Devil by Kate Ellis whom I've never read before and amenjoying a lot. And I got Scrublands this morning!

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February has now begun  and I’ve just started reading The Diary by Vikki Patis, it's a book which has been on my kindle for a while and I've kept skipping over and reading something else, billed as a psychological thriller (I seem to be reading quite a lot of those recently) and the blurb tells me a girl travels back to her home town for the first time in years - since her sister died in fact and when she arrives, she finds a diary that her sister wrote and  things start to happen, not saying any more than that but so far its holding my attention so we shall see how it progresses.

 

With that in mind here is a quick round up of what I read in January, not exactly currently reading I know but I thought I'd like to share my recent reads with you all, not a bad haul to be fair, more than I anticipated reading, and with varying degrees of quality. 2019 started with The Liars Wife by Samantha Hayes, a disturbing psychological thriller which I enjoyed very much, it was a little incredulous at times but it was one of those books where you could visualise what was going on and feel as though you were there so not a bad start to the year, next up things went downhill dramatically with Damien by J Kenner, this was the latest offering as part of her long running Stark series about Damien and Nikki Stark which was originally a much better series of novels and novellas than its peers (Fifty Shades of Grey and The Crossfire series by Sylvia Day) however, it went downhill and became just as predictable and cringeworthy as anything found in those diabolical stories, but I was intrigued, as this one was written from Damien's perspective rather than from his wife Nikki's. I had enjoyed this series originally I decided to have a little look and the result – shouldn’t have bothered simple as that! Then came a trilogy 'The Mitchells and O Hara Trilogy' by Kimberley Chambers which was made up of the books The Feud, The Traitor and The Victim these were a story about family feuds, London’s underworld and organised crime, now things started well The Feud was the first book of 2019 to inspire me to pull an all-nighter it was edgy and captivating, but the quality of the story diminished in book 2 and book 3 was barely readable it was so far-fetched, so to say I was disappointed would be an understatement, started well but very disappointed by the end.  
 
After that I was anxious to find a book which I would actually not be disappointed with I turned to Time’s Convert next by Deborah Harkness, as I felt it was time for a bit of supernatural, perversely I wasn’t really expecting anything from this book as I had convinced myself that it would in no way live up to the outstanding 'All Souls Trilogy', and I had talked myself into being disappointed before I had even started, but on the other hand I knew the author was talented and even if the plot wasn’t great I knew she wouldn’t disappoint with the historical details she filled her books with, so even if I was disappointed with the story I wouldn’t be – does that make sense? It was a very different story to the trilogy but it was magnificent and I was sad when I had finished it which is always the mark of a good book. Next up was In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards, another whodunit psychological thriller, again I was expecting nothing from this as I hadn’t really thought much of 'The Retreat' which I had previously read, but it was there (and it was a Prime Reading freebie) so I thought what the hell and it was actually really very good, it was a little incredulous at times but overall it was a solidly good story with many layers and it all came together well. 
  
The Supernatural called to me again after that one and somewhat fortuitously  I had just received a book I had pre-ordered at the end of last year -  Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones and so I decided to get stuck in this was the final book in the fantasy supernatural series I had read and totally adored last year, and this final installment  did not disappoint, it did everything it set out to do and ended the series nicely. Doll House by John Hunt was up next and that was a very dark disturbing psychological thriller, and well written as despite the fact I figured out who the torturer/rapist/killer was about half way through it still kept me riveted to the end. A bit of fluff was in order next after the heavy subject matter of 'Doll House' and Dan & Nat Got Married by Jon Rance fitted the bill it was a romantic comedy and a freebie from Prime Reading, not something I would spend money on but for a freebie it wasn’t too bad, basically the story of two people who meet on two separate stag/hen weekends in Las Vegas and whilst totally slaughtered they get married to each other - as you do! They return to the UK and decide instead of getting a divorce and forgetting it ever happened. to try and make a go of things and see if they can have a relationship and be happy together, as they are both pretty much losers in the relationship department, it's a ‘nice’ story, nothing special a bit predictable and twee but I enjoyed it and it served a purpose, plus it was free so what was not to like. Last book of the month was Love You Gone by Rona Halsall a psychological thriller and all I can say about this is thank god it was short, it only took me 5 hours in total to read and those are 5 hours I am never going to get back, the sad thing about this story was it had real potential, the idea behind the story was superb it raised a number of valid serious points about how relationships are viewed and it could have been absolutely outstanding yet the author managed to completely blow it and produced a book which was flat, superficial and crap.
 
So there we go, January in a nutshell, now on to February, so watch this space!

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 I recently finished The Darkness of Wallis Simpson, a collection of short stories by Rose Tremain and, not having anything else lined up, I have now picked Honeybath's Haven, a murder mystery  by Michael Innes, fairly randomly, from the bookshelf. 

Going OK so far.

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After watching the wonderful BBC adaption on TV , I've took the plunge and started Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. A whopper of a book with over 650,000 words. Gulp

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4 hours ago, Clavain said:

After watching the wonderful BBC adaption on TV , I've took the plunge and started Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. A whopper of a book with over 650,000 words. Gulp

 

Be interested in your thoughts on that Clavain.

 

I have embarked on the autobiography of Emma Goldman, apparently the world's foremost activist.  This is a very large tome so I expect to be a while

Edited by lunababymoonchild
typing error

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Still reading and enjoying Honeybath's Haven.

 It is far from fast-paced, I am 2/3 of the way through it and the murder has only just occurred. The book is amusing, the characters quirky, and the style is wordy (quite a few words used I did not know). I have had this and a couple of other Michael Innes mysteries on my bookshelf for years, and although this is the only one featuring Honeybath as the investigator, I think I will read more of them.

I'm glad they weren't culled along with the many others when we moved house!

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I have just started Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett.

 

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Back in early 2015 I posted that I had The Singing Sands, the last of Josephine Tey's "Inspector Grant' series sitting on my bookshelf, and queueing to be read after a couple of earlier ones ones. I can find no evidence on BGO that I have read it, apart from one unfilled space on my Booklist for early 2016.

I am about to start it now - the book is an ancient paperback, smelly, with brown pages and tiny print so, even though I expect a good story from Josephine Tey, I'm not sure how I will get on with it.

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