Friday, 28 October 2016

October reading

Our books are a bit higgledy-piggledy at the moment

I never got around to writing a September reading post.... Life got in the way. So today, I give you a round-up of the past two months. Here it goes, in no particular order:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I just love Neil Gaiman. How could I not? I like the witty plots, the language and the fantastical ideas this talented man thinks up. Anansi boys centres around Fat Charlie and his increasingly complicated life after his estranged father dies during a karaoke performance. Fat Charlie didn't know his father was a god, and he didn't know he had a brother, Spider. Fat Charlie's features in American Gods, too and I like it how Neil Gaiman created a spin-off of this fabulous epic tale without serialising it.

Slade House by David Mitchell. I found this rather disappointing. I don't know why I bothered, I really only liked one of David Mitchell's books and I can't even remember the name of it now.
It is a ghost story of sorts, involving a pair of somewhat immortal and awfully evil siblings as well as a haunted house that reveals itself only every nine years and only to individuals that are 'different' and/or lonely. Immortality comes at a cost. The book just didn't capture my imagination.

Why Did You Lie? by 

The Darker Side by Cody Mcfadyen. Three words: crude, violent and vulgar. I finished my holiday book too quickly and picked up one at the flat were we were staying, at random. This particular book starts with murder victim 143 (!) and is largely set in Los Angeles. There is not a single likeable character in the book, everyone is damaged, psychopathic or both (and I am talking about the good guys here). It is probably one of the worst crime novels I nearly finished.
The author must assume its readers are dumb, that they enjoy reading vulgarity and can't handle  fiction that doesn't involve a completely crazed prolific serial killer and an investigating team that is so severely damaged that under normal circumstances everyone of them would be sectioned.

Unwanted and Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson. There are five books in this series and I have finished the first two. It is set in Stockholm and is thankfully much more pleasant to read than the previous book. Murder is murder of course and the murderers are no saints but in these books, the author is more focused on the why and the social impact of of crime than the unnecessarily gruesome descriptions of murder victims and crime scenes. The investigators are normal people with normal flaws. The main investigator in the above book has been raped and disfigured by a serial killer who then went off the kill her husband and daughter; she also adopted the daughter of a friend who was killed by another serial killer. The girl was tied to the murdered mother and was not found for three days and is seriously traumatised. Do I need to say more? The investigators in Kristina Ohlsson's series have marital problems, loose partners to cancer and have childcare issues. They are likeable but not always and work in an environment where mutual respect and collaboration is valued. In the first book, a child is abducted and murdered, awful really. The investigation focuses on the child's father, a man with a history of partner abuse, but eventually it turns out that the motif rather different and buried deep in the past . The second book focuses on the murder-suicide of an elderly couple and we soon learn that the suicide is staged. The main theme in the book is that of illegal immigration and people traffickers. I am currently listening to the 3rd book in the series.

As always, my 'reading' is a mix of listening and actual reading. What have you read lately? Anything I should read, too? 

P.S. I feel the need to apologise for my 'absence' on your blogs, I have been awfully tired lately and didn't seem to have enough energy to leave a comment.