Some months are good for reading and some aren’t. When you’re enjoying a book you can find plenty of time for reading but if the pages are dragging then daily reading time dwindles. December was a good month and here are my reactions You can find out more about the stories elsewhere in WordPress blogs, written by people who specialize in doing that.
Police by Jo Nesbo
I was just finishing this book at the beginning of the month.. You either like crime novels or you don’t. You either like translations of Scandivian crime novels or you don’t. I do, and this book was no exception. And a lot depends on the translator to produce a fluid translation in the new language. This was the tenth book in the Harry Hole series and didn’t disappoint. I’ve been interested to note that Nesbo is now working on a couple of new novels under the nom-de-plume of Tom Johansen.
Cuckoo Calling by Robert Galbraith aka J.K.Rowling
I go to the library to collect books that I have decided I want to read but I always have a quick look at the Returned Books Shelf. You never know what you might find there. On one such day Cuckoo Calling was displayed prominently. Now I am full of admiration for J.K.Rowling for her ability to write books that children want to read. But I found her first adult novel, Casual Vacancy, very disappointing and had decided never again ! Famous last words. There it was, sitting on the shelf mocking me, Cuckoo Calling, so down it came. And the inevitable happened, I just loved it.
That wasn’t my reaction in the first three pages where she set up the crime which is going to need solving. My prejudices were there and I was muttering words like Adjective Junkie, and, Any High School kid could do better than that. Bees humming AND buzzing in the same sentence, Not the bees that I know. But once she starts the real story she is off and running, a real story-teller.
There is the suitably dishevelled, highly intelligent but damaged detective, struggling to make a living. He is assisted by a delightful, resourceful and tactful Secretary who he gradually comes to realize that he couldn’t do without. (I’ve already cast the delightful Scottish actress Kelly McDonald in the role of the Secretary ! ) It sounds familiar, doesn’t it and I wonder if Rowling had a smile on her face some of the time while writing.
The end is such that further stories could be written. How they would fare I do not know as even though I enjoyed the books the characters don’t have the depth, that you find in a Henning Mankell or Jo Nesbo book, which you need for a lengthy series.
Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
Knots and Crosses is another random choice book, displayed front and centre on the Returned Book shelf, just waiting to be taken home for a visit. Over the years I have seen TV interpretations of the Rebus series. I remember enjoying the series when John Hannah played Rebus but when a different actor took over the role they became just another cop show of no particular interest, I even read a couple of the novels. But that is all in the past and the details were fading from the memory so I was a bit amazed when I found myself enjoying Ian Rankin’s first novel far more than I expected to. Rankin’s words and my imagination renewed my interest in the characters I remember seeing on the small screen. Further interest came from filling in the earlier life of Rebus.
The Pyramid by Henning Mankell
This book got renewed twice at the library before I finished reading it. This was possible as it is a series of five shorter Kurt Wallander mysteries which progress through his life from his beginnings as a detective, through his marriage, fatherhood and the breakup of his marriage. But it wasn’t written until eight of the main Wallander mysteries had been written and helped to fill in the back story.
As well as wallowing in crime stories there were a couple of light pieces from the library on my mini ipad, used for late night or coffee shop reading.
How to be Good by Nick Hornby – a bit of fluff
Lovesong by Alex Miller With an inter-country marriage how do you cope with the family ties pulling in different directions.
One thing I don’t lack is a choice of bookmarks for each of my reads.