June books

Nov. 14th, 2015 12:12 am
slemslempike: (nemi: argh)
[personal profile] slemslempike
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John Le Carre
Five Children on the Western Front - Kate Saunders
The Bunner Sisters - Edith Wharton
The Last 10 Seconds - Simon Kernick
Hard Landing - Stephen Leather
Rough Justice - Simon Leather
Fishnet - Kirsten Innes
Remote Control - Andy McNab
Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky - Sandra Dallas
The Fat Boy Chronicles - Diane Lang
My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
Black Moth - Georgette Heyer
No Time Like the Past - Jodi Taylor
Deadline - Simon Kernick
Target - Simon Kernick
Ciao Asmara - Justin Hill
The Little Friend - Donna Tartt
Act of Will - AJ Hartley
Fat White Vampire - Andrew Fox

This will be somewhat curtailed as in the four months between reading these books and actually getting around to writing about them, I have forgotten lots.

I saw the recent film of Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy and even after that AND having read the book, I can't remember who did it, or really why. I liked the atmosphere of it all, though, and will read more Smiley.

Five Children on the Western Front was very interesting, with the Psammead allowing them the view into the front, but my robot soul came into play and I wasn't as touched as I might have been by it all. I liked Edie, though, and the idea of the younger children suddenly getting their "turn" with the magic of their older siblings. But The Bunner Sisters was so sad. Horrible, horrible man to tear the sisters apart, and the elder one suppressing everything so that the younger might have a chance and it all being for nothing.

Shortly before going on holiday I had asked for blokelit recommendations from a man I massively fancied, and then read them in the hopes of having a connection with him about them afterwards. This accounts for the Simon Kernick, Stephen Leather and Andy McNab titles. The Andy McNab was dull and not well written. The first Stephen Leather I found gripping, and then the second was just a BNP recruitment pamphlet (which put me off the man in question, though he agreed with my assessment of the book and did not share the view, apparently). Simon Kernick, however, I did enjoy reading and might look out for more.

Fishnet has, I think, won an award - Not The Booker, maybe? I have been (somewhat passively) reading sex worker twitter and other things about sex work activism for a while, and that's what the source material for this book is. Possibly for that reasonn, this book felt a bit explanatory in places for me - and while the characters were very very far from being cutouts, they felt a little dulled around the edges to read about. So possibly not the book for me, but I will defintiely read any more of hers that come out.

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky is a children's book about Japanese internees in WW2 America - very odd to read as a British adult. While the story was somewhat critical of American actions leading to internment, it's very uncritical of the general American nationalism, in particular seeking to be accepted as Americans just like anyone else (white, Anglo). The Fat Boy Chronicles is about how a boy beats bullies by losing weight and becoming a better person. I didn't realise until the end that it was written by a nutritionist specifically to address obesity in children -had I done so I would have skipped it. Fat White Vampire on the other hand was quite good, the vampire in question is a teenage boy, so there are all the bits about unpopularity in high school mingled in with vampire stuff.

I started My Brilliant Friend, didn't get into it, and then a month or so later was still thinking about it so had to go back on hold at the library again to finish it up. I'm not sure that I would say that I liked it, exactly, and I don't think that I've got as much out of it as others who loved it. The friendship, though, with sudden twists and changes that she didn't quite understand, and Lila's fascination with and repulsion at what she's been denied, was masterful.

I had to go and look up the plot of Black Moth, and while I now remember the mechanics I think it wasn't something that I particularly enjoyed, or with characters I found particularly interesting. Still on historical-related fiction - I do enjoy the St Mary's books. No Time Like the PastCiao Asmara was just dull, I think. It was a pile of Eritrean books that our great guide Salvatore had for us to borrow, and I was hoping to get an amusing view of an expat in the country - but nothing has stuck other than that he was rude about the local beer.

I had heard that The Little Friend was not much enjoyed by several people - I thought it was excellent. I think I read The Secret History when I was a little too young for it to really grab me, so perhaps it did not suffer by association with my reading as with others'. I found the girls' undermining of Ida and the resulting fallout really painful to read, seeing how Ida put up with not just their awfulness but the general treatment and mistreatment of her as a black servant.

Act of Will is about a coward/liar falling in with True Heroic Types and bitterly disappointing them until he almost disappoints himself, and saves the day. Funny, sarcastic narrative.

Date: 2015-11-14 01:35 pm (UTC)
ext_939: Sheep wearing an eyepatch (spiralsheep Ram Raider mpfc)
From: [identity profile] spiralsheep.livejournal.com
I enjoy people's book posts but then have nothing to say in response except this.

Likewise

Date: 2015-11-14 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ms-bracken.livejournal.com
I wish they were an internet thing more people did!

Re: Likewise

Date: 2015-11-15 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slemslempike.livejournal.com
I wish they were a thing I did more often again!

Date: 2015-11-14 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slemslempike.livejournal.com
I think that comments telling me they are enjoyed my posts are of the very highest quality of substance.

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