Thursday, 3 November 2011

September, October and RIP VI round-up

  • The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne-Jones re-read
  • Charmed Life by Diana Wynne-Jones - re-read
  • Silvertongue by Charlie Fletcher
  • The Duke's Daughter by Angela Thirkell*
  • Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt - review pending
  • Jane Austen by Carol Shields - review to come
  • The American Boy by Andrew Taylor
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Arrival City by Doug Saunders (K)
  • Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym - re-read
  • The Pattern in the Carpet by Margaret Drabble - review to come
  • The Girls by John Bowen - review pending
    * Books in blue were non-RIP reads

    During both September and October I was busy reading for the RIP VI Challenge, but there were some good things I didn't have time to talk about, being too caught up in a very satisfying group read of Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things - in the course of which I discovered that the best way to read short stories is to savour them slowly. I got so involved in the group reads of this and Jim Butcher's Storm Front that I did less much reviewing than I intended!, but I had so much fun!

    I did, for the first time, manage to do some suitable viewing: The Corpse Bride was a little disappointing, and I'm not too sure about the first episode of The Dresden Files - mildly enjoyable, I suppose. I also watched a thriller called Page Eight which I might have reviewed had I had more time - it was moody and atmospheric and for once, I wasn't on edge the whole way through waiting for gory deaths. I'll definitely do this part of the challenge again next year.

    Finally, I read sixteen books which could have counted towards the challenge, and managed to review five, so I did complete Peril the First (and three of them were on the original list)! I also read all of Charlie Fletcher's Stoneheart trilogy, which was fun, though there were rather too many pitched battles for my taste (and endurance) - I think they would please a young readership, especially boys. The UK editions of this series start with a London map showing the locations of the most important statues, with a thumbnail drawing. I can't think why they aren't included in the US editions - you can Google all the statues, but that relies on memory while you're reading. The author makes brilliant use of London statues as characters and I don't think it's doing him any favours to leave out the maps - my copy of Ironhand was a Bookmooched US one, and I missed them all the way through.

    Diana Wynne-Jones' Chrestomanci books are wonderful, too, with protagonists who face real moral decisions. They may not be the very best of her books (I'd be hard pushed to choose which were!) but they are full of warmth and humour, splendid cats and some very scary moments. I've gone straight on to volume 2.

    I read Donna Tartt's The Secret History as a book club choice, having avoided her up to now because I don't get on with bestsellers. I was wrong, it was okay.

    I've enjoyed the last two months reading so much that my intention is to carry on with it until the end of the year, perhaps not quite as exclusively as I've done for the last two months, but it's getting dark early now that the clocks have changed, and I'm in the mood for more crime, fantasy and magic. Thanks again to Carl for being such a wonderful host and for putting in so much work to make it such a success!


    1. I also do really well reading for R.I.P., but I am terrible about reviewing...

    2. Well done on the challenge! I also suspect I'll continue to be in the mood for RIPish books for the next few months. Also, I have recently finished Ragnarok myself - looking forward to comparing notes with you!

    3. You did extremely well! I fully intend to keep reading this type of thing as well. It's silly to reserve them just for the RIP challenge.

      My grand-daughter's read the Charlie Fletcher Stoneheart series and loved them. Perhaps I should too.