Monday, August 30, 2010

In which more felting is done | Reading round up August

This one is for a friend.

August Reading Round Up

This month has been a slow reading month.  I've had a bit of stuff going on which means I've not had time to sit and read.  I realise how much I read/ate by myself at lunch time in my old job whereas here I tend to eat lunch with colleagues and chat.  I miss it actually.  I think I need the downtime. At the Main campus I don't have easy access to the public library's collection like I do at Waitakere so actually getting to the library requires an effort.  Having the iPad means DH has been buying quite a few ebooks so he hasn't been inititating any visits either. 

Hobson's chance / Jenny Haworth.
Travelling to England in 1830 with her brother, Anita Hobson is desperate and in love. She has been torn from her homeland by family who believes she will be implicated in the actions of her criminal fiance who has been transported to Australia. In a desperate bid to see him Anita takes a job as a governess in Australia. ~from the blurb
Her choice to take on the governess position eventually leads her and her ward to Australia and then to New Zealand.  I found the plot a bit plodding to be honest.  Some of the story seemed to be purposefully written to encompass particular events happening at the time that I'm not sure actually added anything to the plot.

Rifling through my drawers / Clarissa Dickson-Wright.
Autobiographical riffing.  I have to confess I didn't finish this one.  It got a bit boring and I didn't agree with some of her ideas so all in all I wasn't particularly motivated to finish.  It had heaps of holds on it so I took it back to the library.

Ashes to dust / Yrsa Sigurdardottir ; translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton. 
Bodies are discovered in one of the excavated houses at a volcanic tourist attraction dubbed 'The Pompeii of the North'. Markús Magnússon, who was only a teenager when the volcano erupted, falls under suspicion and hires attorney Thóra Gudmundsdottir to defend him - but when his childhood sweetheart is murdered his case starts to look more difficult, and the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up..."-- Publisher description
Great read - would read more of her work.  It kept me reading and had a surprisingly twisty ending.  I say surprising because I didn't expect the killer to be the person it was!

Six feet down under : memoirs of a New Zealand funeral director / Chris Mann.
There is an element of mystique about the funeral business that often leads people be very curious. This is Chris Mann's story from his early days as a Funeral Director's assistant through to becoming a Funeral Director himself. It covers stories of tragedy and laughter, from funerals attended by high class society to occasions when nobody at all attended"--Publisher's description.
This is a self-published book from what I can see, and as such it would have benefited from a skilled editor to enhance the story telling of some of the material.  Having said that I found it interesting given the location from which the book is written (Auckland) and the era from which is comes (80s-90s) is basically the time and place I grew up with.  I also find the whole ritual of funeral/death/grieving interesting from a sociological point of view.

Blogosphere Bookcircle of the Month

Novel about my wife / Emily Perkins. London : Bloomsbury, 2008. ISBN: 9780747596509 (pbk.)

Tom Stone, fortyish, English, is madly in love with his wife Ann, an Australian in self-imposed exile in London. Expecting their first child, they buy a semi-derelict house in Hackney. They believe this is their settled future, despite Tom's stalling career and their spiralling money troubles. But soon Ann becomes convinced she's being shadowed by a local homeless man whose presence seems like a terrible omen. As their child grows, so too does Tom's sense of an impending, nameless threat. On the verge of losing the house, Tom makes a decision that he hopes will save their lives.~ from the blurb

I have to admit, it has been a while since I read the book as it arrived in the library for me earlier in the year.  I do remember struggling a bit trying work out if the wife's problem was real or if she was imagining it, and the ending was decidedly confusing for me.  I had to re-read that part several times and I still don't actually understand how she dies.  But there it is. The story was gripping though and really gave a grimy, urban feel.

1 comment:

  1. Despite not reading as much you're still reading more than me. I was a bit ambivalent about Novel tAbout My Wife - although I sort of enjoyed it.

    Gave up on September book - I am such a Book Club loser this year. Decided life is too short to perservere with books I don't immediately like. Not to self: must try harder!