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Started by RosyLovelady on Sep 15, 2017 12:34:09 PM
What rubbish are you reading?

A thread to admit that you read low-brow, sensationalist and/or otherwise deplorable books.

Rubbish recommendations welcome.

RosyLovelady - 15 Sep 2017 16:29:27 (#1 of 2178)

Oh dear. Everyone's working their way through the Booker list.

Well, I'm reading Vincent Bugliosi's rant, Outrage, about the OJ Simpson trial.

HouseOfLametta - 15 Sep 2017 16:38:16 (#2 of 2178)

Greenmantle. John Buchan.

Ripping tosh.

Macpaddy - 15 Sep 2017 17:01:48 (#3 of 2178)

A Brief History of Time.

The geezer in the wheelchair did it.

LobsangRampa - 15 Sep 2017 17:03:52 (#4 of 2178)

I have Dry by Jane Harper which I'm hoping is going to be gripping tosh.

I think the best 'deplorable' book I've ever read is Riders by Jilly Cooper.

RosyLovelady - 15 Sep 2017 17:12:47 (#5 of 2178)

I've never read any of Jilly Cooper's books except Class, years ago.

Rachel Johnson falls into much the same deplorable subset though, I think, and I've read all of her stuff.

darkhorse - 15 Sep 2017 17:16:24 (#6 of 2178)

What rubbish are you reading?

At the moment? JTT.

darkhorse - 15 Sep 2017 17:17:46 (#7 of 2178)

I did read Is it just me? by Miranda Hart, which was within reaching distance of the loo recently.

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TommyDGNR8 - 15 Sep 2017 17:20:14 (#9 of 2178)

Not reading, but listening to some fantasy guff called Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks on recommendation of a normally reliable friend. Not as bad as I feared, not as good as he suggested.

LobsangRampa - 15 Sep 2017 17:42:05 (#10 of 2178)

I've never read any of Jilly Cooper's books except Class, years ago.

Riders is THE ONE, Rosy. Pinnacle of her achievement. The (Le?) chef d'oeuvre. She went slowly downhill after that. Though Polo is worth a look.

Shadrack22 - 15 Sep 2017 17:57:34 (#11 of 2178)

Jilly Cooper? Here hare here:

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mingmong - 15 Sep 2017 18:07:28 (#13 of 2178)

Have been toying with a re-read of Interview with a Vampire

surferboogiewhatever - 15 Sep 2017 18:07:43 (#14 of 2178)

Riders is THE ONE [...] Though Polo is worth a look.

Polo has always been my favourite of that series, probably because it has the nicest hero in a major storyline (in some of the later ones, I always feel that there's a nominal main couple but they take a back seat to the continued adventures of bloody Rupert).

Tadagee - 15 Sep 2017 18:08:22 (#15 of 2178)

I have read every Sven Hassell book. Probably twice.

BadgerDancing - 15 Sep 2017 18:13:35 (#16 of 2178)

My brother's house when he was between wives was great for rubbish reading. There were stacks of paperbacks everywhere - Douglas Reeman, Wilbur Smith, Bernard Cornwell, Sven Hassel: essentially men in historical combat situations. A weekend at his place would involve me reading chapters at random from the closest book to hand and the resultant alcohol - fuelled dreams were full of heroic yet flawed heroes, salt of the earth sergeants and the odd Stuka attack on a 19th century frigate.

BadgerDancing - 15 Sep 2017 18:16:16 (#17 of 2178)

Cross post Tada. I've read them so many times it's unbelievable. I cried when Porta died. There, I said it.

LobsangRampa - 15 Sep 2017 18:17:19 (#18 of 2178)

Those letters in the LRB are just great, Shadrack. I think I'll subscribe.

The problem with the post Riders stuff is that she rehabilitated Rupert. She needs a thorough bastard and she had one but let him go.

It's the old 'first make me care, then make me worry'. We don't have to confuse 'care' with 'like'. Hoping a villain gets his comeuppance generates just as much narrative oomph.

LobsangRampa - 15 Sep 2017 18:19:01 (#19 of 2178)

and the odd Stuka attack on a 19th century frigate.


FestinaLente - 15 Sep 2017 18:28:13 (#20 of 2178)

I just finished a nice little book from the Dollar Store, Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne, about an actress working in pre-War Berlin who is also (gasp!) a secret agent for the Brits. A pretty good story, the author's research is extensive. I wouldn't exactly classify it as rubbish, but I gave it away as soon as I'd finished it.

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staticgirl - 16 Sep 2017 11:22:38 (#22 of 2178)

This is the thread for me! I am currently reading a not brilliant historical adventure set in olde Scotland. The author is trying to make Andrew Moray the big hero instead of Wallace or Bruce. He has just fallen in love with a feisty redheaded daughter of a friend and married her in one day.

It's not bad enough to give up on but I won't be reading anything else in this series.

DonkeyOT - 16 Sep 2017 15:27:39 (#23 of 2178)

All Douglas Reeman's books are identical - only the era, type of vessel and theatre of war vary:- Lieutenant is shafted and disgraced by cowardly commanding officer, Commodore/Admiral keeps faith with him and promotes him to command a ready-for-the-scrap heap smaller ship in which he covers himself in glory by seeing of a cruiser/battleship. He then gets the girl and a medal.

carterbrandon - 16 Sep 2017 18:54:00 (#24 of 2178)

The Amber Spyglass.

Frieda - 16 Sep 2017 19:47:03 (#25 of 2178)

I loved Robert Merle's Fortunes of France series when I read it some years ago, at least the first six books or so. Only the later ones felt a bit samey.

The 'rubbish' I indulge in are the cheapo Kindle romances that are perfectly for cheering up on a gloomy day. And if they (rarely) turn out a bit too silly, it's not much money wasted.

helbel - 16 Sep 2017 19:54:40 (#26 of 2178)

I'm reading L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton (trying to work my way through the alphabet before she publishes Z) and Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer.

I've had to put L aside until I'm in the mood for it, and Charity Girl is my current commute book. Faro's Daughter after I've finished.

helbel - 16 Sep 2017 19:55:02 (#27 of 2178)

Oh and excellent idea for a thread Rosy.

Gigi76 - 16 Sep 2017 19:56:52 (#28 of 2178)

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, though the grief parts don't seem too rubbish so far.

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McClintock - 16 Sep 2017 19:57:12 (#30 of 2178)

I'm re-reading all the Poirot books, in order of when they were set. Currently I'm on "Black Coffee" which Christie wrote as a play and someone later rewrote as a particularly crap novel which basically describes the stage blocking for no obvious reason ("she moved down to the other end of the sofa, he walked across the room and paused"). It's great.

Snarlygog - 16 Sep 2017 20:03:30 (#31 of 2178)

King kung-fu series by Marshall MacaoGreat series of martial arts pulp.

Frieda - 16 Sep 2017 20:07:37 (#32 of 2178)

Wrong thread, Helbel. At least to me, all the regency Heyers are much loved favourites and sort of classics (as in 'must have read those').

carterbrandon - 16 Sep 2017 21:26:12 (#33 of 2178)

Fanny by Gaslight.

All the modern world has to do now is redefine 'by' and we've got a set.

JennyRad - 16 Sep 2017 22:32:58 (#34 of 2178)

I broadly agree with you, Frieda, but Charity Girl is ... less so. And Grafton fits on here.

(I am not currently reading any rubbish. This may change when I decide what book to start re-reading tonight.)

helenskywalker - 16 Sep 2017 22:40:12 (#35 of 2178)

Rivals is the best Jilly Cooper.

I've recently finished the newest Marian Keyes. She was prescribed when I was too anxious to read anything more highbrow.

RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2017 08:18:06 (#36 of 2178)

When I've been mentally under the weather in the past, I've turned to children's books: real crapola like the Malory Towers series, the Drina ballet books, and (as I recall them) the even sillier Wells ballet series. There were some pony books too, oh dear.

Now I'm older, perhaps I'll be ready for Marian Keyes when the paralysing anxiety state hits again. Makes note to stock up soon, just in case.

Or perhaps I'll just work my way through the Arthur Ransome books. I really enjoyed going back to The Big Six and Picts and Martyrs a couple of years ago.

Ginmonkey - 17 Sep 2017 08:31:50 (#37 of 2178)

I am reading "The Lake house" by Kate Morton. Pretty much all her books involve someone in the present investigating a mystery attached to a large country property, which ends up being a tragic family secret experienced by the upper middle class owners of said property at the turn of the century.

helbel - 17 Sep 2017 09:37:26 (#38 of 2178)

Grafton is very good at what she does. I've read A-K (and S) so far and I think J was one of her best.

I read S on a holiday and then went back and started from the beginning.

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tasselhoff - 17 Sep 2017 09:45:49 (#40 of 2178)

I last read this sort of thing in my teens. James Herbert, Sven Hassel, nine books of Thomas fucking Covenant...

RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2017 09:47:41 (#41 of 2178)

I used to enjoy Carol Smith's far-fetched thrillers, sometimes set in very familiar locations, despite her often slapdash prose style. The last one was particularly daft, but I'm still a bit sad that there hasn't been a new one for quite a while.

carterbrandon - 17 Sep 2017 09:56:24 (#42 of 2178)

I read one TC book. It's an odd situation to be in, finding yourself struggling to make it through a load of creepy misogynistic garbage to curry favour with a girl you fancy.

helenskywalker - 17 Sep 2017 11:08:51 (#43 of 2178)

I've also been known to revert to Arthur Ransome, Rosy.

toffle - 17 Sep 2017 11:19:30 (#44 of 2178)

Arthur Ransome and the Moomins get regular re-reads here, too. (They are in no way rubbish though.)

If I'm feeling particularly down, I have a stack of Biggles' books to flick through, though I'm probably more likely to reach for my Battle Picture Weekly collections these days.

RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2017 11:30:29 (#45 of 2178)

Biggles, that's a good idea.

No one ever just said anything in Biggles books.

They averred, opined, asserted, declared and sometimes even ejaculated.

darkhorse - 17 Sep 2017 12:45:19 (#46 of 2178)

I read all the (well, the first six, has he churned out more?) Thomas Covenant novels as a teen. Sometimes I vaguely intend to reread one, just to see. But i won't. Just like I won't reread these:

I definitely will reread the first one of Gene Wolfe's fantasy epic, "Shadow of the Torturer" which I recently got a slightly damp and crinkly copy from a stall of damp-damaged books for 10p. I remember being bewitched by those.

JennyRad - 17 Sep 2017 12:57:11 (#47 of 2178)

I agree that Grafton writes what she does very well, Helbel, but I still classify it as rubbish. Well-crafted junk food for the brain; completely acceptable in small doses but quickly distressing if you consume much too often.

staticgirl - 17 Sep 2017 14:21:54 (#48 of 2178)

You might say it is the difference between craft and art. I mostly prefer craft but the world would be a poorer place without art.

Splattsville - 17 Sep 2017 14:29:35 (#49 of 2178)

I read all of Sven Hassel's books when I was a teenager - all the swearing and obsession with having a shit made it feel so grown up. The Gor books were another teenage obsession.

Recently though I forgot my kindle pre flight and had to buy a book at the airport. After some deliberation I chose the latest Jilly Cooper based on enjoying Riders etc years ago - it was TERRIBLE! So bad I gave up after the first flight, and left it in the office in Germany with a note saying "free book, please take me".

LobsangRampa - 17 Sep 2017 14:29:40 (#50 of 2178)

Neither the Philip Pullman books nor Arthur Ransome can conceivably be called rubbish. They are great children's books. I'd highly recommend the Pullman's audiobooks. Read by the author with a cast doing the dialogue. Superb.

RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2017 14:35:29 (#51 of 2178)

I know Arthur Ransome is fab, but on the other thread they all read multilingual stuff and draw up their own Booker short list based on actual reading of the whole long list, and I feel so-o-o-o inferior and envious of their stratospheric highbrow-ness.

LobsangRampa - 17 Sep 2017 14:44:30 (#52 of 2178)

Ah. Pretentious wankers you mean?

RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2017 14:46:43 (#53 of 2178)

Tsk, that isn't what I said :-)

kentigern - 17 Sep 2017 14:53:40 (#54 of 2178)

Ah, there's plenty of lower brow on the other thread too. That said, I might not always feel comfortable revealing everything I'm reading there.

But I reckon that even the highest of brows sneakily devours a bit of self-published zombie apocalypse stuff from time to time.

Simonethebeaver - 17 Sep 2017 16:10:55 (#55 of 2178)

I'm not sure I'd suggest Marian Keyes to anyone feeling down or anxious. She describes difficult feelings so well that I find I need to feel quite robust myself not to be overwhelmed by some of her books.

I'm reading Ben Elton's book about someone travelling back in time to stop WW1 (forget its name and it's not to hand). So far, so pish, but I'm a sucker for time travel. I just finished a Fiona Walker which was a jolly good romp.

JennyRad - 17 Sep 2017 16:25:22 (#56 of 2178)

I know what you mean about Marian Keyes, Simone, but I have definitely sometimes felt very reassured about the normality of how I'm feeling by reading her writing.

widenation - 23 Sep 2017 05:18:44 (#57 of 2178)

Relentless Pursuit: Inside the Escape from Dannemora: New York’s Largest Manhunt.

Major Guess searches the rugged backwoods of the north country (NY) in his dogged manhunt for prison-tunneller-escapee David Sweat.

“I think we got it right,” he said, “and now we got it out there.”

"No Sweat."


Sweat is shot and captured.

Tadagee - 23 Sep 2017 08:17:14 (#58 of 2178)

I also read the first six TC novels and was blissfully unaware of more.

Think I'll not go back.

The Bloodguard were cool thoughbut.

TenGorillas - 24 Sep 2017 08:26:49 (#59 of 2178)

As one of the other thread's most regular posters of lowbrow lit I'd just like to point out that multilingual does not equal pretentious.

RosyLovelady - 24 Sep 2017 08:33:17 (#60 of 2178)

Ooh, please recommend some multilingual rubbish for the likes of me: a painfully slow reader of French, and a glacial reader of German, Spanish and Italian.

tasselhoff - 24 Sep 2017 08:45:25 (#61 of 2178)

I concur with 10G. There's plenty of rubbish written in French.

tasselhoff - 24 Sep 2017 08:46:08 (#62 of 2178)

that's about as far as my multilinguisticy stretches

RosyLovelady - 24 Sep 2017 08:52:29 (#63 of 2178)

Mine too, in practice, but anyway I'd love to know if there's a French equivalent of Sophie Hannah, say. Also, any translations of Armenian or Vietnamese psychological thrillers.

TenGorillas - 24 Sep 2017 09:45:27 (#64 of 2178)

I've not read any Sophie Hannah so can't help you there. French schlock: Guillaume Musso, Maxime Chattam, Michel Bussi, all available in translation. Be warned though, just because something is lowbrow doesn't necessarily mean it'll be easy to read for a language learner, it may well use lots of slang / other non-standard language / police jargon or whatever.

Armenian / Vietnamese thrillers in English: in a word, no. For two main reasons: their literary and publishing fields are pretty underdeveloped and what thrillers they do read will be translated from English, and even if they do produce their own home grown material no English-language publisher is going to stump up for the costs of translating it.

RosyLovelady - 24 Sep 2017 15:10:13 (#65 of 2178)

My short-break holiday reading last week was the rather unedifying biography of Jack Kerouac by Barry "Miles" Miles. Very well researched, reasonably well written but what a downer.

SinnerBoy - 06 Oct 2017 11:24:15 (#66 of 2178)

I'm reading Pirate Latitudes, by Michael Crichton, at the moment. It's a bit of a pedestrian start.

RosyLovelady - 06 Oct 2017 11:31:54 (#67 of 2178)

I've given up, perhaps just temporarily, on that eagerly awaited Kate Tempest book which I mentioned on the other thread, and now I am enjoying the rather rubbishy The Sisters by Claire Douglas.

I think it's better than her Last Seen Alive.

kentigern - 18 Oct 2017 08:47:54 (#68 of 2178)

I am reading one in the series of Louise Penny's books set in an idyllic village in Quebec. Well, it would be idyllic if it weren't for all the murders that keep happening. It's a sort of Midsomer Murders cosy crime quirky characters sort of affair. And I'm currently using it to distract me from the worthy Lincoln in the Bardo as I fear that might be just a bit too worthy.

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JennyRad - 18 Oct 2017 21:50:40 (#70 of 2178)

What made you grit your teeth specifically, fender? (Depending on the answer I will recommend you read, or very definitely don't read, some of her other books.)

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JennyRad - 19 Oct 2017 21:46:50 (#72 of 2178)

Ah. Yes, he is morose, isn't he? If it was some of the deus ex machina stuff bothering you I was going to warn you against the Soldier Son trilogy which is still making me cross about that, some ten years after I last read it.

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SinnerBoy - 20 Oct 2017 10:41:09 (#74 of 2178)

I'm currently reading Bearded Tit, which is making me giggle, quite a lot. Well, not the section I'm on at the moment, where he goes to meet his girlfriend, the day after losing his virginity, only to find that she's gone on honeymoon!

JennyRad - 20 Oct 2017 10:55:05 (#75 of 2178)

Oh, by he I meant Fitz, fender. Robin Hobb herself isn't particularly morose, or at least Kat who manages her Facebook page isn't!

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RosyLovelady - 28 Dec 2017 10:15:03 (#77 of 2178)

Has anyone read the newer of the two Tim Shipman books about the tories and Brexit? I had to skim wearily through some of the first one, and was rather shocked at the end to see what an adoring devotee of Theresa May the author had quickly become. Perhaps that's his way, and he discovers new heroes by the end of the second book. Can anyone confirm?

RosyLovelady - 06 Jan 2018 09:16:36 (#78 of 2178)

By the way: don't bother with Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. As psychological thrillers go, it's a phoney.

saskia - 08 Jan 2018 21:55:45 (#79 of 2178)

In what way, Rosy?

SheikYerbouti - 08 Jan 2018 22:02:09 (#80 of 2178)

I was just reading Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie. Marvellously cynical but great fun fantasy stories. Definitely trash though.

RosyLovelady - 13 Jan 2018 14:18:58 (#81 of 2178)

Oops, sorry, Saskia.

I feel that adding a touch of magic to a psychological thriller is a big cheat. See also Sophie Hannah's The Orphan Choir.

Leftie - 15 Jan 2018 15:57:45 (#82 of 2178)

Rosy I've been going back through Malory Towers and St Clare's again as well.

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2018 16:44:43 (#83 of 2178)

Oh dear!

The next stage is pony books and ballet books. I can supply a list of recommendations on request :-)

Leftie - 15 Jan 2018 17:00:57 (#84 of 2178)

No, I don't want to read those.

It has reminded of the awful "Red Pony".

SheikYerbouti - 15 Jan 2018 17:47:53 (#85 of 2178)

Red Pony? Is that one of those books put out by the East German State publisher about the heroism of the proletariat embodied in the form of the pony?

Leftie - 16 Jan 2018 12:47:06 (#86 of 2178)


RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 12:49:51 (#87 of 2178)

Thanks, Leftie.

I must remember that one, for Pointless.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:24:22 (#88 of 2178)

The sort of pony books I was raised on were far less bleak than that. Standard storyline: Girl wins pony in competition/inherits pony from strange relative. Girl learns to ride the pony and enters a gymkhana only the posh locals laugh at her and her plebian pony. Girl wins gymkhana and after a course of regional competitions enters the Horse of the Year Show. Although she doesn't win at the HoTYS and become world famous (and too big for her riding boots) she and her pony performs respectably enough and becomes a local star. The end.

Leftie - 16 Jan 2018 13:25:47 (#89 of 2178)

Never read such books but there can't be many variations on a theme.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:31:21 (#90 of 2178)

Yeah you're right. I remember the American ones tended to substitute a point-to-point race or a cattle drive for the gymkhana. Then there is the (Australian) My friend Flicker stories which are about wild horses (brumbies) and the taming (or not) of them.

Most of them were appallingly written but I went through them like a dose of salts when I was about 8.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 13:35:45 (#91 of 2178)

The Pullein-Thompson sisters wrote hundreds (probably) of pony books.

A rather unusual one, especially in its day and age, was Show Jumping Secret whose hero was a disabled boy.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:39:24 (#92 of 2178)

I think that would still be quite unusual. Yes I am sure I would have read some of their books albeit not that one.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 13:40:56 (#93 of 2178)

H was quite a posh disabled boy, I need hardly say.

toffle - 16 Jan 2018 13:42:53 (#94 of 2178)

There is a whole genre of the things, generally thoroughly formulaic.

Similarly, there are huge numbers of ballet-themed books.

I struggle to think what the male equivalents might be, though I'm sure there are some.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:46:49 (#95 of 2178)

I read a few of the boarding school books too. An awful lot of diamond smuggling in the British countryside circa 1920-1955.

Leftie - 16 Jan 2018 13:47:58 (#96 of 2178)

Maybe we've hit on an idea. A disabled child from a city could also ride ponies.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:50:19 (#97 of 2178)

Yes and there are a few inner city riding schools that could be used as part of the research.

toffle - I am not sure boys were expected to read in this period of the 20th Century. They were supposed to do manly things like make model aircraft and play football/cricket. The closest I can think of are war comics - generic, sometimes jingoistic and jolly good fun. And the Eagle of course.

toffle - 16 Jan 2018 13:54:42 (#98 of 2178)

War comics are high art! Well, some of them. To me.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 13:54:53 (#99 of 2178)

This frontispiece from King Solomon's Mines (a suitable book for boys, it was thought) made me laugh when I was a nipper, and it still does.

"Great powers!" he cried. "It is my brother George!"

Simonethebeaver - 16 Jan 2018 13:57:29 (#100 of 2178)

Biggles was the boys' equivalent, and similar. Jennings maybe. Detective books - Hardy Boys.

National Velvet is a wonderful book that takes all the formulaic pony nonsense and makes it something more.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:57:36 (#101 of 2178)

Toffle - some of them are excellent, no doubts about it.

Rosy - heh. That is the least dramatic illustration of people finding a beaten up unconscious or dead person possible. And yet it is a lovely painting.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 13:58:49 (#102 of 2178)

Biggles yes. And there were plenty of tales from the British Empire to stir up a boy's wanderlust.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 14:01:59 (#103 of 2178)

I loved the Biggles books too. Girls were supposed to prefer Worrals of the WAAF but we mostly didn't.

No one ever just said anything in the Biggles books. We've mentioned this before on threads passim, how the characters all opine, aver, assert, declare. confirm, observe, remark, and sometimes even ejaculate ffs.

Simonethebeaver - 16 Jan 2018 14:05:02 (#104 of 2178)

Someone of an older age was on R4 the other day talking about books, and said he couldn't remember what the first book he read was. He thought it was Five Go to Smugglers Top but it might have been Billy Bunter.

I was scoffing at the idea that a Billy Bunter would be anyone's first book. They were pretty densely written and certainly not starter books, and full of ejaculations!

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 14:10:54 (#105 of 2178)

Mr mother was a devoted reader-aloud. So I started reading along with whatever she read to me. As my reading became more fluent, I started to I read ahead of wherever we'd officially got to, secretly, when no one was watching. For whatever reason, I knew at the time that this was a grave offence which would attract severe punishment. Looking back, I can't believe it was really true.

toffle - 16 Jan 2018 14:11:27 (#106 of 2178)

Girls were supposed to prefer Worrals of the WAAF but we mostly didn't.

I don't think she gets to kill people in quite the same way.

Still, she's definitely much more attractive than Biggles and his chums.

staticgirl - 16 Jan 2018 14:14:07 (#107 of 2178)

Simone - maybe it was the first book he chose and read for himself? I doubt I could remember my first book because I'd have been a toddler but the first book I remember choosing for myself was a ladybird book about... yes, a pony. A Discontented Pony.

Simonethebeaver - 16 Jan 2018 14:18:06 (#108 of 2178)

I doubt anyone under 8 or 9 would read Billy Bunter so I think it's very unlikely. I think he was just naming books because he thought it was a silly question. I wish I could remember who it was.

toffle - 16 Jan 2018 14:21:47 (#109 of 2178)

he was just naming books because he thought it was a silly question

Straight-out lying, either because he couldn't remember, or because he could and was embarassed.

Do not trust such a person.

Tomnoddy - 16 Jan 2018 14:57:48 (#110 of 2178)

Lot of boys' books from the 60s and earlier. Arthur Catherall specialised in stories about sailors, merchant and royal navies. or more correctly, ships. John Pudny wrote Monday Adventure, Tuesday Adventure etc, about some boys one of whose uncle worked in the top secret Fort X. There were more but my memory needs jogging. These were towards the less testosterone-fuelled end of the boys' stories spectrum.

toffle - 16 Jan 2018 18:53:24 (#111 of 2178)

There were more but my memory needs jogging.

Wednesday Adventure, Thursday Adventure...?

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2018 19:35:56 (#112 of 2178)

Arthur Ransome was read equally by boys and girls, I reckon.

toffle - 17 Jan 2018 00:20:40 (#113 of 2178)

but is not rubbish.


Some rubbish books I enjoy on a regular basis:

  • The rubbish science fiction of E. E. Doc. Smith (which is all inexorably dreadful).

  • The rubbish hippy fantasy of Michael Moorcock.

  • The preposterous fantasy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

HelenDamnation - 17 Jan 2018 00:31:56 (#114 of 2178)

Boy books also include the happily inimitable juvenile homoerotica of Willard Price.

HelenDamnation - 17 Jan 2018 00:34:04 (#115 of 2178)

And the first book I read this year was the execrable First of the Tudors, about Jasper Tudor, which was utter shite. I'm recovering with the Patrick Melrose novels, which I'm loving.

moto748 - 17 Jan 2018 00:42:18 (#116 of 2178)

Reading the first page of the thread and skipping a zillion:

I really enjoyed going back to The Big Six and Picts and Martyrs a couple of years ago.

I'm surprised by that, Rosy, I wouldn't have imagined that Ransome would read at all well as an adult. I do vaguely recall those two being some of his better ones.

moto748 - 17 Jan 2018 00:47:50 (#117 of 2178)

Actually, pondering on the Brexit thread the other day made me realise just how of the view of, say, the Indian sub-continent for people of my parents' generation was informed by the likes of The Moonstone.

I guess you could include Fu Manchu too. Brexiteers in the making!

Tomnoddy - 17 Jan 2018 02:24:27 (#118 of 2178)

They're ten a penny in the twenties and thirties. Sapper, Dornford Yates,..

toffle - 17 Jan 2018 03:16:59 (#119 of 2178)

I have some Fu Manchus. They're a lot more fun than Brexit, mainly because of the sheer ludicrousness of their plots.

It is clear from the inaccuracy of Rohmer's writing that he had no direct experience of all the foreigners whom he is so evidently terrified by; I am inclined to put much of his xenophobia down to mental illness.

ThreeFlewOver - 17 Jan 2018 07:21:19 (#120 of 2178)

Someone mentioned Joe Abercrombie upthread, and he's great trash. I had a binge on all the First Law series, including the ones mentioned.

RosyLovelady - 17 Jan 2018 07:34:22 (#121 of 2178)

< but is not rubbish >

but it's my thread and I'll mention good writers too if I want to, and so can everyone else.

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pipsqueak - 15 Mar 2018 10:21:35 (#123 of 2178)

Oh good - somewhere for me! Recently read The Dry - pretty good, but I do have a weakness for crime novels.

RosyLovelady - 15 Mar 2018 10:29:02 (#124 of 2178)

Me too, pips, though I'm getting tired of the ones which have several different narrative voices, and/or which jump around in time.

But on the other hand I recently enjoyed Alex Marwood's The Wicked Girls which has all of this, with dashes of implausibility here and there: couldn't put it down, in fact.

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toffle - 15 Mar 2018 15:28:36 (#126 of 2178)

There is a special police unit for crimes against hares? Committed by them?

This strikes me as a somewhat limited basis for multiple novels, once the initial surrealism has worn off.

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SheikYerbouti - 15 Mar 2018 15:59:18 (#129 of 2178)

Hate crimes in Pboz. Imagine.

TenGorillas - 15 Mar 2018 16:02:03 (#130 of 2178)

Heh, I was mighty confused by the Hare Crimes too. Now Hair Crimes, that I could understand.

RosyLovelady - 15 Mar 2018 17:04:23 (#131 of 2178)

Oh that reminds me. Are there any fans of Jasper Fforde here? I loved The Big Over Easy featuring the nursery crime investigators working in glamorous Reading and its enviroments. Silliness of a very high order.

airynothing - 15 Mar 2018 17:06:34 (#132 of 2178)

I love Fforde ‘s imagination, but find his execution weak. He’s really not good at characterisation.

Bromio - 15 Mar 2018 19:05:09 (#133 of 2178)

I'm currently reading this about a young Victorian woman from Chichester:

It's sort of Anthony meets Joanna Trollope with a generous helping of existential angst.

pipsqueak - 16 Mar 2018 09:34:36 (#134 of 2178)

Ordered that up - thanks rosy. Currently reading All the light we cannot see.

otraynor - 19 Mar 2018 03:12:56 (#135 of 2178)

Does that count as rubbish? Oh dear....

Looks at book pile.

Bromio - 19 Mar 2018 03:45:03 (#136 of 2178)

Good Lord!

pipsqueak - 19 Mar 2018 07:37:03 (#137 of 2178)

I don't think it does actually otraynor! I have a couple of non rubbish books to read at the moment.

RosyLovelady - 22 Mar 2018 10:46:03 (#138 of 2178)

I'm beginning to wonder why I ordered Dangerous Muse: A Life of Caroline Blackwood.

It's a long read about a lot of more or less unpleasant famous people and at half-way through I'm not sure I want to spend any more time with it. I can't see the story ending well.

pipsqueak - 23 Mar 2018 07:51:33 (#139 of 2178)

Bin it Rosy. There is plenty more trash in the sea. I have Peter James - Need you dead.

TenGorillas - 13 Apr 2018 19:21:06 (#140 of 2178)

Peter James wrote an unintentionally hilarious sex scene in one book where the hero nuzzles his girlfriend's neck while she's giving him a blow job.

pipsqueak - 15 Apr 2018 09:53:15 (#141 of 2178)

Ha! Just read a crime novel called 'i am travelling alone'. Pretty good.

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RosyLovelady - 15 Apr 2018 10:17:28 (#143 of 2178)

A few years ago I read a crime novel (one of a short series, I think) set in London, and featuring a disgraced, dodgy cop. There were a number of odd underground locations (Holborn & Belsize Park?). I can't remember author or title. Can anyone remind me?

Delighted_User - 15 Apr 2018 11:46:17 (#144 of 2178)

The Duffy novels of Dan Kavanagh (Julian Barnes)? Can't remember how the Underground featured, but I read them a long time ago.

RosyLovelady - 15 Apr 2018 12:12:59 (#145 of 2178)

No, not Duffy--but thanks for the tip.

RosyLovelady - 15 Apr 2018 12:47:09 (#146 of 2178)

I've remembered. It was Deep Shelter by Oliver Harris.

pranzingfrogg - 15 Apr 2018 17:19:55 (#147 of 2178)

A bit disappointed in Patricia Cornwell’s Chaos so far. Nearly half way through and none of the things summarised on the blurb at the back have happened. There’s usually more pace to a Scarpetta book, but this one is more full than usual of maundering about her dysfunctional family and the discomfort of crime scenes.

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Tomnoddy - 09 May 2018 23:41:53 (#149 of 2178)

I liked that one, but wasn't it a bit mystical with Pascoe's daughter? Mind you, Dalziel and Pascoe can do no wrong for me.

Electro2 - 10 May 2018 06:31:44 (#150 of 2178)

I'm enjoying Dalziel and Pascoe audio books and Colin Buchanan's reading of some of them are superb. His Wieldy impression is awesome! Sorry to discover the actor that played DS Wield in the TV series passed last year.

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LordofMisrule - 10 May 2018 07:42:10 (#153 of 2178)

Sorry to discover the actor that played DS Wield in the TV series passed last year.

I had no idea. Very sad news. David Royle's performance was superb. Googling, I see he had MS, which would explain why I hadn't seen him in other roles more recently.

I've now had to buy all the DI Shaw books by Jim Kelly.

I think I've read one of those and really enjoyed it. Is he the one in Cambridgeshire? Got a wife in a coma or something?

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Hundredsand - 10 May 2018 17:48:34 (#155 of 2178)

I don't think it is rubbish yet. Reading "The Gift".

TenGorillas - 14 May 2018 10:00:14 (#156 of 2178)

Heh. Slightly off topic but I just interviewed an MA student who's writing a thesis on motherhood in Flowers in the Attic and was astonished I'd heard of it.

JennyRad - 14 May 2018 10:43:50 (#157 of 2178)

I can't decide if that's a fascinating topic or a terrifying one. I suppose it could be both.

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FestinaLente - 14 Jun 2018 20:30:48 (#160 of 2178)

I just finished a thoroughly readable bit of rubbish called Eat What You Kill, by Ted Scofield (purchased at the Dollar Store) about an ambitious, driven, amoral young stock analyst who goes to drastic lengths to make multi-millions in the cut-throat world of Wall Street. Very enjoyable.

Bromio - 16 Jun 2018 08:47:17 (#161 of 2178)

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R.Carey. Picked it up in my local library knowing nothing about it nor that there was a film made of it a few years back with Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton amongst others. The blurb on the front cover said, "The most original thriller you will read this year". Which intrigued me probably more than I should have allowed it to. It didn't say on the cover, "This book contains zombies and is a tad post-apocalyptic. Well, actually a lot post-apocalyptic". I would almost certainly have hurriedly replaced it if it had but I'm glad it didn't come to that. I'm enjoying it far more than I ought.

Tomnoddy - 16 Jun 2018 12:01:34 (#162 of 2178)

You need to read Dalziel and Pascoe for the long term, and take a bit of mysticism with it at times as the series develops. Mostly as the writer approached the final curtain himself. RIP Reg Hill.

A non-D&P of his, Fell of Dark, put me off his books for 20-odd years.

Tomnoddy - 16 Jun 2018 12:05:00 (#163 of 2178)

I'm reading Dibdin's Ratking with some enjoyment. I reckon the What Are You Reading thread would try to claim this, but it has its longeurs and puppet manipulation, which makes me think it belongs here. I'm enjoying my first encounter with Comissioner Zen.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jun 2018 12:24:47 (#164 of 2178)

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.

What hours, oh what black hours we have spent

This night!

Tomnoddy - 16 Jun 2018 13:18:33 (#165 of 2178)

Cheerful bloke, Gerard, wasn't he?

RosyLovelady - 16 Jun 2018 13:21:55 (#166 of 2178)

Cause and effect of a dubious religious vocation.

Tomnoddy - 16 Jun 2018 13:25:31 (#167 of 2178)

He was rather popular among the climbing fraternity (at least, the more literate members) years ago. I never got it myself.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jun 2018 13:33:03 (#168 of 2178)

He was one of my A-Level set texts (the most "modern" one out of the ten) and I loved those gloomy late sonnets back then, while finding much of the earlier stuff a bit twee and wincy. Learning more about him and his life made me appreciate him less rather than more, which may be a bit of a shame.

SheikYerbouti - 16 Jun 2018 13:53:02 (#169 of 2178)

Eat What You Kill

This expression is still in regular use in at least one American investment bank in London.

pipsqueak - 20 Jun 2018 07:55:29 (#170 of 2178)

The girl with all the gifts is pretty good. Just read Missing, Presumed, which I rather enjoyed (police procedural).

RosyLovelady - 20 Jun 2018 08:00:01 (#171 of 2178)

I need a good police procedural for the rubbish reading heap. I've had enough now of multi-narrator tales whose purpose is to have a twistable plot.

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RosyLovelady - 20 Jun 2018 08:26:56 (#173 of 2178)

Thank you, Fender.

Can you remember off-hand which title is the first in the series?

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RosyLovelady - 20 Jun 2018 08:33:17 (#175 of 2178)

I'm still a devotee of Real Books.

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HerrWalrus - 20 Jun 2018 08:43:10 (#177 of 2178)

Fenders have a word with Wigtown bookshop in Scotland, or Bookmongers Brixton, or Any amount of books Charing cross road. They may well be prepared to pay money to take away a collection that includes Folio editions and old Penguins. Just don't mention gardening books -best to drop them down the charity shop (who will then recycle).

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pipsqueak - 20 Jun 2018 19:43:14 (#179 of 2178)

Try Missing Presumed Rosie - by Susie Steiner. I'm going in for the second one after I've finished A Thousand Acres.

RosyLovelady - 20 Jun 2018 19:53:58 (#180 of 2178)

Many thanks. Fender and Pips.

I'm going to be bingeing on your recommended rubbish for a while, I think.

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clammy - 21 Jun 2018 01:04:02 (#182 of 2178)

Half way through, 'Johan Cruyff my turn'.He sounds like a socialist which is pleasant to think about.

clammy - 21 Jun 2018 08:27:55 (#183 of 2178)

#182, Think i might have posted that in the wrong thread, sorry.

Tomnoddy - 21 Jun 2018 08:30:28 (#184 of 2178)

Try posting it in the Corbyn thread, see what the response is (o;

RosyLovelady - 21 Jun 2018 08:30:54 (#185 of 2178)

This, however, is a broad minded thread and your contribution is welcome, Clammy.

Tomnoddy - 21 Jun 2018 08:51:21 (#186 of 2178)

I am now reading Herding Hemingway's Cats by Kit Arney. Possibly not rubbish, but an engrossing account of genes, what they are, what they do, and what the "junk" bits of DNA are.

lallygag - 24 Jun 2018 14:51:57 (#187 of 2178)

I need a good police procedural

Do try the Harry Bingham books featuring Fiona Griffiths. Really excellent and Not Rubbish.

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TenGorillas - 15 Jul 2018 09:34:13 (#189 of 2178)

Sharpe's Honour. Weirdly prudish about sex given the lovingly detailed eye gougings, emasculations etc.

JennyRad - 15 Jul 2018 09:55:03 (#190 of 2178)

A whole bunch of Katie Fforde books are 99p on Amazon Kindle today if that's your kind of rubbish.

I've not read any for years but I used to like them a lot and I am reading more romance again at the minute so I've stocked up a bit.

pipsqueak - 16 Jul 2018 18:03:07 (#191 of 2178)

Started on a crime series, by Jane Casey. They are about a tall female detective called maeve kerrigan. Pretty good.

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Stellata - 10 Aug 2018 15:10:28 (#193 of 2178)

‘The Tuscan Child’ by Rhys Bowen

A plane goes down in rural Italy in 1944. Bomber pilot survives and lives some sort of secret life. Fast-forward to the 70s. Still reeling from her father’s death, his daughter decides to visit Tuscany and, after a crash language course, can suddenly speak fluent Italian.

It’s a bit shit but nice enough.

RosyLovelady - 23 Aug 2018 08:38:41 (#194 of 2178)

I'm reading Fallout: A Year of Political Mayhem by Tim Shipman, and quite enjoying it although it's much too long and there are plenty of typos etc.

rgtstoppedcounting - 23 Aug 2018 10:25:06 (#195 of 2178)

The Religion, Tim Willocks.

Middlebrow romance set in the 16thC siege of Hospitaller Malta. Well researched, historically interesting, cool if psychopathic leading character, mind-bogglingly large & detailed body count.

Found in our village 2nd hand bookshop. Good enough that I've already bought the Kindle sequel, set in Paris during the St Bart's Day Massacres.

otraynor - 23 Aug 2018 10:31:20 (#196 of 2178)

I don't know that I'd call it rubbish... but it doesn't really qualify for the What Are You Reading thread either. Veronica Roth's new series. I had put the second one (The Fates Divide) on hold ages ago in the library. It finally came in, but by that time I had completely forgotten who everyone was, so had to put the first one (Carve the Mark) on hold also. Now that I have both, I'm speeding through them. They're really different from the Divergent series. There is no clear good or evil in them. They're uncomfortably human.

raymie - 05 Sep 2018 06:18:50 (#197 of 2178)

Was it on here that people recommended Colleen McCullough’s Roman series of books? If so, i’d Like to thank them. Really great, fascinating stuff. Forgot I was reading the author of the thorn birds. There are seven of them, and the only one I have trouble accepting is the last, Antony and cleopatra, but, overall, reading about the battles and general history of the time has been time well spent

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raymie - 05 Sep 2018 07:23:20 (#199 of 2178)

Fiction. It starts in 70s bc or so, and the seventh is in the 30s bc. Because most of it is unknown to me, it’s really interesting. The julius book is hagiography, really, but I thought people of the time saw him like that, so went with it. For Octavian and Livia, I know them best as by Graves, so more difficult to believe, though Graves is also fiction, of course. Antony and cleopatra seems more like romantic fiction. But, as said, I thought the history was good in general, though, disclaimer:IANAH. Will read Graves again, then Suetonius

BadgerDancing - 05 Sep 2018 07:39:58 (#200 of 2178)

I read the first two back when they came out. To be honest I only read the second one because I was interested to see how she was going to handle Marius. She'd made him such a sympathetic character I wanted to know how all the later unpleasantness would be explained.

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RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2018 18:23:35 (#202 of 2178)

I'm reading Arthur Ransome's Coot Club in preparation for our forthcoming Norwich/East Anglia trip.

I don't think it's rubbish but the other thread is in one of its terrifyingly egg-headed phases.

Tomnoddy - 17 Sep 2018 18:41:16 (#203 of 2178)

CC was my first Arthur Ransome book. Absolutely ace.

I don't really feel the need to buy the Man Booker longlist.

RosyLovelady - 17 Sep 2018 19:24:30 (#204 of 2178)

Scary, that.

opaz__ - 17 Sep 2018 19:38:48 (#205 of 2178)

Dark Star Rising by Gary Lachman.

Fascinating if you're into magic

MontyPeculiar - 17 Sep 2018 20:34:00 (#206 of 2178)

I re-read Coot Club earlier this year. I wouldn't describe it as either ace or rubbish. Somewhere in the middle I guess.

Tomnoddy - 17 Sep 2018 22:31:15 (#207 of 2178)

It depends on your age/stage when you first read it. Of course, some books don't repay rereading 50+ years later. CC does for me.

ishyomah - 17 Sep 2018 23:04:54 (#208 of 2178)

Robicheaux, James Lee Burke

I, too, am not sure which thread this belongs on.

James Lee Burke's Louisiana detective in possibly his most dark story yet as he navigates a path through the New Orleans/Louisiana underworld, led by a civil war sword and its inheriter.

The language is sparse yet poetic and especially if you know the region, highly evocative of past and present. Easy to read with the accent in your head.

toffle - 18 Sep 2018 02:13:30 (#209 of 2178)

While Arthur Ransome books should not be mentioned in a thread about rubbish books, Coot Club is I feel one of his less inspirational works; I personally prefer the surreal and almost-Wodehouseian The Picts and the Martyrs.

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RosyLovelady - 18 Sep 2018 07:00:07 (#211 of 2178)

I re-read The Picts and the Martyrs a couple of years ago and missed any surreality. Too literal minded, I suppose.

I'm enjoying Coot Club anyway.

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otraynor - 18 Sep 2018 19:49:06 (#213 of 2178)

I like James Lee Burke's book, ishy. You're right, very evocative.

pipsqueak - 19 Sep 2018 07:50:36 (#214 of 2178)

I have been reading a couple of Belinda Bauer crime novels (ok), and gin Phillips (surely no-one is actually called Gin?), Fierce. All adequate.

Bromio - 28 Sep 2018 21:33:11 (#215 of 2178)

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson. Intro by Philip Pullman who says it's the best thriller he's ever read. S'okay I s'pose.

Will read Chandler's The Big Sleep next. Haven't read it before although I like Chandler.

Going to pick up my reserved copy of Pullman's Belle Sauvage from the library next week for yet more light fun.

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dreams99 - 29 Sep 2018 08:26:22 (#218 of 2178)

Big Sleep is marvellous. Modern authors would dream to be able to write so well.

AlanII - 29 Sep 2018 08:33:39 (#219 of 2178)

Absolutely. Chandler wasn’t capable of writing rubbish.

Bromio - 29 Sep 2018 08:43:50 (#220 of 2178)

Yes, I've always returned to Chandler but just never actually read The Big Sleep itself. Maybe because I've seen the adaptations so many times.

I know none of the books I listed is "rubbish" but I've never really been clear what "rubbish" means in the context of this thread. I've taken it simply to mean not high-brow literature. Whatever that means. Then again I listed my recent read of a 1950 edition of Picture Post or whatever it was on the posh books thread so I'm not being consistent. Sorry.

AlanII - 29 Sep 2018 08:50:17 (#221 of 2178)

It’s a lovely read, Bro.

Bromio - 29 Sep 2018 10:33:41 (#222 of 2178)

I'm looking forward to it, Alan. I've also got the collection of Chandler short stories, Killer in the Rain, sitting next to my bed in case The Big Sleep leaves me hungry for more pulp noir private dick shenanigans, which it undoubtedly will.

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Bromio - 29 Sep 2018 14:53:11 (#225 of 2178)

I've not read anything by McDonald. I'll take the recommendation and look him up soon though.

AlanII - 29 Sep 2018 14:54:43 (#226 of 2178)

I will too. Thanks.

toffle - 29 Sep 2018 15:53:08 (#227 of 2178)

I have a three volume anthology of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer novels ready for any situations where Chandler is too highbrow.

DejaLu - 29 Sep 2018 16:00:34 (#228 of 2178)

I find John D. MacDonald satisfies my Chandler-ish cravings.

AlanII - 29 Sep 2018 16:53:20 (#229 of 2178)

Can't get on with Mickey Spillane (rubbish is too kind, frankly). Dashiel Hammett on the other hand…

opaz__ - 29 Sep 2018 22:37:46 (#230 of 2178)

Dark Star Rising by Gary Lachman. He develops a fascinating theory about Donald Trump. Apparently the Trumps used to attend a church whose previous pastor wrote a self-development book about success. Books about how to be successful were all the rage in the 40s 50s and 60s and the ideas they explored were similar to the so-called chaos magic which evolved in the 19th and 20th centuries (Alistair Crowley et cetera). Anyway, the author is trying to make out that Donald Trump is some sort black magician. But as usual and only halfway through and I might not make it to the end. It's not what you call light reading

Traven - 29 Sep 2018 22:50:13 (#231 of 2178)

Wasn't/isn't Lachman Blondie's bass player? I keep meaning to read him.

I'm trying to catch up on some yoof fiction for a thing. Reading Lauren Wolk's Wolf Hollow .

Odd premise for a thread, btw. Just read what you want, and response how you want, innit?

opaz__ - 29 Sep 2018 22:57:41 (#232 of 2178)

Yes traven, that's him. He certainly knows his stuff but you'd have to describe him as an average writer.

I was listening to interview with Jordan Peterson the other day where he talked about how he wrote 12 rules for life. He said he literally ponders over each comma and can reword a sentence several times until it's just right. I knew there was something slightly peculiar about his writing style. He has an extraordinary command of the English language no doubt. But there was something slightly ... lifeless.. about it that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Now I know

opaz__ - 29 Sep 2018 23:02:00 (#233 of 2178)

Odd premise for a thread, btw. Just read what you want, and response how you want, innit?

Maybe the usual book threads around here are a bit snooty and the poster did actually want something light to read!

Traven - 29 Sep 2018 23:02:16 (#234 of 2178)

He said he literally ponders over each comma and can reword a sentence several times until it's just right.

That's fairly standard though. I remember Steven Pinker saying if you weren't on your sixth draft, something was wrong. Flaubert was happy if he got a sentence a day. It's a form of madness but I guess that's writing (unless you're Kerouac).

opaz__ - 29 Sep 2018 23:07:57 (#235 of 2178)

I can't help thinking that the great writers (e.g. Kurt Vonnegut and Elmore Leonard for me) can just write naturally, tapping into something that I guess you'd have to call innate talent. I'm not saying they don't proof read but you know what I mean. It's a fascinating subject actually. Well I think so. I had a go at writing an article recently but found I was completely incapable of writing in an unpretentious way. In the end I abandoned it

limegreen - 30 Sep 2018 09:18:39 (#236 of 2178)

I think it varies massively, but I would say lots of reworking and agonising over commas is entirely normal writing process.

As for the thread premise, I think people naturally have more to say about the more worthy/intellectual/literary types of books and so they come to post about them. Couple that with people feeling a bit shy about trash and the thread ends up all Proust and Plato. It's good to have a space that welcomes the other stuff. Although then everyone spends their time agonising about which thread it belongs on.

TenGorillas - 30 Sep 2018 11:05:12 (#237 of 2178)

I only post about one in five books I read on the other thread because the rest of the time it's stuff that no-one else will have heard of so there doesn't seem much point.

dreams99 - 30 Sep 2018 11:11:12 (#238 of 2178)

Well I only post about 1 in ten that I read.

You next.

TenGorillas - 30 Sep 2018 11:29:43 (#239 of 2178)

Yeah not the point but never mind.

Bromio - 30 Sep 2018 11:33:04 (#240 of 2178)

I for one, having some idea of the sort of books 10Gs has to plough through, am very grateful not to have to read about them all.

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HelenDamnation - 06 Oct 2018 08:23:09 (#242 of 2178)

The new Cormoran Strike book. Enjoying it, but he needs to look after his stump better or he's going to get sepsis.

Electro2 - 06 Oct 2018 08:39:36 (#243 of 2178)

Could be lethal!

RosyLovelady - 07 Oct 2018 08:06:17 (#244 of 2178)

I'm reading The Wife by Alafair (?) Burke. Despite the sticker ("now a major motion picture") on the cover, the plot in no way resembles that of the Glenn Close film which has been getting a lot of publicity recently.

Tomnoddy - 07 Oct 2018 08:08:07 (#245 of 2178)

No bunnies?

pipsqueak - 08 Oct 2018 07:33:39 (#246 of 2178)

Number 6 of the Robert Bryndza 'Erika Foster's crime novels (cheap on Kindle). I love a crime drama.

crackfox - 08 Oct 2018 09:27:41 (#247 of 2178)

You probably know all this but the film The Wife is based on a Meg Wolitzer novel (haven't read it but I heartily recommend her book The Interestings). I don't know anything about Alafair Burke except that she's James Lee Burke's daughter.

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson.

Philip Pullman says it's the greatest thriller he's ever read, which makes me think he ought to read more thrillers. I thought it was extremely poor stuff indeed.

Bromio - 08 Oct 2018 13:57:11 (#248 of 2178)

Yes, I agree about the Davidson. I read it all, so that's something at least, but it was a very long way from being the best thriller I've ever read. Pullman's intro talks of the classical format of the novel with a quest, a journey, and a confrontation. Okay, that's fair enough but still not enough to warrant so much praise. I did quite fancy Medical Officer Komarova though.

RosyLovelady - 08 Oct 2018 14:09:14 (#249 of 2178)

Thanks for clearing up the mystery, crackfox.

I wonder if the book I have, called The Wife, is also set to become a Major Motion Picture as promised, but possibly under a different name.

Bromio - 08 Oct 2018 14:41:23 (#250 of 2178)

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RosyLovelady - 14 Oct 2018 18:17:09 (#254 of 2178)

Just not quite the sort of thing they'd go for on the other thread? :-)

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ishyomah - 14 Oct 2018 22:08:08 (#256 of 2178)

The Good German is good. I have Leaving Berlin on my 'to read' pile.

RosyLovelady - 26 Oct 2018 08:12:51 (#257 of 2178)

I'm reading Gillian Flynn's The Dark Places.

It's getting a bit predictably twisty towards the end, but I reckon it's better than Gone Girl, the content of which I barely remember now.

DejaLu - 26 Oct 2018 08:18:22 (#258 of 2178)

I thought it was a lot better than Gone Girl.

RosyLovelady - 26 Oct 2018 08:20:58 (#259 of 2178)

Oh good. Not just my failing memory then :-)

pipsqueak - 28 Oct 2018 08:18:48 (#260 of 2178)

I've completely forgotten both of them already!

RosyLovelady - 28 Oct 2018 08:21:34 (#261 of 2178)

There seems to be a clear correlation between plot twistiness and forgettability.

Pentecost - 28 Oct 2018 22:11:11 (#262 of 2178)

I have a lifetime longing to nail down the essence of short stories. I love them. There are so many of them from M.R. James to Asimov via Kipling but right now I am reading for the fourth time the stories of H.H Munro. Classic.

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Pentecost - 29 Oct 2018 22:18:47 (#264 of 2178)

Sorry. I see now that it was wrong for the thread.

Tomnoddy - 29 Oct 2018 23:30:39 (#265 of 2178)

Soz, but IMO anything by Asimov has to go in this thread. Tin-eared in all his fiction.

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Delighted_User - 30 Oct 2018 17:57:24 (#268 of 2178)

I'm not sure I approve of burning books, however trashy.

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BadgerDancing - 30 Oct 2018 18:53:09 (#270 of 2178)

I saw that nearly an hour ago and... I'm an idiot

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HelenDamnation - 03 Nov 2018 20:55:39 (#272 of 2178)

I'm struggling to get through CJ Sansom's Tombland, having enjoyed the others in the Shardlake series. There's just too much sitting around on Mousehold Heath and mysterious strangers taking against our hero.

pipsqueak - 04 Nov 2018 09:15:59 (#273 of 2178)

Oh no! I was looking forward to that. I am actually finding it difficult to settle to read at the moment.

raymie - 04 Nov 2018 10:11:17 (#274 of 2178)

Reading the pirates by George Macdonald Fraser, after watching black sails and reading treasure island. When I first read it about 40 years ago, I found it hilariously funny. Now, it’s funny in parts, historically good in parts, as expected from Fraser, but very dated pc wise

clammy - 10 Nov 2018 08:34:59 (#275 of 2178)

#272, Still enjoying the new Shardlake Helen, a bit slow though, not his best still good though.

HelenDamnation - 10 Nov 2018 09:19:03 (#276 of 2178)

Yes, I've finished it - it's not bad, but compared with Lamentations or Dark Fire it's rather turgid.

I've also just finished Maurice Buckmaster's They Fought Alone, a very gung-ho history of the setting up and WW2 operation of SOE, and enjoyed it very much.

pipsqueak - 10 Nov 2018 14:39:58 (#277 of 2178)

Dark Fire was definitely my favourite. Currently reading some Icelandic crime drama, will follow up with the latest Robert Galbraith. Then Tombland I think.

airynothing - 15 Nov 2018 01:09:50 (#278 of 2178)

Ah, Rivers of London 7 has just landed in my inbox. Tonight will be a late one.

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Electro2 - 16 Nov 2018 14:45:32 (#280 of 2178)

‪Get an Audible subscription with 50 percent off for four months... via @Pocketlint‬

RosyLovelady - 17 Nov 2018 09:17:28 (#281 of 2178)

The House by Simon Lelic.Is it just going to be a ghost story? What a disappointment.

pipsqueak - 19 Nov 2018 18:02:56 (#282 of 2178)

You know what Rosie? I read that about 6 weeks ago and have absolutely no recollection whatsoever!

airynothing - 28 Feb 2019 16:29:02 (#283 of 2178)

Cross-posted from the Books thread, as they're too high minded to be able to answer it...

I'm currently reading The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry, the pen name of Christopher Brookmyre writing with his wife, Marisa Haetzman. I was expecting a standard Brookmyre romp, if set in the past, but so far it's a bit turgid. Anyone know if it gets better? I'm thinking of dumping it in favour of the new Tana French.

Tomnoddy - 24 Jun 2019 19:35:38 (#284 of 2178)

I was looking for The Way of All Flesh in my local library the other day, but no luck. Did you finish it, airy?

airynothing - 24 Jun 2019 23:47:22 (#285 of 2178)

No, I gave up on it. I’d still be interested to hear from someone who didn’t.

Pheeep - 12 Jul 2019 14:25:32 (#286 of 2178)

I finished it, but more from a sense of duty than enjoyment. Apparently it is planned as the first of a series of medical murder mysteries.

pipsqueak - 12 Jul 2019 16:08:16 (#287 of 2178)

Thin Air - book 5 in the Shetland series. I love a police procedural.

Bromio - 15 Jul 2019 09:53:06 (#288 of 2178)

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, the fourth in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books sequence. Not sure that it qualifies as rubbish, strictly speaking, but in many respects it has the necessary qualities.

TenGorillas - 17 Jul 2019 11:39:07 (#289 of 2178)

Jut finished A Summer Fling by Milly Johnson. I liked the sexy vampire.

Catspyjamas17 - 17 Jul 2019 12:46:05 (#290 of 2178)

Milly Johnson is the one who writes several "running a cafe" fantasy romance ones- I have read a couple and enjoyed them. Obviously you know where they are going from the start but the journey is fun. Introducing a vampire sounds an interesting crossover.

I've read A Spring Affair and The Teashop on the Corner. She seems to write a lot better than other authors occupying the same genre.

I'm currently reading Rosemary and Thyme - And No Birds Sing. I would recommend this one if you like the TV characters as it does go into the story of how they got together and set up the business. There are only three books, I wouldn't particularly recommend The Tree of Death, it felt very dashed off but ANBS is better so far. The other one is The Memory of Water, which I own but have not read yet.

I have read all twenty odd Cadfael books. The 1995 radio dramatisation of Dead Man's Ransom is available on BBC Sounds at the moment and was very good. Philip Madoc plays the lead. The lovely Michael Kitchen is the narrator.

TenGorillas - 17 Jul 2019 17:20:13 (#291 of 2178)

Summer Fling fairly obviously takes over from Spring Affair, with a new set of main characters and the main characters from Spring in the background. The sexy vampire isn't really a vampire, though.

Leftie - 09 Oct 2019 15:14:10 (#292 of 2178)

The Pamela Cox St Clare's books. What's really irritating is that I could have done a better job writing them myself. I wish I'd bloody thought of it first.

And the kids have got modern names and some of the terminology really stands out. The basic snobbery is still there and so are the crimes. There's even a case of blackmail where one 6th former just gets expelled rather than the Head telling the police.

raymie - 09 Oct 2019 16:05:54 (#293 of 2178)

Murder mysteries set in Norman times by Howard of Warwick on my kindle. there's about 15 of them, and you can buy about 14 of them in a batch cheap. amusing

lammaMia - 30 Oct 2019 13:46:57 (#294 of 2178)

Drowned hopes by Donald Westlake. Dortmunder and his family is recovering money buried fifty feet under water for his old psychopath cellmate. The usual fun ensues.

coshipi - 06 Nov 2019 14:33:57 (#295 of 2178)

I hope nobody minds me plugging my own rubbish for you to read latest novel is FREE to download (kindle or epub) at the moment (just approved last night): - grab it quick before it gets expensive - like maybe 49 cents like the other one I've got on there, that's been there a while (and got 5 stars at 29 cents).

arbitrary - 07 Nov 2019 07:59:51 (#296 of 2178)

Whatever happened to Jeffamerican?

TenGorillas - 01 Dec 2019 21:15:48 (#297 of 2178)

Death of an Old Master by David Dickinson (not the David Dickinson). It's terrible. One of the characters is a history tutor at Emmanuel College, Oxford.

pipsqueak - 02 Dec 2019 06:22:51 (#298 of 2178)

Cold Earth - a Shetland crime novel.

Leftie - 02 Dec 2019 12:31:41 (#299 of 2178)

"All In The Best Possible Taste".

Bromio - 02 Dec 2019 14:43:17 (#300 of 2178)

Picked up a copy of Luke Jennings' Killing Eve, the basis of the TV series, from a chariddy shop. Not expecting too much, my impression is that the adaptation exceeds the source in this case, but could be nicely surprised.

ReverendBlueJeans - 09 Dec 2019 14:24:06 (#301 of 2178)

Couple of those British Library golden age crime reprints with Christmas backdrops.

Christmas is all about family, conviviality, the Nativity, happy smiling faces and traditional carols as well as slumped corpses and chaps in Oxford bags saying, 'Surely you can't be serious, Inspecktah?'

surferbaublewhatever - 09 Dec 2019 18:31:09 (#302 of 2178)

Just read Winter Under the Stars by Jo Thomas, a quick, formulaic read slightly redeemed by an unusual setting and set-up. In order to retrieve a package containing something her continued employment depends on, a woman nursing a secret sorrow has to team up with a half-Sami reindeer herder on a dangerous journey across northern Sweden. After several hair-raising experiences they start to open up to each other and the ending is not hard to predict, but I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape they cross, and sometimes battle with and the food reindeer boy cooks over a wood fire, using ingredients he foraged or hunted for. A transcribed interview with the author in the back of the book reveals that all her books are inspired by "food and a setting," which makes perfect sense if this is typical; the food and setting are definitely what bumps this one up a point in my mind.

DejaLu - 09 Dec 2019 21:30:10 (#303 of 2178)

That sounds truly terrible.

I’m reading Love, Nina - essentially, My Family and Other Animals, with the hilarious Corfiots replaced by hilarious Camdenites.

PoppySeedBagel - 09 Dec 2019 21:51:25 (#304 of 2178)

Love, Nina is great fun. Have you seen the TV series?

DejaLu - 09 Dec 2019 21:56:53 (#305 of 2178)

Not yet. Any good?

RosyLovelady - 10 Dec 2019 08:12:40 (#306 of 2178)

The tv series was brilliant. Highly recommended.

I'm not convinced that either the book or the series is entirely faithful to the truth, and it's shame they had to make the Alan Bennett character Scottish for tv, but never mind.

pipsqueak - 10 Dec 2019 09:11:11 (#307 of 2178)

I've just abandoned Fleischman is in trouble - I found I couldn't care less, and started my book club read - Less.

Post by deleted user
RosyLovelady - 13 Dec 2019 17:15:11 (#309 of 2178)

All the same, it's nice that you've bothered to post on this thread. The other one has become dauntingly high-brow again.

pipsqueak - 14 Dec 2019 09:04:35 (#310 of 2178)

Yeah - I know - me and me (often) low brow reading feel a bit out of place over there.

darkhorse - 15 Dec 2019 08:07:06 (#311 of 2178)

Aww, come on, the current topic of discussion over there appears to be a children's fantasy novel.

Time soon to post our lists of the year's reading. A fantastic opportunity to show off, which I naturally will not be shirking.

ReverendBlueJeans - 15 Dec 2019 13:10:52 (#312 of 2178)

darkhorse - 15 Dec 2019 08:07:06 ( #311 of 311)

Time soon to post our lists of the year's reading.

Gracious, your reading activity clearly has much better admin support than mine!

Enjoying re-reading Garrison Keillor's A Christmas Blizzard, which is a typical mid-western Keillor romp with a Christmas Carol/Wonderful Life/Groundhog Day element.

pipsqueak - 15 Dec 2019 16:12:17 (#313 of 2178)

I have kept a record of (most of) what I've read this year.

Tomnoddy - 15 Dec 2019 17:54:46 (#314 of 2178)

I haven't, but I've found some good new writers to my crap tastes. William Shaw for murders, Mick Hermon for thrillers (both unusually violent at times, which I tend to deprecate) are the ones I remember best.

ReverendBlueJeans - 16 Dec 2019 10:47:49 (#315 of 2178)

Portrait of a Murderer is the British Library classic crime thing I'm on just now. From 1933, very noir and modern-seeming, well-written but hampered by the fact that there is no one likeable in it at all. You don't even feel any sympathy for the murderer.

darkhorse - 20 Dec 2019 08:23:51 (#316 of 2178)

RBJ, last year (I don't know about years previously) some posters put up their lists. I had to put mine together from memory/bookshelf/purchase and library borrowing history from internet.

But I thought it would be simple thing to do to record what I read in a notebook, as I used to do when I was about 11 years old. It would also be interesting to look back on in future years. After all, I'll only need the one notebook for the rest of my life, even at 2 pages per year, 100 pages is more than enough!

coshipi - 20 Dec 2019 08:39:00 (#317 of 2178)

Only two pages a year? Do you write exceedingly small?

pipsqueak - 20 Dec 2019 08:47:35 (#318 of 2178)

I've read around 80 I think this year, but the list is at work ....

coshipi - 20 Dec 2019 08:54:37 (#319 of 2178)

Removes tongue from cheek quick before anyone misunderstands...

darkhorse - 20 Dec 2019 08:59:58 (#320 of 2178)

There's about 25 lines in a page - how many books do you think I read, coshi!

coshipi - 20 Dec 2019 09:03:30 (#321 of 2178)

Hence the tongue in cheek 8~)

Although actually, if I used a whole line for each title, I would use more than two pages some years, although admittedly probably nearer to two sides most years. I'm quite a slow reader, so I suspect some folks might use two pages even at several titles to the line...not many folk though, I'm sure.

TenGorillas - 23 Dec 2019 16:57:53 (#322 of 2178)

C.J. Box, Back of beyond. Grizzled cop with a drink problem investigates a killing in backwoods Montana. Cliché-tastic.

Electro2 - 23 Dec 2019 17:05:19 (#323 of 2178)

✔️ Many thanks.

angelico - 23 Dec 2019 18:32:05 (#324 of 2178)

Just very much enjoyed Children of Time by Peter Tchaikovsky. Proper old-fashioned post-dystopian SF, with excellent sciencey stuff.

Now reading The Mathematical Bridge - a mystery set in wartime Cambridge, by Jim Kelly (who I think Dreams went to school with?).

Neither of those are rubbish, but nor are they literary fiction.

Tomnoddy - 24 Dec 2019 00:27:17 (#325 of 2178)

The Mathematical Bridge IRL is a metaphor for something. Not too sure what, but since it was apparently put together without nails etc, then for some reason dismantled, the impossibility of reassembling it by the finest minds of Queens' College without recourse to ironworks suggests a certain lack of something or other on their part.

angelico - 24 Dec 2019 07:32:59 (#326 of 2178)

Wiki says that's a myth, for what that's worth, Tom.

A popular fable is that the bridge was designed and built by Sir Isaac Newton without the use of nuts or bolts. Various stories relate how at some point in the past either students or fellows of the University attempted to take the bridge apart and put it back together, but were unable to work out how to hold the structure together, and were obliged to resort to adding nuts and bolts. In reality, bolts or the equivalent are an inherent part of the design. When it was first built, iron spikes were driven into the joints from the outer side, where they could not be seen from the inside of the parapets, explaining why bolts were thought to be an addition to the original. Newton could not have been directly involved since he died in 1727, twenty-two years before the bridge was constructed.[6] However, more than two centuries earlier a strikingly similar design of a self-supporting bridge, with no nuts or bolts, was drawn by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, probably in the late 1490s. The bridge was intended to be easily and quickly constructed and dismantled during military engagements.

pipsqueak - 24 Dec 2019 14:59:01 (#327 of 2178)

I'm reading a bit of kindle dross lately, as I haven't got anything great to read at the moment. Rubbernecker at the moment. Quite interesting for such an easy read. I'd like something amazing to read, but not.sure what that will be.

TenGorillas - 27 Dec 2019 11:47:44 (#328 of 2178)

Sharpe's Prey. Bought a job lot of about fifteen Sharpes a few years back, reading one now and then for a break from the serious work stuff, though their misogyny gets right up my nose.

CarlosFandango - 27 Dec 2019 12:12:26 (#329 of 2178)

I haven't been reading anything like enough for a couple of years now.

December has been a decent warm-up for 2020 though, what with breezing through some Melroses (Saint Aubyn), some Carlo Ratti, Charles Montgomery and - best of all - Scale by Geoffrey West. I'm circling the bowl of Piketty at the moment, but have conveniently left that tome in another country.

dreams99 - 27 Dec 2019 12:28:38 (#330 of 2178)

Jim Kelly (who I think Dreams went to school with?)

Never heard of him.

angelico - 27 Dec 2019 18:59:42 (#331 of 2178)

Ah. Was it Philip Dryden, then? I felt sure it was a mystery writer writing in Eastern England settings. Apols, anyway.

dreams99 - 02 Jan 2020 12:11:58 (#332 of 2178)

Not heard of him either. I don't know of any mystery writer contemporaries.

angelico - 02 Jan 2020 13:34:27 (#333 of 2178)

It was Harry Bingham, Dreams - my mistake.

dreams99 - 29 Sep 2019 17:27:38 ( #23667 of 24441)

I was at school with Bingham - son of Lord Bingham, master of the rolls. Astonishingly smart. Not read any of his books.

Thought I was losing my marbles, so had to check. At my age, this is a serious concern.

dreams99 - 02 Jan 2020 13:59:05 (#334 of 2178)

ah yes. Are they mysteries? Not read any as I said.

angelico - 02 Jan 2020 14:03:38 (#335 of 2178)

Sort of. Police procedurals with the central copper being a philosphy grad from Cambridge with a severe mental health condition and various eccentricities to boot. Very good stories and writing; perhaps a little more colourful than is entirely credible.

ReverendBlueJeans - 06 Jan 2020 12:55:47 (#336 of 2178)

TenGorillas - 27 Dec 2019 11:47:44 ( #328 of 335)

Sharpe's Prey. Bought a job lot of about fifteen Sharpes a few years back, reading one now and then for a break from the serious work stuff, though their misogyny gets right up my nose.

I'm a really slow reader whether I'm on popular stuff or heavy textbooks but it amazes me how I absolutely speed through the Sharpe books.

TenGorillas - 06 Jan 2020 12:59:55 (#337 of 2178)

Yes me too. They are very samey after a while, aren't they? This one was annoyingly priggish about swearing, kept saying "the efficacious word" instead of "fuck".

ReverendBlueJeans - 14 Jan 2020 12:42:57 (#338 of 2178)

Started Ice Station Zebra, one of the few McLeans I've never got round to.

It begins in the Holy Loch with the hero arriving from Renfrew Airport (RIP) on a 'copter. Bet those locations didn't make it into the film.

pipsqueak - 15 Jan 2020 06:01:16 (#339 of 2178)

The Thirteen. About a serial killer who specialises in who frames people for the murders he commits, then gets on the jury at their trials. Readable.

Tomnoddy - 15 Jan 2020 08:16:25 (#340 of 2178)

Now, that really sounds genuinely rubbish.

dreams99 - 15 Jan 2020 08:24:24 (#341 of 2178)

Not the one by Balzac then?

Electro2 - 15 Jan 2020 08:24:58 (#342 of 2178)

But butt bu...Thirteen By: Steve Cavanagh Critic reviews

"Plotting that takes the breath away." (Ian Rankin)

"Steve is a fantastic thriller writer." (Mark Billingham)

airynothing - 15 Jan 2020 08:52:16 (#343 of 2178)

I’m reading The Atrocity Archives, in an attempt to fill the Rivers of London shaped hole in my life. So far, so average (though I’m loving the bleeding-edge technology: "I stabbed wildly at my Palm Pilot...") Is it worth persevering with the series, at least until False Value comes out?

angelico - 15 Jan 2020 08:54:34 (#344 of 2178)


Try Joe Ide. Start with IQ.

helbel - 15 Jan 2020 09:30:33 (#345 of 2178)

Airy -

It depends. I found them okay but only read the first few, my brother thinks they're the best books ever.

First book is short and not going to take long to read, if by book 2 it still doesn't grab you then don't bother going further.

airynothing - 15 Jan 2020 09:36:02 (#346 of 2178)

I'll see how I feel. I was hoping someone would say it was one of those series which took a couple of books to get into its stride. Thanks, both.

toffle - 15 Jan 2020 12:23:17 (#347 of 2178)

then gets on the jury at their trials

I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.

pipsqueak - 15 Jan 2020 13:25:48 (#348 of 2178)

But it's all totally realistic and believable (not!). To be honest, I'm not looking for gritty realism or great writing in my shitty 'palate cleansing' books! Just easy stuff to read on my commute ...

ReverendBlueJeans - 20 Jan 2020 14:23:37 (#349 of 2178)

Hugely enjoying Ice Station Zebra, it must be said.

Curiously for The Daviot Bard of Action Adventure, no one yet has been thumped in the 'solar plexus'.

ReverendBlueJeans - 23 Jan 2020 17:05:29 (#350 of 2178)

And the book runs to p392 without a single person getting it, specifically, in the solar plexus.

darkhorse - 05 Feb 2020 07:57:11 (#351 of 2178)

In my mind, Ice Station Zebra was painted with black and white stripes.

RosyLovelady - 05 Feb 2020 07:59:32 (#352 of 2178)

Are you saying it wasn't?

pipsqueak - 05 Feb 2020 17:24:52 (#353 of 2178)

I refuse to believe that it wasn't.

I'm reading One of us is lying. About 5 teens in detention. One dies from anaphylactic shock - who is responsible????? Actually rather gripping.

TenGorillas - 05 Feb 2020 18:41:18 (#354 of 2178)

Ice station zebra is awesome.

dreams99 - 05 Feb 2020 18:43:06 (#355 of 2178)

I think I read it, when I was 15. Just been reshelving a lot of books and came across the Macleans (which had been in my parents loft for decades) May reread HMS Ulysses.

darkhorse - 05 Feb 2020 19:02:21 (#356 of 2178)

On the other hand, it could be about a zebra who lives at a normally-decorated ice station.

darkhorse - 05 Feb 2020 19:20:05 (#357 of 2178)

Tangentially related to MacLean, I think this rubbish book would have graced any war-story keen youth's bookshelf back in the day.

I was reminded of it by the passing of the mercenary inspiration of the principal character.

toffle - 05 Feb 2020 22:25:47 (#358 of 2178)

More famous for being made into a rubbish film, with a truly awesome cast.

RosyLovelady - 06 Feb 2020 07:35:34 (#359 of 2178)

And a rather shapeless tune from Joan Armatrading.

darkhorse - 07 Feb 2020 07:10:31 (#360 of 2178)

Blimey. Wasn’t aware of that.

Perhaps she was hoping to get a Bond song commission, and thought this was a good stepping stone.

airynothing - 16 Feb 2020 21:03:13 (#361 of 2178)

I'm half way through False Value, the latest Rivers of London novel. So far, it’s excellent. Also, it has a glow in the dark cover, which is not to be underestimated.

helbel - 16 Feb 2020 21:11:13 (#362 of 2178)

I think I’m first in the queue for that as soon as my library acquires it.

angelico - 17 Feb 2020 09:05:30 (#363 of 2178)

Ah - cheers, airy. I always relish those.

surferboogiewhatever - 18 Feb 2020 08:23:13 (#364 of 2178)

In the spirit of "I should know the authors my customers like" I've just read a book by Danielle Steel. About the best thing I can say about Blue is that it didn't take long to read. The style was extremely clear and straightforward. The storyline was almost entirely linear, except for a few paragraphs near the beginning explaining a bit of back story to set up the situation, and there was an awful lot of telling, not showing. In a nutshell, a woman who has been working with refugees in dangerous parts of the world since her husband and son died meets an implausibly polite and talented homeless teenager, decides to try to make his life better and thus ends up a lot happier herself. The other main subplot is about bringing an abuser to justice and it just goes too smoothly to be interesting. There were no twists, everyone the heroine trusts turns out to be actually trustworthy, and when a love interest appears, they become attracted to each other and start a relationship without any real sense of how they feel - it's all "telling," and rather skimmed over, and if they ever have sex it's not even vaguely alluded to. Things that ought to be sad happen, including one thing that's quite close to home for me, in such an under-developed way that there's just no emotional connection at all.

This is not just rubbish, this is rubbish rubbish.

Tomnoddy - 18 Feb 2020 10:27:07 (#365 of 2178)

Yet she's so popular...

RosyLovelady - 18 Feb 2020 10:28:26 (#366 of 2178)

Presumably with former Harry Potter readers who love reading.

crackfox - 18 Feb 2020 11:10:55 (#367 of 2178)

Yet she's so popular...

Working in a creative industry often leads me to think that, really, a lot of the time, a lot of people's expectations are not that high.

surferboogiewhatever - 18 Feb 2020 11:13:20 (#368 of 2178)

The question is do I get sucked into that pointless game of "there must be something that makes all these people like her - I'd better read one more in case it's better"? It didn't work for Lee Child, although after three I think I could write a very convincing pastiche of Lee Child.

The related question is could some of her legions of fans actually be people who got sucked into the same game? Always chasing the hit that never appears?

helbel - 18 Feb 2020 11:27:18 (#369 of 2178)

People read for different reasons. An undemanding book where nothing bad happens and everything is resolved prettily where you can daydream yourself as the protagonist may be all some people want from a book.

Not everyone reads to enjoy great writing, or to be challenged or to encounter new ideas. And that's ok.

Indeed for some people reading is just not as easy as it is for people like me who can comprehend a page/paragraph at a time (depending on complexity!) so the mental challenge of reading is more than enough.

In answer to your question in this case no, read something else that's popular so you broaden your grasp of popular books so better to help your customers.

surferboogiewhatever - 18 Feb 2020 12:05:05 (#370 of 2178)

Yes, I think I really ought to bite the bullet and read some James Patterson next - I'm a bit scared of the fact that he usually writes "with" somebody else and I have no idea which someone elses are the best, or the most representative.

Incidentally I do read lowbrow fiction for pleasure, often YA, although I also have a very soft spot for Dick Francis and have Felix Francis on my to-try list. I just didn't rate this particular book because it was so very... I don't know what to call it - un-fleshed-out maybe.

JennyRad - 18 Feb 2020 23:40:01 (#371 of 2178)

Relatedly, sort of, I have just started reading a Marian Keyes, which I have been thinking of as fundamentally positive books ... I think I had forgotten that one gets to the fundamentally positive ending via some fairly harrowing narrative.

I was aiming to read something undemanding because that seemed like what I was up to, but I think I'm going to read something quite demanding instead because I certainly won't stop now.

helbel - 19 Feb 2020 07:48:57 (#372 of 2178)

Hah. People thinking Marian Keyes is happy fluffy chick lit based on the covers and never having read one makes me laugh. She’s awesome. And was on the podcast Fortunately with Fi and Jane the other week if you want to have a listen.

limegreen - 19 Feb 2020 09:04:15 (#373 of 2178)

Yeah, the last Marion Keyes I read had a suicide attempt.

pipsqueak - 19 Feb 2020 09:06:24 (#374 of 2178)

She's definitely a cut above most of those pretty coloured books.

limegreen - 19 Feb 2020 09:07:55 (#375 of 2178)

I listened to a good episode of Sentimental Garbage podcast about Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess the other day. They pulled out all sorts of stuff I'd missed.

Tomnoddy - 19 Feb 2020 10:45:29 (#376 of 2178)

I was reading Simon Kendrick' s Bone Field last week.

I kept thinking I'd chuck it, but found myself drawn in. However, no resolution in it, and my, isn't he violent? He's a really masculine writer with no compunction about disposing of characters.

surferboogiewhatever - 19 Feb 2020 11:17:19 (#377 of 2178)

How long are his sentences?

The antidote to the anodyne Steel turned out to be Ruth Rendell's very last novel, Dark Corners. It had its flaws, including a young woman character with an unbelievably (not fashionably) old-ladyish name and a low-key, vaguely hopeful ending that wasn't what you'd expect of Rendell, but on the whole it was satisfyingly interesting because the characters were interesting. There are three stories really, and only one of them comes to a clear conclusion. A young writer slowly comes unravelled after indirectly causing a friend's death and being menaced by his creepy lodger, who knows what happens and "reverse blackmails" him into a rent-free arrangement he cannot afford. Meanwhile, a character he knows slightly and will only meet briefly during the course of the story lets herself into the dead woman's flat and starts using her clothes and to some extent her identity to play out a fantasy of being rich and desirable, with unexpected consequences. A subplot involving a likeable old man who rides around the city all day on buses barely intersects with the rest, but serves to remind us that it's not all doom and gloom. I felt for these characters, even the not so admirable ones, because they were well rounded and believable. Not rubbish at all, but I'm putting it on this thread because it sort of concludes the story arc of yesterday's posts.

pipsqueak - 19 Feb 2020 15:36:46 (#378 of 2178)

Latest rubbish was Blood Orange, by someone or other. I finished it about 2 days ago and all I can remember is that it was about a drunken female barrister.

Lawlsie - 19 Feb 2020 18:10:49 (#379 of 2178)

Relatedly, sort of, I have just started reading a Marian Keyes

Which one? I've read most of the early funny ones but haven't read one lately. My favourite is Rachel's Holiday and I also adored The Other Side of the Story.

I used to like Sophie Kinsella's books for frothy, lightweight reading but she got a bit samey so I stopped a while ago.

These days I am all about the audiobooks. A Paul Temple or Peter Wimsey. I love detective fiction.

RosyLovelady - 19 Feb 2020 19:30:20 (#380 of 2178)

Steve and her expensive hats.

JennyRad - 19 Feb 2020 20:30:30 (#381 of 2178)

Which one? I've read most of the early funny ones but haven't read one lately. My favourite is Rachel's Holiday and I also adored The Other Side of the Story.

"The Break", which I think is the latest-but-one. It's good, but surprisingly heavy going - probably just because I'm so tired and stressed at the moment; I should be reading old comfort reads, not new things, I suspect.

Lawlsie - 19 Feb 2020 20:33:47 (#382 of 2178)

Yes that sounds a heavy going one. The earlier ones were lighter

elderberry - 22 Feb 2020 17:33:52 (#383 of 2178)

It seems so unfair to call stuff by the likes of Keyes or Rendell 'rubbish' but hey. My comfort reading at the moment is Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver mysteries - I've had a horrible cough since early January, and a cooker with only two (semi) functional burners since mid-December, and I needed the mental equivalent of tomato soup and toast. I've consumed more of the latter in the last six weeks than in the previous ten years.

Miss Silver first appeared in novel from just before Miss marple, but there was a Marple short story as few months earlier, so its not clear did one influence the other. Maud, like Jane, knits, usually practical things like socks for a named recipient. She's a retired governess who has turned to crime. Solving crime - she's a private detective, admired by several policemen. Her world is a pleasantly cosy one, where most murder victims were rather nasty anyway, and the nice young people always end up suitably paired off. Social milieu slightly broader than Christie - still a lot of very posh people, but occasionally a member of the lower middle class gets a voice, and there isn't any gratuitous anti semitism or racism. I'm reading them like a chain smoker, one after the other - there are more than thirty of them, so by the time I'm finished the weather should have improved.

re: James Patterson, referneced above, I listened to few audiobooks of those (local library stuff) okay distractions, but I lost patience with a Womens Murder Club one where the murder weapon was a

capsule containing two substances which, when ingested and dissolved by stomach acid, caused the victim's stomach to explode. These were administered via burgers, and

I found it wery hard to swallow all these people
eating their food without chewing it. As for the large man and small woman who ate together and both blew up at exactly the same time some hours later . . . sorry, don't believe it.

PS I have a new cooker so at least I can start eating real food again.

limegreen - 22 Feb 2020 17:41:12 (#384 of 2178)

Chew your food well

Lawlsie - 22 Feb 2020 17:42:19 (#385 of 2178)

Those Miss Silver mysteries sound good. Glad you have a new cooker now elderberry

Dayraven - 22 Feb 2020 17:50:22 (#386 of 2178)

there isn't any gratuitous anti semitism or racism

Just the plot-relevant sort?

elderberry - 22 Feb 2020 18:16:51 (#387 of 2178)

So far I haven't noticed any - and the one Jewish character was a goodie (though one of a number of exceptions to the rule about murder victims being rotters). Agatha now, she was very very gratuitous. To be fair, she dissed the Irish as well.

Delighted_User - 23 Feb 2020 10:50:22 (#388 of 2178)

Touching on Ms Whatever's irritations with Danielle Steel – whom I've not read – I do distinguish between good rubbish and rubbish rubbish. To write good rubbish, you have to stick to the rules, which means no massive plot holes or implausibilities. This applies even when the central idea revolves around an implausibility, like talking animals or magical powers: you've accepted this as the condition for entering this world, but it doesn't mean anything goes.

I felt massively let down by the ending of Gone Girl, because it seemed so implausible. I'm sure there are people who'd stay with their partner after all that, but up to that point the narrator hadn't come across that way. An idle stroll across the internet shows me that many, many people are also disappointed, but not, apparently, because they found it implausible, but because they want to see evil punished and good rewarded. Once again I feel at odds with the world.

RosyLovelady - 23 Feb 2020 11:32:18 (#389 of 2178)

Gillian Flynn's Dark Places was a much more satisfying read than Gone Girl but sadly I can't remember very much about either.

Lawlsie - 23 Feb 2020 11:59:34 (#390 of 2178)

they want to see evil punished and good rewarded.

Isn't this true of most readers? Isn't this why crime and detective fiction is so popular? The satisfaction of seeing the world how it should be but rarely is? I know crime fiction is also popular because some people like puzzles but they also like resolution that fits with their values. And most people want to see the good rewarded and the bad punished.

elderberry - 23 Feb 2020 12:11:22 (#391 of 2178)

I deffo want evil punished and good rewarded, and really don't want detailed and extensive descriptions of/analysis of sociopaths because there's been enough of that in my real life. I wonder whether enjoyment of gritty psychological stuff and dystopian fiction is for people whose own lives have mostly been sunny. We escape in different directions, depending on our circumstances.

surferboogiewhatever - 23 Feb 2020 17:09:57 (#392 of 2178)

One thing I have noticed since working in a library is that fragile-looking little old ladies seem to have an insatiable thirst for gory thrillers.

Lawlsie - 23 Feb 2020 17:18:28 (#393 of 2178)

Thrillers do what they say on the tin - thrill. From the safety of your sofa, beach or bed.

Delighted_User - 23 Feb 2020 17:25:11 (#394 of 2178)

Sure, I understand that people like books with nice neat endings, and the villains punished. But I don't recall anyone objecting to the end of Silence of the Lambs, for instance, and surely there must be countless other examples of popular literature/films where the baddies get away with it, and nobody seems to complain, though they're not springing to mind at the moment.

Lawlsie - 23 Feb 2020 17:30:24 (#395 of 2178)

Romances require a happy ending. Crime fiction the same. In literary non-genre fiction it’s different.

RosyLovelady - 23 Feb 2020 17:32:59 (#396 of 2178)

I've read stuff by Patricia Highsmith where the villain got away with it; Barbara Vine too.

Delighted_User - 23 Feb 2020 17:36:32 (#397 of 2178)

How could I forget Highsmith? Ripley never gets done for anything major, does he? And aren't there Rankin novels where the killer is never caught?

surferboogiewhatever - 23 Feb 2020 17:44:03 (#398 of 2178)

I can think of an Agatha Christie where the killer gets away with it (or at least they did in the adaptation - I'm not sure about the original).

Delighted_User - 23 Feb 2020 17:52:09 (#399 of 2178)

That reminds me. In the original 'Witness for the Prosecution' story, the killer gets away with it. For the Hollywood adaptation, this had to be changed. I can't remember the details of how they did it, but it was ghastly. Poor Dietrich.

elderberry - 23 Feb 2020 18:01:45 (#400 of 2178)

#394 is that partly because when it was published there was no instant online response, so things got a chance to become bedded in as they were without anyone who had reservations realising that they were not alone. I remember ca 1989 in Waterstones in Dublin chatting briefly to a fellow customer about Ruth Rendell, and both of us feeling that we'd gone right off her after that book where you think for ages that the dog is slowly dying all alone. It was all right in the end of course because it was the husband, who had it coming, and the dog was fine, but it left both of us reluctant to read any more.

Back then wimps like us couldn't dent Rendells' (deserved) high reputation. Nowadays we could discuss it all extensively on line - must make life more stressful for authors.

Disclaimer: No live husbands were harmed in the composition of this post.

surferboogiewhatever - 23 Feb 2020 18:11:04 (#401 of 2178)

I think I was the one who first brought up Ruth Rendell and I feel I ought to mention that I didn't say she was rubbish - she made a nice contrast to the rubbish I'd read just before. She wasn't perfect, but she was always interesting, IMO. Is the one with the dog the one where the hero is tricked into going to a place where he can be framed for murder by being told that a dog is very ill, then dead? Or has she done misleading dog-distress more than once?

elderberry - 23 Feb 2020 18:35:39 (#402 of 2178)

I'm not sure - it was a long time ago. That does sound probable. I didn't much care for the one where the woman killed the family because she couldn't read, either. I don't only read cosies - I'm looking forward to the next Sara Paretsky, but I'm not at ease with the psychological stuff.

JennyRad - 23 Feb 2020 21:04:42 (#403 of 2178)

I can think of an Agatha Christie where the killer gets away with it (or at least they did in the adaptation - I'm not sure about the original).

There's at least one, very famously. I've seen an interesting thesis claiming that the answer in another book is actually a lie. And I have a feeling there's another that the killer gets away with it in, but I'm not sure I'm remembering correctly.

There are certainly a number where the killer dies before being held accountable for their crimes, which isn't quite the same but has similarities.

surferboogiewhatever - 23 Feb 2020 22:05:19 (#404 of 2178)

I've seen an interesting thesis claiming that the answer in another book is actually a lie.

So have I - I wonder if we're thinking of the same one.

Roger Ackroyd? The "killer" is covering for someone very close to him?

JennyRad - 23 Feb 2020 22:06:14 (#405 of 2178)

That's the one, yes. I don't think Christie meant it to be there but it's definitely a theory consistent with the narrative.

Lawlsie - 23 Feb 2020 22:23:40 (#406 of 2178)

Perhaps light reading is a better term than rubbish? Tho the Danielle Steel sounds rubbish

JennyRad - 23 Feb 2020 22:35:53 (#407 of 2178)

Light reading is a good term. Which subsets of light reading count as rubbish is extremely subjective, whereas "light" is more objective, I think.

Post deleted by user
Tomnoddy - 23 Feb 2020 22:43:48 (#409 of 2178)

If this was the Light Fiction thread, we'd just get people wittering about Wodehouse, Tom Holt, chick lit etc. Whereas as it's a Rubbish thread, we can tear into stuff of all kinds with gusto. Away and start your own thread!

Lawlsie - 24 Feb 2020 13:30:39 (#410 of 2178)

Okay well if we're talking rubbish Jacqueline Susann? Jackie Collins? Harold Robbins? All trashy novels but great reads.

limegreen - 24 Feb 2020 15:35:44 (#411 of 2178)

Valley of the Dolls is in 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.

pipsqueak - 24 Feb 2020 17:16:00 (#412 of 2178)

I just started and discarded Eoin colfer, High Fire. It's supposed to be for adults, but is actually just like a novel for youngish teens with swears.

Lawlsie - 24 Feb 2020 18:18:22 (#413 of 2178)

I love Valley of the Dolls. It's so deliciously trashy and yet a really great compelling read.

toffle - 24 Feb 2020 19:50:44 (#414 of 2178)

A bit like this place.

limegreen - 24 Feb 2020 20:06:27 (#415 of 2178)

VotD was just so sad!

TenGorillas - 29 Feb 2020 10:34:18 (#416 of 2178)

I have a feeling I read Danielle Steele's wiki a while back and she's had quite an impressive life. I think there's no shame at all in writing easy-to-read books that give a great deal of people a lot of pleasure.

surferboogiewhatever - 29 Feb 2020 12:54:20 (#417 of 2178)

No shame, no. Even Agatha Christie cheerfully admitted to writing a lot of pot-boilers. It just didn't do much for me, which is all I can really comment on.

toffle - 29 Feb 2020 14:57:02 (#418 of 2178)

easy-to-read books

They might be easy-to-read, but I'm guessing they're not easy to write.

darkhorse - 30 Mar 2020 16:38:35 (#419 of 2178)

For comfort reading I am revisiting two books from my teenage years.

500 Mile Walkies - Mark Wallington. I was only reminded of this because it is cited in the recent South West Coast path walking bestseller The Salt Path. So I got a copy from the internet. I read it back in the day, Wallington is an amiable companion. I guess this is from the period of jocular travel books, Bill Bryson started out around this time too.

Claw of the Conciliator - Gene Wolfe. Far future SF fantasy. Had a collapsing double copy of the 1st and 2nd books in the series in the attic. Reread the first about three years ago, comfort reading when ill. Time to swashbuckle back to Urth of the dying sun....

FGBFGB - 30 Mar 2020 16:53:55 (#420 of 2178)

I remember reading a couple of Wallington books. He had a dog called Boogie iirc

darkhorse - 30 Mar 2020 17:01:03 (#421 of 2178)

The book I actually bought is a double edition of 500 Mile Walkies and the boat-based sequel Boogie Up the River.

RosyLovelady - 20 Apr 2020 20:06:35 (#422 of 2178)

Is anyone reading rubbish nowadays or are you all confining yourselves to hard-back editions of challenging and thoughtful Laotians, Moldovans and Costa Ricans in translation during lockdown?

surferboogiewhatever - 20 Apr 2020 20:14:21 (#423 of 2178)

I've read a few detective stories by Stuart Pawson recently. They're not rubbish in the sense of not enjoyable, but they're a bit formulaic and occasionally badly edited (for example, a character in the one I'm reading at the moment is sometimes Jeff and sometimes Geoff). He's got quite a funny turn of phrase, though, and I enjoy the believably friendly relationship between the main detective and some of his colleagues, who all have a regrettable tendency to pun away like a bunch of JTTers.

limegreen - 20 Apr 2020 21:49:55 (#424 of 2178)

I finished The Pale Horse, both in book and TV form.

JennyRad - 20 Apr 2020 21:50:51 (#425 of 2178)

Did the TV form make sense?

If so, I call it a bad interpretation.

limegreen - 20 Apr 2020 22:01:35 (#426 of 2178)

I read/watched the two all mixed up over a long period of time so both were a little confused, frankly. I didn't really get why they'd done what they did with the TV. But I'm not close enough to either to fairly critique.

ishyomah - 20 Apr 2020 22:26:54 (#427 of 2178)

Definitely not always reading posh stuff. Took a day out reading a Chris Brookmayer the other day. Competent.

FGBFGB - 20 Apr 2020 22:29:35 (#428 of 2178)

He's good.

ishyomah - 20 Apr 2020 23:20:47 (#429 of 2178)

I like a far-fetched plot as well as the next person. After all, Lee Childs!

pipsqueak - 21 Apr 2020 08:16:43 (#430 of 2178)

I've been reading a few of the cheapo novels I've got on kindle: the Interestings, a couple of Rizzoli and Isles, a sci to called The paths between worlds, The house we grew up in - Lisa Jewell, The end of the world survivors club, Pillars of the earth,.

ReverendBlueJeans - 21 Apr 2020 13:21:28 (#431 of 2178)

Badly-written and ill-researched history of the Grand National by Anne Holland.

crackfox - 21 Apr 2020 13:49:49 (#432 of 2178)

The Wych Elm by Tana French. Long-winded, frankly.

airynothing - 21 Apr 2020 17:12:06 (#433 of 2178)

Oh, I really enjoyed that.

TenGorillas - 21 Apr 2020 17:39:32 (#434 of 2178)

I very much doubt there is any Laotian literature in English translation.

DejaLu - 21 Apr 2020 17:43:46 (#435 of 2178)


elderberry - 21 Apr 2020 17:52:32 (#436 of 2178)

I'm still reading the Miss Silver mysteries I started sometime midwinterish. Comforting predictability is just the thing atm.

#430 I enjoyed small screen Rizzoli and Isles (might do a re-watch, come to think, have the DVDs) but find Gerritsen a tough read - disappointingly. She's the favourite writer of a cousin I'm fond of, but I find the tendency to very graphic descriptions of medical procedures hard to take - I think cousin must have a more controllable imagination than I have.

limegreen - 21 Apr 2020 21:39:57 (#437 of 2178)

I read one Gerritson and found her very annoying. I particularly disliked her constant and use of the word 'perp'.

goldfinch - 22 Apr 2020 00:23:32 (#438 of 2178)

I also enjoyed The Wych Elm.

TenGorillas - 22 Apr 2020 07:32:51 (#439 of 2178)

Deja your link literally says there are no modern Laotian novels available in any major Western language. BLASTED.

RosyLovelady - 22 Apr 2020 07:34:42 (#440 of 2178)

The proper-reading thread regulars could probably confirm one way or the other.

pipsqueak - 22 Apr 2020 07:36:49 (#441 of 2178)

That's weird! I haven't noticed her using 'perp' at all!

limegreen - 22 Apr 2020 08:22:36 (#442 of 2178)

Maybe it was just that book, one particular character, I think.

DejaLu - 22 Apr 2020 16:29:52 (#443 of 2178)

Deja your link literally says there are no modern Laotian novels available in any major Western language. BLASTED.

You didn’t specify modern. KABOOM!

arbitrary - 22 Apr 2020 16:47:19 (#444 of 2178)

Also, they didn't specify novels.

toffle - 22 Apr 2020 19:58:41 (#445 of 2178)

So just what are our Laotian literary options, if we're not in a position to read them in the original Lao/Khmu/Hmong/etc?

(I'd guess French translations would be commoner than English.)

pipsqueak - 23 Apr 2020 08:19:06 (#446 of 2178)

Dystopian novel now - A boy and a dog at the end of the world. Good start.

ReverendBlueJeans - 07 May 2020 11:23:52 (#447 of 2178)

Some excitement amongst Scottish Football supporters (perhaps because there's no actual football happening) about Buckie Thistle FC featuring in one of the stories in Stephen King's new book, apparently.

crackfox - 07 May 2020 11:58:47 (#448 of 2178)

Seen the title, If It Bleeds, which I took to be a reference to the tabloid journalist's guiding principle - if it bleeds, it leads.

ReverendBlueJeans - 30 May 2020 10:50:15 (#449 of 2178)

More McLean - Fear is the Key.

Honestly can't remember if I've read this one before.

raymie - 30 May 2020 11:19:14 (#450 of 2178)

I enjoyed that one, as I remember. That and puppet on a chain I remember as my favourites. I read them all up to the way to dusty death

ReverendBlueJeans - 30 May 2020 11:20:26 (#451 of 2178)

Aye, Puppet I really liked.

ReverendBlueJeans - 31 May 2020 13:05:54 (#452 of 2178)

Whatever happened to Jasper Fforde?

Liked the Thursday Next series, loved the two nursery crime books.

Picked up his latest, Early Riser, and got bored with the wacky but detailed world-building early doors. Show more, Jasp.

RosyLovelady - 31 May 2020 13:10:47 (#453 of 2178)

Oh yes, The Big Over-Easy and The Fourth Bear. Lovely stuff.

angelico - 31 May 2020 19:15:05 (#454 of 2178)

Yes - what the dickens?

angelico - 31 May 2020 19:18:27 (#455 of 2178)

The Ben Aronavitch detective books have a similar quallity. The ones with the black PC training to be a supernatural detective under a very dignified older chap with huge style and lots of weird shit too.

There are graphic novels that have other stories, which (from the freebies I downloaded) were excellent. If you like that sort of thing, that is. I haven't made up my mind.

airynothing - 31 May 2020 19:20:39 (#456 of 2178)

I think Aaronovitch is a far better writer than Fforde. Fforde excels at situation and world building, but is terrible at character.

angelico - 31 May 2020 19:27:46 (#457 of 2178)

Yes, you're spot on, airy. BA's characters are very well-drawn.

ReverendBlueJeans - 01 Jun 2020 10:20:03 (#458 of 2178)

Fforde's nursery crime detective was a great character. The one with the Austin Maxi.

But generally you're right. While I enjoyed the Thursday Next books, the soapy stuff about her family bored, perhaps because it was unnecessary, perhaps because you didn't really care about them as people. Though the dodos came off the page a bit better.

elderberry - 01 Jun 2020 10:38:08 (#459 of 2178)

I felt slightly guilty about my inability to get on with Thursday Next - they always seemed to self-consciously 'clever', but not really engaging. Relieved to know I'm not alone.

dreams99 - 01 Jun 2020 10:39:12 (#460 of 2178)

I hated Fforde. Read a few pages of one and gave up.

limegreen - 01 Jun 2020 10:46:54 (#461 of 2178)

Fforde feels vert self-consciously written IYSWYM. I've read a couple but can't love them.

dreams99 - 01 Jun 2020 12:40:27 (#462 of 2178)

I just felt he was making up the rules of his world as he went along, which is lazy and irritating. Just not enough there to make me read on.

Snarlygog - 13 Jun 2020 22:12:56 (#463 of 2178)

A friend of mine and her eldest daughter are shielding because they have sickle cell. She's a teacher and doing all her stuff online, and teaches her Body combat class from her sitting-room.

darkhorse - 13 Jun 2020 22:30:50 (#464 of 2178)

looks up from trash novel

"You'll be wanting the thread next along".

limegreen - 14 Jun 2020 08:59:37 (#465 of 2178)

#463 That's interesting, I didn't know it was one of the conditions on the list. Is this because of the clotting thing?

ReverendBlueJeans - 14 Jun 2020 11:20:09 (#466 of 2178)

Finished Fear is the Key.

Reliable thud and blunder, but an unexpectedly downbeat and literary ending.

Snarlygog - 17 Jun 2020 17:55:42 (#467 of 2178)

#465 they have loads of vascular troubles, and the shape of the blood cells restrict oxygen transport.

ReverendBlueJeans - 10 Jul 2020 12:14:28 (#468 of 2178)

Not started reading yet, but Bodies in the Library 3 has just arrived - a series that publishes little-known short stories, plays and other work by golden age crimesters.

The second volume had an Edmond Crispin Fen novella that was much better than his later novels.

TenGorillas - 11 Jul 2020 19:03:01 (#469 of 2178)

Peter James, Dead if you don’t. The book equivalent of a family bag of Doritos and a litre of coke.

ReverendBlueJeans - 11 Jul 2020 19:45:04 (#470 of 2178)

Make that Diet Coke and you have yourself a deal.

TenGorillas - 15 Jul 2020 12:19:14 (#471 of 2178)

Marie Vareille, Je peux (très bien) me passer de toi. French chick lit is very similar to English chick lit.

RosyLovelady - 06 Aug 2020 07:20:09 (#472 of 2178)

Around 1980 I saw a dramatisation of Verity Bargate's No Mama No on telly. It made a big impression on me at the time but I've only now got round to reading the very short book. It's about post-natal psychosis from the viewpoint of an unreliable narrator, a young mother living in Soho (like other young mothers I've met, honest). I enjoyed reading it: it's got more humour than the tv adaptation, and we aren't required to be so completely on the side of the central character.

(I foolishly posted this on the the other thread and it was received in embarrassed silence.)

TenGorillas - 06 Aug 2020 08:14:32 (#473 of 2178)

I don’t think it was embarrassed silence. I get no reaction to 75% of my posts on the other thread because I’m not reading the same on-trend Hilary Mantels as everyone else on there.

DejaLu - 06 Aug 2020 08:16:50 (#474 of 2178)

Anyone want a chat about Murakami? LOL.

And it wasn’t embarrassed silence from me, Rosy. It just sent me down a path of thinking about postnatal psychosis rather than books.

RosyLovelady - 06 Aug 2020 08:17:54 (#475 of 2178)

I expect it was a paranoid delusion of self-reference on my part :-)

pipsqueak - 06 Aug 2020 08:19:17 (#476 of 2178)

Haha! Deja - no thanks! Just read the first 2 Ruth Galloway novels - love'em. Now starting Blindness, Jose saramago.

DejaLu - 06 Aug 2020 08:44:50 (#477 of 2178)

I heart Ruth Galloway so much.

ReverendBlueJeans - 06 Aug 2020 09:45:19 (#478 of 2178)

Started the anniversary reissue of the first, 1959, Pan Book of Horror Stories.

pipsqueak - 06 Aug 2020 13:27:33 (#479 of 2178)

Ruth Galloway is totes ace! Can't believe I've only just found her!

HelenDamnation - 06 Aug 2020 23:53:52 (#480 of 2178)

Joining in with the Ruth Galloway (and Kate) love!

pipsqueak - 09 Aug 2020 10:25:24 (#481 of 2178)

Who's Kate?

Electro2 - 09 Aug 2020 10:29:32 (#482 of 2178)

Ruth's daughter.

pipsqueak - 09 Aug 2020 21:02:33 (#483 of 2178)

Oh right! She's still pregnant as far as I'm concerned!

HelenDamnation - 09 Aug 2020 21:46:40 (#484 of 2178)

Kate becomes a most tremendous character. She is one of the best-written small children I've read in recent years.

ReverendBlueJeans - 10 Aug 2020 12:22:13 (#485 of 2178)

Re-reading Where Eagles Dare.

Probably MacLean's pottiest plot.

'Broadsword calling Danny Boy...'

raymie - 10 Aug 2020 13:21:46 (#486 of 2178)

Reading the sharpe novels. Much more engaging than the tv series

TenGorillas - 10 Aug 2020 14:15:39 (#487 of 2178)

I finished Sharpe’s Enemy about a week ago. He’s not great at writing women, is he?

raymie - 10 Aug 2020 14:17:12 (#488 of 2178)

They don’t last long, generally

airynothing - 10 Aug 2020 14:19:10 (#489 of 2178)

I read Cornwall's Shakespeare book a while ago. It was like reading something out of the fifties. Every villain was homosexual, and every hero was straight. The latter group included the notably sexually ambiguous Shakespeare, with no hint of irony.

angelico - 10 Aug 2020 15:07:08 (#490 of 2178)

A dance to the music of time. Hmm.

ReverendBlueJeans - 10 Aug 2020 15:57:58 (#491 of 2178)

I remember reading the Sharpe one about Seringapatam (not a particularly noble colonial escapade from any perspective) and I was annoyed that, even in the appendix, Cornwall rather dismissed Sir David Baird (someone I'de been researching at the time) in favour of his hero, Wellington.

ReverendBlueJeans - 13 Aug 2020 10:21:06 (#492 of 2178)

Finished Where Eagles Dare.

For you aviation fans, regarding the pottiest plot twist of all; would an extra five people fit in a Mosquito besides the pilot and co-pilot?

Re the Pan Book of Horror Stories; CS Forester wrote a few harrowing behind-the-scenes-in-Nazi-Germany short stories. The Neurology of Fear, in this collection, tops them all.

TenGorillas - 14 Aug 2020 23:04:33 (#493 of 2178)

JP Delaney, believe me. Massively schlocky Sub-Gone girl thriller which I am enjoying immensely.

limegreen - 15 Aug 2020 08:24:09 (#494 of 2178)

Lockdown by Peter May. Written 15 years ago about a deadly flu ravaging London, it was never published, until...

Enjoyable, fairly straightforward thriller. Fun to compare to current times of course. Not massively convinced by the ending, and I have a science question about the DNA.

pipsqueak - 17 Aug 2020 09:40:08 (#495 of 2178)

Oh I just bought that lime. Currently reading something I picked up at work - Come Again, by Robert Webb. Quite entertaining.

ReverendBlueJeans - 21 Oct 2020 12:37:16 (#496 of 2178)

The Moonflower Murders, Anthony Horowitz's follow-up to The Magpie Murders.

Another mystery where a crime novel by a dead author holds clues to an earlier crime. Post-modernly or intertextually or something, said novel is included in the novel.

WHich makes it very long for a fun bit of murder.

RosyLovelady - 09 Nov 2020 18:43:31 (#497 of 2178)

I get the impression that hardly anyone reads rubbish nowadays; it's all racing to finish the Booker short list, or comparing translations of greatly worthy works.

airynothing - 09 Nov 2020 18:58:00 (#498 of 2178)

Trust me, Rosy, readers of rubbish are out here.

crabbyoldbat - 09 Nov 2020 19:04:36 (#499 of 2178)

We are.

AlanII - 09 Nov 2020 19:09:16 (#500 of 2178)


DejaLu - 09 Nov 2020 19:09:53 (#501 of 2178)


helbel - 09 Nov 2020 19:10:41 (#502 of 2178)

100% rubbish here. I like stories not writing.

angelico - 09 Nov 2020 19:10:45 (#503 of 2178)


AlanII - 09 Nov 2020 19:11:41 (#504 of 2178)

Just read Hit Men, an account of eighties payola and now onto a biography of one of the main protagonists, Walter Yetnikoff, ex CBS bigwig, Howling at the Moon.

limegreen - 09 Nov 2020 19:17:49 (#505 of 2178)

Without wanting to sound like a snob, I think sometimes there is less to say about rubbish. Often it just delivers what you wanted and expected. Abs that's no bad thing.

Also on the subject of rubbish, abs arguing against my point is the podcast Sentimental Garbage. It talks about a lot of fiction that is dismissed as Women's fluff (although I'd dispute that all of it is). It has definitely pointed out interesting, thought-provoking things about books you might otherwise dismiss.

HelenDamnation - 09 Nov 2020 19:43:06 (#506 of 2178)

I've just read Light a Penny Candle.

Obviously, now that's out of the way I'll be free to focus on A La Recherche de Temps Perdu.

DejaLu - 09 Nov 2020 20:16:26 (#507 of 2178)

du temps

limegreen - 09 Nov 2020 20:35:44 (#508 of 2178)

---> erudite thread for people wot speak French

Tomnoddy - 09 Nov 2020 20:43:26 (#509 of 2178)

I quite like Women's Fluff, as you put it, limegreen.

Often upbeat, engagingly written, and brightens a dismal day.

The Booker shortlist, less so.

Tomnoddy - 09 Nov 2020 20:45:42 (#510 of 2178)

And I'm a chunkily-built bloke who'd make a decent wing-threequarter if I was 40 years younger.

pipsqueak - 09 Nov 2020 20:55:57 (#511 of 2178)

I've just finished a free (!) Crime procedural - set in Scotland, featuring a solidly built dci Logan.

ReverendBlueJeans - 09 Nov 2020 22:52:11 (#512 of 2178)

The Christmas Egg, Mary Kelly, one of those British Library crime classics.

marya8370 - 10 Nov 2020 07:50:11 (#513 of 2178)

Enjoying Ella Griffiths and Ruth Galloway

angelico - 10 Nov 2020 10:16:51 (#514 of 2178)

I've just finished a free (!) Crime procedural - set in Scotland, featuring a solidly built dci Logan.

The new Rebus is excellent. Not rubbish.

Tomnoddy - 10 Nov 2020 10:20:57 (#515 of 2178)

Not, absolutely not, rubbish, so it shouldn't be here, but as Ellie Griffiths has been mentioned again, The Stranger Diaries is a really really gripping book.

Tomnoddy - 10 Nov 2020 10:22:38 (#516 of 2178)

It's a standalone, not a Ruth Galloway, but is superior to that series. I know that's a very high bar to clear, but true.

marya8370 - 10 Nov 2020 10:30:17 (#517 of 2178)

I have just finished the Stranger diaries. Had to stop last night as I was getting too stressed! Absolutely gripping

RosyLovelady - 10 Nov 2020 11:02:30 (#518 of 2178)

I've got that on order. Thanks for the tip, mary.

TenGorillas - 10 Nov 2020 11:05:46 (#519 of 2178)

MrTG, who is not a reader, picked up one of the Lucinda Riley Seven Sisters series this summer and was insta-hooked.

I read a lot of crap. I think I'm about the only person who posts it on the other thread though. Will check out that Fluff podcast. I'm working on a presentation about chick lit ATM, so it sounds timely and interesting.

TenGorillas - 10 Nov 2020 11:14:27 (#520 of 2178)

Oooh Valley of the Dolls is a banger.

Main podcast woman has a really annoying voice though.

Tomnoddy - 10 Nov 2020 11:14:36 (#521 of 2178)

That's just how I felt reading it too, marya!

However, why has Rosy got me on ignore?

darkhorse - 10 Nov 2020 11:15:23 (#522 of 2178)

Tbf, I don't think the reading thread condemns you if you read crap, it isn't "what highbrow books are you reading".

TenGorillas - 10 Nov 2020 11:15:42 (#523 of 2178)

no that's fair enough.

RosyLovelady - 10 Nov 2020 11:30:57 (#524 of 2178)

Oops, sorry, Tom. No offence intended :-)

RosyLovelady - 10 Nov 2020 11:32:05 (#525 of 2178)

Valley of the Dolls is fab trash. JS's other novels are even better/worse.

ReverendBlueJeans - 10 Nov 2020 12:02:01 (#526 of 2178)

When we say 'rubbish' we don't really mean 'rubbish' - we mean popular, story-led genre fiction that doesn't usually win the Booker. That is all.

Fiction like this can be badly done or well-done. So can literary fiction.

But we all know which is more fun.

limegreen - 10 Nov 2020 12:25:03 (#527 of 2178)

#520 Oh, she wouldn't even make my top ten of annoying podcast voices!

angelico - 10 Nov 2020 13:20:13 (#528 of 2178)

I think most of us post on both threads. But it's hard foillowing reams of literary fiction and intelligent comment with Reginald Hill or Eva Dolan procedurals. OTOH, dreamsy likes McBain and Maigret, so whatevs.

HelenDamnation - 10 Nov 2020 14:09:01 (#529 of 2178)

Reginald Hill is awesome. There are always a few words I have to look up.

DejaLu - 10 Nov 2020 14:15:55 (#530 of 2178)

Me too. I took it very personally when he died, depriving me of any more D&Ps.

angelico - 10 Nov 2020 17:14:59 (#531 of 2178)

And his stand-alone's are excellent, if you haven't read them. The Woodcutter and the Stranger House, esp.

pipsqueak - 10 Nov 2020 17:47:31 (#532 of 2178)

I am struggling to read anything that isn't very easy reading at the moment. My focus is pretty non existent.

HelenDamnation - 10 Nov 2020 18:00:28 (#533 of 2178)

Oh christ, yes. This.

goldfinch - 10 Nov 2020 18:02:53 (#534 of 2178)

I'm the same.

JennyRad - 10 Nov 2020 18:09:50 (#535 of 2178)

Me too. I'm an easy-reader at the best of times - not necessarily rubbish, but escapist and non-complex - and now is not the best of times.

I had a conversation about best-things-you've-read-this-pandemic at work recently and I was left feeling unfeasibly lowbrown. (In my workplace I stick out like a sore thumb as neither a historian nor a librarian - the only other person who's neither, I think, has a degree in French and English Literature. On the other hand, of course, I can add up.)

Frieda - 10 Nov 2020 18:31:32 (#536 of 2178)

I'm also reading for relaxation, delving into another world and shutting out the real one, most of the time. And as it's mostly on the Kindle, nobody sees (and judges) about what I read.

angelico - 10 Nov 2020 18:42:39 (#537 of 2178)

I think this must be true of most of us, you know. I did read A dance to the music of time but didn't think all that much of it. But generally pure escapism, especially the past 3 months.

RosyLovelady - 10 Nov 2020 18:53:05 (#538 of 2178)

I read that too, at the beginning of the first lockdown, for about the 12th time, for absolute pleasure. I can't imagine reading it in any other spirit, though MrRosy admirably did so in the early days of our entanglement.

angelico - 10 Nov 2020 18:55:12 (#539 of 2178)


There were a few bits that enjoyed, I admit. It's just that I found their concentration rather low for my, probably equally low, taste.

ReverendBlueJeans - 11 Nov 2020 07:57:02 (#540 of 2178)

I mentioned it on the non-rubbish thread but I soldiered through the first DttMoT volume but gave up some way into the second.

I am shamefully lightweight.

helbel - 12 Nov 2020 09:11:54 (#541 of 2178)

Finished the latest JD Robb last night (or at least the latest my library has). You’ll be unsurprised to learn that Dallas caught the bad guy.

elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 09:52:14 (#542 of 2178)

Stories with people in them all the way for me, and I wouldn't call it rubbish. Though maybe, some is a bit rubbish in parts.

I'm tending to re-read at the moment, and to go for book series so familiar characters come back. I got though all the Wentworth Miss Silver mysteries in the first half of the year, digressed a bit into some Georgette Heyer regency romances, the last winter's Lee Child Reacher book that turned up in a charity shop when they re-opened, read the most recent Bujold Penric collection, and Donna Andrews' summer book (she tends to write two a year).

Then I started re-reading Angela Thirkell - published between the late thirties and the late fifties - they're depictions of English rural and small town life among county gentry, marred by snobbery and odd racist comments (that's the rubbish), but also funny, kind to her own characters, with at least one successful marriage achieved per book, and very interesting observations of the times. I'm currently reading the one with people's reactions to the King's death - earlier ones described the boredom and frustration of wartime restrictions and rationing. The same people weave in and out of the books, and there are ongoing references to the character's ancestors, all culled from Trollope (her setting is Barsetshire).

For Christmas I've already bought the most recent Donna Andrews - they're cosy crime, family background, rural Virginia, witty asides and observations, not rubbish, but pleasant easy reads, with a lot of humour.

For next year I'm thinking of Michael Connolly - I've read a few of his books, and have been buying them as they appeared in the €1 per book charity shop, so have most of them now. And maybe a diary series.

RosyLovelady - 12 Nov 2020 09:57:18 (#543 of 2178)

One of my favourite rubbish writers used to be Carol Smith with her far-fetched plots, clunky prose and annoying characters, often in settings with which I had some familiarity.

elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 10:19:25 (#544 of 2178)

I hadn't heard of her so I looked her up. This is the one about you, isn't it? Alone on Dartmoor without a car, Erin O'Leary has gone to ground, hiding from Russian assassins. . .

RosyLovelady - 12 Nov 2020 10:20:05 (#545 of 2178)


elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 10:22:09 (#546 of 2178)

They do sound entertaining.

airynothing - 12 Nov 2020 10:24:42 (#547 of 2178)

Are the Bujold Penric books any good, Elderberry? I wasn't nearly as impressed by the Sharing Knife stuff as the Vorkosiverse, and I think I read Chalion but wasn't much taken by it. Should I rethink?

RosyLovelady - 12 Nov 2020 10:26:45 (#548 of 2178)

Entertaining is right, and annoying with it. I think Grandmother's Footsteps was my favourite.

mazylou - 12 Nov 2020 10:28:36 (#549 of 2178)

I thought I was the only person who'd read Angela Thirkell, she's very out of fashion.

RosyLovelady - 12 Nov 2020 10:34:10 (#550 of 2178)

I remember my friend's mother saying how out of fashion Angela Thirkell was--in the late 1950s :-)

elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 10:36:21 (#551 of 2178)

Penric's okay - they're novellas, so of their nature less developed than a full length novel. I agree with you about the Sharing Knife books, but enjoyed the full length Chalion books - particularly love Cazaril in the Curse of Chalion.

What I really want is some more Vorkosiverse, particularly some more Alys and Ivan. But being a completist extends to authors as well as series - I even tried a re-read of the Spirit Ring during lockdown, but didn't get far. haven't put it back on the shelf yet though.

Thirkell out of fashion. yes indeed - she could do with a reprint that just excises some unnecessary paragraphs (not even one per book, but very bad when they show up). But Miss Hampton and Miss Bent!

elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 10:41:14 (#552 of 2178)

I think Thirkell's publisher did have a firm word with her some time in the mid forties - a comic cuts industrialist becomes human and marries into the county, a lower middle class clergyman educates himself and becomes a good character no longer mocked for his accent. But you know she still thinks that way really.

They are very entertaining, but you have to be prepared to read a reference to 'the lower orders' without flinging the book at the wall. When I started reading her, 30 odd years ago, i felt 'hooray these people no longer exist'. That seems less true nowadays, oddly.

limegreen - 12 Nov 2020 10:43:21 (#553 of 2178)

My friend reads her, but is very happy to read the unfashionable. (Not in a racist way, I hasten to add.)

helbel - 12 Nov 2020 10:43:37 (#554 of 2178)

I’ve reread the Penric novella’s a lot, but I loved Chalion and and the sequel. I even made it through the Spirit Ring but have never reread it. And I adore the Sharing Knife, though I quite understand people who want more Miles not liking them.

I save the Sharing Knife for when I’m ill with a cold and just read them in bed.

I will look up Donna Andrews, thanks elderberry.

airynothing - 12 Nov 2020 10:55:24 (#555 of 2178)

The problem with "more Vorkosiverse" is that the later ones are much less good than peak Miles ( Shards of Honor and Barrayar, then from Brothers in Arms to Diplomatic Immunity, IMO).

Gentleman Jole was woeful. And her take on sexuality and gender, which looked progressive thirty years ago, looks increasingly conservative: everyone, regardless of their orientation or gender, settles down with a member of the opposite sex* and has babies.

* Yes, even Bel.

RosyLovelady - 12 Nov 2020 11:03:27 (#556 of 2178)

< When I started reading her, 30 odd years ago, i felt 'hooray these people no longer exist'. That seems less true nowadays, oddly. >

They emerged from their years of oppression when Thatcher took over.

elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 11:11:36 (#557 of 2178)

Look, the book game is back incorrect link removed

helbel - 12 Nov 2020 11:15:54 (#558 of 2178)

That links to an old one for me. But I’ve found the new.

pipsqueak - 12 Nov 2020 18:48:57 (#559 of 2178)

Where is the book game please?

elderberry - 12 Nov 2020 18:51:40 (#560 of 2178)

Helbel gives the link in post 59 of this thread

or maybe also

solomongursky - 24 Nov 2020 11:36:21 (#561 of 2178)

There's a series of books where a bloke arrives somewhere, meets some villains and a foxy lady, shags the lady, kills the villains and moves on. There's tons of them and they're awful but I can't resist them. Lee Childs' Jack Reacher novels.

surferboogiewhatever - 24 Nov 2020 12:11:46 (#562 of 2178)

Haha, I was just telling a rather prim and proper library colleague that I've read a few of those - they're very formulaic but sometimes I'm just in the mood for one. the last two I read were about as different as two from that series can be - in one, I don't think he actually killed anybody, although he did help the foxy lady of the day to dispose of a body; in the other he killed tens of people and set up about 20 more to all kill each other in a big shootout.

James Patterson on the other hand - popular with all the same borrowers IME, but I tried one and gave up after a chapter. It just didn't grab me at all.

solomongursky - 24 Nov 2020 12:18:42 (#563 of 2178)

Die Trying

Just as Reacher helps Holly Johnson, an attractive young woman struggling with her crutches on a Chicago street, they are both kidnapped at gunpoint. Reacher and the woman are thrown into a dark van and taken 2,000 miles across America, completely unaware why they were kidnapped and where they are going. Finding themselves trapped in a seemingly remote place, they must work together to find the answers.

ChankNolen - 24 Nov 2020 12:20:55 (#564 of 2178)

I just finished the latest Bernard Cornwell Uhtred of Bebbanburg novel - not sure whether that counts as rubbish or not, but it did have that tell-tale indicator of being read cover to cover in about three days.

surferboogiewhatever - 24 Nov 2020 12:22:17 (#565 of 2178)

I once read one of those in a holiday cottage, not realising it was one of a series, which would probably have accounted for its vaguely unsatisfying story arc.

elderberry - 24 Nov 2020 14:05:45 (#566 of 2178)

I love the Reacher books and have read almost all of them, but get annoyed by the blurb Men want to be him, women want to be with him As a woman I'd quite like to be the one who strolls into town, hooks up with a local hot bloke, kills off the bad guys without breaking a sweat, and departs with their cash. But for preference I'd prefer to be with a chap who changes his underpants every day, knows how to cook and use a washing machine, and hangs around for more than a couple of days.

solomongursky - 24 Nov 2020 14:09:57 (#567 of 2178)

During his intensely passionate entanglements it's invariably mind-blowing red-hot sex then he and the lady have a chat and agree to separate and never see each other again.

elderberry - 24 Nov 2020 14:13:07 (#568 of 2178)

That's the three-day underpant effect, right there

solomongursky - 24 Nov 2020 14:20:13 (#569 of 2178)

Actually sometimes the foxy lady dies gruesomely to show you how bad the baddies are. Reacher bottles his white-hot rage.

ReverendBlueJeans - 24 Nov 2020 14:51:29 (#570 of 2178)

On a gentler note, just finished Dead Men's Morris (rebadged as Death Comes at Christmas for the festive market), one of the Mrs Bradley stories, from 1936.

Lots of good things, but a very complicated plot involving secret passages, heraldry, stained glass windows, a headless ghost, morris-dancing, pig-farming (in astonishing detail) etc etc. Even though she was played on telly by the very great Dame Emma Peel, I don't find Mrs Bradley a very appealing character. Actually, none of the characters, besides the doddery police inspector and some of the pigs, were especially likeable.

airynothing - 24 Nov 2020 15:53:32 (#571 of 2178)

The Mrs Bradley books are incredibly uneven in quality.

TenGorillas - 24 Nov 2020 16:26:36 (#572 of 2178)

During his intensely passionate entanglements it's invariably mind-blowing red-hot sex then he and the lady have a chat and agree to separate and never see each other again.

Funnily enough this also applies to Bernard Cornwell .

HelenDamnation - 24 Nov 2020 17:35:21 (#573 of 2178)

Mrs Bradley isn't meant to be an appealing character, surely? She is repeatedly described as saurian, reptilian, etc: she's aggressive and supercilious by turn: she only reveals her good nature in occasional flashes. I rather love her in a "fuck you" kind of way.

darkhorse - 24 Nov 2020 17:39:22 (#574 of 2178)

I can't persuade the kid to read it right now, but I have bought a nostalgic old 70s paperback of Arthur C Clarke's Dolphin Island which is 60s kids SF about a teenage stowaway in the nearish future (actually, probably the past now) who reaches a Pacific experimental research station learning to communicate with our porpoise chums.

So I may just reread it myself instead. Forgot what happened but remember I liked it.

HelenDamnation - 24 Nov 2020 17:47:10 (#575 of 2178)

I am currently reading some of Mary Stewart's 1950s thrillers - Madam, Will You Talk?, The Moonspinners, etc. The plots are absolute nonsense, but they are soothing and distracting, both of which I need, and the descriptions of Abroad are both very vivid and very much of their time.

The last time I saw any of them was on the windowsill in the main guest bedroom at my grandparents' house - I read and loved them all. One of them had a plot which resolves itself through the difference between different types of colour blindness (I think it's Thunder on the Right, but wouldn't swear to it).

helbel - 24 Nov 2020 17:49:27 (#576 of 2178)

Oh I have some of those on my Kindle. I went through a phase of reading them when I was 15/16. Did an English book report on one of them and my teacher was exceedingly sniffy about my choice of reading matter.

HelenDamnation - 24 Nov 2020 18:23:10 (#577 of 2178)

I bought some recently when they were 99p on BookBub.

ishyomah - 24 Nov 2020 18:59:23 (#578 of 2178)

I agree with you, Helen, great comfort reading. Have you read her Merlin trilogy?

elderberry - 24 Nov 2020 18:59:53 (#579 of 2178)

Mary Stewart is great comfort reading, and her descriptions of place are excellent. Her husband was an archaeologist, and she was quite well travelled and well read, and she's more respectful of foreigners than many of her contemporaries. I bet they've survived longer and better than some of the things Helbel's teacher would have approved of.

I don't remember the colour blindness bit, and it's even longer since I read Thunder on the Right than some of the others, so that might match - is that the one with the isolated convent in the Pyrenees?

darkhorse - 24 Nov 2020 19:01:32 (#580 of 2178)

I read those Merlin ones as an early teen. I must've had a thing for lengthy Arthurian sagas, because I also read Marion Zimmer Bradley's one (900 page doorstop).

ishyomah - 24 Nov 2020 19:03:18 (#581 of 2178)

I never made it through the MZB.

angelico - 24 Nov 2020 19:04:12 (#582 of 2178)

Ha! Did you read morte d’arthur? Wasting the golden hours of youth.

(I didn’t either. Once and future king? Though it’s hardly rubbish).

darkhorse - 24 Nov 2020 19:05:16 (#583 of 2178)

I got an illustrated Morte d'Arthur out of the library, but didn't read a great deal of it, as it is a rather challenging text for a youngster.

So I guess it went back after 3 weeks.

ishyomah - 24 Nov 2020 19:05:53 (#584 of 2178)

Or me, dh

darkhorse - 24 Nov 2020 19:07:57 (#585 of 2178)

And to complete, I also had Pendragon, the role playing game.

JennyRad - 24 Nov 2020 19:54:41 (#586 of 2178)

I don't remember the colour blindness bit, and it's even longer since I read Thunder on the Right than some of the others, so that might match - is that the one with the isolated convent in the Pyrenees?

Yes, it is - and it is indeed also the one with the colour blindness. And the very implausible retrograde amnesia.

HelenDamnation - 24 Nov 2020 20:10:14 (#587 of 2178)

MS' maiden name was Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow. Isn't that lovely!

elderberry - 28 Nov 2020 15:34:08 (#588 of 2178)

I see it's catalogued as a book, and I've been reading it, and it's not literary, and somehow this seems a better thread that the history books one.

Watching the Crown (dreadful yawnathon so far) prompted me to get James Whitaker's Settling Down, published in 1981 in advance of the royal wedding down from the shelf.

Fascinating in several ways - J W clearly disliked Charles, maybe disliked all the royals even while making money from writing about them, and goes on about his bad figure - small chest, short legs, and big bum. Which is unkind, and also a bit of a deflection exercise as it helps avoid any discussion of his character. He also describes Diana getting into car chases with journalists before the moved into the palace. But what struck me most is his going on about the necessity of any girl for Charles getting the approval of his friends Lady Tryon, and even more importantly, Mrs Parker Bowles. He repeatedly refers to her.

The cynicism of the whole setup is very creepy. I'm not a Diana worshipper, but ugh.

ReverendBlueJeans - 29 Nov 2020 09:15:59 (#589 of 2178)

Gracious, James Whitaker! Is he still above ground?

In another era he would have been a remittance man in the colonies.

Electro2 - 29 Nov 2020 09:20:24 (#590 of 2178)

James Whitaker! Is no longer above ground.

ReverendBlueJeans - 29 Nov 2020 09:27:44 (#591 of 2178)

A nation mourns.

elderberry - 29 Nov 2020 10:34:51 (#592 of 2178)

Long gone, but the people who wrote the Netflix thing clearly treated the stuff written by him and other hacks who got given carefully curated leaks as 'historic sources' so I was interested in looking back. I have a half shelf of royal stuff - the cheap end of charity shops, even in Ireland, get it in from time to time. It's interesting looking at the way constructed stories get turned into remembered 'truth'. It's also rubbish, I think, so within the thread definition. I'm reading Tom Barry's 1949 classic Guerrilla days in Ireland as well, so there's a real compare and contrast thing going on wrt myth building.

crackfox - 29 Nov 2020 12:46:13 (#593 of 2178)

James Whittaker looked like the sort of man who’d been born with cuff links

ReverendBlueJeans - 03 Dec 2020 16:06:16 (#594 of 2178)

James Whittaker looked like the sort of man who’d been born with cuff links

...but had to sell them to pay off gambling debts.

There's a feller called Richard Madley who occasionally pops up on antiques programmes (my guilty pleasure and besetting sin) who looks alarmingly like the Whitaker.

slimpickins - 12 Dec 2020 19:10:58 (#595 of 2178)

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville on Audible because I liked The City and The City and the trilogy was on a twofer. At first I found it wantonly descriptive but once it get going it's a lot of fun, weird but fun.

ReverendBlueJeans - 12 Dec 2020 20:24:20 (#596 of 2178)

Evil Amazon routinely rip off authors but particularly so on Audible. Details on the Society of Authors site.

Just saying.

Electro2 - 12 Dec 2020 20:29:03 (#597 of 2178)

I enjoyed Alison Lurie’s Foreign Affairs on the Audible lite BorrowBox app after a recommendation from this thread.

HelenDamnation - 12 Dec 2020 20:43:35 (#598 of 2178)

Oooh, I haven't read any Alison Lurie for ages, but I used to love her stuff.

RosyLovelady - 13 Dec 2020 08:04:23 (#599 of 2178)

Disappointed to find Alison Lurie filed under Rubbish.

TenGorillas - 13 Dec 2020 08:15:54 (#600 of 2178)


TenGorillas - 13 Dec 2020 08:16:38 (#601 of 2178)

I am reading some truly dreadful chick lit from Quebec for work.

Tomnoddy - 16 Dec 2020 15:01:31 (#602 of 2178)

I'm shocked, not just disappointed, Rosie. Alison Lurie is a very overlooked writer in the UK.

ChankNolen - 18 Dec 2020 14:10:24 (#603 of 2178)

V2 by Robert Harris. His novels are definitely showing diminishing returns: like The Second Sleep, this one just fizzles out at the end and leaves you feeling both dissatisfied and slightly guilty, like a Burger King meal.

MoominChristmasMadness - 29 Dec 2020 16:58:48 (#604 of 2178)

A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley. Bought for me by an aunty for Christmas, and it is as cosy and wholesome as hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire after a bracing walk.

RosyLovelady - 29 Dec 2020 17:52:54 (#605 of 2178)

Ah, things people don't really do.

lallygag - 30 Dec 2020 00:07:45 (#606 of 2178)

Re: EvilAmazon ripping off authors via Audible. Does anyone have any recommendations for alternative sources for audiobooks? I sometimes use the ones the library provide but I can't download and listen in the car with them.

Electro2 - 30 Dec 2020 09:39:08 (#607 of 2178)

You could try Scribd - free for 30 days

I haven’t tried it as I’m happy with BorrowBox from my local library.

lallygag - 31 Dec 2020 12:51:56 (#608 of 2178)

Thanks. I'll give it a look.

MoominChristmasMadness - 31 Dec 2020 16:26:11 (#609 of 2178)

All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle. Bit of a crowdpleaser I guess, but it felt like reading a children's book at times (even after the Cornish Christmas guff). Should be a heart-warming tale but too lightweight even for me to be satisfying. It refers to McDonalds in the book a few times and it was rather a hamburger of a novel. Whereas the Cornish Christmas one was a home made scone with clotted cream.

Anyway I finished my reading challenge of 30 books this year. Not a particularly distinguished selection this year, mind.

Now onto Belinda Bauer - Rubbernecker. Snap was ok, IIRC, if a bit daft.

ReverendBlueJeans - 31 Dec 2020 16:53:05 (#610 of 2178)

England, Their England by AG MacDonell from 1933. Not as rubbish as his crime thrillers, and leavened by some wannabe Waughist humour.

HelenDamnation - 05 Jan 2021 17:52:40 (#611 of 2178)

Robertson Davies' wonderful Cornish Trilogy is £2.99 today on Kindle. Recommended.

DejaLu - 05 Jan 2021 18:10:53 (#612 of 2178)

Ooh, thanks - will snap that up.

elderberry - 05 Jan 2021 18:42:19 (#613 of 2178)

Nobody in this or any other universe could describe Robertson Davies as 'rubbish'.

Well worth snapping up, though.

HelenDamnation - 05 Jan 2021 18:48:14 (#614 of 2178)

I know, Elderberry. It's just that the original What are you reading thread, with its Stakhanovite claims of millions of Serious Books every month, is just too serious (aka tedious). This one caters much more to mixed readers like me.

(CJ Sansom's Sovereign is 99p as well)

dreams99 - 05 Jan 2021 19:31:52 (#615 of 2178)

Sorry not sorry for boring you.

toffle - 05 Jan 2021 21:06:44 (#616 of 2178)

Serious Books are like Serious Illnesses.

elderberry - 05 Jan 2021 21:12:34 (#617 of 2178)

Mixed readers like me, too. Currently re-reading a 1946 children's book, Sally's Family by Gwendolen Courtney. Just before the NHS and free secondary education, so a bit angsty about doctors bills and scholarships, which adds interest.

pipsqueak - 06 Jan 2021 06:47:16 (#618 of 2178)

I look on both reading threads, but I have been reading a lot more rubbish over the last year than usual. I've struggled to focus on anything much.

angelico - 06 Jan 2021 08:28:30 (#619 of 2178)

Aye - I enjoy both threads for different reasons too.

RosyLovelady - 06 Jan 2021 08:40:14 (#620 of 2178)

It's fun to treat the hardbacks thread as a spectator sport. The competitive element there is quite fierce, in a well bred kind of way.

crackfox - 06 Jan 2021 12:13:33 (#621 of 2178)

Thanks for the Robertson Davies tip (it's actually £2.59 right now). I am already a third of the way through a paperback version, but I like to have back-up e-books so I don't have to lug really big volumes around with me.

HelenDamnation - 06 Jan 2021 18:25:29 (#622 of 2178)

If you sign up to Bookbub emails, you get one a day highlighting special offers, usually on Amazon. There's a lot of dross but occasional gems like that.

DejaLu - 06 Jan 2021 18:28:53 (#623 of 2178)

There’s always at least one hilarious-looking Highland romance.

slimpickins - 06 Jan 2021 18:45:22 (#624 of 2178)

There's a lot of free books for Am Prime members, inc a number of books that haven't been published yet, the titles change every month.

ChankNolen - 14 Jan 2021 11:48:39 (#625 of 2178)

The Pan Book of Horror Stories, Volume 3.

A suitably foxed paperback. I'm surprised these haven't been republished in Kindle form. The quality varies widely but there are some good 'uns, notably the E.A. Poe and H.G. Wells contributions.

I keep thinking I should get one of those book carousel things you used to get in newsagents and populate it with a representative sample of 1970s paperbacks: Pan Horror, classic sci fi (E.E. 'Doc' Smith?), Sven Hassel, James Herbert, Desmond Bagley, Wilbur Smith, the 'Confessions' novels. Mrs Chank could have her own carousel with Catherine Cookson etc.

angelico - 14 Jan 2021 12:40:39 (#626 of 2178)

Brilliant idea. I want one too.

angelico - 14 Jan 2021 12:43:06 (#627 of 2178)

Maybe add the stainless steel rat series too.

ReverendBlueJeans - 14 Jan 2021 12:44:34 (#628 of 2178)

Stakhanovite claims of millions of Serious Books every month

I like reversing your tactic and posting my latest Alistair McLean etc on the serious reading thread.


I still feel rather guilty at having gone through a Sven Hassel phase in my teens. In my defence, we were doing WW2 in Higher History so - research.

slimpickins - 14 Jan 2021 13:30:57 (#629 of 2178)

Maybe add the stainless steel rat series too.

I loved those books. I'm currently listening the second in the Culture series and its already annoying me. I'll persevere but it'll need to improve a lot for me to reach the end.

angelico - 14 Jan 2021 16:49:14 (#630 of 2178)

Which one is that, slim? I got an audiobook of the player of games and couldn’t stick the narration at any price. But I absolutely love the book qua book.

slimpickins - 14 Jan 2021 17:03:39 (#631 of 2178)

That's the one, Player of Games. I'm OK with the narration.

ChankNolen - 14 Jan 2021 17:06:16 (#632 of 2178)

Funny, that book really divides opinion. It is one of my all-time favourites. You just have to get past all the silly names.

angelico - 14 Jan 2021 17:06:25 (#633 of 2178)

I found the voice solemn and portentous, but it was a while back. I loved the drone in that book. Lots of plot twists with it.

redginger - 14 Jan 2021 20:23:44 (#634 of 2178)

Can anyone remember the name of a book that was a factual account of what was considered to be an alien sighting at Peembrokeshire? I used to have it, but over the years lost it. It revolved around a farmhouse at Broadhaven, and a local school. If anyone remembers the name I would be extremely grateful. We lived near there at the time, and only heard the account from RAF Broady.

Electro2 - 14 Jan 2021 20:28:19 (#635 of 2178)

Peter Paget‘s Broad Haven Mystery. The Dyfed Enigma. Welsh Triangle?

redginger - 14 Jan 2021 20:30:08 (#636 of 2178)

That's the one. Thanks. I am going on Amazon now to order it. Thanks again.

TenGorillas - 14 Jan 2021 20:31:43 (#637 of 2178)

I am still in my Quebec chick lit phase and am learning all sorts of fabulous new swears. EILLE CRISSE DE TABARNAK DE MARDE!

HelenDamnation - 14 Jan 2021 20:34:22 (#638 of 2178)

Ca veut dire quoi????

TenGorillas - 14 Jan 2021 20:36:11 (#639 of 2178)

Fuck this shit

redginger - 14 Jan 2021 20:44:24 (#640 of 2178)

Got it Electro, it cost me £15. but well worth it to get it again. Thanks.

pipsqueak - 15 Jan 2021 07:18:31 (#641 of 2178)

I got the player of games on Kindle for 99p yesterday!

Tomnoddy - 15 Jan 2021 07:39:49 (#642 of 2178)

World of Books is often better than EvilBezos for out-of-print books. But only when they have it, obviously. I always look there first.

slimpickins - 15 Jan 2021 10:07:16 (#643 of 2178)

eBay is my first port of call for o-o-p books.

I got the player of games on Kindle for 99p yesterday!

The main character is offered a choice early in the book, how that played out is what's annoying me, let me know what you think, it might work better on the page than it does in audio.

ReverendBlueJeans - 15 Jan 2021 10:35:58 (#644 of 2178)

Don't Blackwells do o-o-p books with their usual nae postal charges?

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 11:23:57 (#645 of 2178)

I lurve Blackwells. Something I'm really looking forward to (if I live) is going to Oxford for the day and revisiting the real Blackwells shop. I once got some great second-hand books there on the Watergate scandal, one of my favourite bits of modern history.

darkhorse - 15 Jan 2021 11:27:42 (#646 of 2178)

World of Books is good. I also frequent Awesome Books (the cheapest, so probably evil on a small scale), and for new, Blackwells, A Great Read and Book Depository, mostly.

Various random eBay sellers sometimes for second hand kiddy books.

darkhorse - 15 Jan 2021 11:31:40 (#647 of 2178)

I have read two slim volumes over Xmas: David Sedaris: "Santaland Diaries".

Half a dozen amusing Xmas themed pieces collected together for stocking filler cash-in purposes.

Mark Thomas: 50 Things About Us. What We really Need to know about Britain

Gift from a leftie friend (send via evil Amazon though). I think this may be an issues comedy routine transcribed to paper, as MT wouldn't have been performing this year. Fairly up to date, covers BLM, statue smashing, slavery, and the author has a particular bete noire in right wing Tory MP Richard Drax, as a running theme.

ReverendBlueJeans - 15 Jan 2021 12:13:41 (#648 of 2178)


The Oxford Blackwells is glorious. I could spend all day there. In fact, I nearly have. I currently buy all new books from Blackwells (free postage however cheap your book) and thumb my nose at the evil cocky colonials Ammo Zon.

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 12:16:31 (#649 of 2178)

Me too. Their music department is particularly fab.

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 12:30:50 (#650 of 2178)

I'm currently disgruntled with Blackwells; according to the National Book Token people, Blackwells are the only way you can use a book token on an ebook, but according to Blackwells, they don't currently sell ebooks. So I need to buy a paper book, but I never read paper books any more, aside from textbooks and a couple of reference cookbooks.

ReverendBlueJeans - 15 Jan 2021 12:35:47 (#651 of 2178)

I never read paper books any more

hushed intakes of breath all round

the thread barman drops the glass he's cleaning

sounds of tutting emerge.

RevdRBJ nods to the billiard room

You will find the required weapon in a drawer in that room...

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 12:38:27 (#652 of 2178)

I'm so shocked, I can hardly type this post.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 12:57:08 (#653 of 2178)

I also almost never read paper books and feel slightly grumpy if anyone gives me one these days, unless it’s a cookbook or poetry.

ReverendBlueJeans - 15 Jan 2021 12:59:24 (#654 of 2178)

furtively presses secret alarm button below desk

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 13:12:22 (#655 of 2178)

Thank you, Lu!

angelico - 15 Jan 2021 13:30:33 (#656 of 2178)

I still read both and enjoy them for different reasons. Proper (paper) books are often beautiful objects in their own right. They can smell wonderful, and if you've had them for a while they are redolent with context and memory. I chucked most of my paper books (except technica/professional ones) a few years ago when we moved to a smaller place and I regret it deeply.

e-books are sterile in comparison - but what a delight it is to be able to highlight a word, a location, a phrase or a quotation and be taken instantly to wiki or google, and spend time with that. Reading Bosch - pictures and maps of Mulholland Drive; reading Sayers - the byways of codes and ciphers, descriptions of incunabula, histories of famous murders.

surferboogiewhatever - 15 Jan 2021 13:41:45 (#657 of 2178)

I thought I'd better familiarise myself with e-books in case I needed to explain them to customers, but I still instinctively prefer reading physical books. Reading e-books on my phone is frustrating because you can only see a paragraph or so at a time, and reading them on the computer is just spending yet more time on the computer. I can certainly see why some people like them, and I don't condemn anyone who does, but I can also see why lots of people still prefer paper books. There's room for both.

(I guess that means that in future if I go to someone's house and think, "They're not really my kind of people - where are all the books?!" I ought to consider the possibility that they read a lot of e-books.)

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 13:44:41 (#658 of 2178)

What rubbish reading habits are they hiding? would be the next thought.

helbel - 15 Jan 2021 13:47:49 (#659 of 2178)

Surfer - I read a lot of ebooks on my iPad for the bigger screen. It does also depend on how good your vision is and how small you can have the type.

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 13:47:49 (#660 of 2178)

I agree with you about both computers and phones, boogie - I sometimes read books on my phone, when they aren't available for Kobo, or if I've borrowed them from the library, but it's not great.

And a stand-alone e-reader, which is a glorious thing, makes most sense for my two main use-cases: reading in bed without disturbing the other half, and commuting. (Obviously the latter applies only in normal times.) But being able to carry a huge library with me wherever I go is truly wonderful.

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 13:48:39 (#661 of 2178)

I should say: I do love how books look and how they smell and I do not envisage getting rid of my paper books which are an important decorative feature. But I'm also not getting more, for the most part, because instead I'm building my ebook collection.

PoppySeedBagel - 15 Jan 2021 13:49:38 (#662 of 2178)

One thing I miss, using ebooks is knowing how far through the book I am. I use the Kindle & Kobo apps for iPad and a couple of library ones, but none of them really show clearly how much there is left.

HelenDamnation - 15 Jan 2021 13:51:57 (#663 of 2178)

I use the %age read feature on my Kindle, but I prefer the visual cue of a post it or whatever moving from front to back of the book.

surferboogiewhatever - 15 Jan 2021 13:52:13 (#664 of 2178)

helbel and Jenny, yes, my problem is probably that I haven't got anything between a phone and a computer, something bigger but portable, and I don't think I can justify getting anything given my smallish disposable income and the fact that I'm still quite happy with paper books. If I had an iPad or e-reader I expect I'd gradually move over to ebooks but I'm in no great hurry to. I'm not suggesting either of you do this, but I think with newish technology like this there's a tendency for people to assume that anyone who doesn't do it doesn't approve of it. I approve of it, but I think I tend to take a sort of "if it ain't broke" approach to a lot of things in life.

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 14:00:33 (#665 of 2178)

One thing I miss, using ebooks is knowing how far through the book I am. I use the Kindle & Kobo apps for iPad and a couple of library ones, but none of them really show clearly how much there is left.

Using the Kobo app on my phone - which is Android, so may not be the same as iOS - if I tap in the middle of the page in order to get the interface buttons to come up, there's a fairly subtle dark blue "progress bar" at the bottom of the menu bar at the top of the page, which shows how far through the book you are. It's not easy to spot, and of course it's not as tactile as a book, but it is quite a useful visual guide which I like better than the %age in the Kindle app.

I'm not suggesting either of you do this, but I think with newish technology like this there's a tendency for people to assume that anyone who doesn't do it doesn't approve of it. I approve of it, but I think I tend to take a sort of "if it ain't broke" approach to a lot of things in life.

I'm only attempting to explain the value of ebooks because I was told earlier - not, obviously, by you - that I should shoot myself for having the temerity to like to read books in a way that's convenient for me.

I want people to read however works for them, in the spirit of which I do things like telling PSB about an ebook feature she may not have noticed, and I talk about the advantages I have found in using an ereader in case people aren't aware of these advantages and might find them worth investigating in their own cases. For those for whom paper books are the answer, that's great! It would be nice if more paper book readers were less judgemental about it.

Sorry, this is a light-hearted thread. But it's not all that light-hearted being told you're not welcome and should shoot yourself, you know?

PoppySeedBagel - 15 Jan 2021 14:08:23 (#666 of 2178)

Thanks for the tip about the Kobo line Jenny - I’ve never noticed it before. I buy ebooks rather than paper books, mostly because we have loads of books already so we’ll have to throw some out to fit in new ones. I also like always having it with me, so I’m another ebook fan. I’ve never been precious about paper books, to MrPSB’s chagrin when I dog-ear a page (in one of my own only)

lammaMia - 15 Jan 2021 14:14:25 (#667 of 2178)

After a few years of using an e-reader, customized with love and obsessive-compulsiveness for font details, background texture and hooks into dictionaries and encyclopedias, reading a paper book has become an unsatisfactory experience for me.

elderberry - 15 Jan 2021 14:46:18 (#668 of 2178)

#656 Reading Bosch - pictures and maps of Mulholland Drive

yes to that, but even there paper can be fun - My last re-read of Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone books (Californian lefty feminist private eye) was accompanied by a lot of folding and unfolding my handy map of California with street map on San Francisco. And I really want something similar for Chicago and district when I go back to Paretsky's VI Warshawski (spiky lefty feminist private eye) again.

surferboogiewhatever - 15 Jan 2021 15:28:09 (#669 of 2178)

it's not all that light-hearted being told you're not welcome and should shoot yourself

Agreed - that's not helpful at all.

ReverendBlueJeans - 15 Jan 2021 15:35:11 (#670 of 2178)

rolls eyes

ChankNolen - 15 Jan 2021 16:31:28 (#671 of 2178)

On ebooks versus the real thing:

My problem is very straightforward: I've run out shelf space (over two thousand books in the house in total). And I'm loathe to chuck stuff out. So for disposable stuff, I tend to buy on the Kindle rather than add yet more paperbacks.

But then quite often if I really like a book I end up getting a physical copy anyway.....

darkhorse - 15 Jan 2021 17:36:57 (#672 of 2178)

Is there any difference in getting an disposable ebook, and actually disposing of a book (e.g. charity shop, book swap)?

I tend to get rid of many books once read, often based purely on it getting bumped off the shelf by a new acquisition, although now I keep a diary so I have a record of what I've read.

crackfox - 15 Jan 2021 17:37:08 (#673 of 2178)

Re Blackwell's - along with the old Foyles, it was probably the easiest shop in the world to shoplift from, back in the day - not that I ever did, obvs, but sometimes, if the Bodleian was taking an age to deliver a book (and it could take up to a week sometimes) I knew more than one student who decided to half-inch it from the other side of Broad Street.

TenGorillas - 15 Jan 2021 17:57:00 (#674 of 2178)

I get my books from the library. Use em or lose em, folks.

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 18:32:59 (#675 of 2178)


Rev, some people are born literal-minded and some work hard at it in order to be able to take as much offence as poss.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 18:43:48 (#676 of 2178)

I get ebooks from the library.

I love ebooks so much, I have a Kobo for library books and a Kindle for evilAmazon. I sometimes read my Kindle book on my phone screen if my Kindle’s not to hand. The screen’s big enough that it’s an ok experience, though not as good as the Kindle itself.

Like others, my biggest problem is simply not having shelf space for any more books.

darkhorse - 15 Jan 2021 18:46:58 (#677 of 2178)

Can't get into the library, these days!

Electro2 - 15 Jan 2021 18:48:19 (#678 of 2178)

I can. Via the BorrowBox app!

pipsqueak - 15 Jan 2021 18:51:36 (#679 of 2178)

I use the library and an old kindle. The library less at the moment as my most local one is closed (covid). I ran out of book space ages ago and ended up giving hundreds to charity shops when I moved I to a house that was a wreck.

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 19:01:04 (#680 of 2178)

So now you've all flummoxed us with your gadgetry, have you read any rubbish on it lately?

I'm certainly reading less of everything now that I'm compelled not to take buses and trains on a regular basis.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 19:04:10 (#681 of 2178)

I’ve just finished a Mary Burchell genteel ‘60s romance, if that helps.

pipsqueak - 15 Jan 2021 19:04:44 (#682 of 2178)

Same here Rosy - stopped commuting last march and lost an hour crossword time in the morning and an hour reading on the way home. I am reading some Kim Stone crime procedurals, some crime ones about an archaeologist who helps the police and any other old crap that costs 99p! Got about 60 books on the kindle awaiting me!

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 19:08:10 (#683 of 2178)

I've been reading Regency romances recently; obviously mostly Georgette Heyer but also Emily Larkin (some of which are fantasy as well as Regency; an interesting combination) and I branched out into some Mary Jo Putney who is readable, if not really a patch on the other two.

RosyLovelady - 15 Jan 2021 19:08:34 (#684 of 2178)

My most recent rubbish was a book about Jennifer Pan, a young Canadian woman who tried (and partly succeeded) in having her parents shot and killed.

darkhorse - 15 Jan 2021 19:09:59 (#685 of 2178)

Got one of them, I am guessing.

HelenDamnation - 15 Jan 2021 19:15:22 (#686 of 2178)

I'm rereading the Shardlake books, which are enjoyable in a gruesome and anachronistic way.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 19:16:53 (#687 of 2178)

Which is your favourite, Hel? I think I enjoyed Sovereign best.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 19:17:12 (#688 of 2178)

Or possibly Dissolution.

HelenDamnation - 15 Jan 2021 19:20:09 (#689 of 2178)

I think Lamentation and Dissolution neck-and-neck. Too much graphic bear-baiting, cock-fighting and general animal cruelty in Sovereign. Why yes I *AM* wetter than wet, thank you.

HelenDamnation - 15 Jan 2021 19:20:56 (#690 of 2178)

Actually, I also really like the Katherine Parr subplot through Revelation and Heartstone.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 19:23:09 (#691 of 2178)

I can’t remember any of the animal cruelty. Oh dear.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 19:23:31 (#692 of 2178)

I liked the Katherine Parr subplot, too.

elderberry - 15 Jan 2021 20:02:34 (#693 of 2178)

I've nearly finished the last Angela Thirkell (the last few have been a bit of a plod) and am trying to decide what to read next. I have an Eva Ibbotson (The Morning Gift) as an immediate palate-cleanser, but am wondering about a diary series then, either a re-read of James Lees Milne, or maybe James Agate who I've never read. Mid century waspish aesthete gossip might be good in February. To be interrupted by novels from time to time - Heyer, yes indeed, and I also got Robertson Davies' Salterton trilogy off the shelf after recent mentions.

pipsqueak - 15 Jan 2021 20:12:38 (#694 of 2178)

My favourite was either Dissolution or Dark Fire. But they are all very entertaining.

DejaLu - 15 Jan 2021 20:14:44 (#695 of 2178)

I've only read James Agate's film reviews, but very much enjoyed them.

crackfox - 15 Jan 2021 20:15:11 (#696 of 2178)

I’ve read four or five. The killer always seems to be someone who’s been very kind to Shardlake all the way through.

elderberry - 15 Jan 2021 20:17:38 (#697 of 2178)

That's encouraging Lu. I think I have five volumes of the diaries, so that should be a distraction from the dark.

helbel - 15 Jan 2021 20:25:57 (#698 of 2178)

JennyRad - try Courtney Milan when you’ve finished with the Mary Jo Putney ones.

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 20:34:55 (#699 of 2178)

Thanks, helbel, I will do!

HelenDamnation - 15 Jan 2021 21:19:57 (#700 of 2178)

The Salterton trilogy has really grown on me. The first time I read it I was underwhelmed because it doesn't have the range of either Cornish or Deptford, just in terms of subjects covered/touched on, but subsequent readings have absolutely delighted me. It's much more Jane Austen than Dickens, in contrast to the other two.

airynothing - 15 Jan 2021 21:37:31 (#701 of 2178)

May I recommend the following thread on mumsnet?

JennyRad - 15 Jan 2021 22:11:22 (#702 of 2178)

Oooh, that's an excellent thread, thank you, airy!

LordofMisrule - 16 Jan 2021 00:15:52 (#703 of 2178)

I've downloaded C.J. Sansom's Tombland, mostly for the Norfolk connection. Is it going to matter that I haven't read any of the previous Shardlakes?

Crayola - 16 Jan 2021 00:23:12 (#704 of 2178)

I have refound my love for shit books. Just in the middle of 27 of the Stephanie Plums. What shall I read next?

HelenDamnation - 16 Jan 2021 01:04:52 (#705 of 2178)


Tomnoddy - 16 Jan 2021 01:38:09 (#706 of 2178)

The Specialist. A bit niche, maybe. If you can find The Smallest Room, by H. E. Bates, let me know, I'll take it off your hands when finished.

RosyLovelady - 16 Jan 2021 09:32:17 (#707 of 2178)

Lord, MrRosy started with Tombland because of the title, and he reckons it didn't matter that he'd missed the earlier Shardlakes (which he's read subsequently).

slimpickins - 16 Jan 2021 11:12:13 (#708 of 2178)

I heard a radio adaption of one of them, I enjoyed it.

LordofMisrule - 16 Jan 2021 20:16:35 (#709 of 2178)

Thanks, Rosy. In other Sansom/period murder/Norfolk news, I also got Ian Sansom's The Norfolk Mystery

I like his radio stuff and the premise seemed interesting - particularly after shotgunning a fair chunk of Agatha Christie's oeuvre last year.

JennyRad - 17 Jan 2021 18:01:30 (#710 of 2178)

JennyRad - try Courtney Milan when you’ve finished with the Mary Jo Putney ones.

This was a magnificent recommendation - I stayed in bed until almost midday this morning finishing The Duchess War.

helbel - 17 Jan 2021 18:14:58 (#711 of 2178)

She’s good! I’ve read all that I get get in ebooks from my libraries.

Glad you enjoyed it.

RosyLovelady - 20 Jan 2021 19:16:24 (#712 of 2178)

I've been re-reading Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism by Otto Kernberg.

It dates from the early 1980s, which is when I first read it, and it became the great authoritative text book on these two mental disorders for many years.

My goodness, he really didn't like his patients; and I should think even a lot of professionals would have welcomed a nice big glossary of terms to help them discern the meaning of his prose.

slimpickins - 21 Jan 2021 13:52:11 (#713 of 2178)

I've been re-reading Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism by Otto Kernberg.

Because of Trump?

Has anyone read Stephen King's The Stand? I'm thinking of spending an audible credit on it.

ChankNolen - 23 Jan 2021 08:22:31 (#714 of 2178)

Like most King books the journey is terrific, the eventual destination a bit 'meh'. But I've gone a bit quiet about enjoying The Stand, since I read that it was the favourite book of some serial killer wrongmo.

lammaMia - 23 Jan 2021 13:27:06 (#715 of 2178)

Imagine being a vegetarian while there was Hitler.

The stand was good until the fantasy elements overtake the pandemic and society-rebuilding aspects of the story.

slimpickins - 23 Jan 2021 13:29:12 (#716 of 2178)

Hmm, I've got plenty to listen to at the mo, so I'll wait for it to pop up on offer then. Thanks both.

Crayola - 23 Jan 2021 13:33:57 (#717 of 2178)

I’m on The Last Day by QI elf Andrew Hunter Murray. Dystopian future thing. It’s good but the isolationist Britain angle is a bit overly Brexit analogy for me.

HelenDamnation - 06 Feb 2021 16:45:38 (#718 of 2178)

Maggie O'Farrell's I Am, I Am, I Am is 99p on Kindle today.

I'm dawdling through the last Shardlake because I don't want to have to think about what to read next.

DejaLu - 06 Feb 2021 16:49:50 (#719 of 2178)

There’s a new Ruth Galloway, Hel.

HelenDamnation - 06 Feb 2021 16:57:11 (#720 of 2178)


DejaLu - 06 Feb 2021 17:09:44 (#721 of 2178)

I KNOW!!!!! It arrived on my Kindle yesterday - I’d completely forgotten preordering. But I can’t read it until I’ve finished The Heart’s Invisible Furies.

TenGorillas - 13 Feb 2021 17:45:48 (#722 of 2178)

I borrowed the new Harlan Coben from the library earlier. I am looking forward to it immensely.

TenGorillas - 13 Feb 2021 19:58:40 (#723 of 2178)

Zut, it’s an old one and I’ve already read it.

DejaLu - 13 Feb 2021 20:14:22 (#724 of 2178)

I hate it when that happens. It sometimes takes me a few pages to realise.

slimpickins - 13 Feb 2021 20:17:42 (#725 of 2178)

Finished The Player of Games, it was a bit disappointing after so knowing about the series and it's status. The plot is flawed and the only way I could cope with The Culture was to see it as a satire on the lives a the children of the super rich.

And yet it was entertaining.

Now reading The Guest List, a murder mystery set on an Irish Island that's hosting a wedding. To early to say if its a good as Jane Harper but its well written and better than, say, an Ann Cleaves.

TenGorillas - 14 Feb 2021 08:29:36 (#726 of 2178)

I’ve been sucked back into the Harlan Coben anyway. Started last night, on page 209 already.

pipsqueak - 14 Feb 2021 10:01:11 (#727 of 2178)

I'm reading Dead Lions - really enjoying it. Great series.

airynothing - 14 Feb 2021 10:12:06 (#728 of 2178)

I started Slow Horses, but it didn’t really grab me. I might give it another go when (if) I’m back on long commutes and can listen to it in the car.

elderberry - 14 Feb 2021 10:12:32 (#729 of 2178)

Despite slightly more ambitious plans I found myself unable to read anything more taxing than the gentlest of comfort reads in January, and worked my way through five Eva Ibbotson young adult novels, and am replete with beautiful young girls, handsome and sensitive men, opera and ballet, lost fortunes restored, crusty oldsters with hearts of gold, Austrian alps, the Amazonian jungle, and so on. Very therapeutic and just what the times needed.

Emerging via a recent Mary Higgins Clark (she was a better writer 30 years ago) I'm now on a crime novel by Jane Casey - police procedural set in London, woman cop as central figure. It's the second of hers that I've read, and will keep a look out for more.

pipsqueak - 14 Feb 2021 10:15:30 (#730 of 2178)

I like the Jane Casey books too - I read police procedurals a lot - can't seem to concentrate on much more than that.

slimpickins - 14 Feb 2021 10:19:52 (#731 of 2178)

I used to read a lot of Ed McBain but the only PP I've read recently is The City and the City by China Mieville, which is brilliant but very strange as it's set in a fantastical world.

airynothing - 14 Feb 2021 10:20:26 (#732 of 2178)

Oh, Jane Casey sounds interesting. Where would you recommend a new reader to start?

pipsqueak - 14 Feb 2021 10:23:13 (#733 of 2178)

There are a series of books about Maeve Kerrigan - start with the first one!

airynothing - 14 Feb 2021 10:23:56 (#734 of 2178)

Thank you. I shall.

DejaLu - 14 Feb 2021 10:24:15 (#735 of 2178)

I also like Jane Casey. Start with the first Maeve Kerrigan book, The Burning, Airy.

JennyRad - 14 Feb 2021 10:44:00 (#736 of 2178)

Also taking that recommendation, thank you!

HelenDamnation - 14 Feb 2021 10:57:48 (#737 of 2178)

Another Maeve fan here. I'm wondering which other series lots of us know and love but just haven't mentioned? Going through my Kindle, weird bollocks section first, leaving out any that I know have come up before on here:

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files (sort of supernatural 'tec stuff, found when Ben Aaronovitch was taking a long time to write the next Rivers of London book)

Jodi Taylor's Chronicles of St Mary's

Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series (for children really)

MJ Arlidge DI Helen Grace books

Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne series

The Lindsey Davis Falco books

Jason Goodwin - Yashim the Ottoman Detective

Susan Hill - Simon Serailler series

Norah Lofts - House trilogy

Denise Mina - Garnethill

Jo Nesbo - Harry Hole (I went off these. Can't remember why)

SJ Parris - Giordano Bruno series

Stella Rimington - Liz Carlyle series

Jane Thynne - series set in WW2 Berlin. Far-fetched but enjoyable.

Jo Walton - Small Change trilogy

God I read a lot of trash.

surferboogiewhatever - 14 Feb 2021 10:59:47 (#738 of 2178)

Norah Lofts - House trilogy

I loved these (and another trilogy of which I think the first one was called Knight's Acre). My favourite NL is a standalone, The Lute Player - it's just so sad, and good on what unrequited love feels like!

Detective series: I'm reading a lot of Peter Robinson at the moment, not always in order. He does that thing I love to hate, anachronistic names, but on the whole they are quite well plotted and satisfying mysteries, with some likeable detectives of both sexes.

DejaLu - 14 Feb 2021 11:00:16 (#739 of 2178)

I found Jo Nesbo a bit gory. Maybe it was that?

HelenDamnation - 14 Feb 2021 11:01:08 (#740 of 2178)

Possibly, and unrelentingly grim. For the same reason that Kathy Reichs is rarely what I feel like reading.

DejaLu - 14 Feb 2021 11:03:41 (#741 of 2178)

I haven’t read a Kathy Reichs for years - felt like I’d had my fill of bones and cold-climate nastiness.

JennyRad - 14 Feb 2021 11:04:05 (#742 of 2178)

God I read a lot of trash.

I prefer to phrase it that I enjoy a lot of escapist literature.

I enjoy quite a few of those series and will look into the others, and I would add:
  • Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books (probably mostly aimed at teens, particularly the early ones, but excellent, nuanced, but somehow cheerful and extremely easy-reading)
  • Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters
  • Jane Duncan's "My Friends"
  • Hazel Holt's Mrs Malory (not necessarily rubbish? A cut above your "cosy mysteries", but not quite actual Christie/Sayers. Very good though)
  • Emily Larkin's Baleful Godmother

elderberry - 14 Feb 2021 11:15:47 (#743 of 2178)

I like the Mrs Malory ones a lot - older woman living in small west country seaside town she grew up in, coming up against mysteries connected to old friends and to her literary research.

Another very good woman crime writer (who I haven't re-read in years) was Gwendoline Butler/Jennie Melville - she wrote different detectives under different names. Wiki tells me she is Credited for inventing the "woman's police procedural" I enjoy the way she chronicle the way London changes around her characters through the decades that she wrote about it - late 50s to early 21st century.

And an American - Jane Langton, whose Homer and Mary Kelly, both academics, mostly encounter their mysteries in New England, but get abroad from time to time. Quirky and clever, and illustrated by Langton herself with spare line drawings.

airynothing - 14 Feb 2021 12:13:38 (#744 of 2178)

There was a rich vein of lesbian detective fiction in the late eighties and early nineties which I mined in depth.

I got rid of most of them, and other books which would never be reread, when we moved from London to Dorset, taking a box or so of books every week to a different charity shop in Sherborne. So for a few months in 2008, that staid market town was absolutely flooded with lesbian pulp fiction.

PoppySeedBagel - 14 Feb 2021 12:33:23 (#745 of 2178)

Haha. I hope they made someone very happy.

For my book group I’ve been trying to read A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, which apparently retells the story of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. It is well written in terms of the words, and witty in places. But it skips about and if you don’t know the characters (which I don’t) it’s a mess.

I read voraciously as a child, reading all I could, and re-reading so many books but the one I could never get into was a book about Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green so Ancient Greece seems not to be my thing.

elderberry - 14 Feb 2021 12:46:57 (#746 of 2178)

Were you the same about other myth and legend or was it just the Greeks? I enjoyed that book, but also Nathaniel Hawthorne's mid 19th century version, also Ladybird books of Bible stories, also collections of fairy tales, whether Ruth Manning Saunders or Andrew Lang - sucker for archetypes and the otherworldly, basically.

PoppySeedBagel - 14 Feb 2021 13:58:32 (#747 of 2178)

I have never been attracted to myths, and didn’t enjoy Lord of the Rings. The Narnia books, now I did enjoy those. Each to their own , I suppose.

LordofMisrule - 14 Feb 2021 15:18:53 (#748 of 2178)

I read voraciously as a child, reading all I could, and re-reading so many books but the one I could never get into

There's probably a thread in that... "I was a bookish child, BUT". It's be interesting to see what were/are people's literary stumbling blocks, and whether they engender prejudices later in life.

helbel - 14 Feb 2021 16:13:19 (#749 of 2178)

Wuthering Heights was the book I could never read.

surferboogiewhatever - 14 Feb 2021 16:15:52 (#750 of 2178)

I was a bookish child, BUT... I didn't really like fantasy, except for some (not all) of Diana Wynne Jones's stand-alone novels. I never read that big series she did, probably because they never had all of them in our local library and I didn't know then about reservations.I read a few books by Alan Garner because people told me I ought to enjoy them, and I think a lot of it must have gone right over my head. Same with Penelope Lively, though I've enjoyed a couple of her adult, non-fantasy books in later life.

LordofMisrule - 14 Feb 2021 18:15:46 (#751 of 2178)

I've gone ahead and started a separate thread - would you mind posting the above in it?

surferboogiewhatever - 14 Feb 2021 18:32:10 (#752 of 2178)

Sure - it's a nice idea for a thread!

LordofMisrule - 14 Feb 2021 18:41:09 (#753 of 2178)

Thank you!

airynothing - 15 Feb 2021 17:57:10 (#754 of 2178)

Thanks for the Jane Casey rec, everyone. I have finished book 1 and am onto no 2. Number 1 seemed a bit characters-by-numbers but the plot was quite good, and hopefully she'll get better at people as the series progresses.

slimpickins - 15 Feb 2021 18:36:47 (#755 of 2178)

How gory are they?

airynothing - 15 Feb 2021 18:48:12 (#756 of 2178)

A bit. I would say she doesn’t gloss over the violence, but doesn’t linger lovingly on it either.

RosyLovelady - 15 Feb 2021 18:52:34 (#757 of 2178)

You've reminded me that there was a series of fairly lurid crime novels featuring a woman DI who relaxed by paying some bloke to beat her up. Can anyone remember any more about it than that?

airynothing - 15 Feb 2021 18:57:12 (#758 of 2178)

I think that might be part of your more, ah, niche reading, rosy.

Catspyjamas17 - 15 Feb 2021 18:59:29 (#759 of 2178)

The Midnight Library, bloody loved it.

RosyLovelady - 15 Feb 2021 19:13:20 (#760 of 2178)

They were selling 'em in Waitrose, airy.

sympforthedevil - 15 Feb 2021 19:18:25 (#761 of 2178)

The rubbish that I've been reading on-and-off for the last few months is JKR's latest Strike novel, "Troubled Blood". The reason that it's taking me so long isn't that it's awful but that it's quite long and I'm spending long periods reading maths stuff rather than novels. OTOH, I did find the start very intriguing, but it has dragged a bit at times after that.

RosyLovelady - 15 Feb 2021 19:24:11 (#762 of 2178)

Google is my friend: it's the DI Helen Grace series by M J Arlidge.

pipsqueak - 15 Feb 2021 19:44:10 (#763 of 2178)

I've ordered that from the library catspy - it looks excellent.

Rosy - Amazon keep suggesting I read those Helen Grace books!

pipsqueak - 15 Feb 2021 19:48:19 (#764 of 2178)

And looking at Amazon apparently I bought the first one on Kindle in 2014 ... No recollection of it at all.

Catspyjamas17 - 15 Feb 2021 20:01:31 (#765 of 2178)

It's an unchallenging read but quite intelligently written, pips. I listened to about four episodes of it on Sounds not noticing it was about to expire and had to buy the book to find out what happens next.

slimpickins - 15 Feb 2021 20:49:11 (#766 of 2178)

Thanks airy.

redginger - 15 Feb 2021 21:24:32 (#767 of 2178)

Tried, really tried, but couldn't get into it, although the rest of my family raved about it. Battlefield Earth, L.Ron Hubbard. What a load of tosh.

TenGorillas - 16 Feb 2021 06:31:24 (#768 of 2178)

Michel Buddy, After the crash, tr. Sam Taylor. A baby is the sole survivor of a plane crash. But which of two babies onboard is she? Bit of an odd premise given that these days you would have an answer within two days with a cheek swab.

HerrWalrus - 16 Feb 2021 10:19:21 (#769 of 2178)

It's possible I've come across the first Robert Goddard novel I've not enjoyed. However I am only 50 pages in, and the book (Past Caring) does have good reviews, so shall soldier on.

pipsqueak - 16 Feb 2021 20:21:09 (#770 of 2178)

Maybe I'll look at it again catspy! I might have not even read it!

ReverendBlueJeans - 17 Feb 2021 14:53:44 (#771 of 2178)

Am now on Day of the Jackal.

Have seen the fillum often so I know how it ends.

He loves his documentary-style background, does our Freddie.

ChankNolen - 17 Feb 2021 17:29:13 (#772 of 2178)

Kindle recommended a sci fi novel by someone called Marko Kloos. I was sufficiently intrigued to by the first one. It is totally derivative military sci fi - basically, Starship Troopers meets The Forever War meets Black Hawk Down. So in the spirit of the thread, I am slightly ashamed to say I have already binge-read the first five novels in the series.

ReverendBlueJeans - 17 Feb 2021 17:52:57 (#773 of 2178)

You are a bad person.

And I speak as a lover of rubbish.

But there are standards.

JennyRad - 17 Feb 2021 18:00:38 (#774 of 2178)

Chank, are you familiar with Baen Books? If ebooks are your thing, has a plethora of (sometimes derivative) military sci fi for your delectation. DRM-free, too.

ChankNolen - 17 Feb 2021 21:52:55 (#775 of 2178)

Interesting, thanks. I think I may have to read a proper book next before the brains dribble out of my ears.

pipsqueak - 18 Feb 2021 08:22:33 (#776 of 2178)

Me too - going for Hamnet. Will be back on the trash after that!

RosyLovelady - 23 Feb 2021 11:42:28 (#777 of 2178)

On Intowntonight's recommendation, I've started reading A Canticle for Leibovitz and loving it so far.

Many thanks, Into!

I posted this on the big Books thread yesterday, and it was received with embarrassed silence by readers there.

TenGorillas - 23 Feb 2021 11:48:22 (#778 of 2178)

Sorry Rosy. Not embarrassed on my part, lord knows I read enough shite of my own. I got sidetracked by the stupid actors thing.

RosyLovelady - 23 Feb 2021 11:53:47 (#779 of 2178)

Arf! No apology necessary, TenGo, and the stupid actors thing is a splendid sidetrack anyway.

crabbyoldbat - 23 Feb 2021 12:11:07 (#780 of 2178)

I've read A Canticle for Leibovitz several times, and have always enjoyed it

angelico - 23 Feb 2021 12:45:53 (#781 of 2178)

A Canticle for Leibovitz

Fab. Have to read that again.

airynothing - 23 Feb 2021 14:56:56 (#782 of 2178)

I have been scarfing the Maeve Kerrigan books down like there was no tomorrow, and am nearly at an end. Are Casey's other series as good?

HelenDamnation - 23 Feb 2021 15:08:58 (#783 of 2178)

Don't know if I've read her other stuff. Will check. Have you tried the Helen Grace ones? I can remember NOTHING about them but my Kindle contains 4, all read.

airynothing - 23 Feb 2021 15:16:36 (#784 of 2178)

I normally avoid genre books written by men with main female characters, because of the "I considered my perfectly peachy bottom" trope, but if you reckon they're worth a shot, I'll give them a go.

HelenDamnation - 23 Feb 2021 15:18:55 (#785 of 2178)

I have no recollection of them but I also tend to get irritated with that shit. Have you read the Giordano Bruno ones? Can't remember if you like historical 'tecs or not.

elderberry - 23 Feb 2021 15:18:59 (#786 of 2178)

I presume you've already gone through Sara Paretsky and Marcia Muller?

HelenDamnation - 23 Feb 2021 15:19:24 (#787 of 2178)

Who's the alphabet lady? Janet something?

helbel - 23 Feb 2021 15:20:12 (#788 of 2178)

Sue Grafton. She’s dead, last book was Y

HelenDamnation - 23 Feb 2021 15:20:34 (#789 of 2178)

Who is Janet then? Oh - is she stephanie Plum?

HelenDamnation - 23 Feb 2021 15:21:04 (#790 of 2178)

How infuriating for her not to get Z finished. Though I expect she had other things on her mind...

elderberry - 23 Feb 2021 15:21:10 (#791 of 2178)

Yes ?Evanovitch is numbers

airynothing - 23 Feb 2021 15:21:59 (#792 of 2178)

I've read some of Giordano Bruno, and quite like them.

I've read all of Sara Paretsky, and all of Sue Grafton, whom I CANNOT FORGIVE for not having had Z is for Zyzygy in her back pocket. SO UNTIDY.

Not read Marcia Muller and only one Janet Evanovitch.

ReverendBlueJeans - 23 Feb 2021 15:22:38 (#793 of 2178)

Perhaps she should have written in a language with a shorter alphabet.

elderberry - 23 Feb 2021 15:27:57 (#794 of 2178)

Marcia Muller is a bit dated in parts but still readable - San Francisco female private eye, working over a period of about 30 years, watching her city and country change around her. Very much the same stable as Paretsky and Grafton.

airynothing - 23 Feb 2021 15:29:10 (#795 of 2178)

Perhaps she should have written in a language with a shorter alphabet.

That wouldn't have helped me, though. Doubtless there's some triumphant writer in a Bougainville graveyard with 12 books to her name, but I wouldn't be able to read them.

elderberry - 23 Feb 2021 15:29:48 (#796 of 2178)

oops, more than 40 years. She's the one I wore out my map of California on as I tracked her through the pages. 34 Sharon McCone books, and several shorter series.

HerrWalrus - 26 Feb 2021 08:59:16 (#797 of 2178)

The Goddard book turned out excellent in the end. Now back to some light non-fiction (Gladwell, and a biography).

TenGorillas - 27 Feb 2021 14:51:50 (#798 of 2178)

Marc Levy, If only it were true. Top quality boy-meets-ghost romance. I’m stuck in bed with a poorly little peanut so this is intellectually ambitious as it gets today.

Tomnoddy - 28 Feb 2021 00:12:55 (#799 of 2178)

I've got that, in the French original.

HelenDamnation - 28 Feb 2021 01:01:14 (#800 of 2178)

So, I suspect, has TG.

Tomnoddy - 28 Feb 2021 05:46:02 (#801 of 2178)

True, that's why I mentioned it. It really is undemanding reading, apart from being in French.

TenGorillas - 28 Feb 2021 08:14:04 (#802 of 2178)

I’m reading the English, actually, by Jeremy Leggatt.

darkhorse - 28 Feb 2021 11:07:53 (#803 of 2178)

I had that in French, my French gf (back then) bought it for me at the time. I couldn't get into it.

The only novels in French I could read with enthusiasm were Michel Houllebecque ones, those mixtures of obnoxious opinionising with intervals of bonking.

I struggled through 2/3 of La Peste in the original and a bit of Marcel Pagnol, but in retrospect I think I was making things difficult for myself.

TenGorillas - 28 Feb 2021 12:25:44 (#804 of 2178)

You were! Camus is ok but Pagnol is tricky.

limegreen - 28 Feb 2021 12:29:38 (#805 of 2178)

Expect for when you die from boredom as they sneak through the garden for the 1000th time in Le Château de ma Mère.

darkhorse - 28 Feb 2021 12:32:31 (#806 of 2178)

With Pagnol you had to have a dictionary by your side, half the time I was looking up words that turned out to be an uncommon adjective followed by flora or fauna, like "barbed hawthorne".

darkhorse - 28 Feb 2021 12:35:19 (#807 of 2178)

Things like Camus are rendered more annoying by those literary tenses. I assume, TG, these might have gone more out of fashion these days?

ReverendBlueJeans - 28 Feb 2021 13:10:31 (#808 of 2178)

Don't get me wrong, I love rubbish (see upthread) but these writers are hardly rubbish, are, they folks?

RosyLovelady - 28 Feb 2021 13:20:51 (#809 of 2178)

I never imagined that discussion of different translations would happen here when I started this thread, but foreign bona fide rubbish should certainly be welcomed warmly.

HelenDamnation - 28 Feb 2021 13:57:22 (#810 of 2178)

I am still scarred by having to do the WHOLE Herve Bazin trilogy (Vipere au Poing, La Mort du petit cheval, AND Le Cri de la Chouette), as well as 4 (FOUR) Marguerite Duras works at A level, because "we were the top set and it would stretch us". Only one Bazin and one Duras was actually on the syllabus.

It did, to the point where the only class work we did on Le Barbier de Seville (play) was watching the video of the Marriage of Figaro (opera). Les Precieuses Ridicules never got a look-in, and I crammed it from my mother's university notes.

limegreen - 28 Feb 2021 14:07:37 (#811 of 2178)

I listened to a very interesting podcast about foreign writers trying to write rubbish for the English speaking market

LordofMisrule - 28 Feb 2021 15:49:31 (#812 of 2178)

Link? That sounds interesting. I can't help but imagine every Nordic crime author is now writing with one eye on being the latest beige-coloured TV serial.

ReverendBlueJeans - 28 Feb 2021 16:15:46 (#813 of 2178)

Given that Midsomer is the toppo foreign TV drama in Sweden, we should all be writing tongue-in-cheek fun murder mysteries that bring high bodycounts to chocolate-box villages - and then translating them into Scando languages.

slimpickins - 28 Feb 2021 17:50:41 (#814 of 2178)

De Midsömmer Mord

TenGorillas - 28 Feb 2021 18:06:55 (#815 of 2178)

Id be interested in the podcast ref too. AmazonCrossing has made a huge difference - it’s really broadened the profile of what gets translated into English which from my POV can only be a good thing. Their historical romances sell in the hundreds of thousands, which is amazing for translations.

DarthBane - 28 Feb 2021 18:34:53 (#816 of 2178)

“The Old Man and The Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.

limegreen - 28 Feb 2021 19:00:05 (#817 of 2178)

I can't remember what it was. Sorry!

PoppySeedBagel - 28 Feb 2021 19:50:33 (#818 of 2178)

Gah Helen that’s awful. I loved all my French set texts, including Madame Bovary, and especially Thérèse Desqueyroux. We also read a Pagnol, Le Château de ma Mère.

MiniPSB did German A Level not long ago, and with hindsight he is disappointed not to have had any set texts. He had to comment on German films, and write set essays so he knows all the German words around refugee crisis but didn’t know basic words to actually get by in Germany, as he didn’t need to learn them to get a good grade. Humph.

limegreen - 28 Feb 2021 19:56:36 (#819 of 2178)

Did that stuff not come up lower down the school? 26 GCSE was all 'Where is the cathedral? ' A Level, 'The changing role of women in society'.

PoppySeedBagel - 28 Feb 2021 20:07:01 (#820 of 2178)

It might have done but he still didn’t really need it for GCSE, so didn’t bother to learn it. I kept on telling him how he should always learn the appropriate ’der, die, das’ with a word too, but again he didn’t need to, and his teacher didn’t insist.

Now that he’s taking German further, he wishes he’d listened...

CarlosFandango - 28 Feb 2021 20:10:07 (#821 of 2178)

I must confess that I read German Fuhrer there.

PoppySeedBagel - 28 Feb 2021 20:14:13 (#822 of 2178)


slimpickins - 03 Mar 2021 20:55:45 (#823 of 2178)

Just started The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time/Ruin) and really enjoying it. It a tale of converging realities told through the eyes of various characters and a fictional work of science.

pipsqueak - 04 Mar 2021 10:48:53 (#824 of 2178)

I've read a couple of his - they are very readable. Currently on Girl A - a novel about a family who had a terrible childhood (due to nuts father) and it's impact on their adult lives. Not bad so far (half way).

Catspyjamas17 - 04 Mar 2021 11:34:34 (#825 of 2178)

I'm reading The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham. Took me until a third the way through the book to properly get into it. Very plot and dialogue driven and although it was recommended as the very best of the Campion books, it probably isn't the best to start with as it took me ages to work out who was who. I'm absolutely gripped now though and will be sad when it's over.

ReverendBlueJeans - 04 Mar 2021 11:44:53 (#826 of 2178)

I got an Allingham bundle from The Book People (RIP) which included the very first Campion - I found that was good orientation.

Surprised how gripping The Day of the Jackal is given that (Spoilers Ahoy) we know from 1) History and 2) Umpteen viewings of the fillum that De Gaulle disnae get shot.

Catspyjamas17 - 04 Mar 2021 11:53:00 (#827 of 2178)

Yes I'll probably go and read the first Campion next.

I did that with Rivers of London. Dived in part way through with an edition from the library then just read them through from the start.

With Peter Wimsey I started at the beginning, albeit accidentally, with the BBC radio versions.

ReverendBlueJeans - 04 Mar 2021 12:11:15 (#828 of 2178)

With Peter Wimsey I started at the beginning, albeit accidentally, with the BBC radio versions.

That sounds sensible. I read them in some sort of crazy order.

slimpickins - 04 Mar 2021 21:00:12 (#829 of 2178)

Surprised how gripping The Day of the Jackal is

I read it what I now realise was soon after the RL events and it gripped me too.

HelenDamnation - 05 Mar 2021 13:28:27 (#830 of 2178)

Well-written thrillers are great! When I was living in Germany, the local library had, rather bizarrely, a shelf of Len Deighton, John le Carre and the like in English. Read them all, enjoyed most of them.

crackfox - 05 Mar 2021 14:08:52 (#831 of 2178)

Penguin Modern Classics are doing a full reissue of Len Deighton's books and I am rather looking forward to it

HelenDamnation - 05 Mar 2021 14:16:18 (#832 of 2178)

Ooohh, top tip. I remember enjoying the Hook, Line & Sinker trilogy a lot.

angelico - 05 Mar 2021 17:28:41 (#833 of 2178)

His nameless agent. I think they named him (Harry something?) for the films, but his name was never in the books.

crackfox - 05 Mar 2021 17:59:39 (#834 of 2178)

Harry Palmer. I have never read the books but the films started in an understated way and went progressively further over the top, culminating in Billion Dollar Brain, one of Ken Russell's first films, and a personal guilty pleasure - the use of Finland as a location is great, and there's a cracking Richard Rodney Bennett score

angelico - 05 Mar 2021 18:02:16 (#835 of 2178)

Yes! I could watch those again, and may just do so.

Tomnoddy - 05 Mar 2021 18:05:59 (#836 of 2178)

B$B was an odd film. I don't remember reading the book, though I did read The Ipcress File, Horse Under Water and Funeral in Berlin.

angelico - 05 Mar 2021 18:38:14 (#837 of 2178)

Ipress file is on amazon prime vid for 3.49.

angelico - 05 Mar 2021 18:39:19 (#838 of 2178)

I remember enjoyinh the book, Funeral In Berlin very much as a teen. Somebody had given me a hardback. I'm easily impressed like that.

Electro2 - 05 Mar 2021 18:40:42 (#839 of 2178)

Ipcress file On Tomorrow BBC Two 13:00

angelico - 05 Mar 2021 18:41:49 (#840 of 2178)

Really? Brilliant.

RosyLovelady - 05 Mar 2021 18:42:25 (#841 of 2178)

I must remember to watch. TIF is one of those films which need to be seen again and again.

CarlosFandango - 06 Mar 2021 00:09:39 (#842 of 2178)


In certain circumstances my brother and I will admit only that our names are Harry Palmer.

And in others we will issue the instruction to 'shoot Ross'.

Now listen to me...

Listen to me.

Shoot. Ross.

Lagopus - 06 Mar 2021 08:52:55 (#843 of 2178)

Being quite horrendously untidy, I have lost the book I was reading somewhere under a pile of saxophones, but while searching for it miraculously rediscovered Rule Britannia by Alex Marsh, a cosy crime thing set in the late 1930's about Oliver Cromwell's head that had somehow got stuck under one of the legs of my bed before I got to chapter two. The book, not the head. If it gets any better I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath.

CarlosFandango - 06 Mar 2021 13:51:17 (#844 of 2178)

On close inspection my piles of saxophones turn out to be mostly cornets, trumpets, baritone and E-flat tenor horns and just occasionally a plastic trombone.

My neighbours to the Left have expensive his'n'hers noise-cancelling headphones. Those to the Right can go fuck themselves.

TenGorillas - 08 Mar 2021 21:22:59 (#845 of 2178)

Allison Brennan, Love me to death. It’s shite. Serial killer italics galore. My money is on the boss’s senator boyfriend.

ChankNolen - 10 Mar 2021 17:39:41 (#846 of 2178)

Have just purchased the bumper 'director's cut' edition of Stephen King's The Stand. I'm not sure why I have done this given that my general criticism of SK is that his books should be severely edited.

slimpickins - 10 Mar 2021 18:28:43 (#847 of 2178)


I keep thinking about getting that on Audible, it's supposed to be one of his better books and really, therefore good value for the credit.

Catspyjamas17 - 10 Mar 2021 19:11:40 (#848 of 2178)

I'm on Mystery Mile Campion now. Doing a mixture of audio book and reading it myself. Francis Matthews' (one for the Cultural Colossi thread?) reading is pretty good.

angelico - 10 Mar 2021 19:27:02 (#849 of 2178)

Did you enjoy the tiger, cats?

Catspyjamas17 - 10 Mar 2021 20:07:07 (#850 of 2178)

Yes, very good indeed.

airynothing - 11 Mar 2021 10:56:05 (#851 of 2178)

Seduced by an article in the Guardian about modern Golden age mysteries, I'm reading The Killings at Badger's Drift, which was touted as much better than Midsomer Murders, the TV series spun off from it. That's true, as far as it goes, but it was written in 1987, and I'd forgotten how acceptable comedy homophobia was back then.

ReverendBlueJeans - 11 Mar 2021 10:59:56 (#852 of 2178)

Being quite horrendously untidy, I have lost the book I was reading somewhere under a pile of saxophones,

Sorry, Laggers, but I am nicking that to open a novel with.

pipsqueak - 11 Mar 2021 16:21:04 (#853 of 2178)

Just started Hamnet - I am hopeful it will be great.

RosyLovelady - 11 Mar 2021 18:18:33 (#854 of 2178)

Does that qualify as rubbish, pips?

crabbyoldbat - 11 Mar 2021 18:32:55 (#855 of 2178)

I think the other reading thread enthused mightily (and I don't think a prize winner could be called rubbish, really)

crabbyoldbat - 11 Mar 2021 18:38:35 (#856 of 2178)

But every type of book is discussed there anyway. No need for two threads, really.

elderberry - 11 Mar 2021 18:40:02 (#857 of 2178)

I think the other thread is only for the stuff you read when translating it into or from another language.

I just finished A Sudden Wild Magic one of Diana Wynne Jones' books for adults - enjoyable but it took me a while to get into it. I persisted because I remembered enjoying 20 years ago, but thought it took a little while to get going. Anyway, I enjoyed it enough to have started on another of hers now.

RosyLovelady - 11 Mar 2021 18:40:40 (#858 of 2178)

< But every type of book is discussed there anyway. >

That's a joke, right?

elderberry - 11 Mar 2021 18:41:17 (#859 of 2178)

Maybe this thread's title should be 'What are reading for pleasure?'

elderberry - 11 Mar 2021 18:41:33 (#860 of 2178)

or even 'for fun'

helbel - 11 Mar 2021 18:41:42 (#861 of 2178)

We do need two threads. Sometimes I have a book I might mention on the other thread, but I’m much more likely to mention one here where I’m not going to interrupt the literary fiction fandom.

elderberry - 11 Mar 2021 18:42:50 (#862 of 2178)

fandom is such a polite word

RosyLovelady - 11 Mar 2021 18:43:40 (#863 of 2178)

I want to know the rude words for it!

crabbyoldbat - 11 Mar 2021 18:46:15 (#864 of 2178)

Okay, I'd probably put anything anywhere, under the heading 'what are you reading', and I don't consider most of the stuff here to be 'rubbish', but I appreciate people might feel differently.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me to download Hamnet, pip

elderberry - 11 Mar 2021 18:48:50 (#865 of 2178)

I don't like the word rubbish either, but do prefer this thread.

crabbyoldbat - 11 Mar 2021 18:58:43 (#866 of 2178)

Its not the word I object to particularly - if somone was here raving about 50 Shades of Grey, it'd be appropriate - its just that what's talked about here isn't rubbish.

I barely notice which I'm looking at, to be honest - for all I know this one occasionally wanders off into discussion of translators

RosyLovelady - 11 Mar 2021 19:01:13 (#867 of 2178)

When I started the thread, I called it "rubbish" because the brows were so very high on the Senior Readers' thread at the time and I was in a hurry to create a safer space. Another more carefully chosen word might have been preferable, and I might even ask the Mods to change it at this late date if enough people feel it's misleading or disrespectful in some way, to someone.

airynothing - 11 Mar 2021 19:03:46 (#868 of 2178)

Rosy, you’ve changed.

crabbyoldbat - 11 Mar 2021 19:03:57 (#869 of 2178)

Yes, but that's just your usual snark, Rosy, that we all know and love*

* for a given value of 'love'

RosyLovelady - 11 Mar 2021 19:13:36 (#870 of 2178)


Whatever makes you happy, crabby.

toffle - 11 Mar 2021 21:26:26 (#871 of 2178)

I called it "rubbish" because the brows were so very high

There are some dreadfully pretentious people around, not just in Books but in Film and Music and other folders too, who set themselves up as arbiters of what is and isn't "good" and turn everything they touch into boring drivel. (I'm guessing they are frustrated Guardian columnists or something.)

If using the word 'rubbish' keeps them out of this thread, I see that as a very fortunate thing.

Tomnoddy - 11 Mar 2021 23:05:34 (#872 of 2178)

I second Toffle. This thread doesn't make me feel a halfwit and if the term "rubbish" keeps it like that, stick with it.

I have quite run out of reading material now. Nothing in the house attracts me and holds my attention. I'm feeling the need for one of T Pratchett's more knockabout books.

CarlosFandango - 11 Mar 2021 23:32:51 (#873 of 2178)

I have no problem with 'rubbish' either.

Except not having enough time to read enough of it.

pipsqueak - 12 Mar 2021 06:47:07 (#874 of 2178)

Oh yes! I meant to post Hamnet on the other thread! I haven't put much on there of late as my covid reading has been, er, disposable!

RosyLovelady - 12 Mar 2021 07:02:50 (#875 of 2178)

By the way, pips, I must apologise for thoughtlessly deploying your username on another thread in a post about the Johnson sprog.

My reading has actually improved a bit in quality in the last year. I've even posted two or three times on the other thread, but failed to generate any discussion. On the other hand, I've abandoned every book about three quarters of the way through (something I'd very rarely do in olden times). I think this shows that I need to be reading more rubbish for a while.

surferboogiewhatever - 12 Mar 2021 07:24:07 (#876 of 2178)

I am at my recently deceased dad's house (mine and BoogieBro's house now, I guess), and have been urged to take away any books I want. I'm going to need a bigger bag... he had quite a lot of interesting books about art, but his "rubbish" was mostly Simenon, which I'd put in the "read and pass on" category but I'd love to read some of them once. He had some of them in English and French too - until fairly recently he used to like to keep his French ticking over by reading in French until he got stuck, then looking at the English version to get unstuck/learn a new phrase.

dreams99 - 12 Mar 2021 07:32:08 (#877 of 2178)

Simenon certainly isn't rubbish.

surferboogiewhatever - 12 Mar 2021 07:35:11 (#878 of 2178)

No, but it was his idea of light reading. He was a lovely man but a bit of an intellectual snob - he didn't get much more lowbrow than that.

ReverendBlueJeans - 12 Mar 2021 15:34:30 (#879 of 2178)

Have started Clochemerle.

Should be fun but the narrative voice is a little flowery. Probably why Ustinov enjoyed reading bits of it when narrating the BBC adaptation.

slimpickins - 12 Mar 2021 16:24:14 (#880 of 2178)

I read about 2/3rds of it years ago, it was quite the sensation at the time.

pipsqueak - 12 Mar 2021 21:44:07 (#881 of 2178)

I don't mind you taking my name in vain Rosie!

Pheeep - 12 Mar 2021 21:57:50 (#882 of 2178)

I too have just read some Diana Wynne Jones - The Dark Lord of Derkholm, The Year of the Griffin and The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land. Thoroughly enjoyed reading them to the children 20 years ago and they were a real pleasure to re-read.

CarlosFandango - 15 Mar 2021 00:32:52 (#883 of 2178)

Simenon is well worth searching out.

Le Chat is brilliant.

ChankNolen - 15 Mar 2021 16:52:13 (#884 of 2178)

I split my time between reading for intellectual self-improvement purposes and reading for pure self-indulgence. I see this thread as being all about the latter.

I would also distinguish between well-written genre fiction, which may not meet the criteria of great works of art but is serviceable on other criteria, and your genuine garbage, like Dan Brown.

LobsangRampa - 15 Mar 2021 17:51:36 (#885 of 2178)

Due to recurrent insomnia I move to another bedroom around 3 every morning. I've been very much enjoying listening to Agatha Christie - both the BBC adaptations and audio books. She really can tell a story. I've been enjoying her so much that now it's the somnia that has become the problem.

(This post is by way of apology to my Granny who loved her and Ngaio Marsh and was consequently sneered at by a smug adolescent.)

angelico - 15 Mar 2021 18:17:17 (#886 of 2178)

Just read the Slough House books by Mick Herron. There are seven of them and they’re strangely addictive, such that I can’t wait for the eighth. Complex dark plots set in MI5 world and in the house of its rejects, Slough House. Very funny, bitter dialogue from its disreputable, dangerous head. Plenty of violent action, contemporary references and politics, and - as I said - strangely addictive, flawed characters. Highly recommended.

surferboogiewhatever - 15 Mar 2021 18:20:40 (#887 of 2178)

Oh, I've got the newest one on my to-read pile after devouring the others over the last year or so. I love the very believable office politics and bickering that goes on.

angelico - 15 Mar 2021 18:21:54 (#888 of 2178)

I totally OD-ed on them. Bought the first 5 days ago.

RosyLovelady - 15 Mar 2021 18:52:41 (#889 of 2178)

I think I wish Oliver Harris had written another Nick Belsey book or two.

dreams99 - 15 Mar 2021 18:56:14 (#890 of 2178)

You read 7 of them in 5 days?

Have read all of Herron (including the oxford series) apart from the new one, waiting for the pback.

surferboogiewhatever - 15 Mar 2021 19:10:27 (#891 of 2178)

You read 7 of them in 5 days?

I could probably do that if I had absolutely nothing else to do. I read 2½ e-books of old Norah Lofts historical sagas in less than 2 days recently, but there were exceptional circumstances.

dreams99 - 15 Mar 2021 19:14:29 (#892 of 2178)

Just listened to a Backlisted podcast on Norah Lofts, they really enjoyed it.

angelico - 15 Mar 2021 21:36:10 (#893 of 2178)

You read 7 of them in 5 days?

They were hardly hard going. Yes.

pipsqueak - 15 Mar 2021 21:38:52 (#894 of 2178)

Crikey! 7 books in five days! I read a lot on holiday, and read fast but I haven't read that many that quickly!

pipsqueak - 15 Mar 2021 21:39:21 (#895 of 2178)

And I need to buy the third Slough horses book

angelico - 15 Mar 2021 21:41:05 (#896 of 2178)

I’m not saying I got a lot of work done.

darkhorse - 15 Mar 2021 21:49:36 (#897 of 2178)

"Slough Horses" sounds like they shed their skin, like a massive equine lizard.

darkhorse - 15 Mar 2021 21:52:00 (#898 of 2178)

I rarely follow one book with another by the same author, but some of you guys seem to enjoy a binge once you've found something you like.

Does anybody else do like me, and wait a year or so before returning to an author?

slimpickins - 15 Mar 2021 21:59:51 (#899 of 2178)

It depends on the type of book, I need break between books by authors that are 'intense' but something lighter that I enjoy will make me seek out more. Which I shouldn't because I inevitably over indulge and get fed up with them.

crabbyoldbat - 15 Mar 2021 22:17:21 (#900 of 2178)

I binge - did the Slow Horses that way, too (longer time, though). Then once I've caught up, they're on my checking list.

pipsqueak - 16 Mar 2021 06:49:17 (#901 of 2178)

If I enjoy a series I try not to binge them all in one go - I like to space them out a bit.

Lagopus - 16 Mar 2021 07:20:58 (#902 of 2178)

I have a feeling that since the latest Slough House book is actually called Slough House Mick is trying to kill the series off. Although Jackson doesn't fall down a waterfall or anything, and he did die at the end of Joe Country.

Lagopus - 16 Mar 2021 07:25:03 (#903 of 2178)

Sorry, that might be considered a spoiler, but Lamb's demise goes so completely unnoticed in the next book that it's just an incidental detail.

RosyLovelady - 16 Mar 2021 08:10:08 (#904 of 2178)

Ideally, if I find an author I very much like, I'll read everything they've written before moving on.

crabbyoldbat - 16 Mar 2021 09:22:55 (#905 of 2178)


surferboogiewhatever - 16 Mar 2021 09:27:43 (#906 of 2178)

Lago, I've read Joe Country, and if I ever knew about your spoiler I'd forgotten all about it.

elderberry - 16 Mar 2021 09:35:03 (#907 of 2178)

This last year reading my way through a whole series of books has been a cope-with-it thing. Entering a different world, predictable on its own terms. It would obviously be more intellectually challenging to ring the changes a bit, but I feel I'm being as challenged as I want to be by life right now, hence my lack of success with the attempts at something slightly serious at new year.

So now on my second Diana Wynne Jones, Deep Secret.

ReverendBlueJeans - 16 Mar 2021 10:43:59 (#908 of 2178)

When I discovered Edmund Crispin I kinda binged them. A mistake - I returned to them, or the better ones, in more measured case later, sometimes several times.

When Lockdown began (a year ago!) I resisted immediately turning to Wodehouse lest I end up in cheery denial all the time.

I may celebrate the final end of Covid restrictions, if I live to see them, with another rereading of The Code of the Woosters.

angelico - 16 Mar 2021 13:30:46 (#909 of 2178)

I hope you have an old copy. More recent ones have some howlers in, presumably errors of transcription.

JennyRad - 16 Mar 2021 13:40:14 (#910 of 2178)

Ideally, if I find an author I very much like, I'll read everything they've written before moving on.

Some authors work better for this than others - some authors it's definitely better not to binge too much.

limegreen - 16 Mar 2021 13:43:18 (#911 of 2178)

I can't binge Wooster. Love them, but every book is the same. And they have a distinct rhythm/feel, which would just grate.

Catspyjamas17 - 16 Mar 2021 13:54:42 (#912 of 2178)

I'm bingeing on Allingham. One error/quirk slightly annoys me, she writes (in the early books anyway) "Scarper!" as "Scarpa!" which could be indicative of accent/speech but it just makes me think they are shouting "Shoe!" or "Mountaineering boot!"

RosyLovelady - 16 Mar 2021 13:55:02 (#913 of 2178)

< some authors it's definitely better not to binge too much >

Thank you for not being specific, Jenny.

It's still best of all to find this sort of thing out for oneself.

Catspyjamas17 - 16 Mar 2021 13:57:49 (#914 of 2178)

Also she does a lot of "You ladies needn't worry your pretty little heads about that", and "This is too dangerous for women to be present!" which I don't remember Dorothy L. Sayers ever writing. Perhaps Allingham does more faithfully portray what people would have actually said/thought at the time though rather than the world as she wanted it to be or the avant-garde world of the Bloomsbury set.

Electro2 - 16 Mar 2021 13:58:19 (#915 of 2178)

Celebrity line up and six newly published books announced for BBC 2 show, Between The Covers.

ReverendBlueJeans - 16 Mar 2021 15:05:46 (#916 of 2178)

I hope you have an old copy. More recent ones have some howlers in, presumably errors of transcription.

That's interesting - the Vintage ones or the Everyman? I think my TCotW is the small-formet Penguin from the late 90s.

airynothing - 16 Mar 2021 15:31:11 (#917 of 2178)

Sayers shows Peter moving from a position of looking after the little woman to one of equality: it's one of the key strands of Gaudy Night.

And he was never part of the Bloomsbury set.

Catspyjamas17 - 16 Mar 2021 15:42:20 (#918 of 2178)

I was talking about Sayers herself rather than LPW, who isn't usually listed as part of the Bloomsbury group, but lived there and seems to share some ideas with the set. It was because of the Square Haunting book that I put her in that Venn diagram set in my head.

angelico - 16 Mar 2021 17:44:39 (#919 of 2178)


IIRC, you might be ok. But check whether the worrying sight of an aunt going down is for the first or third time, and whether, when Madeline says “oh Bertie, you know your Shelly”, he replies “oh, am I?” or “oh do I?” which are a couple I remember when I bought a copy about 15 years ago. (It should be the third time for the drowning aunt and the first of the Shelly responses, of course).

ChankNolen - 16 Mar 2021 19:33:55 (#920 of 2178)

Many years ago, I read the Wimsey novel that Orton and Halliwell had defaced with the memorable instruction: 'read behind closed doors...and have a damned good shit whilst doing so!'

It was quite good, actually.

goldfinch - 19 Mar 2021 22:32:02 (#921 of 2178)

No spoilers please, Lago!

slimpickins - 20 Mar 2021 09:02:41 (#922 of 2178)

Finished a couple of murder mysteries this week:

The Guest List, set on an Irish island where a wedding is being held, what's unusual is the victim isn't identified until the end and the arrest/conviction is almost immediate. What precedes that is the relationships and motives the detective usually draws out but here told through the eyes of the various characters. I thought it well done, believable characters, decent writing and plot but somehow unsatisfying.

The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill; a killer is stalking a city's street prostitutes, meanwhile there are tensions at the Cathedral as the new Dean tries to make changes to old traditions. The two worlds are connected by a lady doctor who is on a committee battling the Dean, has one of the women as a patient and is sister to the hero detective. Well written, if a bit rushed at the end, the womens' world was particularly believable, if Ann Cleaves collaborated with Trollope this would be the result.

PoppySeedBagel - 20 Mar 2021 14:30:12 (#923 of 2178)

I’m half way through The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre, translated from French. It’s funny and well-plotted so far, and I note that the offhand racism in Spiral seems to be a French thing, still.

TenGorillas - 20 Mar 2021 14:58:40 (#924 of 2178)

I loved that. Pitched the translation, had four publishers interested but someone else got in there first. I was super bummed out.

limegreen - 20 Mar 2021 15:02:58 (#925 of 2178)

On the subject of rubbish books, I would like to recommend the Sentimental Garbage podcast. They take a book, that has often been dismissed because it's seen as chick lit or for women and talk through what's so great about it. Not to serious, but always with plenty of food for thought. At the moment they are doing Sex and the City, the TV show and I'm enjoying it very much.

PoppySeedBagel - 20 Mar 2021 15:21:56 (#926 of 2178)

What a shame for you 10g!

This book sounds rather good so I’ve ordered it from the library- and the publisher sounds worth-following:

Where Stands A Wingèd Sentry by Margaret Kennedy

TenGorillas - 20 Mar 2021 16:10:44 (#927 of 2178)

There’s a film of the Godmother book too, called Mama Weed.

darkhorse - 25 Mar 2021 18:46:19 (#928 of 2178)

I read the Richard Osman Thursday Murder Club but I have a query re the final whodunnit, but can't find the symbol for spoiler alerts on this keyboard, so will have to save it until I'm on my phone.

Electro2 - 25 Mar 2021 18:48:21 (#929 of 2178)

try copy and paste this: |

JennyRad - 25 Mar 2021 18:51:35 (#930 of 2178)

Or just the | symbol if you have one on your keyboard - mine's shift-\ , down between the z and the left shift key.

darkhorse - 25 Mar 2021 18:53:53 (#931 of 2178)

Thanks, but found the phone.

Do not read this spoiler if you intend to read the Thursday Murder Club, but this bugged me:

Surely any investigation into the murder (1) of the body in the grave (if uncovered in building development) would be highly unlikely to locate the actual murderer, who was not in a fit state to be questioned anyway, so there was no need to commit murder (2) to prevent murder (1) from being uncovered. (I have if course not discussed murder (3) of the drug dealing builder and numbered these all wrong)

redginger - 06 Apr 2021 19:34:00 (#932 of 2178)

I read a lot of rubbish, in between serious stuff, but non more than Rebecca Shaw. For murders and killing she's worse than a Gatling Gun. Even much loved characters are killed in one way or another.

slimpickins - 06 Apr 2021 19:59:46 (#933 of 2178)

I'd never heard of her so looked her up on wiki:

A review in The Telegraph[3] for 'A Village Deception' described her style as 'The Archers meet Midsomer Murders'.

And that she was in her 60s when the first of her 27 books was published which is impressive.

I'm enjoying Heavens river more than I expected, on the surface Dennis E Taylor seems a shallow writer, all rye jokes and nerdy references but underneath that he's discussing complex ideas, like the nature of identity, colonialism, etc, all mixed up with some good old hard sci-fi.

airynothing - 06 Apr 2021 21:33:53 (#934 of 2178)

Rye jokes? Corny.

ChankNolen - 12 Apr 2021 15:22:02 (#935 of 2178)

I might have a go at Heaven's River, having just finished the 'Expanse' cycle of novels.

slimpickins - 13 Apr 2021 15:37:09 (#936 of 2178)

Remember it's the fourth in a series which is probably best read in order. Now I've finished it I can't help feeling it was rather padded out, it's twice the length of previous books, with a long 'heroes journey' that could have been cut by a lot.

Just finished Alan Moore's epic Jerusalem, 60hrs on Audible and longer than War and Peace in print, I feel as if I've finished a marathon. It's a really extraordinary book, as if a someone has created a novel from the rambling theories of a well educated lunatic, so well described the words just dissolve into visions. Moore here:

Fantastic use of obscenity too, rarely but perfectly deployed to make certain passages all the more visceral.

LordofMisrule - 13 Apr 2021 16:07:36 (#937 of 2178)

Does he read the audiobook?

slimpickins - 13 Apr 2021 17:55:11 (#938 of 2178)

No, it's very well read by Simon Vance (no idea), it had to be to stick with for that long even with breaks but it was an easy voice to have in my head.

lammaMia - 13 Apr 2021 17:59:42 (#939 of 2178)

I have listened to a number of books narrated by Simon Vance and he's usually very good.

slimpickins - 13 Apr 2021 20:42:44 (#940 of 2178)

I'll look out for them, the reader makes a big difference, especially with a long book.

slimpickins - 17 Apr 2021 17:58:40 (#941 of 2178)

Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes, Ann Cleaves et al murder mystery set on a small Scilly Isle's island, not bad if utterly predictable but marred by an obvious flaw in the motivation that animates the characters.

ReverendBlueJeans - 18 Apr 2021 17:37:52 (#942 of 2178)

The Woman in Red, a 1941 crimie by Anthony Gilbert (actually the nom de plume of a girlie).

DejaLu - 18 Apr 2021 17:44:21 (#943 of 2178)

A girlie?

raymie - 18 Apr 2021 17:58:12 (#944 of 2178)

A Quine, as opposed tae a loon

HelenDamnation - 18 Apr 2021 18:54:41 (#945 of 2178)

Lucy Beatrice Malleson

Tomnoddy - 18 Apr 2021 19:09:41 (#946 of 2178)


I never knew. I'm surprised. But a Collins Crime Club regular, back in the day.

ReverendBlueJeans - 18 Apr 2021 21:37:04 (#947 of 2178)

Yup. Is troot.

goldfinch - 19 Apr 2021 15:19:48 (#948 of 2178)

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish. Same ilk as Girl on a Train. It was hospital reading and I really can't recommend it at all.

DejaLu - 19 Apr 2021 17:32:12 (#949 of 2178)

I read that. It was not very good at all.

RosyLovelady - 19 Apr 2021 18:15:25 (#950 of 2178)

I've just finished it. Far too long as well as not very good.

Tomnoddy - 19 Apr 2021 19:38:10 (#951 of 2178)

Thank you all for bringing it to my attention. I have read Girl on a Train, which I did not enjoy. I shall, however, enjoy not reading The Other Passenger.

goldfinch - 19 Apr 2021 19:53:17 (#952 of 2178)

It's been heavily promoted. I should have know it would be terrible.

DejaLu - 19 Apr 2021 20:30:05 (#953 of 2178)

I’ve read a couple of other books of hers, which weren’t amazing but were better than The Other Passenger. The woman’s OB. SESSED. with the London property market and its corrupting powers.

slimpickins - 19 Apr 2021 20:33:44 (#954 of 2178)

I thought GoaT wasn't the greatest, it was quite interesting to start with but fell to bits towards the end.

Just finished Agent ZigZag by someone or other. It's about the war time life of Eddie Chapman who our older contributors might remember from the 70s tabloids which portrayed him as a charming gangster, the sort that might hangout with Princess Margaret. Turns out he was a highly successful British double agent who survived long interegation during WWII. Quite an extraordinary story, not up there with The Spy and the Traitor but worth getting cut price.

DejaLu - 19 Apr 2021 20:35:52 (#955 of 2178)

It’s not actually by the same writer as The Girl on the Train. Just similar suburban noir.

ReverendBlueJeans - 19 Apr 2021 21:16:28 (#956 of 2178)

Read that ages ago Slim and remember nowt about it.

slimpickins - 19 Apr 2021 22:36:59 (#957 of 2178)

Probably because it's curiously prosaic for such a dramatic story, unlike the Spy and the Traitor you never really get a real sense of tension or threat. It's not badly written, just not all it could have been.

LordofMisrule - 20 Apr 2021 11:01:31 (#958 of 2178)

Ben MacIntyre (sp?) is the writer. He's the Times journo turned author / presenter who wrote the very successful 'Operation Mincemeat' book.

ReverendBlueJeans - 20 Apr 2021 11:41:18 (#959 of 2178)

Read that too. I think Slim is right, he's a competent author who gets the facts down but is never inspiring or memorable or different.

slimpickins - 21 Apr 2021 09:47:41 (#960 of 2178)

Have you read The Spy and the Traitor? He wrote that too and its brilliant, really engaging, it's hard to believe it's the same author.

pipsqueak - 22 Apr 2021 07:39:29 (#961 of 2178)

Blacklands, Belinda Bauer - not bad.

Catspyjamas17 - 22 Apr 2021 07:43:14 (#962 of 2178)

Moar Campion, on Coroner's Pidgin now. At some point I may have a break and read something else, perhaps after this book.

pipsqueak - 22 Apr 2021 18:42:39 (#963 of 2178)

Now reading a book by Gytha Lodge (weird name). I had apparently ordered it from the library?

RosyLovelady - 22 Apr 2021 18:47:44 (#964 of 2178)

Gytha Lodge sounds like the name of a private prep schools for dim rich kids.

Catspyjamas17 - 22 Apr 2021 18:48:17 (#965 of 2178)

I thought it sounded like a guest house.

staticgirl - 22 Apr 2021 19:10:14 (#966 of 2178)

Gytha is a very Old English name. I think it's pretty. But you're right it sounds like a place.

slimpickins - 22 Apr 2021 20:25:23 (#967 of 2178)

Or a Victorian ailment.

Currently listening to The Scar, the second in a trilogy by China Miéville and I'm enjoying it more than the first. That emphasised the grotesque nature of the world, while this one just takes that for granted. Its more like The City and the City in tone and the better for it.

crabbyoldbat - 22 Apr 2021 22:19:38 (#968 of 2178)

G-ee-tha or G-eye-tha, or something else?

Tomnoddy - 22 Apr 2021 22:26:03 (#969 of 2178)

Gytha Ogg, my favourite.

LordofMisrule - 22 Apr 2021 22:44:21 (#970 of 2178)

Gith-a, as far as I know

crabbyoldbat - 22 Apr 2021 22:46:48 (#971 of 2178)


TenGorillas - 23 Apr 2021 07:10:52 (#972 of 2178)

I thought it might be Indian too, but the Old English makes sense.

pipsqueak - 23 Apr 2021 08:19:09 (#973 of 2178)

I was thinking Gith-a. No idea why I ordered it - it's fine though - a police procedural.

JennyRad - 23 Apr 2021 11:10:44 (#974 of 2178)

Gytha Ogg, my favourite.

I'm so glad I'm not the only person who only has that association with the name!

RosyLovelady - 23 Apr 2021 11:42:48 (#975 of 2178)

Gytha Ogg looks like a resting place for the lost R in Feb-uary.

raymie - 23 Apr 2021 12:47:38 (#976 of 2178)

rereading the historical illuminati trilogy by Robert anton wilson. still great stuff, and now available on kindle!

ReverendBlueJeans - 25 Apr 2021 14:50:53 (#977 of 2178)

I mentioned Anthony Gilbert's The Woman in Red earlier. Turns out two thirds of it is a superb bit of psychological captive-thriller. It was turned into a Hollywood B-movie but Hitchcock would have done a great job with it. The denouement is a bit disappointing, with an unconvincing espionage story to fit the wartime setting.

Warning - if you set out to read the Orion 2019 paperback, which I did, it has American spellings for some odd reason.

This annoys me.

ChankNolen - 12 May 2021 19:06:03 (#978 of 2178)

I just finished Where Eagles Dare by Alistair McLean. Definitely meets what I take to be the thread concept of irredeemable shite that nonetheless has you turning the pages eagerly. Next, HMS Ulysses.

slimpickins - 12 May 2021 19:39:02 (#979 of 2178)

McLean was one of those writers that was on the shelves of my relatives when I was a kid, I read and enjoyed loads of them.

Just finished The Dark Angel by Ellie Griffiths and really liked it. A mystery rather than just a whodunnit and mainly set in a small Italian hill top town, its very atmospheric, with well drawn imperfect characters. It's the tenth in a series and I hope some more come up in Audible sales.

ReverendBlueJeans - 12 May 2021 19:39:09 (#980 of 2178)

It's great light literature. HMS Ulysses is actually more literary, not really a thriller.

pipsqueak - 12 May 2021 19:43:51 (#981 of 2178)

They are great, aren't they slim? I've read up to about number 7 in that series, i think.

HelenDamnation - 12 May 2021 19:52:50 (#982 of 2178)

I love Ruth. And Kate.

pipsqueak - 12 May 2021 19:55:04 (#983 of 2178)

I love Ruth! Kate is still too small to be very distinguishable!

HelenDamnation - 12 May 2021 19:56:59 (#984 of 2178)

Oh, I think her character comes through from an early age, and I love when Cathbad teaches her to answer the phone saying "Piss".

slimpickins - 12 May 2021 19:59:13 (#985 of 2178)

I'm not sure I loved any of the characters and that's one of the reasons I liked the book. So many writers seem to be a bit in love with their main creations, these seemed like real people and the writing in general is a cut above most crime novels too.

pipsqueak - 12 May 2021 20:03:58 (#986 of 2178)

Oh yes! Piss was good!

DejaLu - 12 May 2021 20:12:36 (#987 of 2178)

I love Ruth. And Cathbad.

dreams99 - 12 May 2021 20:13:48 (#988 of 2178)

Next, HMS Ulysses.

His best by far, because based on personal experience. I read a lot of them in my teens, he was good at what he did (and of course extremely filmable, like Fleming)

SatelliteOne - 13 May 2021 06:38:37 (#989 of 2178)

I'm reading Fire And Blood by GRR Martin. It's about as gripping as Suetonius when he's listing the achievements of each Caesar, before he gets going on the salacious dirt-dishing.

pipsqueak - 13 May 2021 18:57:21 (#990 of 2178)

Cathbad is fab. I am rationing those Ruth Galloway books!

Tomnoddy - 13 May 2021 23:47:53 (#991 of 2178)

My Uncle Murdo had every Alastair McLean on his bookshelf. Eric Ambler, too.

ReverendBlueJeans - 14 May 2021 16:58:36 (#992 of 2178)

Eric Ambler is toppo.

coshipi - 14 May 2021 17:10:56 (#993 of 2178)

Toppo is an Oraon surname.

ReverendBlueJeans - 17 May 2021 22:36:14 (#994 of 2178)

Am reading Moonfleet. Sort of 3rd Division wannabe RLS, but enjoyable enough swashbuckling stuff.

airynothing - 17 May 2021 22:46:40 (#995 of 2178)

Oh, I loved Moonfleet as a kid.

The bit where he's hiding in the crypt and accidentally breaks the coffin terrified me. In my mind the tension stretched our for ever: when I reread it as an adult, I was amazed that it's only a page or so.

ReverendBlueJeans - 17 May 2021 22:48:36 (#996 of 2178)

Have no fears, I'm past that bit. Aye, it's really effective.

helbel - 18 May 2021 08:32:33 (#997 of 2178)

I adored Moonfleet! And yes to what Airy said.

PoppySeedBagel - 18 May 2021 13:31:16 (#998 of 2178)

You can go and stay at the Moonfleet hotel:

And very nice it is too (or was, 20 years ago)

slimpickins - 22 May 2021 19:23:05 (#999 of 2178)

Just finished 'Bear Head' by Adrian Tchaikovsky and enjoyed it. Not elegantly written but entertaining but using his usual story 'told through the eyes of various players' style, it's about a nearish future in which Mars is being colonised using augmented animals and humans. The main themes are Ai, intelligence in other species and politics.

As always he does a great job of exploring ideas but what jumps out is the satire of Trump, which he gets spot on IMO. I won't think about him in the same way again.

BTB, it's the sequel to The Dogs of War (a book I put down after a couple of chapters because I found it so disturbing) and won the Arthur C Clarke award.

TenGorillas - 22 May 2021 20:02:10 (#1000 of 2178)


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