Vestafan - doing her best under pressure

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

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Vestafan - doing her best under pressure

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1vestafan
feb. 1, 2015, 5:02am

This year has begun with serious family illness and bereavement, so I suspect that reading, although therapeutic, will have to be fitted in as and when. So in January, I was only able to pick up my Kindle from time to time and read

Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado
Stuffocation by James Wallman
and
The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling

2drneutron
feb. 1, 2015, 3:59pm

So sorry things have been tough this year - I hope the year turns around for you! Welcome.

3scaifea
feb. 2, 2015, 7:01am

Yes, what Jim said. Here's hoping that the rest of 2015 is much happier for you and yours.

4vestafan
feb. 14, 2015, 9:41am

Thanks very much - I'm still finding concentration hard but was proud to eventually finish Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and have now begun Bring Up the Bodies.

In the meantime I raced through a couple of crime novels: Hard Going by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles and Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey.

5vestafan
feb. 22, 2015, 4:24am

I'm still on a light literary diet - enough to distract, but deep concentration is still hard - I've just read Thirty-three Teeth by Colin Cotterill, the second in his entertaining Dr Siri Paiboum series.

6vestafan
març 1, 2015, 4:27am

Two more books read since my last post:

Lost for Words by Edward St Aubyn, a satire of the world of the literary prize

and

The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons, a light but readable crime debut which will, I'm sure become a series

7vestafan
març 15, 2015, 7:55am

Currently suffering a very heavy cold, so have made my way through

Lamentation by C J Sansom
Fatal Act by Leigh Russell
Stop Dead by Leigh Russell
and
The Death of Lucy Kyte by Nicola Upson

- I can't really cope with anything more complicated at the moment!

8vestafan
març 22, 2015, 5:22am

Feeling slightly better, and have read a couple of books since my last post:

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
and
Predator by Faye Kellerman

9vestafan
abr. 21, 2015, 10:03am

A few books read so far this month:

Thursday's Children by Nicci French
Looking Good Dead by Peter James
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid
Police by Jo Nesbo
and
The Church of Fear by John Sweeney

10vestafan
abr. 30, 2015, 1:30pm

More to take me up to the end of April:

Bricks and Mortar by Helen Ashton
Safe House by Chris Ewan
and
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

11vestafan
maig 29, 2015, 8:34am

Almost at the end of May and I've not entered anything yet! I have been reading, though:

So far this month:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill
Motive by Jonathan Kellerman
The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
Into the Woods by John Yorke
and
The Epic of Gilgamesh

12vestafan
Editat: juny 13, 2015, 7:41am

One more before the end of May:

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

13vestafan
juny 5, 2015, 2:34pm

My first read of June 2015:

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

This has been in progress for so long, I feel relief and a real sense of achievement having finished it. I think I've struggled with it as it's the book I was reading when the huge upheaval of family illness and bereavement began early this year. It isn't as hard going as Wolf Hall; I think the narrative is more focused and I think as a reader you've got to know the characters over the two books which makes this one a little more accessible.

14vestafan
juny 13, 2015, 7:41am

Since then I have read:

The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie
Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson
and
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The first two are good additions to crime series I like - the Flanagan is an intense read - the theme is the effect of war on men's lives, particularly the experience of Australian POWs set to work on the Burma railway. Some of these passages were very difficult to read, graphic in the extreme, but not exploitative. This was one read which benefitted from my aim to read more 'serious' works at 50 pages per day - I don't think I could have gone any faster.

15vestafan
jul. 22, 2015, 12:07pm

This month has been quite slow - I've read

The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah
A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh
and
The Axemans Jazz by Ray Celestin

16vestafan
jul. 27, 2015, 4:56am

Two more crime this month -

The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer
and
Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

The first of these is an excellent crime novel, conjuring up an atmosphere of unease and anxiety. Its the first I've read from this author and I will probably seek out some more.

The second is a gripping read which I raced through in double quick time. I had to go to an all day family social event while I was in the middle of this book and I couldn't wait to get back and finish it.

17vestafan
Editat: nov. 22, 2015, 10:14am

One more crime novel read:

The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh - the most recent of her authorised sequels to the Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane stories, and an enjoyable light read if you enjoyed the Sayers originals.

18vestafan
jul. 31, 2015, 6:42am

And continuing the theme of classic detectives 'revived' by modern authors, I've just read the Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah, her 'Hercule Poirot' novel.

19vestafan
ag. 20, 2015, 11:21am

A while since I've been posting here, as I've embarked on something I've been meaning to do for ages and am reading War and Peace. I treated myself to a three volume edition from Everyman, and have just finished the first volume. I'm absolutely loving it so far.

I've been slightly distracted by an impulse buy on my Kindle - Read All About It by Paul Cuddihy. It's one reader's account of his reading in one year. I always enjoy this type of book, as it deals with subjects only avid readers ponder on very much, such as if it's better to have a reading plan or to be completely spontaneous in choice of book, if a book should be finished at all costs even if it's a disappointment, and how to go about choosing books to take on holiday.

20vestafan
set. 23, 2015, 11:38am

My long absence is at an end - I have finished War and Peace. It's not a book to be rushed through, particularly Tolstoy's digressions on the topics of history, military tactics and the nature of free will which become more frequent as the book progresses. However I probably slowed the read down by treating myself to a lovely three volume Everyman edition which I didn't want to damage, so I couldn't throw it in the bag to take out or read it while eating (so many bad habits being revealed). I did think that it's a wonderful novel - his understanding of individuals is terrific and he's obviously fascinated by military matters (more than I am, but I was carried along by all parts of the book).

The only other book I've read this month is Unseen by Karin Slaughter. I visited my sisters in law and they have a dog that has form in the book-eating habit so I played safe with a library book.

I'm now treating myself to a shorter book and am thoroughly enjoying Just Kids by Patti Smith.

21vestafan
Editat: nov. 23, 2015, 5:45am

Since my last post I've been on holiday (always a good opportunity to get a good amount of reading done) and have read:

Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill
Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary
Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi
A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
Bruno Chief of Police by Martin Walker
A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
and
Orlando by Virginia Woolf

22cushlareads
oct. 29, 2015, 12:43am

Hooray to finishing War and Peace - I read it a few years ago and it was so satisfying to get to the end! I loved it too. I read the Pevear and Volkhonsky translation in a gorgeous hardback and couldn't take the book out with me anywhere either.

I haven't read A God in Every Stone - was it really good? Burnt Shadows was great.

23vestafan
nov. 12, 2015, 7:39am

A God in Every Stone is the first Shamsie book I've read, so I can't compare it to any other, but I would recommend it - I found it haunting and evocative. I'll keep an eye open for other books by this author.

24vestafan
nov. 12, 2015, 7:44am

My November reading so far - Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid by Virginia Woolf, Make Me by Lee Child and The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths.

The Woolf was one of the Penguin Great Ideas series and contained some interesting essays on literature and reading. The Lee Child book was the latest in his Jack Reacher series - not one of the better ones and with what I felt was some seriously gruesome content close to the end of the book. The Elly Griffiths book is the latest in her Ruth Galloway series. They are easy reads but I like the characters and am interested in how their lives develop.

25vestafan
nov. 22, 2015, 10:06am

I've jut finished Bryant & May: The Bleeding Heart by Christopher Fowler, the first of this series I have read. While recognisably set in the present day, the characters and the police department they inhabit seem strangely out of time. Lots of interesting facts about London - I shall probably seek more of this series out.

26vestafan
nov. 23, 2015, 5:36am

I've just finished The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and as usual a gentle, enjoyable read. Never the most action-packed series, this book has more philosophising and less action than previous volumes; in fact I thought that the cases took second place to Mma Ramotswe reflecting on her life and essential truths. Not the ideal start if you've never read any before, but fans will still enjoy it I think.

27LizzieD
nov. 23, 2015, 10:20am

Hi! I knew your name was familiar when I saw that you have a copy of :Hard Going:. Is this a series that I should investigate? Anyway, it's good to see you posting, and I hope you can be a regular here and among the Viragoes!

28vestafan
des. 7, 2015, 9:32am

Hi - I think it would be well worth trying one or two of the early books in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. They don't appeal to everyone but I find the gentleness a welcome relief from the ever more complicated and intense serial killer genre. They're also quite short and an easy read.

I've got the latest of the Bill Slider books Hard Fall and will probably read it some time after Christmas. I think a new year's resolution will be to do some systematic reading of my VMCs.

29vestafan
des. 7, 2015, 9:34am

A couple of books read so far this month - Rock Stars Stole My Life by Mark Ellen, a memoir of his life in rock journalism, and Friday on my Mind by Nicci French, the latest in the Frieda Klein series. I found it gripping, if a little far fetched.

30vestafan
des. 16, 2015, 11:49am

Persisted and finally finished A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George. I have been on the point of abandoning this author several times and never finished What Came Before He Shot Her. This one was rather better than the previous book, but still retains some of the irritating rendition of dialogue, particularly the use of apostrophes to abbreviate the word can. The depiction of Barbara Havers seems to me much more heavy-handed than it has been in the earlier books. Maybe life is too short to struggle through another 500+ page epic.

31vestafan
Editat: des. 26, 2015, 10:33am

Three more crime novels read since my last post:

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths
Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins by James Runcie
and
Star Fall by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

32vestafan
des. 30, 2015, 4:40am

One more and probably my last completed read of the year:

The Burning Room by Michael Connolly