I first came across a mention of Robert M. Saplosky on Metafilter and I was a little interested, so I did what any librarian might do, and ordered one of his books. To be honest my expectations weren’t all that high. My personal reading challenge for 2010 might be to read more non-fiction, but at the same time I know that non-fiction often requires more concentration and time than fiction, and then there was the fact that Sapolsky is a neurobiologist, and to be totally honest I really didn’t think it’d be all that interested. But I challenged myself, and was I ever glad that I did because from the opening page this really is a delight to read. …
It is 1914 and Europe is on the brink of war. In Austria-Hungary young Prince Aleksander’s life is suddenly in turmoil. His parents have been murdered and he is on the run and in disguise. His once-upon-a-time allies have turned out to be enemies and there are very few people he can trust. In England Deryn Sharp wants nothing more than to be an airman. The only problem is, she’s a girl, and airmen are.. well, male. In disguise she gets accepted and is soon serving as a Midshipman aboard the Leviathan. A huge airship built around a fabricated beast.
The blind side by Karen Russell dir. by John Lee Hancock, Lasse Hallström
I was a bit uncertain about this film. It sounded just a bit too heart-warming, as though it’d be full of overly sentimental “and everything works out in the end” stuff that makes me think of the flawed philosophy behind stories such as The Pursuit of Happyness:””:http://www.susanhatedliterature.net/2007/01/18/the-pursuit-of-happyness/, you know the sort of victim blaming that says you wouldn’t be poor if only you tried harder.
Luckily enough this film is not like that. Okay, it has the heart-warming aspect. Heart-warming by the bucket-full. But it is told in such a way that you just can’t help but smile.
I do love these books.
This the sixth in the series returns our heroes to their present after the flashback that was O Jerusalem. That sentence doesn’t really make much sense, but figure it out, think of it as a challenge :) Holmes & Russell have just returned from The Moor and are settling back in at home when their comes a disturbance at their door. Ali Hazr has shown up, with a head wound and wanting their assistance. He needs their help with Mahmoud, his “brother”. Of course Holmes had already pointed out that neither of the two arabs they were travelling with were actually from that region, but it is, nevertheless, a surprise to learn where they come from and just what an aristocratic name both bear.
This is one I picked up because I’d seen positive mentions on a few blogs, I think Nymeth’s post was the one that prompted the purchase. So it came with a little bit of hype. That being said, I don’t really read reviews before I read a book, just skim the opening paragraph for a sense of what the reviewer thought of the book, so I wasn’t all hyped out. And Blankets did live up to those positive reviews.
I first heard about this book on Metafilter when Susan Klebold, mother of one of the killers, had an article in O Magazine. Before that I had never been interested in the shooting. Not beyond the evils of rubber-necking at some one else’s tragedy. But the discussion there seemed to suggest that this was a well-thought out and reasoned look at the community surrounding the school, as well as the killers themselves. And the author, Cullen, believed that the popular myths about the shootings shouldn’t stand unchallenged.
I’m continuing to work my way through the Mary Russell novels; I slowed down a bit for two reasons. One, I don’t want to overload on the ‘verse. Two, the library ran out of the series. Well, it skipped the next so I took my time with O Jerusalem while I boughtJustice Hall for my own shelves. I will at some point go order all this series, I really do think that they are books you can very easily reread and enjoy time and again.
The more I read of this series the more I come to love the characters, and indeed the whole set-up. Mary Russell is such a believable character, and King’s Holmes is just perfect.
The mystery at the heart of this novel concerns the death of Dorothy Ruskin. An archaeologist working in Jerusalem, she met up with Russell and Holmes when they travelled the area back in book one. In this book she comes to visit them, bringing with her an exquisite wooden box which contains a parchment on which is written a letter, from Mary of Magdala to her sister. Was it really written by the infamous Mary Magdalen? And was the car accident that killed her really an accident?
Author: Laurie R. King
A Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery #1
I read the most recent of this series recently, and really enjoyed it, so of course I had to pick up the first in the series and get introduced to the characters properly. I just couldn’t shake the impression that I was missing out on so much when I read The language of bees. And, of course, one should always begin at the beginning. It is a very good place to start, or so I’ve heard.
Author: Patrick Ness
Chaos Walking #2
Okay, so I loved and adored the first book in this series, even with its horrible cliff-hanger of an ending. Luckily enough I had this one waiting at work, so I didn’t have long to wait before I found out about what happened next. If you haven’t read the first book you shouldn’t read this one. Just don’t. Put the book down and go look for The Knife of Never Letting Go, you really won’t have a clue what is going on if you don’t.
Just a word of warning, there are *mild* spoilers in this review.