Royal Flash (The Flashman Papers #2) by George MacDonald Fraser
(abridged audiobook read by Rupert Penry- Jones)
I already listened to the first book a while back and got newly interested in the adventures of Harry Flashman after I read about (basically) ar****le protagonists (the accurate word is fleeing from my memory; this will have to do) who are still likeable and convincing despite being, well, their rude and coward selves.
I like the concept in a way. Create a character everyone would usually hate because they are so going against everything we had been taught as being considerate, polite and a basic standard when interacting with other humans and yet everyone who encounters them likes them for some reason or other. (The ‘bad boy’ phenomenon, I assume.)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
With the airdate of the series looming on the horizon I wanted to re-read the book a second time. The first time I read it was (I was surprised when I realised it) seven years ago and it was a translated edition. Back then I was disappointed but blamed the majority for it on the skills (or the lack thereof) of the translator. It is still a bad translation but even the original text couldn’t quite convince me. I love Gaiman and adore most things he wrote. I’m utterly in love with Neverwhere and it had inspired me so much when it comes to my own writing endeavours. He has a wonderful talent to create atmospheres without falling back to describing the weather or the landscape all the time. A truly gifted storyteller with an incredible way of words.
As you can see, I’m definitely biased.
American Gods just isn’t my kind of story. The storytelling is superb but the thing itself just doesn’t strike a chord. Some of the characters I admire but looking at the big picture… I’m sorry. I tried to like it more but I think I’ll stick to loving Neverwhere to pieces.
Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill
What a wonderful book. Despite the repition in some of the poems I loved it start to finish. The writing is so tender and yet so strong. The entire design of the book itself is magnificent.
I wish it could have been possible for me to purchase the physical version and not “just” the ebook. Unfortunately the shipping costs alone were higher than the price of the book itself.
Liar, Liar (DI Helen Grace #4) by M. J. Arlidge
Bearing in mind it was a sample copy from NetGalley I have to overlook the constant change in the characters’ titles. A Detective Constable being promoted to a Detective Sergeant from one chapter to the next and demoted again two chapters further into the story. And the same thing happened to a Detective Sergeant who was a Detective Inspector and was demoted again to a DS. That put me a bit off, to say it politely.
Having a thing for writing police stories and creating characters that work as officers I find it astonishing that the author wasn’t able to keep track of a thing like that. Alas…
The story itself was good but lacked “something”. Good handiwork but the soul was missing. It was difficult to connect to Helen Grace. Charlie Brooks definitely stole the place in the spotlight. Others remained entirely pale and mere “plot devices”.
I liked the case and the twist(s) around it.
Narrowboat Nomads: Living the Dream on the English Waterways by Steve Haywood
I spoke about “the thing with the houseboats” in another post a while back. That fascination (Love? Longing?) for them hasn’t yet ceased (on the contrary!) and reading books like this one isn’t really helping with it. Despite making me long for an own narrowboat the book was also full of local anecdotes, history and descriptions of people. cities, towns and landscapes. I’m biased and love the topic. Naturally I loved this book too.