I didn't enjoy this as much as I'd hoped too. Found it really tedious at the beginning though it speeded up and I liked it by the end. I think Rowling...moreI didn't enjoy this as much as I'd hoped too. Found it really tedious at the beginning though it speeded up and I liked it by the end. I think Rowling is doing a decent job on developing the characters as they get older, it's the plots I'm finding a bit so-so. I'll have no problem waiting for the paperbacks on books 6 and 7 too.(less)
Rowling can weave a plot together better than most writers of books for adults. I'm impressed with how consistent the first three books in this series are. They all bring in new elements from Harry's background but nothing feels like it was just invented for the convenience of the story. Great stuff for big kids as well as little ones.
I enjoyed this but I don't think I'm quite as impressed with this series as everyone else in the world. I'm enjoying the fact that Harry, Ron and Hermione are growing up and acting like fourteen year olds and not getting stuck aged eleven in bookland. The character development is pretty good but the stories aren't engaging me as much as they might. I really did think this one was getting a little drawn out at over six hundred pages. There's plenty of storyline to fill the pages and it doesn't get tedious, I think it's just that I'm beginning to find Harry's legendary status both in the real world and the one he inhabits bit trying.
I couldn't put this down. I've enjoyed Tyler before but this one really flowed and had me mesmirised. Two American families adopt Korean baby girls on the same day and keep in touch and become friends. The families are very different leading to all kinds of tensions and evolving relationships. I liked the way the most outlandish character (Bitsy Dickenson) was actually the character I ended up having the most sympathy with; larger than life but in the way that real people are.
This non McCone mystery got off to a bit of a slow start for me. I wondered whether this was because it isn't part of the long running McCone series a...moreThis non McCone mystery got off to a bit of a slow start for me. I wondered whether this was because it isn't part of the long running McCone series and therefore possibly different from what I was subconciously expecting but I've also read (ok, devoured) all Muller's other books that I could get my hands on including those featuring Elena Oliverez and Joanna Stark so I am aware that Muller can write other stuff too. I think it's the billing as a "thriller" that had set me thinking down the wrong lines. I'm not quite sure of the technical definition of a thriller but I think of somehting more suspenseful when I think of a thriller. Which is only a complaint about the marketing of this book. I'm finding it to be a very competent mystery full of interesting characters.(less)
Probably the most famous of the "lets explain the world using economics!" books which there may be a lot of around at the moment, or it may just be th...moreProbably the most famous of the "lets explain the world using economics!" books which there may be a lot of around at the moment, or it may just be that I've noticed them in the last few years and they were moving below my radar before that. Not my favourite of the genre. Too many American examples (which is fair enough as the authors are Americans, just didn't suit me this time) and too many things that seemed to concentrate on the sensational aspects. Didn't find it well rounded I guess.
I'll still probably take time to read the recently released follow up sometime though as it was interesting and well written and made me think even when I was disagreeing with it.(less)
I thought this was thoroughly excellent. It's narrated by a fifteen year old autistic boy who decides to write a book about how he investigates the de...moreI thought this was thoroughly excellent. It's narrated by a fifteen year old autistic boy who decides to write a book about how he investigates the death of his neighbour's dog Wellington. Not really a detective story though and I wouldn't have had it down as a children's book if that wasn't the way it was marketed (or maybe it isn't being marketed that way anyway, it seems to be piled as high in the general adult fiction of bookshops as anywhere else). I've never known anyone autistic but I felt this gave me a bit of an insight into how someone with autism might think and feel as well as being a cracking good read. Highly recommended if you want to read something like nothing you've read before.(less)
When I bought this I thought it was the second of the Marlowe novels coming after The Big Sleep that I'd already read. It turns out it's actually the sixth and last of them. Ho hum.
I enjoyed this more than the first book, partly because I had no clue as to the plot whereas I already had a fair idea of the plot of The Big Sleep from other sources and partly because I was just in more of a reading mood for this book. Sometimes with Chandler you feel like you're reading something so cliched that it's silly but you have to stand back and realise that this is exactly where all the cliches come from. I liked the story a lot, it has all the elements that I'd expect to find in a forties noir novel (even though I know bugger all about forties noir) and exceeds expectations by being a lot better than the authors who have tried to imitate him.
I'll definitely read some more Marlowe but I think these are books best spread out over a long time.
I listened to this as an audiobook and enjoyed the narration which skips between quite a number of different characters. Fab story about two girls gro...moreI listened to this as an audiobook and enjoyed the narration which skips between quite a number of different characters. Fab story about two girls growing up in the early years of the 20th century from families with quite different views on the world. One of those books I didn't want to end. I can guess what Maude and Lavinia (and their grave digging friend Simon too) did next but would like to know all the subtleties of their lives after the book finished. A very enjoyable listen indeed. (less)
I get annoyed with PD James because of the feeling that surrounds her that says that she's head and shoulders better than every other crime writer aro...moreI get annoyed with PD James because of the feeling that surrounds her that says that she's head and shoulders better than every other crime writer around. That and the fact that she only writes about terribly posh people as if that's all there is in the world. This is a version of the very traditional English detective story - deaths in a small community where only an insider can be guilty. The story is nothing terribly inventive and there are a hundred crime writers out there writing tales set around much better plots.
The characters here are pretty well drawn though; I find them all slightly unbelievable just because of who they are but they do appear real all the same. There's a sense that James is taking the mickey out of herself when someone comments that not all of the twenty students at the theological college the book is set at have had priviledged upbringings - one of them actually came through the state school system.
I haven't read any James for quite a while, apart from rereading the two Cordelia Grey books on audio last year, I read most of them as a teenager and I'm not sure I'd be able to put up with the characters for long enough to read them all again now. I always find Inspector Kate Miskin to be a shadow of what she could be. Her background is one of poverty and working her way up the ranks of the Met and it never rings true. Kate sometimes feels out of place in the circles Dalgleish moves in, both social and literary, but I always feel she's just been put in for show. Perhaps it's just that at the end of the day she is the sidekick and Dalgleish is the main attraction but I do wish James had made her more than she has.
This isn't a bad book just not a terribly exciting, interesting or innovative one.(less)
I was just thinking about what I thought of this book, and of PD James in general, and before writing it down I thought I'd have a quick look at what I said last time I read one of her books. That was nearly four years ago but, somewhat unsurprisingly, I was thinking practically exactly the same things this time, it's hardly worth writing it out again!
Nice setting for this one though, also unsurprising given the title!
This was very readable, often very funny, also very touching but in the end it felt more ordinary than Hornby's previous books. I think I like it bett...moreThis was very readable, often very funny, also very touching but in the end it felt more ordinary than Hornby's previous books. I think I like it better for being more character based and being less intent on preserving popular culture though.(less)