September 2012 reads

>> Monday, October 01, 2012

I didn't read a huge number of books this month (not till the end, anyway), mainly because I spent the first 10 days of the month reading through two mammoth ones: the Stephen King below, plus Wolf Hall, which I mentioned I was reading at the end of last month. The total would have been even lower had I not started listening to audiobooks!

1 - Demon Night, by Meljean Brook: A
original review here

As ever since I started by reread of the Guardians series, I start my roundup with a Meljean Brook. I think this one marks the point where Brook perfected the balance between story and world-building. It would be the one I'd recommend to people who couldn't get into the first two because they found them too dense. I love it.

2 - The Snake, The Crocodile and The Dog, by Elizabeth Peters: A-
original review here

I love this book because of its amnesia plot. Yes, really. I love that the amnesia brings the focus back onto Emerson and Peabody's romance, since it allows a bit of courtship to happen all over again. Also, this was my first audiobook ever, and I loved it. It's read by Barbara Rosenblat, who is a goddess. I was a bit worried at the beginning because the voice she did for Emerson was almost exactly like the impression they do of Prince Charles in The Now Show, but I was soon able to forget that :-)

3 - Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass), by Philip Pullman: B+
review coming soon

I tried to read this in paper a few years ago and gave up after a couple of chapters. I decided to make it my second ever audiobook, and quickly got caught up in the story. It tells the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, who lives in a fantasy version of Victorian England. What is at first sight 'just' a really exciting children's book has some very serious themes running through it, and I liked that.

4 - The Lighthouse, by Alison Moore: B+
review coming soon

Part of my mission to read all the 6 books on the Man Booker shortlist before the winner is announced. I really liked this one, which features a man embarking on a walk in Germany. It's quiet and melancholic, but beautifully written and with a structure that worked really well.

5 - Delusion in Death, by JD Robb: B
review coming soon

Someone releases a substance in a bar that has makes everyone in it mad with rage. When Eve arrives to investigate, she finds over 80 people who have killed each other in a frenzy. It was not the best entry in the series (mainly because I was unconvinced Eve would have been allowed to handle the investigation as she did), but it did hit the comfort reading spot.

6 - 11/22/63, by Stephen King: B
review coming soon

A man goes back to the past to prevent the Kennedy assassination, but the "rabbit hole" he uses connects with 1958, so that requires living in the past for all those years. Very readable, as you would expect from King, but it really didn't need to be almost 900 pages. At several points, I found myself getting bored of it and having to read something else.

7 - Hearts of Darkness, by Kira Brady: DNF
review coming soon

Kayla's sister has just died in Seattle, and when she goes there to claim the body, she finds herself in the middle of a paranormal world she never knew existed. The paranormal elements are quite original and different here, so much so that I read about half the book even though I wasn't engaged by the story at all.

8 - Swimming Home, by Deborah Levy: DNF
review coming soon

I guess my Man Booker mission is actually to try to read all the shortlist. I gave this one a good go (a full half of it), but I found it pretty much unreadable, mainly because the characters are not recognisably human.

9 - Narcopolis, by Jeet Thayil: DNF
review coming soon

With Umbrella (below), probably the books on the Man Booker shortlist that tempted me the least. It's set in the drug world in Bombay in the 1970s. Not really a story, just vignettes and scenes from different characters' lives. More readable than I feared, but really not my thing. Again, I read about half of it, so I really tried.

10 - Umbrella, by Will Self: DNF
review coming soon

The reason this one did not sound like my kind of thing wasn't the subject matter (which sounded fascinating), but the fact that the narration is stream of consciousness. Yep, I tried it and it really wasn't my cup of tea at all. In this case, I couldn't get past the first 10 pages. I found it that unreadable.

11 - Still Life, by Louise Penny: still listening
review coming soon

I haven't got very far into it yet, but it seems ok so far. The narrator isn't particularly great, but I think I'll get used to him.

12 - Bring Up The Bodies, by Hilary Mantel: still reading

Out of the 6 books in the Man Booker shortlist, I saved this one for last. I adored Wolf Hall (my gushing review is due to post in a couple of days), and this being the continuation of the story, I expected I'd like it. So far, so wonderful.


Marg 5 October 2012 at 12:06  

I have only listened to a couple of the Amelia Peabody audios but Barbara Rosenblat is the perfect narrator! For a few years after I listened to the last one I could still 'hear' her voice whenever I read one of the books rather than listened to it.

Rosario 6 October 2012 at 07:18  

Having listened to a few more audiobooks now, I realise how exceptionally great she is. I've actually gone to her website and got a few books just because she's reading them!

Marg 6 October 2012 at 12:41  

I have been known to look for audiobooks with specific narrators before. Last time I did that it was for book narrated by Davina Porter who reads the Outllander books. Such a good narrator!

Rosario 7 October 2012 at 08:38  

I'll have a look and see if my library has any of hers... maybe not the Outlander books, though!

Marg 7 October 2012 at 21:22  

The other week I found a site where you could see lists of audiobooks which you could search by narrator. Very handy! Can't remember where it was now though!

I wouldn't get an Outlander book from the library either. The one I am listening to is 49 CDs long!

Marg 7 October 2012 at 21:22  

The other week I found a site where you could see lists of audiobooks which you could search by narrator. Very handy! Can't remember where it was now though!

I wouldn't get an Outlander book from the library either. The one I am listening to is 49 CDs long!

Rosario 8 October 2012 at 19:22  

If you ever find it again, Marg, I'd definitely be interested!

49 CDs!!! Yeah, not really tempted!

Marg 9 October 2012 at 10:56  

Have a look at You can search by author, genre, narrator and more!

Ro 10 October 2012 at 06:34  

Brilliant, thank you!

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