A few days late, forgive me! I was in London over the weekend so I knew I wouldn’t get this done for the 1st. And then the moving company arrived Monday (I haven’t really done much unpacking, I’m hoping that if I just leave it there it’ll hop out of the boxes and go into the right place. Wishful thinking).
Anyway, after September and October’s dismissal attempts at finishing books (5 and 3 respectfully), I’m glad to say that November’s back on form. Managed to finish a good chunk of books and catch back up to date with my reading schedule for my 100 book target for 2013.
Death in the City of Light by David King
This book is the really life story of a serial killer in Nazi Occupied Paris, Dr. Marcel Petiot. It starts with the discovery of body parts burning in a Paris house, with more body parts found in lime pits in the garden. The book then tells the story of Petiot, his early life and how he came to in Paris, right up to him being caught and his trial. While the book does focus a lot on Petiot, I found the story slowed a bit when a few chapters were more about what was happening around Paris at the time and the events in the war. I know this was to show the setting and what it was like there at the time, but it just took the focus off the story of Petiot and his victims. It was an interesting book and I did enjoy reading it but by the end, I was a bit glad it was over so I could start reading something else.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I read Divergent, the first book in the series, back in June and when Allegiant was released at the end of October, I decided I better read Insurgent so I could finish the series. This story follows Tris after the events of Divergent, as she discovers more about the world she lives in. Considering the 2nd book of YA dystopian novels can be more filler than thriller, this one is pretty good.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
I really like Gladwell and the previous books of his I’ve read in the past. I find he writes interesting tales. This book is about how underdogs often succeed a lot more than we expect them to. The book is very much short essays and examples set around the same theme. I find it interesting how his books show different ways to look at things. I didn’t enjoy this as much as the other books I’ve read but it was still a good read.
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
I will admit, I first picked up this book at my aunt’s house, thinking it was actually a book about the rivers of London. How wrong was I?! It is in fact a fiction book set in London and about PC Peter Grant, who one night at the scene of a vicious beheading talks to the only witness- a ghost. Peter gets introduced to DCI Nightingale, who deals with crimes of the magical nature and just so happens to be a wizard. As well as investigating the beheading, Peter must also keep peace between the God of the River Thames, Old Man Thames, and the Goddess of the Thames, Mama Thames, and their children and followers. Often described as urban fantasy, I loved the book and characters and the way Aaronovitch weaves London references throughout the story.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I bought this book from a charity shop back in January as I recognized the title but had no idea what the book is about. The book is set in Nazi Germany and follows the story of Liesel, a 9 year old girl who is sent Himmel Street to foster parents. Before arriving at Himmel Street, Liesel steals her first book. It’s a beautiful story narrated by Death and follows Liesel through the rest of the war and the relationships she builds. I was told by others to expect crying, which I didn’t think would happen, but right at the end it got me. It’s a long book, over 500 pages, but it was a lovely read.
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
More supernatural and magic crimes in London and it’s up to Apprentice Wizard DC Peter Grant to investigate these strange goings on. After a jazz musician drops dead, Peter finds magic imprinted on the body and decides to investigate other similar deaths and finds himself tracking down ‘Jazz Vampires’, creates feeding off the lives of great musicians. Again steeped with tons of London, I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next in the series! I suggest of course reading Rivers of London first before this book.
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith
Book number 14 in the No.1 Ladies Detective Series and more tales from Precious Ramotswe and her assistant Grace. This ‘cozy crime’ series is set in Botswana and if you’re looking for hard hitting crime, you won’t find it here. Instead you’ll find Precious investigating the claim from a lawyer that a dead’s man nephew is an impersonator who just wants his farm as well as why the Minor Adjustment Salon is being plagued by rumours. If you like the other books in this series, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.
Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
Book that follows the Twitter account. When 28 year old Justin is dumped by his girlfriend, he finds himself living back at home. He decides to tweet out quotes from his father, who really does not hold back when it comes to speaking his mind! If you like the Twitter feed then you’ll enjoy this, a quick, light read, it had me crying with laughter at times.
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
I finally picked up a Pratchett book! I went with Dodger, because I like books set in Victorian London. On a stormy night, Dodger the tosher (sewer scavenger) rescues a mysterious girl from a beating. Who is she and why are there people trying to kill her? There’s loads of cameos in this book, from Sweeney Todd to Robert Peel to Charles Dickens himself. The book was ok, I didn’t find it amazing but it was quite enjoyable. Bit slow moving at times if I’m honest. I’ve read it’s nothing like Pratchett’s other more magical books. It hasn’t put me off trying more Pratchett though.
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
Third book in the PC Peter Grant series! A suspicious death occurs in a London Underground tunnel of an American student and there’s magical undertones to it. Peter, Nightingale and Lesley investigate this, as well as trying to hunt down ‘The Faceless Man’, a rogue magician. I liked this book in the series as I liked the Underground connection. I also like how Mama Thames’ girls pop up throughout these novels.
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
The most recent book in the PC Peter Grant series. There’s more leads towards the Faceless Man but this is mostly set in a housing estate in Elephant and Castle. I found that being tied to this setting really slowed down the novel and I didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest. Until it got closer to the end and the pace really picked up! It has left me dying for the next book, if anyone knows when it’s out let me know!
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Finally book in the Divergent series. Again, I don’t want to get into the plot too much, don’t want to give too much away! I did enjoy it, at times it did seem to drag just a tiny bit. I’m not sure if I’m crazy about the ending for the whole series.