Monday, January 28, 2008

Facets of Murder by Ray Harrison

Facets of Murder
Ray Harrison
1997, Constable & Company, London

Murder mystery set in Victorian England. Constable Morton and his fiancé Catherine are shopping for an engagement ring when a man enters the store, shoots the shop-keeper, steals a diamond and abducts Catherine.

This was a good mystery. And it kept me guessing right up until the end, plenty of plot twists. I liked the setting and that Constable Morton was from the upper-classes, it makes for very interesting reading.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Love Me or Leash Me as told to Anne Bobby

Love Me or Leash Me
Anne Bobby
2001, Black Dog & Leventhal, New York

Small hardback book with 50 simple tips to keep your dog happy and healthy. It is told from the point of view of the author's dogs, and also includes some stories about dogs, their owner, and trainers.

This was a nice little book with some interesting if simplistic advice for dog owners. I loved this little stories that broke up the 'advice-giving' and the cute doggie photographs with their somewhat silly captions.

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Two Moons by Martha Brooks

Two Moons
Martha Brooks
1991, Bloomsbury, London

Story of a teenage girl living in Canada with her doctor father and sister in a TB sanatorium town, after her mother died of the disease.

This is an interesting teen book in that it was set in the late 50s, written in the early 90s. I liked the setting - time and geographical.

The main character was unsurprisingly self-absorbed, and the actual story a little formulaic, but it was a solid entry in the genre nevertheless.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Labrador Fiasco by Margaret Atwood

The Labrador Fiasco
Margaret Atwood
1996, Bloomsbury, London

Short story from Margaret Atwood about a woman visiting her father who has had a stroke and reading an adventure story together.

This was a great short story, and I love that it's in a little book format, all to itself. The adventure story about the ill-fated white men exploring the northern wilderness was very interesting and apparently true. And I liked the way it tied in with the story of the father.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

An Accidental Terrorist by Steven Lang

An Accidental Terrorist
Steven Lang
2005, UQP, Brisbane

Kelvin returns to his hometown of Eden and becomes involved with a group of hippie environmentalists. He falls in love with Jessica, an environmental lobbyist living in the commune, and befriends Carl, a mysterious American local farmer.

This is an intriguing story. It has some mystery/thriller genre aspects, plus a bit of lovin' and plenty of Aussie grit. Most of the story is set in the Eden area ... the southern forests of Australia, and some is set in inner-city Sydney. Both settings are explored well, and the atmospheres of the bush and the city are contrasted.

The characters are very interesting ... I especially like the suss book dealer! All of the character's motivations seemed natural and believable, which is important in a story which sets itself deeply in reality.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I am a Dalek by Gareth Roberts

I am a Dalek
Gareth Roberts
2006, BBC Books, London

A Doctor Who 'Quick Read' featuring the David Tennant Doctor and his companion Rose. Rose and The Doctor are set for a game of golf on the moon, only the TARDIS takes them to England instead. There they discover a Dalek has been uncovered in a Roman archaeological dig site.

This is a great Dr. Who book! It was so quick and easy to read. And anything with archeology and Daleks in the same paragraph is gold.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Touch me, I'm Sick: The 52 creepiest love songs you've ever heard by Tom Reynolds

Touch Me, I'm Sick: The 52 creepiest love songs you've ever heard
Tom Reynolds
2007, Random House, Sydney

This is a follow-up to the book about depressing songs 'I hate myself and want to die'. In 'Touch me, I'm sick', Reynolds analyses 52 'creepy' love songs. These songs range from The Police's Every Breath You Take to Stan by Eminem.

I enjoyed this, not as much as 'I hate myself and want to die' but mainly because I didn't know the songs as well I guess. It was just a tad offensive at times, and a bit on and off with the humour.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Born on a Blue Day: A Memoir of Asperges and an Extraordinary Mind: Daniel Tammet

Born on a Blue Day: A Memoir of Asperges and an Extraordinary Mind
Daniel Tammet
2007, Hodder, London.

Daniel Tammet has asperges and synesthesia. A very rare combination that lets him see numbers and words as colours, shapes and feeling. This is a memoir of an extraordinary life where he travels around Europe and learns new languages easily and recites pi to over 22,000 decimals!

This is an amazing look inside the mind of this man.

I really enjoyed this book - it is written extremely well. I can identify with a lot of the way Daniel thinks and acts (apart from the math!), I find it amazing that he has achieved so much.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club
Chuck Palahniuk
1995, Henry Holt, New York.

A young man who works for the recall department of an automobile company gets involved with underground boxing and general mayhem.

This is a great book - with so many twists, that I didn't see coming. I love the anarchy of the whole thing.

Will have to go see the movie now - I was imagining scenes with Brad Pitt through the whole book.

It's a very clever novel, without being pretentious at all and still being a really great story. And I won't look at soap in the same way again!

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Invasion!: Time's Enemy by L.A. Graf

Invasion!: Time's Enemy
1996, Pocket Books, New York.

Starfleet inform the Deep Space Nine crew that a 5000 year old Defiant has been found in the Solar System. They soon discover that the Defiant was/will be thrown back in time when it came in/comes in contact with the battle that saw the Furies banished from the Alpha Quadrant. The Furies are the aliens who fought Kirk and his Crew in First Strike, and then again with Picard and the Enterprise D in The Soldiers of Fear.

This is actually a good story if you can make it through the astro-physics, mathematics and extra-terrestrial biology lectures! I think LA Graf is just a bit of a show-off with his (her?) obvious science knowledge.

It is really well written - and I really like these aliens (the ones who defeated the furies 5000 years before their reappearance). So, although I didn't understand maybe about half of what was going on with the whole space-time disruption and ansible symbiont-host-symbiont connections, not to mention the cerebral cortex neural connection digestive system of the aliens, I enjoyed the story.

Here's a favourite quote: '"If by aliens, you're referring to viroidal vacuum-adapted organisms who appear to steal DNA and ship reaction masses with equal facility," he said, with careful precision, "the answer is yes."'

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