Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 books, #91-95

The vows of silence, by Susan Hill [audiobook]. Read by Steven Pacey. [S.l.]: Chivers, 2009.

This was a hard book to read originally, and a harder one to listen to on audiobook; I got it out of the library thinking this was the next in the series and it turned out to be the last one I'd read. Very good reading, though.

Dead I may well be, by Adrian McKinty. Kindle edition.

This was one I nearly gave up on several times. A 19-year-old from Belfast leaves the city and travels to New York to work for gangster relatives. It's quite shockingly violent at times; the only thing which keeps you reading is the central character who is quite compelling. There's a mesmerising section in the middle about captivity in a Mexican prison; but I won't be reading the other two books in the series.

The interrogative mood, by Padgett Powell. Kindle edition.

Another book group book, and not one I particularly enjoyed although reading it was interesting. This is a book written entirely in questions, and while it starts off as an intellectual exercise, as the questions continue they circle around some quite dark obsessions and the book becomes darker and darker. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments and a few questions which make you put down the book and think. Mainly though, the only way I can describe it is as rather like the video for Bruce Springsteen's Brilliant disguise, where the whole thing is taken in a single shot which narrows very, very slowly down from a kitchen scene to Bruce's face, in a slightly menacing way.

Banish clutter forever, by Sheila Chandra. Kindle edition.

Really enjoyable and useful book on de-cluttering, on the "toothbrush principle" that all of us have some daily systems which sort of work for us. And contains the radical idea that if you're going to clear things off surfaces, possibly clearing the cupboards for those things to go into first is a good idea. Wibbo recommended this one and she was absolutely right. If Sheila Chandra's name sounds familiar, she's also a singer, musician and teacher who's brought out many solo albums and also performed with the Imagined Village project. I've started on the house using these principles and am happy with the small amount of progress made so far!

Fear not, by Anne Holt. Kindle edition.

A child escapes from a wedding reception in one of Oslo's top hotels and is almost run over by a tram; an immigrant worker is discovered drowned; a woman bishop is murdered; a rich businessman contemplates his annual charitable donations, and it's the week before Christmas. Anne Holt delivers another wonderful, complicated thriller here, with a cast of characters we've sort of met before but haven't been the focal point of her books so far. There's a small cameo appearance by the wonderful Hanne Wilhemsen; and a continuation of Anne Holt's campaigning liberalism.

1 comment:

littlelixie said...

I just ordered the clutter book from amazon. I fear I am already cluttered up with decluttering books though!