Monday, 18 September 2017

The Vicious Vet



Book 43 of 2017 is The Vicious Vet which is book two from the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton.

After enjoying the first book, I've quickly returned to the second and can see myself dispersing the next 26 in the series between the books I read over the next few years. That is assuming the series stays strong and honours its Miss Marple roots.

The love interest bores me a little but that might be my dismissive-of-all-lovey-dovey-rubbish stage of life. Actually, that may be why I like the main character so much. She's secure, no-nonsense and independent, even when she has a love interest. The character that is her love interest bores me. Too British and reserved for my liking.

This series is worth the read if you have read every Agatha Christie book ever written multiple times and need something that you don't know the ending to.

4 suspicious neighbours out of 5.

Should I read this? For all the Miss Marple fans.
What did I learn? Not all crimes are planned out.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry



Book 42 of 2017 is The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson.

Having always said that medicine is not much of a science, the corollary for me has always been that psychiatry is random classification to justify shitty behaviour.

Don't get me wrong, I recommend CBT to everyone.

My problem with amateur psychology is that there is a push for people to belong and be normal. Having a label to associate yourself with makes whatever you are going through normal.

Normal is something I abhor. It is a control word. It is the essence of conformity. It is the way to strip someone of their individuality and say that's all ok.

People do need awareness. They need care. They need to know how to avoid bad influences.

This book made me challenge my normal idea that classification is the answer.

Read it. He is a story teller who makes non-fiction less of an effort to endure.

4 disorders out of 5.

Should I read this? If you are an amateur psychologist like me then yeah.
What did I learn? I need to challenge what I know more but not like a conspiracy theorist.

Daughters of Dragons



Book 41 of 2017 is Daughter of Dragons from The Legacy of Dragons series by Jack Campbell.

Consumed this as an audio book, read by the always enjoyable MacLeod Andrews. Yes, I'm now following him on Instagram. Must be something to do with being read to bed each night.

Didn't realise that this was about the daughter of the protagonist from The Dragons of Dorcastle which I read in mid-2015 and didn't love. This is about her whiny daughter who I can compliment on growing up faster than her mother did.

The one reason I like this more is the Earth connection. It's like reading a meta version of the previous series.

Don't go out of your way for this but if you like Young Adult novels, you may enjoy it.

3.5 stamp collections out of 5.

Should I read this? Maybe if you like young adult lit and dragons.
What did I learn? Writers have a voice and accent.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Butterfly Effect



Book 40 of 2017 is The Butterfly Effect by Jon Ronson.

Still working on my audio book journey. I usually get distracted while doing other things and have to keep going back to listen multiple times. This book kept me interested through the whole three hours.

Something that I thought would be seedy and one-sided took a path of discovery and naturally resulted in no conclusion other than that tech changed the world.

This is very much worth the listen. Seven seasons in the style of Serial, executed with respect.

5 stamp collections out of 5.

Should I read this? Absolutely.
What did I learn? You may change the world and never realise how much is beyond just making money.

Soulless



Book 39 of 2017 is Soulless which is book one of the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.

This book has left me wondering if I ever actually liked this genre. Vampire chick lit has been something I've always 'fessed to reading. After reading this, I'm very doubtful of liking this genre anymore.

The weird repressed sex scenes bored me. It's the kind of bodice ripping stuff that sex-starved housewives like, I think. Fifty Shades of Rubbish.

Can't work out why this series is a big deal.

2 bodices torn out of 5.

Should I read this? Nope.
What did I learn? I don't like the ripping of bodices.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype



Book 38 of 2017 is Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

This book was chosen because I friend mentioned it and we agreed to read it together. It was on my To Read list but not high in priority.

I wanted to like this book so much but I couldn't. It just felt like too hippy and motherly for me. The style was interesting with myths and the link to the authors ideas but it didn't use any data and I need data. It did make me feel ok for being a wild woman but that was about it.

This is not a book I would recommend.

2 wolf analogies out of 5.

Should I read this? Maybe if you are spiritual.
What did I learn? I am not spiritual.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared



Book 37 of 2017 is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

This book has a great name and the reviews were not promising but I took the chance. This book is very different and I think that justified the negative reviews. However, I liked it and laughed a few times.

It feels like a children's book and maybe books about older people are.

Fun! Historical! Unethical! What more could you want from a book about a cool old guy?

3 world leaders out of 5.

Should I read this? Maybe. I liked it but it was a little long.
What did I learn? Small inputs can instigate large changes.

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Quiche of Death




Book 36 of 2017 is The Quiche of Death which is book one from the Agatha Raisin series by M. C. Beaton.

Another free book that has me hooked on a series. This series will take the place of me not getting to watch the BBQ regularly since moving to the US.

It is obviously a modern take on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple but done tongue in cheek through flowing prose.

Like Miss Marple, this all takes place in a sleepy little hamlet with nosey neighbours, helpful police one step behind our heroine and baking competitions of death.

With 27 books in the series, this will give me my Agatha Christie fix at regular intervals between other books.

4 baked goods from ovens other than the ones claimed out of 5.

Should I read this? For Christie fans the world over, yes.
What did I learn? Old habits die hard.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

The End of Eternity



Book 35 of 2017 is The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov.

Wow, Asimov. Wow.

Every time I pick up a classic, I expect to be disappointed. Let me explain. Classics changed the world in their time and don't always travel through time well. I should have known that a time travel book would do so. Lesson learnt.

I picked this up this morning and was sad when I had to leave it with two chapters to go to head out to brunch with a friend. On returning, I consumed it fully and now can't recommend it more vehemently than this.

Read this book. For sci-fi lovers and book lover alike.

5 kettles out of 5.

Should I read this? Yeah, duh.
What did I learn? Asimov persists as one of the greatest sci-fi writers in history but does he have a time machine.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


Book 34 of 2017 is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō.

I am very undecided on this book. It has the salesmanship that makes you want to dive in and change your life but it promises disappointment in my eyes.

The one thing that has happened since reading this has been my ability to throw things out without remorse. That alone is an amazing step.

I can see how this could change your life. I don't know if it will change mine.

3 discarded items without spark out of 5.

Should I read this? Honestly, I'm not sure. Ask me in three months.
What did I learn? I can throw things out without guilt, as long as I don't tell anyone about it. This is freeing.