Pleasure, Joy and Happiness
Pleasure, Joy and Happiness
The only thing to note here is that I planned to listen to all the Discworld Guards books and got stuck at the final hurdle. The audiobook of Snuff is an unfortunate dud and I had to stop listening. I may try again some day.
I had big plans to make good use of my local public library on a regular basis this year and find new stuff to read. Then lockdown happened and closed the libraries.
The news (pandemic and political) and working from home compromised my ability to stay focused all the way to the end of a book. Way too many titles where I got a few chapters in and then my attention wandered never to return.
I did better with audiobooks but even then it was always listening to books I had already read in the past.
The Fountains of Paradise
I first read this book a long, long time ago as a library book. A few years ago, with fond memories, I bought a second hand paperback copy of the book to revisit at some point.
Having a desperate need to spend more time away from screens now that I’m working from home during the lockdown I picked a physical book from my shelves to give me that diversion.
The plot is that superstar engineer Vannevar Morgan has decided that his next project should be a space elevator. He has a special low-g developed wonder material that will allow it but he needs to build it on a mountain somewhere on the equator. The best spot just happens to be on the site of an ancient monastery.
This book is solid entertaining Science Fiction but honestly nothing outstanding – definitely not as good as I had remembered.
Worth a read but not worth going out of your way to get a copy.
Tell Me How You Really Fell
This was a comfort re-read of a very enjoyable teen romance.
See the original review for more
A City Dreaming
M is a magician or as he would put in it “in with the management”.
This book is a series of rolling vignettes as we see what M gets up to after washing back up in New York after drifting all over the planet.
The main character is a charming rogue and the writing enjoyable.
The problem for me was that the story never coheres. Some vignettes are utterly trivial tales of life as a debauched New York who just happens to have magical abilities and others have a genuine sense of danger and high stakes.
The stories just feel random – there’s no sense of tension and release. It’s never building to something and certainly the war between magical queens promised in the blurb never materializes.
I don’t regret reading it – there was much to enjoy – but I just felt it could have been great if was a more conventional fantasy story.
Holiday in the Hamptons
This is a re-read of a perfectly enjoyable romance novel. You can read my earlier, still accurate, review here. I picked it up because I’d just finished listening to the audiobook of New York Actually (which is the first of the Knight siblings books) and remembered that I liked this one best of the series and the audiobook wasn’t at a price I was prepared to pay.
1Sharon Van Etten
Remind Me Tomorrow
When Julia Hernandez is infected with parasitic wasps she walks out on her husband and her old life.
She accidentally initiates a new movement and becomes an infamous wanted felon only to vanish.
When Julia’s ex spots her in a grocery store we learn about the battle between parasitic wasps and the spiders that are their normal prey and about the Simulacrum – another world made up of the places that fall between the cracks of our world.
This is a weird and unsettling piece of present day science fiction.
I found it interesting enough to keep me reading but never quite satisfying enough to feel drawn in to the story.
Recommended if you want to read something a bit off the wall and you’re really interested in the way distributed movements act.
I would never have read this if I hadn’t come across it in the library. Just another reason why libraries are great – you can browse and randomly come across something interesting (the selection online is too vast to effectively do this) and take it home with you at no cost (definitely no way you can do this in a book shop).
While I would have like to have read more this year I’m actually pretty happy I managed to to get my total up to 26 or a book every two weeks with a late spurt in December. Add that to the pretty huge number of audiobooks I’ve listened to this year though and I’m very happy with my ‘reading’ total.
I read a lot of so-so to middling escapist fiction this year – which I do not regret for a second as I like a good escape. That did mean that there were only two books that really stood out.
Tell Me How You Really Feel hit my sweet spot in terms of a Romance and after the initial read I’ve gone back over a few sections several times. I’d love there to be an audiobook of this.
The Fantastic Beasts of Eld belongs to a type of Fantasy that I almost never read any more but I borrowed it from the library on a whim and I just really enjoyed it. I’ve highly recommended it to friends of mine who love Fantasy books.