Reading Review

August Reads

Neverwhere– Neil Gaiman

An oldy, but a good-y, I love re-reading this, especially if I’m in a London mood. According to ‘Uncomfortable Plot Summaries’ it’s the story of a misfit who discovers he is special person in secret world just beside our own. And that world is London Below. He finds Door, bleeding on the street and takes her in, ruining his quite London, job and a fiancée life, in the process. But that’s okay, because he goes on sewer-y adventures with the Ratspeakers, faces ordeals at Blackfriars (not just missing the last train home), gets knighted at Earl’s Court and discovers that there are shepherds in Shepherd’s Bush. This is definitely one of those books where you come to know and love the characters at the end…I wonder what they’re up to now…

Ship of MagicRobin Hobb

These books are amazing. Ship of Magic is the first in the Liveship Traders trilogy, which is the second trilogy in a set of three, set in and around the Six Duchies, Bingtown, Jamailla, the Pirate Isles…Yep, they’re fantasy. Yep, they’re really well written, with characters you can get under the skin of and come to really feel for. They each have their desires and you end up really rooting for them to make it. Oh, and in the Farseer trilogy, there’s dragons. One gripe I have with them is that the ‘evil’ characters tend to have no redeeming qualities. In Ship of Magic whenever Kyle or Malta appear I want to punch them in the face repeatedly for being such arrogant, selfish, thoughtless, unthinking idiots. I was recommended these by a friend and she assures me that there is more to them, and I can see how that might develop, but at the moment, they’re very frustrating characters. I can’t wait to read the second and find out if Althea regains Vivacia, and how Wintrow gets on with the pirates…

Foucault’s PendulumUmberto Eco

I found this book in a musty bookshop in Broadstairs for £1.80 and I grabbed it as though it was a mirage. I’ve read The Name of the Rose before and absolutely loved it, so the chance to read more Eco for cheap was too much to pass up. Foucault’s Pendulum has been quoted as ‘the thinking person’s Da Vinci Code’ here and when they say ‘thinking person’ they mean historian, philosopher, semiotician, literary critic and someone with a copious attention span. It does have a tendancy to read something like a textbook with narrative, but if you love conspiracy theories and historical races-against-time, it’s wonderful. The ending is almost completely ludicrous though, a final punch-line to anyone who actually believes that the Templars are taking over the world.
The Name of the Rose is also well worth picking up, and as soon as I get it back from home I plan to reread it. I like to describe it as a murder-mystery thriller with monks (which it is) but it is also so much more than that.

This month I’ve been mostly focusing on getting my dissertation in (handed it in this morning, rawk) so I haven’t been reading too much, but September’s reading list looks something like:

The Liveship Traders Trilogy – Robin Hobb
Labyrinths- Louis de Borges
The Age of Reason – Sartre
The Guardians of Time Trilogy – Marianne Curley

I’ll probably pick up some chick-lit in Oxfam before I head off to Corsica with my family as well.

Happy Reading!



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