Saturday, November 26, 2005

Two Serious Ladies

Would anybody please please please tell me why Two Serious Ladies (Jane Bowles) is considered a modern classic? The writing style is atrocious, the characters ill-defined and the plot jumps from one non-event to another. Frankly, the only thing that's making me plough on past Chapter One is the blurb (how sad is that) with its promise of the dull heroine turning into a high class call girl. Can't wait.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The School Run

3 years ago I would have walked past this book without a second glance. "What? A book about boring old people with children? Nah. Not for me." That was 3 years ago. This is my bit of shallow philosophy for the week.

Now, to the book itself. Even though my children are too small for school, I could really identify with the characters from Sophie King's The School Run. That's what I look for in a book first and foremost: characters. Hers are natural and believable. The book deals with life's complext problems (affairs, divorce, death) but the light style and perfect pace make it easier to swallow.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Harlan Coben

If you're into thrillers or murder mysteries, or if you've been watching the New York Times bestseller lists, Harlan Coben needs no introduction. But, for the uninitiated, here is the Master in a nutshell: snappy dialogue, brilliant pacing, believable characters, twisty plot. Start with one of his stand-alone thrillers, my favourites being, in that order: Just One Look, Gone For Good, Tell No One.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Pratchett or Fforde?

I remember when I asked this question in its original form, I phrased it thus: "Pratchett or Adams "? At the time, Terry was 4 deep into Dicsworld and Douglas was 4 deep into his trilogy, so it was a fair question. I mean, hey, we are talking the early 1990s here.

To many, it is still a fair question. Once a Hitchhiker fan, you can never quite throw in the towel. But right now, I'm interested in an updated version of the question: what do you guys think of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series as compared to pterry's Thud! and Going Postal?

All comments eagerly awaited.

(Oh, and when I asked that question all those years ago, my answer was Adams. It took a few more years and "Small Gods" to change my mind."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My favourite read this week

Ok, you can laugh at me all you like. Go on. Don't pull punches. I'm not usually like this, you know. I read Literature. Poetry. Modern classics. But every now and then, I crave a fast junk read, something with a lot of saturated plots, greasy dialogues and love scenes coated with refined sugar.

So, this week, my vote goes to "The Undomestic Goddess" by Sophie Kinsella. Yes, she of the "Shopaholic" series fame, although some of you may know her as Madeleine Wickham ("Cocktails for Three", "The Gatecrasher", "Sleeping Arrangements").

If you don't know her, take her to bed with you tonight!