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Archive Entries for March 2016

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Thursday March 31, 2016

Books in March

  • BOM-TheMothCatcher.jpg The Moth Catcher by Anne Cleeves
    So - I'm watching Vera on the TV and see that the episode states "from the book by ..."; I smugly think "she has not written this book". However I'm wrong - it came out last October.
    There were some fundamental plot changes, and the book has much more depth of course - I did read that the best thrillers on TV are ones written specifically for that medium and I think they are probably right.
    Vera is a good dramatisation in its own right and Brenda Blethyn undeniably a good actress but I take slight issue with the depiction of Vera. Blethyn is older than Vera in the books and comes over as gruff - but also kindly and maternal, which does not really describe book-Vera.

  • BOM-AirsAboveTheGround.jpg Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart
    I spotted this in the library and was immediately transported back to my teenage years. I wrote about that in 2008 at which time I must have looked up the author - but did it all over again just now and found that she passed away in 2014 - but there are still quite a few books I have not read - in fact I think this one is the next one she wrote after the last one I read in about 1970.
    I positively raced through it in true suspense novel mode; it was written in 1965 but was delightfully "modern". Loved it.

  • BOM-TheCrossing.jpg The Crossing by Michael Connelly
    Always nice when the author brings his characters together - even as unwilling allies. I found it very true to life that after the estranged brothers had found each other, Bosch observed that although he had thought their families might become closer (with daughters of the same age), that it had not worked out like that. However, I do not really "feel" the emotional conflict of their jobs putting them on "different sides". I mean, as a naive reader, I am made to feel that they are both working for truth-justice-and-the-American-Way. However, the antagonism between prosecution and defence is clearly very true to life - and Connelly does bring it out well in the text, where we see Haller looking for ways to "work" the evidence rather than simply seeking for the truth, (and Bosch imagining that the truth on its own is sufficient to free an innocent man).

  • BOM-TimeOfDeath.jpg Time of Death by Mark Billingham
    Well - I like Helen. Not sure I liked her suddenly having a past that I'd never heard about before, but the novel, plot and general tension and excitement were excellent.
    I understand that we'll be seeing the author's work on TV again, with some reworking to enable us to see Helen in 2 stories and unencumbered by Thorne (regrettably in many ways but works better avoiding multiple actors playing Thorne over time). It seems the BBC have announced the cast with MyAnna Buring as Helen.

  • BOM-PirateKing.jpg Pirate King by Laurie R King
    I can't say this ranks in my favourites within this book series. In fact it is quite interesting that I absolutely love some of the books and am less interested in others - usually I just like a series or not. In some ways that compliments the author in that she is obviously able to vary what she writes quite considerably - and I should say here that the books I like less are not in an way "duds" - just not to my taste. This one is a bit tongue in cheek - I have started the next one, which continues to be set in Morocco, so it will be interesting to see how much I warm to it - I am suspicious that it is the locations that affect my interest.

  • BOM-DyingDay.jpg Dying Day by Robert Ryan [read by Stephen Pacey]
    I continue to be impressed with Robert Ryan's exciting adventure stories. This one about spies, and again framed in two different (past) eras: WWII and some years later in post-war Berlin, covering the start of the cold war.
    I suppose the basic theme - underlined by the title, even though its use is intentionally ambiguous - is "love" - though not simply romantic love.

  • NetAndCanal.jpg The Net and the Canal
    Another story with Imelda Staunton as Julie Enfield. Not quite as dark as the previous one I listened to - but.... terribly dated.
    The Net refers the world wide web and you forget just how much it was in its infancy in the 1990s. The hackers depicted are utterly implausible in their abilities and methods, (which for all I know might have been totally realistic but seem to me to be a clunky plot device and rely on the listeners at that time not understanding enough about computers or the web to know any different). Add to that - the play used interesting audio techniques to represent the hackers as being "on the net" which made them rather akin to a Greek chorus - and thus rather ridiculous.
    But that's not all there was to it - so overall - quite fun....

  • InspectorPurbright.jpg Inspector Purbright
    Radio dramatisation of Charity Ends at Home based on a 1968 novel, [5th in the series of Flaxborough novels] by Colin Watson.
    I'd never heard of this series before and was a bit taken aback by the general silliness, but they are really an acquired taste relying on recurring known characters - I am thinking, rather like Mapp and Lucia (of which I am a huge fan), so I can't afford to act too superior. I will end by quoting from Wikipedia on the key elements: gentle behind-the-times feel of a small English market town, the merciless targeting of the pretensions of the town's bourgeoisie, and a determination that whatever exotic trappings are used to decorate the plot, the central crime is always motivated by money

Posted on March 31, 2016 at 3:58 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Monday March 28, 2016



Why do I look so smug?
Well - I am wearing the scarf that I wove on the loom I was given for Christmas... And I am pretty pleased with it. It seems that my choice of wool - a slightly stretchy bouclé - was luckier than I thought in that it hides a multitude of sins, and the result looks as good as I might ever hope to make!



Posted on March 28, 2016 at 2:59 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.