Tag Archives: Midweek Review

Thankfully Reading Weekend (week) continues

So since last talking to you, I’ve finished three books during my own version of Thankfully Reading Weekend, sponsored by Jenn of Jenn’s  Bookshelves (click on the image for more information). The weekend is supposed to be Nov. 22 through Nov. 25, but since I had off this past weekend and the first few days this week too, I decided to start it early. Initially, I was going to start Saturday, but really didn’t start until Sunday.

I still haven’t gotten to the main book on which I wanted to focus:  The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  However, I have gotten to some good ones, especially the one I finished last night (in one day’s sitting). That one was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which caught my eye at the library where I work since it was one of the few non-James Patterson books that kept showing up on the hold shelf. Now after reading it, I know why. It definitely ranks right up there among the best books I’ve read this year, if not the best book I’ve read this year.

The other two books I read were:

  • Roseanna, the first Martin Beck mystery, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
  • The Hollow, the 25th Hercule Poirot, by Agatha Christie.
Out of the two, I probably enjoyed the Poirot more, but look forward to reading more of the Beck series. I still have out on e-book from the Free Library of Philadelphia, at least, for a few more days, the 26th Hercule Poirot, The Labours of Hercules and probably will get to that one. Also I have two others out on e-book from FLP: Whose Body?, the first Lord Peter Wimsey, by Dorothy Sayers and The Man Who Went Up In Smoke, the second Martin Beck mystery, also by Sjöwall and Wahlöö.
As if that wasn’t enough from which to choose, I have two others on loan from the library where I work:
  • Unwanted, the first Fredrika Bergman, by Kristina Ohlsson.
  • The Last Policeman, the first of a planned trilogy, by Ben H. Winters.

I’m not sure where I’m going to start because each of the half dozen choices appeals to me in one way or the other. I won’t even speculate toward which book I might be leaning because I really don’t know. My mind is spinning with even just these few possibilities, thankfully I don’t have more from which to choose (and hopefully, no others will come in on hold for me from FLP). Of course, as always, by Sunday (for The Sunday Salon), I’ll let you know what I did choose to read and what I thought of each of them.

Are you doing any reading over Thanksgiving? If so, what?

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First World Problem No. 222: E-book difficulties

I’m not having very good luck with e-books recently. Last month, I downloaded Dorothy Sayers’ book Whose Body?, the first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, in the wrong format from the Free Library of Philadelphia. Instead of being in Adobe EPUB, it was in Adobe PDF, which I couldn’t download directly to my phone. So I had to return it and be put in the back of the queue for the EPUB version (I’m still waiting).

Now this month, I downloaded (again from FLP) what I thought was the 25th Hercule Poirot mystery by Agatha Christie: The Labours of Hercules, only to learn that it is the 26th in the series.  I went to get what I now know is the 25th:  The Hollow, and now am on the hold list for it. I really was looking forward to getting back on track with the Poirot novels after not reading them for a while and thought I had just done that when I read Five Little Pigs. Now I have to wait. Argh!

So in the meantime, what am I reading? Er, nothing. The last few nights, my wife and I have been watching Downton Abbey, Series 3 via a Facebook page that posts links to the show. We’re up to Episode 5 and all I can say for those of you who are going to wait until January to see it on American TV, it’s AMAZEBALLS! Shirley MacLaine is brilliant, and…well, I’ll say no more, lest I “spoil” the fun (and, oh, not so fun too).

I did take out A Bad Day for Pretty, the second in the Bad Day series, by Sophie Littlefield, from our library after reading the first one, A Bad Day for Sorry last week. However, I just haven’t gotten to it yet, plus I still have the other books I mentioned previously that I’d like to read before year’s end. To be honest, I probably won’t get to any more books until this weekend. My wife is now home weeknights because of working a midnight shift, so my time for reading has been curtailed somewhat (by choice).

So how about you? What did you read this past week? What are you looking forward to reading in the near future?

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Going mostly British, including Gavin and Stacey again

So this morning I finally began Five Little Pigs, the 24th Hercule Poirot, by Agatha Christie, with only two days left on loan as an e-book from the Free Library of Philadelphia. I think I’ll probably have it finished by later this afternoon or this evening and already have the next Poirot, The Labours of Hercules, waiting in the wings, also from FLP. I still have two other books from our library waiting for me too:

  • The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, the pseudonym for Swedish writer couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril
  • Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel by Boris Akunin.

On Sunday, I mentioned that I’d probably start reading that afternoon two books I picked up at a bookstore in Ithaca last week:

  • Pulp Fiction, a collection of hardboiled writing from Dashiell Hammett, Donald E. Westlake, Ross MacDonald, Jim Thompson (and many more), edited by Maxim Jakubowski
  • Where Water Comes Together  With Other Water, a collection of poetry, by Raymond Carver.

And so I did. I’ll probably return to the Carver shortly and the other one later, not because it isn’t good, but because of time I’ll be spending reading other books for now.

On the TV front, my wife and I just finished watching Gavin and Stacey, the brilliant British sitcom, yesterday. We’re still watching Fringe and Warehouse 13, and a friend loaned me Dark Angel and Life on Mars, the British version. I’ll probably get to Life on Mars first, hopefully this weekend.

I’ll leave you once again with the first episode of the first series of Gavin and Stacey. If you haven’t seen the show, you really need to do so. I don’t fall in love immediately with many shows, but this was one of them.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tM2u4SyLIQ]

What are you reading and watching this week?

A cold, but no cough…eh, it could be worse

Each Friday (or Saturday, depending on how lazy or sick I’m feeling), I post Flashback Friday, where I use St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen as a guide and usually ask the following questions: For what are you least grateful this past week? For what are you most grateful this past week?

This week I’m not most grateful for anything. However, I’m least grateful for one thing: having a cold, ruining the last part of my week. Not only did it take away a day of work, but also took away today when I was supposed to go with my wife to her 20th college reunion. It hit me on Wednesday, but due to scheduling conflicts, I was unable to take off work until yesterday, so I had to work through Thursday, not feeling well either. Now that I think about it, maybe I am most grateful for one thing: that I don’t have a cough with this cold. It’s just my nose running and headaches, so it could be worse…

For what are you least and most grateful this past week?

Of Phantom and Fieldwork — and Cloud Atlas, maybe

I picked up Phantom, the latest installment in the Harry Hole series, by Jo Nesbø on Tuesday from the library and finished it overnight. Before that, I had finished The Burglar Who Liked To Quote Kipling, the third Bernie Rhodebarr, by Lawrence Block and just had started The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza, to which I plan on returning today. I also picked up The Keeper of Lost Causes, the first Department Q, by Jussi Adler-Olsen, also on loan as e-book from the Free Library of Philadelphia like the Block books have been.

As for Nesbø’s book, at 377 pages, compared to his earlier books which were in the 400 to 500 pages range, it zoomed along for me. I thought the writing was snappier than in previous ones. With the exception of one character, Nesbø didn’t seem to have the long passages that he has had in most of the others. The story itself was compelling, as with the other books in the Harry Hole series, and I look forward to whatever Nesbø writes next. I’ll just leave it at that I enjoyed the book, lest I provide crucial spoilers.

This coming weekend is a four-day weekend for me and as mentioned a few times previously, I plan on reading Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski. I found it while shelf-reading at the library where I work and it was then subsequently recommended by Carrie of the blog Books and Movies after I put it up on my Pinterest board where I keep track of those “Books ‘found’ while shelf-reading.” I’ll probably finish the Block before that, but since they’re so short, I don’t think that will be a problem.

After that, I’ll go back to the Adler-Olsen and more Block and a few Agatha Christies for which I’m waiting on e-book from the Free Library of Philadelphia.  I did just (like a few minutes ago) pick up a sample on my Nook of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell to see if it’s something I really want to read…and which I probably will buy because it’s out at the library where I work. I’ve decided for larger books that I really want to read, I want to buy them on the Nook because I like reading larger books (more than 400 pages, especially more than 500 pages) on the Nook. They’re easier to handle and on many of those larger books, the font is too small so I’d rather adjust the font as needed.

What have you read this week? What are you still reading? What do you plan on reading this weekend or in the next couple of weeks?