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Monday, 10 September 2012

Jill Paton Walsh - The Attenbury Emeralds

I really rather enjoyed this. I was not sure if I was going to, I have rarely liked anything sequelled or prequelled  by a classic author but this worked well for me.
In this novel it is 1951 and Lord Peter is of course much older and he and Harriet are more concerned with their family than mysteries but this cleverly links to an old case from 1921.
I have ordered her other books but also the originals by Dorothy L Sayers from the library and will let you know how I get on with them!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Rhys Bowen - Her Royal Spyness

This is a classic cosy crime mystery. Set in the 1930s we have a minor Royal, a suitably fluffy aristo called Georgie.
Much fun and shenanigans take place and if you are looking for something amusing, light and rather decadent then this is for you.
|loved it and have set about reading the series, so far there are 6 in the series with more promised.
It makes a pleasant break from the Bookers, back to The Yips!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sock puppetry and Fake reviews

Hi all, absolutely fascinating article in the Guardian today about authors faking reviews and websites offering favourable reviews for cash!

As a librarian and book reviewer this is a very sad state of affairs. I love reading and giving reviews. It is very rare that I give a really bad review and I always acknowledge that it is the fact that I am at fault, as the reason I do not like the book. No one likes their hard work disparaged  but sometimes one just has to be honest and leave other readers to make up their minds.

To try and influence things for gain, and manipulate genuine readers,  is just not on and makes a mockery of sites like mine. Hopefully publishers and agents will nip this in the bud and perhaps Amazon could be a little more proactive in its monitoring of "reader" comments!

There is a fine line between cynical self promotion and naive over enthusiam. I suspect that Waterstones as we are, are deluged by self published authors wishing us to promote their wares. Unlike Waterstones we are limited and not bound by sales and are always intersted in promoting books of local interest.

As for published authors we are alwqays willing to host them to talk as we have avid readers who fill our coffee mornings and we are always looking for speakers, albeit with very limited funds to pay!

So for authors wishing to promote their books and who are willing to do so free of speaking fees, libraries make excellent venues to engage with readers and they are always assured of a warm welcome.

Here is the link to the article

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/04/sock-puppetry-publish-be-damned?CMP=EMCNEWEML1355

It reads like a crime novel all on its own! Well done to Stuart Neville and Jeremy Duns for exposing this.

Vicki Goldie
Librarian
Bournemouth Libraries

Late entry here is what Crime wroter Christopher Fowler has to say

http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/blog/2012/09/04/when-the-competition-turns-nasty/

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Barbara Cleverly - Bright Hair about the Bone

This is a great cozy crime featuring the intrepid Laetitia Talbot. Dear Laetitia always seems to get it wrong and we the reader are usually one step a head of her thus making for amusing reading.Light, amusing  an excellent read for a holiday or cold, winter's night. I look forward to the story arc of Laetitia'a progess in archaeology and of crime! This one is set in Burgundy, France in 1926.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Jeet Thayil - Narcopolis

The Man Booker Prize 2012

I could not finish this book. It started well but then began to ramble and I lost interest. I am clearly missing something but I lost the will to live.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Michael Frayn - Skios

The Man Booker Prize 2012
After Harold Fry this initially felt rather light. It masquerades as a farce and indeed is very funny, I found myself, laughing out loud, giggling and talking to the pages.
An amoral charmer called Oliver Fox on a sexual whim passes himself off as a famous scientific manager about to make a prestigious speech at an international conference. This is without a thought of the poor scientist who ends up alone and confused elsewhere on the beautiful Greek Island of Skios. (note to self always pack mobile phone charger AND adaptor in hand luggage!)
As the various mismatched individuals approach the inevitable denouement, we await with anticipation for the downfall, the unmasking. Yes it happens, but what we realise is that this book is also a masquerade. This is a case of the Emperor's New Clothes, a comedaic exploration of modern manners, morality, and infantilism. We despair for just one show of common sense and where does it come from? A shady Russian businessman's wife Mrs Skorbatova, who definitely is not up for any phoks!

This would make a great reading group read.It is seldom that in reading groups there is enough light relief and this will fill a well needed gap, but will the book belie it's cover...