The Lady Soldier Online Party
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
 
The last good book you read
Open the conversations by sharing about the last good book(s) you read.

Discussion point: Why did you like it and who would you recommend it to?
Comments:
C.W. Gortner's "The Secret Lion" was a splendid read! I'm not a fan of Tudor novels (my period is anything before 1485) but Gortner's Spymaster Chronicles is going to be as entertaining and riveting as Cornwell's "Sharpe" series, I think once he gets the other booksdone. His characters are real, the dialogue real, and the intrigues, the life of courtier during this often-neglected period of Tudor history, is compelling. Go for it!
 
I just read Pompeii by Robert Harris which I thought was an excellent page-turner. Kept me going on a long flight anyhow! And you learn a lot about volcanoes and Roman plumbing. :)
 
I'm re-reading the Dresden Files (Jim Butcher) so I guess the last thing I read was Storm Front, the first book. It probably says something about me that I'll read any genre so long as I like the writer's voice - style over substance, you might say ;) . Otherwise I might not have been interested in a series about a wiseass Chicago wizard who spends most of his time getting beaten up by werewolves and the like. But Harry Dresden is such an interesting character, and a great narrator (helped, I'm sure, by Jim) that I'm on my second read-through, and have bought the first two audiobooks for my US flights this summer. Doesn't hurt that they're read by an actor I adore, either ;)
 
I'm currently reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewicka. It's very enjoyable in a silly/ humourous way, and would certainly recommend it to anyone with any kind of eastern european background/ experience.
 
The Shadow Of The Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ...

Simply one of the best written books I have ever read. Beautifully lyrical, part thriller, part romance, it twists and turns and leads to an unexpected (but not trick) conclusion. The dialogue is brilliantly poetic and humorous, the charcaterisation well defined, and for the first time in a long time I felt real empathy for the narrator of the story.

Whilst not what one would herm a ‘historical novel’, it follows events from the mid 40s in Spain, and ends amny decades later.

I’ve no idea how the book reads in its native Spanish, but the translation brought tears of joy for the pleasure of reading it. What ever you might have read in favourable reviews, in my opinion they were all understated. It’s better than that!
 
I've just read We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. It's written in a series of letters from the mother of a boy who has gone on a killing spree at his school to her estranged husband. The story is poignant, bleak and heartbreakingly honest. The mother admits from the off, that she could never get on with her son, and I completely empathised with some of her feelings of alienation and loss of self when she becomes a new mum. It was refreshing to see the downside of motherhood talked about, as too often all you read is the positive. And I've been saying to my husband for YEARS that all mothers lie. My gripe with the book is that it is a mythologised version of motherhood, purporting to be the true version, and I am not actually convinced in the end, that Eva wasn't a good mother, she just had the bad luck to have an evil son.I also felt the author perpetrated something of a cheat over something fundamental to the story.But those gripes aside, I found it gripping, and convincing. Was so hooked I cooked tea last night reading the last chapter.

Not for the sentimental though! It is very very hard to read the ending.

Right I'm off now - night night. Goood idea this, Kate. Wonder if it will catch on!
 
George RR Martin's The Hedge Knight, Ok it's a short story and in graphic novel format but I don't have the anthology with the original and I'm excited cos his new book is coming out soon! Besides, there are so many books to read that it's hard to pick just one!
 
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