22 November 2012

What's in a Name challenge wrap-up

I suddenly realised I forgot to write a wrap-up post for this challenge. Well, here it is:

I finished the first book in the What's in a Name challenge on August 30, and the final one on October 1, so it took me a little over a month to read them all.

The books were:

  1. a topographical feature (land formation): The Marsh Arabs by Wilfred Thesiger.
  2. something you'd see in the sky: The Raven in the Foregate, by Ellis Peters
  3. a creepy crawly: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elizabeth Tova Bailey
  4. a type of house: Daughters of the House by Michèle Roberts
  5. something you'd carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack: The Motorcycle Diaries, by Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
  6. something you'd find on a calendar: The Darling Buds of May, by H.E. Bates

As you can see, the books were quite the mixed bag, half fiction and half non-fiction: some travel, some historical crime, some memoirs mixed with natural history, literary fiction, humorous fiction and some more (completely different) travel. 

Of the six books, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating was the hands down favourite and the only one of these books I am likely to reread, although I will be keeping the Brother Cadfael book, just in case I get a hankering for rereading the series at some point. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating has gone back to the friend who lent it to me, but I will be on a lookout for a copy of my own. It was a fun challenge, but I can't say it made me any more eager to continue posting reviews. I will, however, continue to post my reading reports and the occasional review and other stuff, but as for now, I would rather be reading than reviewing or writing posts every day.

04 November 2012

Reading report for October 2012

I finished 21 books in several genres in October, of which 9 were TBR challenge books and 4 were rereads.

After catching up with the Brotherhood of the Black Dagger series, I found I wanted to sink myself into another made-up world and started reading a new series: the Cynster family historical romance novels by Stephanie Laurens. I finished four of them in October and am now reading the fifth. I am finding these historicals an interesting, well-written and well-plotted collection of well-known romance themes with kick-ass heroines and pretty much interchangeable heroes.

So far the storylines have been the ‘compromised lady’ combined with ‘the heir must die’, the ‘gentleman problem solver’ combined with the ‘sneak thief’, the ‘surprising will’ combined with the ‘forced marriage’ and ‘the woman who must keep her land and protect her people at all cost’, and another ‘gentleman problem solver’, this time combined with ‘amorous amateur criminal investigators’ and, briefly, the ‘woman disguised as a boy’. In addition all have featured the 'determined bachelor' and 'reluctant lady' themes. The one I’m reading right now seems to be a third ’gentleman problem solver’ combined with ‘mystery woman’ and ‘amorous amateur criminal investigators’.

A final mention must be made of Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex by Mary Roach. I enjoyed her first book, Stiff: The curious lives of human cadavers, and this one was enjoyable as well and quite funny in parts, but I did find it a bit rambling.

The Books:
  • Marian Babson: Murder at the Cat Show. Murder mystery.
  • Jennifer Crusie: Bet Me. Contemporary romance; reread.
  • Lawrence Durrell: Reflections on a Marine Venus. Travel, memoir.
  • Lori Foster; Erin McCarthy; Amy Garvey: Bad Boys of Summer. Romance novellas, contemporary.
  • Laurie R. King: A Monstrous Regiment of Women. Murder mystery, historical.
  • Heather Lauer: Bacon: A love story: A salty survey of everybody's favorite meat. Foodie book with recipes.
  • Stephanie Laurens: Devil's Bride; A Rake's Vow; Scandal's Bride; A Rogue's Proposal. Historical romance.
  • Stephanie Laurens; Victoria Alexander; Rachel Gibson: Secrets of a Perfect Night. Romance novellas, 2 historical and 1 contemporary.
  • Ed McBain: Lady Killer. Thriller; police procedural.
  • Elizabeth Peters: The Murders of Richard III. Mystery, whodunit.
  • Ellis Peters: The Knocker on Death's Door. Murder mystery.
  • Mary Roach: Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex. Popular science, sexology.
  • Michèle Roberts: Daughters of the House. Literary fiction.
  • Nora Roberts: Sea Swept; Rising Tides; Inner Harbor. Contemporary romance; rereads.
  • Mary Taylor Simeti & Maria Grammatico: Bitter Almonds: Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian Girlhood. Memoir with recipes.
  • Josephine Tey: The Man in the Queue. Murder mystery.