It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Dat and is "a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week."
Visit the Book Date to see what various other book bloggers have been up to in the past week.
Non challenge books I finished last week:
- It's All About Treo: Life, Love and War with the World's Bravest Dog by Dave Heyhoe and Damien Lewis. Non-fiction, memoir.
Mini review: The true story of the 6 months explosives search dog Treo and his handler, Dave, spent in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2008. Treo sniffed out some very dangerous IEDs, saving the lives of soldiers and civilians, and was awarded the Dickin Medal for his efforts in 2010.
The book is at times heart-warming, but there are also gruesome scenes of death and destruction.
Heyhoe (or his collaborator (ghostwriter?), Damien Lewis), has an annoying fondness for the word "whilst" that manages to make everyday sentences sound pretentious.
- The Darwin Awards 2: More True Stories of How Dumb Humans Have Met Their Maker by Wendy Northcutt. Mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Tales of people who removed themselves prematurely from the gene pool, some fictitious, others unfortunately true.
Anyway, I ended up reading it in bed, a chapter at a sitting, and the first 9 chapters I just found depressing because of all the stupidity and bad luck (I still couldn't stop reading), but then I hit the final chapter which contains Darwin Award winners from past years, some of which have been confirmed as fiction/urban legends, and found myself having a laughing fit such as I haven't had in years, the kind where you laugh so hard you think you're going to burst something, it's hard to breathe because your diaphragm is spasming and tears run down your face. I don't even remember which story it was that set me off, but reading about a horrible but funny death was suddenly okay because it was an urban legend, i.e. no-one had died for real.
Only recommended for that final chapter and/or if you have a high-level of schadenfreude.
- Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie. Murder mystery.
Not much to say about this, except that I knew who the killer was about halfway into the book, but couldn't see what the motive was until nearer to the end.
- Les Liaisons Culinaires by Andreas Staikos. Culinary love story and recipe book.
Reading challenge progress: I am reading the last book for What's in a Name and have 2 to go in the Nonfiction challenge.
Last week's book haul: (click to enlarge)
I will elaborate on this stack later in the week.
Other activities last week:
I stayed at a health spa for the whole of July and managed to get into better shape than I have been in for years. Since coming home I have been taking walks for my health, trying to get in a minimum of 5 kilometres a day. I don't always go somewhere I can walk a new route and in order to not become bored with walking in the same area day after day, I have been loading my phone with music to listen to.
Lately, I have been downloading podcasts and on my last walk I listened to two and a half episodes of Thinking Allowed from the BBC. This is a program that I have enjoyed on and off at home for several years and it suddenly occurred to me to listen to it during my walks. Not only is the subject matter (sociology and related subjects) interesting and varied, but each episode is around 28 minutes long. It takes me around 10 minutes to walk one kilometre, so I know it's time to start heading homewards when the second episode ends.
I decided to listen systematically to this show, and I'm up to January 2013, so I have many, many episodes left to listen to.
DVDs I watched this week:
Supernatural second hand some time ago and finally sat down to watch the pilot and first few episodes.
As I expected, it's formulaic but still entertaining (and the leads are hot, which is always a bonus).
It's sort of like watching early paranormal episodes of The X-Files, only with freelance investigators and no romantic "will they or won't they" question hanging in the air. Instead it's "will they find dear old dad?" and "when will they find the killer?"
I have deliberately not read up on the show, so I don't know if they ever do find their father, but I'm inclined to think they will, and the second question will become the main quest, or perhaps they will find an entirely new MacGuffin.