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I have mucked up my thread title :(. I meant it to say Zozette's 12 in 12.
1) Scandanavian mysteries (favourite authors - Karin Fossum, Arnaldur Indridason)
3) Elementary, Dr Watson (anything fiction or non-fiction that is about the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, various authors)
4) Iceland - books by Icelandic authors or books about Iceland (excluding those Icelandic authors from category 1)
7) Other mysteries
8) Sci fi/fantasy/horror
9) Memoirs, biographies
11) Survival stories
12) Potpourri - everything else. Hope to get interested in some new genres via this category.
1) Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
2) Mockingjay Suzanne Collins
3) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
4) The Takers - R.W. Ridley
5) Delon City - R.W. Ridley
6) The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
7) The Giver - Lois Lowry
8) Into the Wild - Erin Hunter
9) Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
I read quite a few YA books when I was ill for a month early in the year.
1) The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
2) A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle
3) Sherlock Holmes for Dummies - Steven Doyle
4) The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle
5) The Valley of Fear - Arthur Conan Doyle
6) Bending the Willow: Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes - David Stuart Davies
7) The Science of Sherlock Holmes- E.J. Wagner
8) The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: Nine Adventures from the Lost Years by Ted Riccardi.
9) Arthur and George - Julian Barnes
10) Holmes on the Range - Steve Hockensmith
11) Dear Mr Holmes: Seven Holmes on the Range Mysteries by Steve Hockensmith
On my reading list
Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds - Manly W Wellman and Wade Wellman
My maiden name is Holmes and when I was a little girl my dad's best friend had the surname Watson.
1) On the Cold Coasts - Vilborg Davidsdottir
2) The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning - Hallgrimur Helgason
3) The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness
4) StoneTree by Gyrdir Eliasson
5) From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjon
On reading list
Independent People - Halldor Laxness
Under the Glacier - Halldor Laxness
The Blue Fox - Sjon
The Greenhouse - Audur Ava Olafsdottir
1) Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 - David Crystal
2) Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language - Douglas C Baynton
3) Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha's Vineyard - - Nora Ellen Groce
4) Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind by Margalit Fox
1) An Anthropologist on Mars - Oliver Sacks
2) Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein
On my reading list
Song of the Dodo - David Quammen. Currently reading.
Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature - David Quammen
Trilobite - Richard Fortey
1) The Novice’s Tale - Margaret Frazer (Sister Frevisse series)
2) The Servant's Tale - Margaret Frazer
3) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
4) The Outlaw's Tale - Margaret Frazer
5) The Bishop's Tale by Margaret Frazer
6) The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (Dr Siri series)
7) The Boy's Tale by Margaret Frazer
8) Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
9) Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill
10) Petrified by Barbara Nadel
1) Barbie and Ruth - Robin Gerber, Biography about the woman who created the Barbie doll.
2) They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan - Benjamin Ajak et al.
3) Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s - Jennifer Worth
4) Shadows Of The Workhouse: The Drama Of Life In Postwar London - Jennifer Worth
5) Farewell to the East End - Jennifer Worth
6) Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two: A Gypsy Family's Hard Times and Happy Times on the Road in the 1950s by Maggie Smith-Bendall
7) The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World by Shelley Emling
8) The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
9) The Cross in the Closet - Timothy Kurek
1) Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World - Joan Cruet
2) Australian Book of Disasters - Larry Writer
1) The Girl Who Was on Fire (Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy) - Leah Wilson et al
2) 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Felines - Sam Stall
3) Lighter Shades of Grey: a (very) critical reader's guide to Fifty Shades of Grey by Cassandra Parkin.
4) Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.
5) The Glass Collector by Anna Perara
6) Season of the Rainbirds by Nadeem Aslam
7) Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek
8) 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in God by Guy P Harrison
9) The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah
10) The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
"My maiden name is Holmes and when I was a little girl my dad's best friend had the surname Watson"
I will expand this to include at least one Finnish author next year.
I also own Sherlock Holmes on Screen: The Complete Film and TV History by Alan Barnes. It is an excellent book but not one I would read from cover to cover so it isn't on my list of books read.
Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World - Joan Cruet
This is was a gripping tale. In 1864 two different crews are shipwrecked on different sides of Auckland Island south of New Zealand. Because mountains separate the two crews they are unaware of each other presence through the whole of their ordeals.
One crew has good leadership and the men pull together to survive. Luckily this crew are able to salvage items from their wreckage.
Thw second crew has poor leadership. Their captain becomes catatonic after the shipwreck. The only man who seemed to have the skills and drive needed to survive is one of the common seamen and the officers are not willing to let him take control. This crew also do not have the luxury of a wrecked boat close to shore and there are few seals on their side of the island.
So, being a Sherlock fan, have you seen the BBC Sherlock series?
Martin Freeman is my favourite Dr Watson. My least favourite is probably Nigel Bruce, he almost ruins the Basil Rathbone movies for me.
I believe that the printed version is now a collector's item and is quite expensive starting from around $200 a copy.
Subtitled "From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases" the author uses Sherlock Holmes's stories as an aid to look at the history of forensic science as a whole. She mentions many interesting real life cases and forensic pioneers. This book is an easy read, is educational, interesting and informative. 4.5/5
Category - Iceland.
A Croatian hitman working in New York finds himslelf on the run. He ends up in Iceland after killing and taking the identity of an American televangelist. He finds Iceland and its people bewildering.
Not the book to read if you are offended by strong language. Or offended by sex.
I found this novel to be extremely funny, if a little shocking in bits. 4/5.
The novel is written in the first person and for the narrator, the Croatian hitman, English is not his first language and he hasn't quite mastered it. Though the author wrote this way intentionally some people consider it to be a sign that the book is poorly written.
The ending is also a disappointment for some people.
Dr Watson retells 9 stories told to him by Holmes, adventures that Holmes had during the 3 years following his supposed death at the Reichenbach Falls. I enjoyed the last four stories the most. However I did miss Watson actually being a participate in Sherlock's adventures. 4/5.
An enjoyable read about what life on the road was like for gypsies, as experienced by the author as a child. The later chapters dealt with her adult life and her role as an advocate for rights of Travellers. 4/5
Four down, thirteen left in this series. I wonder if I will end up reading them all?
I have read other books about the First Fleet, this is the best so far. Tells the story about the 11 ships that bought around 1400 people from England to seetle Australia. about 750 of these people were convicts to my history category.
I am not sure that the word 'brutal' is the most suitable adjective to use in the title. The convicts of the First Fleet were reasonably well treated on the voyage out, especially when compared to the horrific conditions that the convicts on the Second and Third Fleets were subjected to.
The people of the First Fleet (not just convicts but the marines as well) were placed on starvation rations when the first crops failed etc but on the whole I think that Governor Phillip was a caring and fair man.
I had an ancestor, John Wood, who arrived as a convict on the Third Fleet (1791). He would have known many of the people who are mentioned in "1788".
47) In the Darkness by Karin Fossum.
A novel by my favourite Scandanavian mystery writer featuring my second favourite Scandanavian police detective.
Despite only being released in English this month, this novel is in fact the 1st in the Inspector Sejer series. Eight later books in the series were released in English before it.
I think that, at least for me, going back to a less fleshed out Konrad Sejer is a little distracting. I would have preferred to have read this book before the others. It is a good novel but not as good as some of her later ones. However I would suggest that people who haven't read Karin Fossum to start with this one. 4/5.
If you don't like In the Darkness do try and stay with the author. Some of her later books are among the best I have ever read. She is very good at understanding the criminal or disturbed mind. I find her portrayal of Errki Johrma in He Who Fears the Wolf haunting and I don't think I have ever felt as much sympathy with a victim as I did in Calling Out For You also known as "The Indian Bride".
An historical look at the conflict between two different groups concerning how the deaf should be educated. Mainly deals with the situation in America between between 1865 and 1920.
The two groups were the Manualists who wanted sign language to be used to teach the deaf, the the Oralists who wanted education to be via lipreading and speech.
For the most part the Manualists didn't seem to mind if the oral method was used along with signing, but the Oralists wanted all sign language to be banned from the classroom. The Deaf themselves supported the Manualists but, for the most part, the opinions of the deaf were ignored.
I leanrt a great deal about American culture, and about sign language from this book. I thought it dragged in bits.
I also plan to read Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary Deafness on Martha's Vineyard because I think that it will be interesting to read about a society in which the deaf were totally integrated into that society.
This novel is not about Sherlock Holmes though he is mentioned. It is a novel about the true life story of George Edalji who was accused of, and sentence to prison for, the mutilation of animals. After his unexpected early release he contacted author Arthur Conan Doyle about his case. Conan Doyle became sure that Edalji was innocent and investigated the case.
I considered this book to be a good introduction to this case but I think I might end up reading a non-fiction book on the case.
The author lists three groups of people who this book is for, roughly speaking the three groups are
1) Those who have shamelessly embraced the "Fifty Shades" happening and need to know what sort of arguments those who are insulting the books are likely to make
2) Those who pretend that they are above it all but have a secret copy of the book and who are trying to make up their minds whether to love or hate the book.
3) Those who have braved accusations of elitism and literary snobbery and have declared never to read 50 Shades because it is crap. Via this book these people will be able to pick big giant holes in 50 Shades without having to actually read it.
I will let you decide which of these three groups I belong in.
Lighter Shades is only available as an ebook.
An example of what is mention in Lighter Shades is this short passage from 50 Shades
The radio crackles into life, and Mark mentions three thousand feet. Jeez that sounds high. I checked the ground, and I can no longer distinguish anything down there
The author of Lighter Shades gives her opinion of this and now I will give mine which is
I often go to the top of Mount Wellington, the mountain that towers over my city. It is 4170 feet high. From the top of Mt Wellington I can clearly make out the Tasman Bridge and Wrest Point Casino (Tasmania's tallest building) which are both several miles away. Yet Anastasia can't see anything 3000 feet below?
edited to add - Tasmania's tallest building is not that tall compared to other building around the world. It is only 83 meters (240 ft tall) and has only 19 floors and is considerable shorter than Tasmania's tallest tree (named Centurion) which at 99.6 meters (326.7 ft) is said, by some sources, to currently be the second tallest tree in the world.
I also forgot to mention that Lighter Shades only costs $2.25 which is 1/4 of the price of a 50 Shades book.
I don't fit into any of the above categories. I did read the first one because I figured there must be something to the hype. I was wrong. The writing is awful (think junior high level), the misogyny is appalling (women can't have male friends apparently) and the contract is down right dangerous (how often to exercise? really?) And yet sadly, whenever I try to talk to friends about it, they look at me like I am insane because I don't think that it's the most romantic thing ever. Very sad.
For example there was a book I read written by a man who had survived being buried in an avalanche. He wasn't a good writer but i didn't expect him to be and his story was just so amazing that it gripped me. It annoyed me a little that he was quite repetitive when he was descibing the love he had for his wife and how perfect she was but I reminded myself he was totally traumatised by her death - she had initially survived the avalanche which had buried the ski lodge they were working at. They were trapped on their bed and could barely move. Eventually a flood of water from burst pipes engulfed them and though he tried desperately to save her she drowned beside him.
Likewise I am currently reading a book about British executions. The guy who wrote researched over 800 executions that took place in Britain between 1900 and 1964 which he has published as ten volumes. I worked for a while transcribing documents for the Tasmanian Execution Database (not yet publish) so I can really appreciate the effort this man has put into his research and feel that I have to forgive his occasional typos and grammar mistakes. The typos are not that bad "ladt" instead of 'lady", "logder" instead of "lodger", "pat" instead of "pay" etc, though, as I am reading it as an e-book, I wish he had used a spellchecker as it would have pick up the majority of his typos.
But, it would seem to me that EL James is a poor writer on all levels. She certainly comes across as far too immature to be a middle-aged TV executive.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
What a marvelous story. I got so teary at times that I had to keep wiping my reading glasses. A very beautiful and uplifting tale 5/5.
Two brothers, Gustav (Old Red) and Otto (Big Red) Amlingmeyer are working on a cattle ranch in Montana. Only Big Red can read or write as his family could only afford to educate one child. Big Red reads Sherlock Holmes stories to Old Red, and when there is a murder on the ranch Old Red (who is only in his late 20s) decides to use his Holmes-inspired "deducifyin'" skills to solve the mystery.
Told in the first person by Big Red. Quite a few of the early Holmes stories are mentioned. I really enjoyed this novel and plan to read more in the series. 4/5.
Interesting to read about how the deaf population on Martha's Vineyard were integrated into society without any prejudice. As the title suggests everyone, including the hearing, knew sign language and the hearing population used it even when there were no deaf people around i.e. for communicating from fishing boat to shore, for 'communicating' behind the non-signing teacher's back when she had told them not to speak, for speaking to neighbours across the way etc.
"read the author as P.D. James"
Had to LOL @ that - what a shock that would have been!! :)
Wow, I'd never heard of a deaf population on Martha's Vineyard. That sounds really interesting.
The families in which the deafness occurred seemed to immigrated from the same area of England (The Weald in Kent).
I think it will be interesting to compare the two comminities and see what similarities and difference exist betweem to the two.
I loved the characters in this book especially Alfgrimur's adoptive grandparents. 4.5/5
Its been a couple of weeks since I finished my last book. This is because my house has been renovated during that time (bathroom and kitchen) so there has been so much noise that I haven't been able to read much.
Seven short stories about Old Red using his Holmes-inspired "deducifyin'" skills to solve crimes. The seven stories are told in letters that Big Red writes to various people including Sherlocck Holmes, Dr Watson and the Strand Magazine. 4/5.
Though it starts with a murder and eleven-year old Harri and a friend investigate that murder this really doesn't fit into my Murder Mystery category. It is more about how Harri, a recent immigrant from Ghana, adapting to British society. 4/5
This book started out slowly. I didn't particularly like the protagonist, Einar, a journalist. I did like the fact that the novel was set on Iceland's second largest city, Akureyri (which only has a population of around 17,000) rather than being set in the capital Reykjavik. The book became more interesting in the second half. 3.5/5.
Aaron is a 15 year old boy living in Mokattam Village in Cairo, Egypt. He is a member of the Zabbaleen community. The Zabbaleen are mainly Coptic Christians. Each morning the men go out on horse-drawn carts and collect Cairo's rubbish and bring it back to their village were it is sorted and sold to recyclers. The Zabbadeen are among the poorest people in Cairo.
In the novel Aaron's mother has died. He is living with his stepfather and abusive stepbrother and life isn't very promising and then his situation takes a turn for the worse. 4.5/5.
Absolutely loved this novel. 5/5.
This is a collection of short stories. I think the author is a very good writer. I was however at how abruptly some of the stories ended without any real conclusion. I wished that he had actually written a couple of the stories as novels, or at least novellas. 4/5.
I wonder if both stories will make it into the movie, and how much attention will be given to the religious themes in the movie.
Novel set in a small Pakistani town. The action takes place over a 10 day period during which time a corrupt judge is murdered and a mailbag that has been missing for 19 years is found. 3.5/5
This is the 6th book in the Dr Siri series and is set in Laos. I read the previous five last year. I think I have another two to go in the series.
This book tells the story of Mary Anning. She was from a working-class background and she spent the grater part of her life searching for fossil along the Lyme Regis shores. She made some very significant discoveries but never got the recognition she deserved for her contribution to science.
I agree with one reviewer - there were too many "might haves", "could haves" etc in this book which lessen my enjoyment of it. 3.5/5
I am not sure how I feel about this book. The first 10 years of Jeannette's life seem to be have been happier than my own even if she was materially worse off than I was as a child. Her life in Welch, West Virginia was appalling and it wasn't until this part of the book that I really started to get angry at the way she was treated by her parents. I am glad that she got away and made such a success of her life. 3.5/5.
Title pretty much tells you what this book is about. Among the things the author has found are recipes, dried leaves, concert tickets, poems, baseball cards, letters etc.
I found the letters the most ineresting.
The only things I remember having found in used books are 1) A third place ribbon for a school sports carnival 2) a playing card of a horse 3) a photocopy of an American woman driving licence.
I remember how delighted I was when I opened up a very large and thick book when I was a child and found some flowers my mother had pressed many years before inside it.
Margalit Fox is a journalist who has a master's degree in linguistics. She accompanies a linguistics team to an isolated Bedouin village in Israel. The village had been found seven generations before by a deaf Egyptian and his Palestinian wife. Two of the couple's sons inherited the recessive gene for deafness.
Three generation ago, after numerous cousin marriages, the hereditary deafness resurfaced with 10 children born deaf in that generation. Those children and their families started to create a new language which they passed onto the next generation. Now there are about 150 deaf people in a village with a total population of 3000.
This language, known as Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language (ABSL) is one of the world's newest language and is of great interest to linguists as it is a key to how language started and how our minds are programmed for language.
The author also looks at other sign language including the even newer Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL). However NSL developed in a less natural environment (in schools for the deaf) than ABSL. I do wish someone would write a book about NSL.
Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL) gets a mention as does Nora Ellen Groce's book Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language that deals with that subject. However Groce was writing about an extinct language. Though some of it made its way into American Sign Language little is really known about the actual language. Groce alos had to deal with the fact that the lives of the people that she was talking about was not well documented. I would however recommend that her book be read before reading Talking Hands as the books compliment each other very well.
The author also looks at how hearing children develop language.
7th book in the Dr Siri series, only one more to go. 4.5/5.
8th and last book in the Dr Siri series. It isn't very often I read this many book in a series. I am going to miss the old guy and his wicked sense of humour. 4/5.
First book I have read on a religious topic for about two or so years. The title pretty much covers what the book is about. The author is an atheist. 3.5/5 after taking half a mark off because the author was too repetitive at times.
Timothy Kurek was born into a fundamentalist Christian family and learned to despise gays. When one of his female friends told him she had come out only to be thrown out of home by her father, Tim was unable to offer her the comfort she needed. He started to feel guilty about his reaction and decided that he had to face his bigotry. He decided on an experiment - though he was heterosexual he would come out as gay for a year so that he could experience the prejudice that gays had to face.
I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. The experiment was interesting and I do appreciate how it changed Tim. The beginning of the book when he came out and was rejected by many former friends etc was interesting and moving. The ending, where he had to do the reverse - come out to gay friends that he was straight - was also touching. However I found the rest of the book a little boring because Tim and I had very little in common and this was not just because he was religious and I am a non-believer (I am actually quite interested in people's religious views). 3.5/5
This is a stream-of-consciousness novel in which healer and poet Jonas Gudmundsson, who has been convicted of witchcraft, tells his story after being exiled to a remote island as punishment. It is set in 17th century Iceland and take place soon after the conversion of Icelanders from the Catholicism to Lutherism. it is a beautifully written book with great imagery though some people might not like the way Jonas rambles. 4/5.
I have Sjon's The Blue Fox on my TBR list and I think I will end up reading it for my Icelandic category next year.
For some reason, I downloaded this book a few months ago, thinking it was the first in a series. It isn't, it is the 6th in the Inspector Ikmen series, which explains why I found the characters a bit confusing - I was missing much of their background that would have been given in earlier books. I plan to read the first in the series before the year ends.
A moving novel about the friendship between two young boys. Set on Mauritius in 1944-1945. Raj is a local boy, who meets David, a Jewish boy, who is among 1500 Jewish people put into a British internment camp on the island after they were refused entry into Palestine in 1940. 4/5.
It was an OK novel but I didn't find it to be as funny as reviews of it lead me to believe it would be. Maybe I like a different type of humour. I did like Allan Karlsson (the 100 year old man). 3/5.