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Knotty Thoughts

Currently reading

Hellsing, Vol. 01
Duane Johnson, Kohta Hirano
Amazing Grace
Lesley Crewe
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Book 5
J.K. Rowling, Jim Dale
World Without End
Ken Follett
How to Train Your Dragon
Cressida Cowell
Patria
Fernando Aramburu
Amazing Grace - Lesley Crewe

I'm reading this book as part of the Together We Read event hosted by Overdrive for Libraries. So it's an e-book loan from my local library.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Jim  Dale

Jim Dale is really a phenomenal narrator. In addition to having a gazillion voices to remember how to portray, he makes each of them memorable and constantly evolving along with the character's story arc. The Harry we see (and listen to) here - aged 14, with the beginnings of adolescent fears and insecurities - is not the naive 11-year-old of the first book. The narration makes that clear: Harry sounds older, more jaded and - by the end of the novel - frustrated with how people perceive him. Voldemort, too, experiences a shift in tone, gaining in substance as his own body becomes stronger and more independent.

 

As with the previous novels, I'm catching details that I now know will become important later on in the series. This is, along with the sheer pleasure of it, a great motivator for revisiting the series. It probably won't be the last re-read/re-listen either. On to the next book!

World Without End

World Without End - Ken Follett The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

I haven't read the first book in this series, but the blurb claims that World Without End can be read on its own, so I'll give it a go for this month's club reading. Maybe I'll like it enough to read The Pillars of the Earth afterwards? I hope so, since I've heard great things about that book.

SPOILER ALERT!

Finally!

The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

Well, that took me long enough to read! I kept getting distracted from the book to read other things, in part because for me the story just wasn't holding together well. I understand that the book was showing just how random an investigation can be, with many loose ends and unanswered questions. But when I reached the point where we find out that Gervase's death wasn't tied at all to the Richard plot, and that therefore it was all an undortunate coincidence, I was disappointed. And then the very last pages are filled with a series of revelations that come fast and furious, after chapter upon chapter where these plot points had lain dormant. I don't expect every thread to be connected, but the story here was just too dispersed to hold my interest.

 

Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, although the setting is historically accurate, for some reason I wasn't feeling as inmersed in the time period as I have in other novels set around this time.

 

In all, it was an interesting reading experience, but I'm not sure I'll read any of the sequels.

How to Train Your Dragon - Cressida Cowell

I've just started reading this one with my five-year-old at bedtime. He's watched the film and series, so I thought he might like the stories, since he's outgrown many of our usual bedtime books. So far, so good. We're reading one chapter a night, and he's doing a great job remembering what happened the previous chapter every time we start up again.

Reading progress update: I've read 60%.

The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

Still plodding along on this one. It's definitely interesting, and I want to see how it's resolved, but I find myself drifting away from it towards other readings. One thing I've noticed is that I'm having a hard time staying within the time period it's set in; and that's saying something, considering I used to teach Medieval lit. Somehow, I keep forgetting it's set in the 12th century; the author does describe settings well, talks a bit about the etymology of French vs Saxon names, etc.... Still, there's a very modern feel to the book that keeps wanting to trick my mind into a later time period.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3 - J.K. Rowling, Jim  Dale

I started this one last night, right after finishing Chamber of Secrets. As usual, Jim Dale nails the narration. His portrayal of Aunt Marge (especially a very drunk Aunt Marge) had me almost crying with laughter.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Book 2 - J.K. Rowling, Jim  Dale

I'm now officially in love with Jim Dale's narration of these books. His take on Gilderoy Lockhart was amazing: he makes Lockhart both funny and infuriating.

 

This is my second time going through the series. I read the books as they came out from the very first one to the last, and now I realize how much I'd forget during the downtime from one to the next. And, of course, I'm catching all the little clues that were leading up to the finale from the very beginning.

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.

The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

I really thought I'd be going faster with this one, but I got sidetracked by a couple of other reads. Still enjoying it, though!

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
""Because," said Thor, "when something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki's fault. It saves a lot of time.""
The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman
"He could not understand that I might have forgiven him for denying his paternity, for letting me be raised by strangers, but not for lying about my mother. Never for that."

Reading progress update: I've read 10%.

The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

I was wondering whether the content of the letter, teased at the end of the first chapter, would remain secret until the end; I'm glad it didn't, because it would have bugged me to no end! Also, I like the reasons Eleanor gave for bringing Justin into the investigation; I shared Justin's initial reaction as to why he should be the one to do it, but I felt it was explained well enough. After all, he had seen the attackers. On to the next bit!

Reading progress update: I've read 3%.

The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman
"If I knew the answer to that question, my lord Bishop, I'd be riding straightaway for London to inform the Queen."
The Queen's Man - Sharon Kay Penman

One chapter in, and I'm already hooked by the political intrigue and the protagonist's arrival.

The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I liked it as much as I thought I would: a lot! The twists and turns were interesting and kept the plot impossible to pin down. The ending was a perfect setup for the next volume, although I'm trying to space these out because I only have the first three so far.

Okay, fine, into the rabbit hole I go...

The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I have a love/hate relationship with long series. I'm wary of being disappointed one or more books into the series; but I also know that if I really like it, my reading life (and bank account!) will be absolutely consumed for the foreseeable future.

 

But this series kept nagging me, and now that it's all over the place again thanks to Netflix, I decided to just surrender to the urge, and ordered a box set with the first three books. I usually move easily between electronic and paper books, but this series really called for the hardbound version, so that's what I got.

 

And, yes, I'm loving it. I read most of the first book in one sitting, and had to make myself slow down because there are so many more... Oh well, here we go again.