Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Recent reads

Recently I have got back into reading a bit more on the bus to and from work.  As well as occasionally in the bath, in bed, when pretending to write... although this does depend on the book!

I started off with Foundation by Isaac Asimov which, is a book I'd tried to read a few years ago but couldn't get into.  This time I persevered a bit longer and was pleasantly surprised.  It's not a book I would normally have chosen but I enjoyed the philosophical elements to it and the pseudo history at the start of each chapter. I must admit what I did find slightly annoying was the fact that the activity in the book would reach a climax then swiftly move on to the next historical event without exploring the action. 
I did enjoy reading Foundation and decided to carry on with the series and read the sequel Foundation and Empire.  I actually preferred this book because I felt that there were more interesting storyline and action in it.  Another part of me liked the fact that there was a strong female character called Bayta in this book, even if she is portrayed as being not that dissimilar to the males except for doing the all the housework on the spaceship...

As that one ended well I tried Second Foundation; however, I didn't get very far into that as I found the lead character quite annoying.

Thankfully my birthday came around and I received four great books!  They were: Mary Berry - My Kitchen Table 100 Cakes and Bakes, The Meowmorphosis - by Coleridge Cook and Franz Kafka, Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (no not THAT one) and The Last Dragonslayer also by Jasper Fforde.

I started off reading the The Meowmorphosis as I read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka at University and wanted to see how they compared and I quite enjoyed it.  I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for mash-up fiction and have enjoyed books by Quirk Classics ever since my sister bought me Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a few years ago.
After reading this I decided to pick up The Last Dragonslayer and I probably enjoyed this a bit more than I should as I doubt I'm the target audience for this book... still I enjoy Jasper Fforde's writing. It's the eccentricity and energy of it that I like and it reminds me of that of other writers I enjoy like Terry Pratchett, Paul Magrs and Douglas Adams.  The only problem I found is that I read it in about two days!  Ooops!!!
I tried to read Shades of Grey a bit slower but I struggled with this again as it's a mysterious book about a future society which, I just found riveting so I ended up spending all day one Saturday finishing it.  There were good intentions of trying to write my own novel that Saturday but reading this made sure they never became any more than intentions.
After reading these two books by the same author I decided to try something different and opted for Albert Camus's The Fall.  This is a book I had meant to read for a while but never managed to so I decided to take it with me on holiday to read on the train and Eurostar.  It's not the easiest read but it is fascinating and I'm not sure if I get it but I have an idea of what I think happens if that makes sense? It's a first person narrative of a conversation which is completely different to the other books I had been reading but sometimes a change is as good as a rest they say. Definitely a good read!
I am now reading a book Paul brought me from the library, he's sweet like that! It's a brand new book! This is another Paul Magrs book called Wildthyme Beyond! I haven't finished reading this one yet so I don't know exactly how I feel about it.  I'm enjoying reading it and nearly missed my stop on the bus reading it last night... the different narrators can be difficult to follow with a hangover but another cup of tea will sort that out! I am particularly enjoying the bit about the fan boys as a bit of a geek myself and of course Ms Wildthyme's adventures!
So that's what I've been reading recently, what have you been reading?

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