Sunday, 27 July 2014

Recent reads July 2014.

Unless you don't know me at all then you will realise that it is a miracle if I can find time to do anything other than survive most days what with chasing after the hunter of electrical wires... so when the diminutive terror is asleep I mainly attempt to contain the chaos. (As well as other mundane but sadly necessary activities.) In spite of all this I have managed to find some time to write a few blogs and even read a couple of books!

One of the books I managed to read was World War Z by Max Brooks which I got out of my local library whilst grabbing a few family/baby recipe books to help me feed my little monkey.
Now I guess I'm a bit weird because I'm a bit squeamish about the idea of death and dismemberment but I do enjoy a good zombie book.  I don't know why but I guess it's the idea of surviving insurmountable odds and impossible situations.  That and I find the status-quo of modern life a bit boring so I prefer the drama of dragons, space battles or just a load of reanimated corpses.

One of the things that I liked about this book is the narrative style as it is not just told from one point of view you end up finding out how people experienced the outbreak in China, America, Cuba, Japan and a lot of other places. Some stories seemed a bit boring where as others were a little close to home for me and made me sit up thinking what I would do with my little one in a crisis situation like a civil war. (My brain hates me and wants to think about all the things at the wrong times of night. Annoying brain!)

After I worked out how this book's narrative worked I ended up getting hooked and reading it in a few days which is a lot faster than I have managed to read anything recently.  I would recommend this book as it is interesting to look at the idea of a zombie apocalypse from a number of different perspectives and it's always good if a book makes you think. Probably not so good if it gives you nightmares but swings and roundabouts, eh?

The next book I read was The Long War by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett which is a sequel to their previous collaboration The Long Earth.

This story is set 25 years from the start of the previous novel and the events of step day are still being felt in the original or Datum Earth and across the stepwise Earths.

This book tells the story of the mistreatment of sapient natural steppers known as the Trolls, tensions between the Datum and the colonists who have stepped away to other Earths and the people exploring even further into the long Earth than has previously been managed. While I enjoyed this book I didn't find it quite as engrossing as World War Z but then again it is a different type of improbable/impossible scenario... none the less as the book follows at least four possibly more different characters it takes time for the situation to be explained.

I enjoyed the different ways the characters we follow saw the long Earth and how their adventures intertwined so I carried on reading despite it seeming like it was taking a long time for the war in the title to actually happen.  I felt like the main event which was foreshadowed was reserved for the last few chapters to get the readers hooked just like in the last book, so you will need patience if you're waiting for the action.  Despite the slow pace of this book I want to know what happens next and read The Long Mars! I wonder how long it will be until the library gets that in?

So whilst I wait for the library to get The Long Mars in I'm reading Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett which I could describe as a guilty pleasure but I'm not po faced.

I love Terry Pratchett's writing style even if it isn't considered literature. Then again James Joyce's Ulysses is still sitting on my bookshelf... I tell myself that I'll finish reading it one day.  So that's what I've been reading other than Tabby McTatt & What the Ladybird Heard x 100.

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