Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Currently Reading....

New York by Edward Rutherfurd - what a fabulous book.  A huge thumping read making the city of New York the central character, starting when Manhattan was a swamp, taking us right through to 9/11 and onwards and linking New York with a series of families and characters that fascinate and interest the reader just as much as the place...generations of the city, generations of families, with layers and layers of engaging history (though the section about the American Revolution did go on a bit..) that cannot fail to interest and entertain; the amount of historical research the author must have undertaken must have been astonishing - the accounts of the Draft Riots, the building of New York's skyscrapers, the great depression, the diversity of the population of the city - Poles, Germans, British, Italian, Irish, and the contributions they all made to the place. 
The only criticism I have is that the book does have a character list which runs into the (seemingly) thousands...fair enough, considering the book spans hundreds of years, but I found this - having said that, this has been researched well and the characters are engaging - I am sure I will read this again in a year or two and enjoy it just as much.  Highly recommended.
Riders by Jilly Cooper...this book has one of 'those' reputations.   Its set largely in the 1970's which was a bit of a historical exercise for me because I was only pea-sized during that decade, and of course it was the horses that attracted me.   I have to say that in terms of 'that' reputation I found it tame - maybe we're just used to more shocking stuff these days.   I did get to the end of the book, and its fine as a beach read though dated...the characters are overblown and larger than many of these people would you actually meet in a lifetime, let alone meet in one book?   Moderately entertaining, with the horses being the stars.  I only wish my rear end looked as good as this woman's on the cover.....

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs....I always have high expectations of Kathy Reichs, mainly I suppose based on the TV series 'Bones' (which to be honest has taken a nosedive recently) but I am often disappointed.   I can't really put my finger on it.  Maybe its in comparison to Patricia Cornwell's 'Scarpetta' who goes the other way and often shocks and revolts all in the one paragraph.   Somehow Tempe Brennan is a bit warm and fuzzy and Reich's characterisation and storylines are often weak.  It does not however stop me from reading her books because they are unchallenging and don't leave nightmare tracks across your brain before bedtime.    OK on the understanding its not going to make it onto your '100 books I most loved' list.

The Courts of Love: The Story of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Jean Plaidy.....
This is the story of the mother of Richard the Lionheart, who was so much more than that.  I'd already read the book by Alison Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England) - its interesting how much detail one author can fill in over another - I can't say that Jean Plaidy's style is as beautiful as Alison Weir's, or that the story is any better for the historical fiction treatment and the narrative in the first person sounds distinctly un-queen-like; fairly entertaining but not a book I'd probably read again though I'm glad I did for the background atmosphere on the subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear what you think! Please leave a comment x