Friday, 28 July 2017

July 2017: Favourite Books

July 2017 Favourite Books - Reading, Writing, Booking

July was more of a mixed month of reading than last month, though there were still a couple of Midsomer novels too. There's a mix of old and new, fantasy, comedy, classic and, of course, crime. Plus, I've actually read a couple of books which I've been meaning to read for a long time, so I feel good ticking them off my list.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - Reading, Writing, Booking

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

I'm steadily working my way through Neil Gaiman's novels, trying to catch up as I feel I've 'discovered' him late in life. I've already reviewed The Ocean at the End of the Lane which I loved and I reached for Neverwhere next as it's one of his most famous books. While I liked it I didn't think it was as good as Ocean. I think if I'd read Neverwhere in my late teens I would have loved it but I've read a lot of fantasies since then along the same lines; 'normal' person accidentally discovers alternate world etc. However, though it's a relatively 'paint by numbers' plot, Gaiman makes it his own with his wondeful creation of London Below and of the fantastic characters. I also like Gaiman's sense of humour, which is there even in the darkest parts.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - Reading, Writing, Booking

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I wanted to read something a bit happier to punctuate my usual death and disappearance reads, and I tackled a classic I've always meant to read, Cold Comfort Farm. It's described as "the funniest book ever written", I wouldn't go quite this far but this did have me chuckling. The characters are at once so surreal but also accessible. Sensible socialite Flora Poste moves in with her relatives deep in the country, where she sets out to sort out the lives of her eccentric relatives, and to discover what the something nasty was that Aunt Ada Doom saw in the wood shed all those years ago.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan - Reading, Writing, Booking

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

You can read my full review of this book in my last post. I really enjoyed Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, but in a different way to how I expected. Lydia Smith works at the book shop, taking care of the BookFrogs, until her favourite one, Joey, kills himself, leaving her his possessions, this leads to an investigation into both her own and Joey's past. It's a lot darker and has more depth than the cosy murder mystery I thought it was going to be, and features some beautiful writing.

Chief Inspector Barnaby Series by Caroline Graham - Reading, Writing, Booking

Chief Inspector Barnaby series #4 and #6 by Caroline Graham
Written in Blood
A Place of Safety

Last month's favourite books post was mostly made up of the Midsomer Murders books. I've read a couple more this month too, Written in Blood and A Place of Safety. I don't have the fifth one so I've skipped it but you can read them out of order. Again, I'm really enjoying these books, though there are several differences to the TV series, mainly that Troy is a complete dick. But, I've actually enjoyed his relationship with the much more liberal Barnaby. They are well-plotted murder mysteries that both support and mock the rural lifestyle. I do find some of the characters a little unbelievable. There always seems to be at least one character that's downtrodden and bullied by another, who usually change their lives by the end of the book. Some of these bullies are a bit too vile and the victims a little too pathetic to be believable. But just go with it, the characters are all a little larger than life, and it works.

July 2017 Favourite Books - Reading, Writing, Booking

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