Sunday, 26 April 2015

What's on the Shelf?

Racing Through the Dark - The Fall and Rise of David Millar

A Life's Ambition - Alexandre Dumas

The Journal of Madame Giovanni - Alexandre Dumas

The Prince of Thieves - Alexandre Dumas

Le Tour - Geoffrey Wheatcroft

On Looking - Alexandra Horowitz

Time Warped - Claudia Hammond

The Neapolitan Lovers - Alexandre Dumas

How to find Fulfilling Work - Roman Krznaric

Intuition Pumps and Other Thinking Tools - Daniel C. Dennett

Mastermind - Maria Konnikova

How Children Succeed - Paul Tough

Thinking - edited by John Brockman

Manage Your Day-to Day - edited by Jocelyn K. Glei

Give and Take - Adam Grant

The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

Friday, 24 April 2015

Blood of the chilled kind

Having finished Captains Courageous, it's probably time that I worked my way through In Cold Blood. To be fair I'm not doing too badly, I'm upto the point where the murderers have been caught and are awaiting trial. I'm still unsure what I think about this kind of book. Although I think it's a good idea to make it clear that their actions are criminal it did give them both a lot of publicity and they and their crime are now famous, or they were anyway.

At this stage in the book it is less chilling, and less likely to keep me awake at night. But as you get to know Smith and Hickock you end up liking them a little bit, maybe not Hickock but certainly Smith. The problem is that you have to remember that underneath their charm they were ruthless killers and that they had to face up to their crimes. From what I can tell some of the people in the book had this problem too, so it's not just me.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Sofa Spotlight - Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling

It's over and it was over quickly. But I think it was a good length. The story follows the adventures of the son of a millionaire who gets swept overboard and picked up by a fishing vessel. He then spends the next few months learning the ways of a fisherman before being taken back to shore. It had a feel of The Famous Five to it, and it was a pleasant light book to read.

I definitely enjoyed the read, but I did have to work hard on the many accents that are represented in it. There's American, Scots, Dutch, Portuguese and others. Given that I'm not keen on reading dialects, multiple dialects worried me a bit. But it actually worked out ok and I don't think it took anything away from my enjoyment of the book. The only other thing that I would say is that the character of Harvey's dad didn't seem believable to me. He just doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would raise the kind of person that Harvey was at the beginning of the story. 

Anyway I would definitely recommend it if you are after a quick read that's just a bit of fun.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Something Fishy

Like I said in my previous post I had no idea that a story about fishing would inspire such an emotional response from me! I'm now nearing the end and I have to say that I am nearing tears at the thought that it will all soon be over. It's not the first time that I've read a book set in a fishing community - Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell has a seafaring element to it, but it is the first time that my imagination has spent a week on a boat, full of fish, off the shore of America.

When I've finished it I will give you a bit more info on what happens on this boat load of fish. But I will give you a clue - it involves fish. 

When I haven't been reading about this particular fishing boat, called We're Here, I have of course been stitching away. 

Look here is a tiny mouse:

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Good Catch

I've spent my week reading Captains Courageous and I have to say that I've been pleasantly surprised. Reading shorter books of less than 200 pages is rare for me because I don't know how I feel about it. Somewhere I must have had a bad experience of shorter books that don't have much to say and are not that interesting. So my expectations were not high when I started this book. But it has been good.

If you've had a look at some of the stuff I've been reading and am currently reading then you can understand why I'm so happy to be reading something that is short and not in any way horrific. Which is what I think until I remember that I am essentially reading a book about fishing. Then I wonder if I have started to lose the plot! Fishing is something I have no interest in, even though my grandfather made his living from it, so in theory this shouldn't be the book for me. But I am emotionally invested in this book now - I care about what they catch and I am genuinely worried they won't catch enough! 

Maybe it's a good job it's short.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Sofa Shelf - The Courageous

Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling

When I started reading Rudyard Kipling I didn't want to start with the Jungle Books just in case I wasn't a fan and it put me off for life. So I have started with Captains Courageous which in no way feels like a courageous read! It is short, about 127 pages, so no Les Mis! But also from what I've read so far it is a gentle story, so nothing like the terror of In Cold Blood. It's about a 15 year old boy who is the son of a multimillionaire, but who gets seasick on a journey to England and is washed overboard. He is picked up by a crew of fishermen who can't return him to shore until the end of the season which is four or five months away. From what I can gather the story is about what happens to Harvey during those months aboard the fishing boat. Shouldn't take too long to read!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April Fools

It's already April, and so far I have had a shocking year for reading. Yesterday, however was not a shocking day as far as April fooling went. I had success and others had disappointment when I didn't believe their little tales! Somehow I just didn't believe that Chris Froome would be near my sister's house to film a documentary, nor did I believe that Justin Bieber had sent me a box of merchandise in response to a letter I had supposedly written to him. Good effort, but it didn't work.

With the start of April I'm going to start a new book. I've opted for something shorter than Les Mis, I don't think it's even a tenth of the size. Speaking of Les Mis I watched the film version of that last week and I just didn't get it. I did find it entertaining, but I don't think that it lived up to the hype that I had heard about it. Maybe I'm missing something but it just didn't appeal to me. Anyway back to this new book that I'm going to start. It's called Captains Courageous and it's by Rudyard Kipling. Anyone read it?