Tuesday, January 29, 2013

52 Books: #2 - The Rough Collier by Pat McIntosh

The Rough Collier by Pat McIntosh

I'm in danger of falling behind - not with the reading but with the blogging!

A nasty cold put paid to any thoughts of catching up at the weekend, as I could barely bring myself to squint at the computer screen. Anyway I am much better now so will try and get back up to speed.

This is fifth in this series, set mostly in Medieval Glasgow and featuring a young lawyer called Gil Cunningham and his lady Alys, who in this volume he has just married.

This one is set among the coal-workers of Lanarkshire and I found the background detail of the colliers' lives absolutely fascinating. Pat McIntosh always manages to teach me something in the course of a book, and without any hint of lecturing.  A body is discovered in a peat bog and Gil, who is visiting his mother nearby, is asked to look into the death and determine whose body it is.

This is a lovely book, full or period detail and atmosphere and I like how the characters of Gil and Alys are developing through the series.

Definately one I would recommend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

52 Books: #1 - The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was explore different books. I hardly ever read SF. In fact I think it's been about 15 years since I last read an SF novel, which is pretty odd when you consider that I love SF TV and films.

The Forever War is the story of one man, William Mandella. At the beginning of the book he's just signed up to fight in the war against Taurans, an alien race who are threatening the Universe.  The war is happening at various far distant points in the galaxy which are reached via Stargates, however these gates alter time and by the time you come back through from whatever point in the Universe you've been to the Earth has aged, sometimes by hundreds of years. You however remain the same age.  That's quite an interesting concept. For the soldiers it's like coming back to a different planet as political and social views have changed over time. Of course there is nothing on this new Earth for them so they re-enlist and become perpetual soldiers.

I really liked this book and will probably read the next one in the trilogy too at some point.  So I feel vindicated by my decision to start off my year of books with something out of my comfort zone.

Next up a more familiar genre.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The 52 Book Project

Could I read 52 books in a year?  Do I have the time in my life to even attempt such a task?  But really when you break it down it's just one book a week isn't it?  I can manage that. Can't I?

So I'm going to give it a go.  Here are the rules I've set myself.

One short post for each book completed.  For the sake of my sanity I can opt to not finish a book but I need to have read at least 100 pages before I give up. Only books read in 2013 are eligible. This includes audio books.

OK then. First up is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.