Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum

Another book from the office book exchange shelves that has been collecting dust on my TBR shelves for far too long. This was a serviceable thriller that was a blast from the past due to its 1980 publication date. I love the espionage conducted over pay telephones! The relatively recent movie was obviously updated in this technology as well as the overall plot, which follows the book in a broad sense only.

In doing some research about this book, I discovered that the awesome Golden Earring song "Twilight Zone" was based on this book - I suppose I could have figured that out had I read the book back in the day when it was first published.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Times Anthology of Ghost Stories

Found this collection of short stories a couple years ago on my office's book exchange shelves, and thought it would be a perfect October read. I finally managed to make that happen!

Apparently The Times (presumably of London; this book is a UK edition) held a contest for the best previously unpublished ghost story in 1974. The impressive judging panel consisted of Kingsley Amis, Patricia Highsmith, and Christopher Lee - well known names even now. The winning story, as well as many others that were highly regarded, were then published in this collection in 1975.

By the standards of our times, most of these stories were more on the "creepy" side than what passes for horror, e.g., gore and violence, these days. The winning story, "A Doll Named Silvio," was in fact incredibly creepy, while some of the other stories were almost more sad than scary. All in all this book was a perfect read for the days leading up to Halloween.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Walled City - Ryan Graudin

This is a harrowing, relentless story that is expertly paced - at times I wasn't sure I could stand the tension, and I was compelled to keep reading so I could find out what happened next. I think this book would make an amazing graphic novel - or a film. A real page turner. Recommended.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher

Dear Readers,

I have the distinct pleasure of recommending to one and all this uproarious, yet touching, novel. It is sure to cause much mirth and amusement among its (deservedly large, I fervently hope) reading audience. I myself am still laughing audibly when I recall various witty turns of phrase. As a fellow devotee of literature, languages, and all things now all too often considered superfluous in the face of the single-minded pursuit of filthy lucre, I daresay I was able to see aspects of myself in the plight of our intrepid narrator. In the modern vernacular, I felt his pain, and I must say I very much share his opinion of economics and business.

Despite the effusive praise for this novel's comedic elements, which are ample and entertaining, do not be deceived: there is much depth to this book as well. The reader will empathize with many of the narrator's sentiments, and the humor deftly conceals poignance. In this way, much reward awaits the careful reader.

I hereby urge you to obtain a copy of this book at your soonest convenience and assure you that it will make a splendid addition to any bookshelf.

Best regards,

Anja Kasap, Book Reviewer
Reading 2011 (and Beyond)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Reluctant Vampire - Eric Morecambe

Stumbled on this book on NetGalley and it seemed like a fitting book for pre-Halloween October. It's a light-hearted book for young readers that I think would appeal to them very much - I know if I had read it when I was a kid, I would have enjoyed it. The book includes illustrations that were charming and added to the atmosphere.

I did some quick research, and discovered that the author was a beloved British comedian who died in 1984. This book was originally published in 1982 and there is also a sequel - I may have to search that out so I can see what happened next. A fun little read that took me back to Halloweens and favorite books from my childhood.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Almost Flood - Simon Whitaker, Dante S. Prado

This book had me cackling with laughter the whole time I was reading it. Totally hilarious.

The Meaning of Night - Michael Cox

Readers, I loved this book. All 700 pages of it.

This is yet another of the many (way too many, actually) books I got at Borders' Last Days sales. I was immediately taken by the cover, and was able to get the other book by Cox too, for a pittance. And then both books sat on my TBR pile until I finally added this one to my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge list (have I recently mentioned how much I love this challenge?). And now it has finally interfered with me getting a good night's sleep, as I couldn't put it down at a reasonable hour.

I found it to be instantly engrossing and I felt compelled to read it. I was taken in with the narrator right away; for some reason I desperately wanted to understand him and be on his side, even though I suspected he was actually something of an unreliable narrator. Another book I can't believe I didn't read sooner, but that I'm glad I got to read now. Luckily, I have the sequel, so I can remain immersed in the world of this book a little longer. Recommended.