Gosh, it’s been quite a while since I last posted. My apologies. I seem to have been going through not quite a reading slump but a lack of focus in my reading – I’ve been all over the place. I’ve started so many books and not actually finished them before moving onto another book. Sigh.
Some of the books that I have managed to finish have been by Brandon Sanderson who published not one, not two but THREE books in the last couple of months. These are: Bands of Mourning, Mistborn: A Secret History and Calamity. Bands of Mourning and Mistborn: A Secret History are both set in Sanderson’s Mistborn world, the first being the third in the four book Wax and Wayne series and Secret History a short novella set just after the events of the original trilogy. While I very much enjoyed Bands of Mourning – the pacing, characters and plot were all wonderful, and an incredible ending – I was less happy with Secret History. For those of you unaware, all of Sanderson’s adult novels are set in the same world, which he calls the cosmere. In other words, Mistborn, Warbreaker and the Stormlight Archives are all happening in the same universe. At this point in the Mistborn story the worlds are beginning to collide and I’m not 100% sure how I feel about that. I gave Bands of Mourning five stars out of five and Secret History four.
The final Sanderson book I read was Calamity, the final book in the Reckoners trilogy. I had high expectations of this one as one thing Sanderson does very very well is end a series. His endings to the Mistborn trilogy and his work on ending Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time have been among the most memorable for me. I must admit Calamity didn’t quite live up to expectations, although that was more of a personal choice for me; I just didn’t enjoy where Sanderson took the story and characters as much as I’d hoped. I gave Calamity four stars out of five.
The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
Narrator: Nathan Osgood
Length: 14 hrs and 4 mins
Buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible
One book I did very much enjoy this month was Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling. This is a travelogue in which Bryson takes a trip around the UK. Bryson is an American married to a Brit who lived in the UK for many years. It’s always refreshing to see one’s home country from a foreigner’s perspective and this is no exception. This is one to enjoy in audiobook format. The style of the book is as if Bryson were sitting down over a cup of tea with the reader talking about his travels, which makes this an excellent choice for listening and Nathan Osgood does a great job as narrator. Each chapter is introduced by some music typifying the region which adds a little something to the experience, too. Be warned though. The audiobook includes a song “The Bryson Line” written and performed by Richard Digance which is a real ohrwurm. I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. I gave The Road to Little Dribbling five stars out of five.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Narrator: Julia Emelin
Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible
Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a book I listened to this month which very nearly went into my did not finish pile. This is a stand alone epic fantasy about a young woman who is chosen against all odds to serve the local magician as he works to contain the evil Wood. Novik has created a wonderful, magical world, and the characters are interesting. However the pacing and buildup is very, very slow. For quite some time I kept saying to myself, OK one more chapter and if I still amn’t hooked, I’ll leave it. Eventually I realised I was finally becoming invested in the story and characters and was happy to finish the book. I did very much enjoy the audio performance of Julia Emelin. The book is worth persevering with and I gave Uprooted four stars out of five.
The Diary of River Song by Big Finish Productions
Length: 2 hours
This is a production I’ve had on my radar for a while. As I’ve mentioned, the relationship between River Song and The Doctor is one of my favourite fictional relationships and I was intrigued to see how she would pair up with the Eighth Doctor. Big Finish has long been known for Doctor Who audio productions – indeed most of the Eighth Doctor’s adventures take place in this medium – and their production quality is absolutely stellar. For this particular adventure they hired Alex Kingston and Paul McGann to play River and The Doctor and both really get their characters. I must confess to a slight disappointment that River did not reveal her true identity to Eight; but then again that would have broken the internal logic of the TV show. All in all these productions are wonderful and if you like Doctor Who you really should check them out. I gave The Diary of River Song five stars out of five.
And now onto books I started but did not finish this month. The first of these was White Queen by Philippa Gregory. At first, I found myself being really sucked into this story – it is written in a very engaging manner. However, historical dramas is not my usual genre and I found myself leaving it aside for my more usual fare. I imagine I will return to White Queen at some point in the future.
Next up was The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. I really loved the narrator and her sassy attitude in the face of alien invasion. However, I read the rest of the synopsis on Wikipedia and decided I really wasn’t interested in where the story was going.
I started listening to Star Wars Darth Plagueis at the gym, but the story never really grabbed me. I had been hoping for some insight into the world of the Sith and maybe I didn’t give it long enough, but the first few chapters really didn’t grab my interest at all.ianna
Having watched a couple of episodes of Outlander, I dived in once again to the fourth book, Drums of Autumn. These are real doorstops of books and much as I love the characters and story, I find I cannot read them all at once. I read a few chapters, wait a few months, then go back in again. I did enjoy the chapters I read which focussed more on Brianna’s and Roger’s adventures.
So there you have it – my update for the last month. Hopefully in March I will be more focussed. We do have Cassandra Clare’s latest Shadowhunter series starter Lady Midnight being released as well as the conclusion to Danielle Paige’s modern adaptation of the world of Oz, The Yellow Brick War. I’m hoping they will keep me out of trouble!