Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read and Listened to

My audio books for the month got off to a poor start, when I abandoned Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man halfway into the second CD. I loved the Prologue on the first CD, but couldn't bring myself to have any sympathy towards the protagonist of the main story.

My second audio book was infinitely more satisfying...

The Tenko Club
by Elizabeth Noble
Published by Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Audio Book
ISBN 13 9780340836828

Club Rules: Men, children, work, shopping, wine and chocolate. Important, but not AS important. When they need you, you are there. No giving up. Members Freddie, Tamsin, Reagan and Sarah They meet at university in the heady days of the 80s: four women with little in common but an eagerness to live life to the full. And over romantic crises, long gossipy nights and too many bottles of wine, they form the Tenko club and swear they'll always be there for each other. Life Membership Twenty years later, that promise is put to the test.

This was enjoyable enough listening that I'm going to check out other books by the author to listen to on my daily commute, although it did suffer from all the characters living in high-income chicklit land where no one has many worries about where the money for their trips will come from or how they'll pay the mortgage once people get bored of them taking large amounts of unpaid leave.

Catch Me If You Can
by LB Gregg
Published by Samhain Publishing
Print Book
ISBN 13 9781609281021

Lowly art gallery assistant Caesar Romano is freely out of the closet. Now he’d just like to get out of his Nana’s guest room. Everything—his reputation and his financial freedom—is riding on the success of tonight’s gallery opening. If only he could shake free of the past so easily.

A mysterious gatecrasher, Dan Green, looks like a promising addition to his pending new life—until Caesar’s ex shows up and suddenly the opening disintegrates into a half-naked dance melee. When the glitter settles, a missing sculpture of Justin Timberlake has Caesar up to his eyebrows in extortion, intrigue and a wild sexual adventure underneath, inside, and on top of a variety of furnishings.

As the cast of suspects piles up, so do the questions. Like who’s really blackmailing whom? And what does a stolen paint-by-numbers clown matter when Dan is so outrageously capable of blowing Caesar’s resistance to smithereens?

I won this one a while back, and was a little disappointed with it for reasons that are spoilery in the extreme. Some of the humour didn't cross the Atlantic too well either. Others will probably like it though.

Requiem for a Mezzo
by Carola Dunn
Published by Constable and Robinson
Print Book
ISBN 13: 9781845297459

With dashing Scotland Yard detective Alec Fletcher at her side, Daisy Dalrymple is enjoying a splendid performance of Verdi's Requiem featuring her neighbour Muriel Westlea's celebrated sister, Bettina. But the show comes to an abrupt end when what emerges from the star's gifted vocal chords is literally a dying gasp. Daisy soon learns that the doomed diva was notoriously difficult and had more than her share of enemies. There's a philandering tenor, a burly Russian bass and even her own vocal coach husband, with whom she had a turbulent relationship. Did one of them poison the singer? Or was it someone determined to see that Daisy's investigation ends on as bitter a note as Bettina's last performance.

This series continue to be huge fun. Daisy's career as a journalist is taking off and her friend Lucy is doing reasonably with her photography, though both are still too strapped for cash to have a phone in the house (unlike the distinctly middle class Alec). But Daisy has a free pair of tickets to the Albert Hall and since they were free, she has no problem asking Alec out in order to make use of them. Of course Daisy never goes anywhere without finding a mystery, and Alec reluctantly enlists her help once again.

I do like the way the relationships unfold slowly over the course of the books and more tiny details emerge about the secondary characters. It also turns out that Alec's daughter is delightful, and good at answering the phone for a Small Person, although she and Daisy are yet to meet in person.

Goblin Tales
by Jim C. Hines
Published by Lulu
Print Book
ISBN 13 978-1-257-04941-7

A vengeful ghost trapped in a goblin's ear ... a flaming spider who must help stop a goddess from conquering a science fiction convention ... a goblin nursery worker who finds herself trapped in the middle of a war. This collection features five humorous short stories that explore the fantasy realm from the perspective of the lowest of the low, the unlikeliest of unheroes: the goblins. Includes the following stories from the author of the GOBLIN QUEST trilogy: Goblin Lullaby, The Haunting of Jig's Ear, Goblin Hunter, School Spirit, and Mightier than the Sword. Each story includes an afterward by the author.

As part of jimhines ongoing research into various forms of publishing, he has collected together some of his short stories (mostly) about goblins and released them into the wild as a single volume. Any one with any interest in fantasy and/or (tabletop) RPGs should own this already. If not, what are you all waiting for? It's even a perfect size to carry around with you in a small bag or a large pocket.
Tags: audio books, print books, reviews
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