Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



 
It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.



FINISHED THIS WEEK:
Two Pints

Two men meet for a pint in a Dublin pub. They chew the fat, set the world to rights, take the piss. They talk about their wives, their kids, their kids' pets, their football teams and - this being Ireland in 2011-12 -about the euro, the crash, the presidential election, the Queen's visit. But these men are not parochial or small-minded; one of them knows where to find the missing Colonel Gaddafi (he's working as a cleaner at Dublin Airport); they worry about Greek debt, the IMF and the bondholders ( whatever they might be); in their fashion, they mourn the deaths of Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Davy Jones and Robin Gibb; and they ask each other the really important questions like 'Would you ever let yourself be digitally enhanced?'
Inspired by a year's worth of news, Two Pints distils the essence of Roddy Doyle's comic genius. This book shares the concision of a collection of poems, and the timing of a virtuoso comedian.

Just plain funny!!!! Eavesdropping on their conversation in the pub as they discuss the news of the day, I never wanted it to end.


Capital

From the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, a sweeping social novel set at the height of the financial crisis.

Celebrated novelist John Lanchester ("an elegant and wonderfully witty writer"—New York Times) returns with an epic novel that captures the obsessions of our time. It's 2008 and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are going under, and the residents of Pepys Road, London--a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumor and her graffiti-artist grandson, Pakistani shop owners and a shadowy refugee who works as the meter maid, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder—are receiving anonymous postcards reading "We Want What You Have." Who is behind it? What do they want? Epic in scope yet intimate, capturing the ordinary dramas of very different lives, this is a novel of love and suspicion, of financial collapse and terrorist threat, of property values going up and fortunes going down, and of a city at a moment of extraordinary tension.

This was one of those books that you hated to finish, it is 500 pages of knowing the characters and wanting it to continue so you could find out what happens to each of them.
I haven't read John Lanchester before, but I will be seeking him out.



The Child's Child

From three-time Edgar Award–winning mystery writer Ruth Rendell, writing here under her Barbara Vine pseudonym, an ingenious novel-within-a-novel about brothers and sisters and the violence lurking behind our society’s taboos When their grandmother dies, Grace and Andrew Easton inherit her sprawling, book-filled London home, Dinmont House. Rather than sell it, the adult siblings move in together, splitting the numerous bedrooms and studies. The arrangement is unusual, but ideal for the affectionate pair—until the day Andrew brings home a new boyfriend. A devilishly handsome novelist, James Derain resembles Cary Grant, but his strident comments about Grace’s doctoral thesis soon puncture the house’s idyllic atmosphere. When he and Andrew witness their friend’s murder outside a London nightclub, James begins to unravel, and what happens next will change the lives of everyone in the house. Just as turmoil sets in at Dinmont House, Grace escapes into reading a manuscript—a long-lost novel from 1951 called The Child’s Child—never published because of its frank depictions of an unwed mother and a homosexual relationship. The book is the story of two siblings born a few years after World War One. This brother and sister, John and Maud, mirror the present-day Andrew and Grace: a homosexual brother and a sister carrying an illegitimate child. Acts of violence and sex will reverberate through their stories.

The Child’s Child is an enormously clever, brilliantly constructed novel-within-a-novel about family, betrayal, and disgrace. A master of psychological suspense, Ruth Rendell, in her newest work under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, takes us where violence and social taboos collide. She shows how society’s treatment of those it once considered undesirable has changed—and how sometimes it hasn’t.

 I had trouble getting interested in this story, mainly because I love Capitol so much. Once it picked up it had my attention. This is a novel within a novel. Maud, who is born after the first world war, should have been a likeable character, however she turns out to be such a selfish piece of work that one cannot have any sympathy for her. 
It is a fascinating study of cultural changes over the years. I did think that the modern characters needed more development. It was hard to get to really know any of them. The ending was just plain annoying!


STARTED THIS WEEK:
The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #15)

In the past . . .
On a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace, once home to the tragically destroyed Great Exhibition, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.

In the present . . .
On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now that her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is at home to care for their three-year-old foster daughter. Assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team in South London, she's assisted by her trusted colleague, newly promoted Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot. Their first case, a crime scene at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace. The victim, a well-respected barrister, found naked, trussed, and apparently strangled. Is it an unsavory accident or murder? In either case, he was not alone, and Gemma's team must find his companion-a search that leads them into unexpected corners and forces them to contemplate unsettling truths about the weaknesses and passions that lead to murder. Ultimately, they will begin to question everything they think they know about their world and those they trust most.


1 comment:

  1. The sound of broken Glass sounds interesting. Hope you are enjoying it.
    Here is my Monday .

    ReplyDelete