75. Nine Coaches Waiting, Mary Stewart76. My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart77. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart78. This Rough Magic, Mary Stewart79. The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera80. The Gabriel Hounds, Mary Stewart
Still working through the Mary Stewart "dashing heroines" books. They're all excellent reads, thoroughly recommended. Set in, respectively, France, Greece, England, Corfu and Lebanon. I read the Whale Rider in the middle for a bit of contrast: it's beautifully atmospheric.81. Digital Fortress, Dan Brown
This on the other hand, comes thoroughly dis
recommended. To be honest, I don't know why I stuck with it to the predictably disappointing and clunky ending. I bought it, together with Angels and Demons
, because WH Smith had them on buy-one-get-one-half-price at King's Cross and I'd only two chapters of The Gabriel Hounds
to go, and I thought "The Da Vinci Code was quite worth reading
, maybe his other books are worth reading too". Oh what a mistake that was.
Dan Brown does his research well enough, but he then has his characters regurgitate it in clunky dialogue. For extra fun, in Digital Fortress
he also narrates in tedious detail what the dialogue means, so the reader Is In No Doubt. Unfortunately, I think he simply doesn't understand what he's been researching, at least on the computer/cryptography side. The plot is deeply implausible and the characters even more so, and everything is just at best mediocre and often far worse.
I tried to read Angels and Demons
but on the prelude
page he spouts a lot of bollocks about antimatter under the heading "Fact", and then he has more painful dialogue and Helpful Explanatory Narration and badly-understood physics (again, painstakingly researched, just not understood
). And the bloody Illuminati are involved. When he brought in yet another Terribly Clever Gorgeous Mysterious Heroine. All I can think if he's so clearly got his crypto research wrong and his physics research wrong, how much faith can I put in his "art history and architecture" research in the Da Vinci Code? Probably not much - in fact sierra_le_oli
pointed out at least one mistake about Paris
So in summary: Dan Brown: Just Say No.82. Faking It, Jenny Crusie
By contrast, this book had me laughing out loud. Brilliantly-written rom-com, cleverly plotted and using the best farce cliches (in a good way). Thoroughly enjoyable, I will have to get my own copy of this (it's a lend from fanf
's mother) and there are at least five more listed on http://www.jennycrusie.com/
...83. Reflex, Dick Francis
An old favourite I found lying around at fanf
's father's place. Still as good a read as the first time I read it, even if it definitely shows its age. Particularly good in contrast to the abysmal Dan Browns.84. The Partner, John Grisham85. The Last Juror, John Grisham
I haven't read Grisham in ages, but I generally enjoy him when I do, and these two are no exception: good characterisation, plotting, dialogue, narration. I also seem to have hooked Tony, who has been digging out the existing Grishams on our shared shelves.86. A Murder on the Appian Way, Steven Saylor
Another "Roman detective" book, with the same character as in Roman Blood
which I read a month or two ago. Gordianus The Finder is about 20 years older in this book, and I gather there are two other books set in the intervening years. Steven Saylor's books seem to be based on enormous amounts of research and the cases involved are matters of historical record, as he describes in the appendix.87. The Moon Spinners, Mary Stewart
This book's dashing heroine is in Crete. The quality remains excellent.