Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile

My first encounter with Jenny Colgan and it was enjoyable. She writes tight science fiction with great characterizations and ideas. Clearly, she did some research for the book and this made it more interesting. If you are interested in mathematics, or at least those who profess to be mathematicians, you may enjoy some of the characters even more.

Some interesting twists and the book could have been a lot more detailed and philosophical but it was kept tight and action based. Great one day read. Could be an enticing little movie and easily developed into a series.

From Goodreads – Connie thinks she’s never met anyone quite like Luke Beith before.

She has no idea how right she is.

As a high-ranking mathematician in a male-dominated field – with bright red hair – Connie’s used to being considered a little unusual.

But she’s nowhere near as peculiar as Luke, who is recruited to work alongside her on a top-secret code-breaking project.

Just what is this bizarre sequence they’re studying? It isn’t a solution to the global energy crisis. It isn’t a new wavelength to sell microwave ovens. The numbers are trying to tell them something . . . and it seems only Luke knows what.

The truth is out there. Will Connie dare to find it?

In this whirlwind adventure, Sunday Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan boldly goes where no author has gone before . . .

Sushi For Beginners

Sushi for Beginners

The Harvey Weinstein and female abuse sagas were blazing forth as I read this narrative and I was constantly challenged by the thoughts of these women, what they desired from the men around them and how complex the starting and finishing of relationships can be. I enjoyed the titillation as well as the ‘real’ insights into how this female author believes some women regard the Other. Her insights into a mother’s life, her seemingly rich understanding of depression and her varied characterisations were enriching if a struggle for my poor male mind. The sex was very masculine in some ways, is that really what is going on?

What a complex beast the fashion industry is and how self-absorbed some of these women appeared. How much is real? What should a male reader take away from it?

I look forward to tackling another even if it got a bit over-inclusive at times. Great writer though and if I get time will go back and pull the characters apart a bit… just for interest of course.

From Goodreads – One of Keyes’ bestsellers, featuring the single career young women living in Dublin.

A Summer At Sea

A Summer At Sea

Ladies view of romance maybe? The characterisations were good as far as they went but not a lot of substance. Interesting setting in Scotland and the Puffer. Could have done with more cooking and sailing rather than midwifery but a pleasant enough romance. It was almost as if the author was trying to describe a reality when she could have given us so much more fiction.

From Goodreads – Emily is happy with her life just as it is.

She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air.

So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance.

But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.

Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily.

And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.

Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?

The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist

Overall I was disappointed in this tale of the grotesque world of Protestant Amsterdam and the terrible actions of the greedy and powerful religious figures of the time. If there is a God I see no evidence in this sad narrative. Overall it was well written and gained the impact the author desired. I so wish though the ending had been different. Women writers do tend to like the sad endings. My love of fantasy would have enjoyed much more of the miniature world which is why I started it but once you open a book you must finish…eventually. I look forward to reading others reviews on this one.

From Goodreads – On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s life changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways…

Johannes’s gift helps Nella pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation…or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautifully written, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

The Black Echo -Harry Bosch #1

The Black Echo

Second time I have read this and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Off to read the whole series again to try and put all the sequences and long arcs together as well as listen to all the referenced jazz music. Then I plan to start the TV series! Connelly is a great writer of character and the detective genre.

From Goodreads – For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal…because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam “tunnel rat” who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

How To Stop Time

How to Stop Time

Really fascinating topic but sadly could have done so much more with it. Overall a good audiobook but I was always waiting for more. You would imagine after 400 years the protagonist would have been a little more insightful and planning an interesting future.

From Goodreads – I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret.

He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try and tame the past that is fast catching up with him.

The only thing Tom mustn’t do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

The Hard Way

The Hard Way (Jack Reacher #10)

Never quite know if I like Reacher books or not. Sometimes it’s just too easy for the character to triumph yet he does, at everything. They are a bit of opium for that part of the mind that needs a quick thrill with a well known character – a Batman or Superman. Tom Cruise he is not – thank goodness – but if you like others you will find this enjoyable and quick.

From Goodreads:
A Jack Reacher Novel

Featuring Jack Reacher, hero of the new blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise, as he comes to the UK.

Jack Reacher is alone, the way he likes it.

He watches a man cross a New York street and drive away in a Mercedes. The car contains $1 million of ransom money. Reacher’s job is to make sure it all turns out right – money paid, family safely returned.

But Reacher is in the middle of a nasty little war where nothing is simple.
What started on a busy New York street explodes three thousand miles away, in the sleepy English countryside.

Reacher’s going to have to do this one the hard way.

The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop

I am really conflicted by this book. It’s a bit of a fraud in one sense as I was hoping for a wonderful collection of books to read but what I got was quite different. While there is some useful intertextuality the narrative is mostly about a woman author writing from a man’s focus but as it emerges with a female sensibility. The language and emotions evoked are rich and real with love, sadness, loss and grief explored to a deep and thought provoking level. The river and French life features strongly and I will revisit as the author has expressed a number of beautiful thoughts and probably personal philosophies worth capturing – not all that possible on an audio book. Some will love this book but don’t let the title draw you in for the wrong reasons. Probably 4 stars for those who love rich emotive tales.

From Goodreads:
On a barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop, or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possess a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe his customers’ troubled souls.

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. For twenty-one years he has nursed a broken heart – and never dared open the letter his love left behind. But the arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.
Trade Paperback UK edition.

Make Me (Jack Reacher #20)

Make Me (Jack Reacher #20)

I love a good Reacher tale and this wasn’t bad at all. Lots of very dead bad guys and possibly a new love interest. The details are interesting, though I wonder if he will ever make a mistake. I must admit I didn’t guess the story behind the story and that made for greater interest. Not for kids!

From Goodreads:
A Jack Reacher Novel

“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

One of my set texts. Complex novel really and clearly a lot of people think it’s great and I can see why. It is a hard read in that it jumps around the timeline and while it hides the story it breaks the flow. Some of the scenes are so angry that you turn the page or skip the dialogue and that reduces its value, at least to me. I will have to revisit quite a bit during the course so may have to re-evaluate all this.

From Goodreads:
The best story Hemingway has written… No page of this beautiful masterwork could have been done better – Sunday Times

Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway’s magnificent fable is the tale of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. This story of heroic endeavour won Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. It stands as a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements.