Thursday, 30 August 2007

Still reading....

I'm still only half way through Garnethill and have been for a few days now....think I must be falling asleep before finishing a chapter. Or maybe I'm just spinning it out since I'm enjoying it so much -who said you can read too much crime?
Good meeting on Tuesday -lots of interesting opinions and the food and drink was particularly nice too! If you haven't read the Guardian article by Luke Sutherland,do so before reading the book. No wonder he got out of Orkney fast...!!! (link here...)

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Books from here till Christmas

Good meeting last night, dare I suggest folk seem to enjoy coming. Good to see membership staying strong, we are without doubt the nation's premium book group. Can't see why we didn't win the Book Group of the Year prize, they'd better give it to us next year or else.

Interesting reads for next month - Venus as a Boy promises an alternative view of Orkney and The Stornoway Way the same for the Western Isles, should be an interesting compare and contrast exercise. Since we wanted to read everything suggested last night we've now got our next three month's reads sorted as well:
  • October it's The Red Tent by Ann Diamant
  • November The Reader by Bernard Schlink
  • December Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.
Though it could still change if we get overtaken by an urgent and all-consuming need to read something else...

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Poetry room at Wordplay

I'm looking forward to Karen's poetry room at Wordplay, complete with lava lamps and chaise longues.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Mina and more

Yes, Denise Mina if good (I'm just back from Glasgow too!). I like Exile, the follow up to Garnethill, interesting reminders of the horrible night bus to London. Other things I read on my hols - of interest to book-groupies will be Susanna Jones' new one, strange tale, quite liked it though not as much as her first two.
Also, best thing I've read in a long while: Jackie Kay's book of short stories, Wish I Was Here, utterly charming, lovely light touch to her writing.

Saturday, 25 August 2007


Thanks for the tip Aileen,as I was about to check out some other Denise Mina titles,but obviously I won't now untill I finish Garnethill! Started reading this in Glasgow earlier this week and sadly I was like one of those Da Vinci Code geeks,checking out locations to see if certain places mentioned were as described in the book! I have to admit that this book has got me totally hooked - it would be a great read for the book group as there is a lot to discuss and the characters are brilliant!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Denise Mina

After finishing off the Mark Spragg book I thought I'd make a start on the Wordplay authors, haven't read any Iain Banks I'm ashamed to admit, but I started with Denise Mina, Garnethill since it's based in my home turf and I'm quite into crime novels anyway. The opening page didn't look all that promising, I thought it might be a bit gloomy and hard going but she has a good sense of humour which really lightens the book. However I made the mistake of picking up the next book in the serious as it was lying about in the library, and the blurb on it reveals the ending of Garnethill so I was really hacked off. Why do they do that, eh?

Monday, 13 August 2007

Can't keep up!

With the reading or the blogging! Meant to do this days ago but where does the time go? I have to admit I'm currently reading 'Harry Potter' whilst waiting for 'An Unfinished Life' to arrive from Amazon.
Lately I've been reading lots of horsey books having jsut acquired a horse after an absence of a couple of years. I've jsut finished a lovely book called 'Horses Never Lie' a 'how to' book rather than a story, but very good. By Mark Rashid,it is based on the horse whispering theory which is becoming increasingly popular among horse owners nowadays. It certainly got me thinking and I guess it had an effect in that I did start to think diferently about one or two of the pre-conceptions I've held about horses for many years.
But enough of that, the latest Harry Potter doesn't seem to have the same continuity as the other books and I get a real feeling that old JK just couldn't wait to get to the end and be shot of the whole caboodle so that she can finally rest on her (no doubt gold plated) laurels. All a bit of an anti-climax really.
I wish the Mark Spragg would hurry up and arrive.

Harry Potter

Well it's Monday and I'm still only half way through Harry Potter,my bedtime reading having been disrupted by a night under canvas at Sandsound! But I have to admit I am enjoying it so far - I just need to read a bit faster! The pile of books at my bedside now includes several WordPlay authors,several recommendations from friends and various titles which I intend to re-read but in all honesty probably never will. Anyway,early night tonight....

Weekend reading

Unfinished Life was a good book to relax with, a feel-good story I thought, though that sounds a bit trivial. Liked how it concentrated on the goodness in people and how they needed each other. And liked how it stayed in the present where the temptation might have been to go lurching back for lots of big flashbacks.
Now I've decided I may as well get Harry Potter out of the way so spent most of yesterday immersed in the Deathly Hallows and jolly enjoyable it is too. A bit self-indulgently overlong as is J K Rowling's wont, but a good read.
Booker longlist: as usual I hadn't managed to predict any of these so we only have about 4 of the books in library stock already. But did hear the Chair of the judging panel admit on the radio that he'd only heard of about 4 of them too, so don't feel too inadequate. They are all on order.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Booker excitement mounts!

The Man Booker longlist should be published today, keep an eye on their site - apparently the longlist will just comprise a dozen books this year. At the library we're going to try out a short loan system for the shortlist to help folk who want to read them all - loans for a week, no renewals or reservations - some of our members might be interested after our feat of reading round last year's Booker. We'll feel a bit left out if we don't do it again. This year a different six groups are shadowing the prize so they should have blogs up on the official site soon like we did. And they get to go to the shortlist party, and we don't, it's just not fair!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Wordplay 2007

Here's a list of authors coming up to Shetland for the Wordplay 2007 book festival 0n 8th-9th September (in case you want to get reading):

Iain Banks
Debi Gliori
Denise Mina
Kevin McNeil (and he has a blog!)
Pam Beasant - George Mackay Brown Fellow, from Orkney (couldn't find a website)
Fred Normandale
Keith Gray

The festival will be held in Isleburgh Community Centre.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Poetry Rules

Unfinished Life shaping up well, but only read a few chapters as head too full of poems - our very exciting Open Mike* Poetry night at the Library is taking up all my brainpower. One of the treats of the evening will be a rendition of Edwin Morgan's Loch Ness Monster song. You can have a sneaky listen here at the, a splendid web site I thoroughly recommend.

*Let's open up the debate which has recently split our small community: would you spell the diminutive of microphone 'mike' or 'mic'?