Saturday, 1 May 2021

Books & Stuff (NS, No 15) - Reading in Apr 2021

Finished Reading

Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

A hang-over from 'March is Mars Month', and I discussed it in the last round-up

There I called it a lyrical classic about human baggage, which I'll stick with.

Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog

One of Willis' splendid books on the Oxford Faculty for Time Travel.  In this one, everyone has been caught up in a donor's huge vanity project (to recreate the bombed Coventry Catherdral in perfect detail).  Willis is one of those writers who keeps me up all night.

It's both a tribute to J K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat and a study of chaos theory.  A hoot.

Ben Aaronovitch, False Value

When I started this I was a little concerned that - at Book 8 - the Rivers of London series might have run out of steam.  I need have only been slightly worried.  Although, not up to the high standard of the first couple of books, this certainly kept pace with the later ones.

The only problem is that I need a concordance to keep up with all the characters and references.  I'm sure there's one online somewhere, but that's not much help to me when I'm sitting up reading at 2.30am.

Aubrey/Maturin Series

Patrick O'Brian
Master and Commander 
Post Captain
HMS Surprise
The Mauritius Command

I had an inclination to re-read some of the Aubrey/Maturin books - not necessarily all of them (that would be too much of A Project), but it seems to be heading that way.  

It was with some surprise that I see that they are older now than the Hornblower books were when I first read those (and then they seemed positively antique!).  Still, they take me back...  I first read them in the 90s when I used to have a long commute (most of my copies were bought at WH Smiths on Liverpool's Lime Street Station).  It was a formative period for me.  At the time I was developed a focus on maritime and naval history which ran as a thread in my career for a while.

Currently Reading

Patrick O'Brian, Desolation Island

The crew head towards the Botany Bay colony (with a few convicts including a beautiful female spy), but run into trouble in the South Atlantic.


  1. I loved the Martian Chronicles, and pretty well anythign by Ray Bradbury.

    I was very excited indeed to sail past the actual Desolation Island when sailing round Cape Horn a couple of years ago. Really, the bleakest most desolate place I've ever been.

  2. Wow, that must have been fascinating.

  3. I really enjoyed False Value. You're isn't up to the standard of the earlier books but still very good. I've also been minded to re-read some of the Indian books. I might add them to the to-read pile.

  4. I've also been re-reading books from my 1980s. I should probably do a post on it/them.


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