Not So Recently Read books

July 12, 2023

I found this post in the saved drafts, but I can’t find that I actually posted it, so here’s an old list of books I read in August a coupld years ago.;-D

E=MC² by David Bodanis- A surprisingly good read I did not expect to enjoy at all, but which I liked so much I had Pip and Jenny read it for school. It’s ‘a biography of the world’s most famous equation,’ but it’s also a great story of science as battles fought and won.

The False Inspector Dew
, by Peter Lovesey- his mysteries are funny, quirky, amusing little things with far too lax an attitude towards certain moral questions. He also has a lax attitude towards plausibility and internal consistancy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fun read. This one had a MAJOR flaw, a gross error that completely threw me off track, and it’s such a huge mistake I cannot believe his editors let it pass. One of the main characters is impersonating another on an ocean voyage, and in the character of that impersonation she meets and falls in love with a potentially suspicious man- who is only supposed to know her by her false colours yet who nonchalantly refers to her by her true name- which allegedly nobody else on the ship knows except her accomplice. “Ho-ho,” I thought to myself, “There’s a big clue. Either he knew who she was before he got on board, or she’s told him something she shouldn’t and they are conspiring to double cross the accomplice.” Only nothing further happened in that direction and for the rest of the book the poor man thinks she’s the person she’s been impersonating and it was just a silly mistake on the author’s part.

The Daffodil Affair (Inspector Appleby Mystery S.)
by Michael Innes- this one was also utterly implausible, and I think it if had been my first Innes it would have been my last, which would be a shame because Inspector Appleby is not to be missed. There is a brief chuckle towars the end, at about the point where I was thinking, “This is simply ridiculous as a plot line, and not worthy of a mystery writer of Innes’ character,” when one of the characters says something like, “I read a lot of mysteries for fun, and I have never read anything quite so odd and unlikely as this. We might almost be in an Innes.” and his companion, the intrepid Inspector Appleby, says, “who?”

The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery
by Philip Pullman- I’ve not read Pullman before, and I liked this better than I expected to. Sort of reminded me of a much more straight forward, less prosy, Wilkie Collins. Maybe like a Wilkie Collins for teenagers.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
, by Mary Norton- I ought to have known better but I was totally astonished at how different this was from the movie. Not even close to the same sort of story. It was a fun little read, a bit like an E. Nesbit for younger readers, and obviously (I think) if you don’t like fictional, fairy tale sorts of witches, you won’t like this and shouldn’t read it.

These Were the Romans, by Tingay- which was my TBR challenge for August.

M.C. Beaton’s Death of a Traveling Man, a mystery

By Hook or by Book (Prime Crime Mysteries), a forgettable mystery with a gimmick of string figures at the opening of each chapter- but I don’t do string games very well, and without pictures I cannot do them at all, so I just skipped that.

Psalms, 1 1/2 times.