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Late…Holiday Reading

October 25, 2010

Weeelllll…I may be a little late on this, but holiday reads are what I’m going to write about – you can recast them as Winter Holiday reads, if you like – some I read in Mediterranean September It’s-Too- Hot-To-Breathe Sunshine – some in Irish October Brrrr-Heating-Is-Broke-Dammit Sunshine (not the same thing atall atall).
So, without fear or favour, I can tell you I read ( and for the most part enjoyed) the following –
Tickling the English – Dara O’Briain; a humorous memoir of an Irishman’s take on the English.
Spilling the Beans – Clarissa Dickson Wright; a wryly humorous memoir from one of the Two Fat Ladies cooks.
I Shall Wear Midnight – Terry Pratchett; nominally a young adult book, this combines sophisticated humour and teenage angst with lashings of common sense woven through with fantasy and serious musings on the human condition – all in the one book. A masterpiece – for sheer humorous humanity, Terry Pratchett has no match since P. G. Wodehouse.
Rebel Prince – Celine Kiernan; the third volume in the Moorehawke Trilogy, this concludes this really rather good young adult series worthily.
Jealousy – Lili St. Crow; another 3rd volume of a y/a series, this time the series deals with vampires and werewolves (yes, I know, you’re thinking Twilight clone, but think again!) which looks like it has more quality books to come in the series.
Magic Study & Fire Study – Maria Snyder – these read like quality y/a fantasy, but aren’t marketed as such – really very good with a well imagined world and rounded characters.
Tamara Drewe – Posy Simmonds; graphic novel, originally run in the Guardian newspaper, very loosely based on Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.
Fry Chronicles – Stephen Fry; a memoir by the immensely clever and likeable Stephen Fry.
Sovereign – C J Sansom; the third in a very well written and researched murder mystery series set in the court of Henry VIII – gripping suspense within a gritty, realistic Tudor setting
The Clever One – Helen Close; a claustrophic, tense novel set in contemporary Limerick which is a y/a crossover – seen through the eyes of an intelligent but detached 16 year old as she watches her family and community unravel over the space of a year
and finally…
Ross O’Carroll-Kelly. I have fallen in love with this character, despicable as he is…like a modern Dublin 4 version of Flashman, he is cowardly, mendacious and self-serving, but he also casts the illusion that was the “Celtic Tiger” in an unflatteringly accurate light. Very funny, very smart.  I have read the whole series, from the first in the series The Teenage Dirtbag Years up to the most recent book, The Oh My God Delusion and it just gets better and more powerful and funnier with every book.

And yes, I am buying books…books galore, diet bedamned!  Ah well, it was never going to last too long…

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