Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Some of the books I've read/listened to lately (LBE)

I'm combining some of the book reviews I'm behind on in this one post to save time; no sense starting new posts for each when I'm doing them all at once, is there?


Some of the books I've read/listened to lately are as follows:

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Series The Border Trilogy

"Like its predecessor, All the Pretty Horses, it is a coming-of-age novel set on the border between the southwest United States and Mexico. The plot takes place before and during the Second World War, and focuses on the life of Billy Parham, the protagonist, a teenage cowboy, his family and his younger brother Boyd. The story tells of three journeys taken from New Mexico to Mexico. It is noted for being a more melancholic novel than the first of the trilogy, without returning to the hellish bleakness of McCarthy's early novels.

Although the novel is neither satirical nor humorous, its realistic portrayal of an often destitute hero taking part in a series of loosely connected quests in a brutal, corrupt world gives it many of the qualities of a picaro."

"The first sojourn details a series of hunting expeditions conducted by Billy, his father and to a lesser extent, Boyd. They are attempting to locate and trap a pregnant female wolf which has been preying on cattle in the area of the family homestead."

"When Billy finally catches the animal, he harnesses it and, instead of killing it, determines to return it to the mountains of Mexico where he believes its original home is located. He develops a deep affection for and bond with the wolf, risking his life to save it on more than one occasion."

(Curious? Click here to read more... WARNING: Link contains spoilers!).

First Among Equals by Jeffrey Archer
"First Among Equals is a 1984 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer, which follows the careers and personal lives of four fictional British politicians (Simon Kerslake, MP for Coventry Central and later Pucklebridge; Charles Seymour, MP for Sussex Downs; Raymond Gould, MP for Leeds North; and Andrew Fraser, MP for Edinburgh Carlton) from 1964 to 1991, with each vying to become Prime Minister. Several situations in the novel are drawn from the author's own early political career in the British House of Commons, and the fictional characters interact with actual political figures from the UK and elsewhere including Winston Churchill, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Hurd, Colonel Gadaffi, Gary Hart and Queen Elizabeth II.

The title is a literal translation of the Latin term Primus inter pares, a term used to refer to either the most senior member of a group of equals (peers) or to refer to someone who claims to be just one member of a group of equals when in reality he or she completely dominates said group. This phrase is used to describe the official constitutional status of the British Prime Minister within his Cabinet."

(Click here to see where I got the above text from and read more about the book).

The Sanctuary Sparrow by Ellis Peters
Series Brother Cadfael

"Brother Cadfael must prove the innocence of Liliwin, a young Jongleur, accused of the murder and robbery of a goldsmith, who has claimed right of sanctuary in the Abbey. In truth the "murder" victim is not dead, merely stunned, even so the crime would still warrant a hanging. When the neighbor of the goldsmith is found dead, the townsfolk jump to the conclusion that Liliwin must have murdered him in an effort to conceal a witness."

(Click here to see the page that text came from).

The Daughters of Cain by Colin Dexter
Series Inspector Morse series, #11

"The body of Dr. Felix McClure, Ancient History don of Wolsey College, Oxford, is found in his flat. A brutal murder - a single stab to the stomach with a broad knife. The police have no weapon, no suspect and no motive. The case leads Morse into the path of Edward Brooks, who himself disappears following a museum theft. Then the weapon is found and there are suddenly too many suspects."

(Click here to see where that piece of text came from).

Who on Earth is Tom Baker? by Tom Baker
"Tom Baker's autobiography covers his childhood in the poor, spirited Irish community in Liverpool; his six years as a monk; his struggling times as an out-of-work actor; and onto appearances alongside Olivier at the National Theatre, work with Pasolino and his time as Doctor Who."

(Click here to find this book on Amazon, which is where that bit of text came from... WARNING: Link may contain spoilers in reviews by other readers).

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
"My Cousin Rachel is a novel by British author Daphne du Maurier, published in 1951. Like the earlier Rebecca, it is a mystery-romance, largely set on a large estate in Cornwall."

"Philip Ashley, the protagonist, has been brought up by his cousin Ambrose, to whom he is devoted, on Ambrose's Cornish estate. While travelling in Italy for his health, Ambrose falls in love with and marries Rachel, a distant cousin and penniless widow of an Italian count."

(Click here to visit the page that bit of text came from... WARNING: Link contains spoilers!)

I enjoyed all of the books.

Although, I have to admit that I did find parts of "First Among Equals" to be a bit dull, but that's mainly due to my limited interest in anything to do with politics. OK, fine, I admit it... It's because I don't give a hoot about politics. It was good enough that I read the whole book though, so I guess that's something.

I thoroughly enjoyed the others though. Especially "My Cousin Rachel".

And there was another book... Which I recently re-read, but I'm sure I reviewed on here before; it's "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and it's one I read often; it's among the ones I'd consider my favourites.

And, of course, how could I not have enjoyed "Who On Earth Is Tom Baker?" Especially since my copy is actually read by Tom himself.

More book reviews will be coming soon.

Yes, really.

There are more I've read that didn't make it in to this post, and I just got a couple of new ones.

Did I mention I was behind on book reviews? LOL!


Intense Guy said...

Tom Baker was a monk? You learn something new everyday! :)

I think I would have trouble with a book that says "In truth the "murder" victim is not dead, merely stunned, even so the crime would still warrant a hanging."

I would sincerely hope that "Justice System" is mistake-free and free of politics and corruption (which is rarely the case).

Deanna said...

Those are some interesting sounding books. I'm especially going to chek out jeffrey Archer's book (even though it wasn't one of your favorites lol) because I thought I had read everything he has written. Having been in politics all my working life, I lean towards those books even though I try not to!


Toriz said...

You'll learn a lot about Tom if you read the book. :)

That's fine; just because I wasn't overly fuussed on it doesn'tmean you wont like it, especially if you tend to lean towards things involving politics, since that was the thing that stopped me enjoying it so much.

Rita said...

I'd pass on any book about politics, I think. But the rest sounded pretty interesting. And Cadfael!!! I LOVE!!! Love the books and the series with Derek Jacobi is just wonderful!!

I can see why you had to catch up with all these books to review!! Wow! Nice!

AliceKay said...

Looks like you've been reading/listening to a lot of books. I don't know if "The Secret Garden" movie followed the book at all, but I really loved that movie.

That corgi :) said...

Thanks for the book reviews Tori! I am always on the lookout for good reads! The Crossings does sound like an interesting story; definitely going to check some of these out to see if our library carries them!


Toriz said...

I haven't seen the TV series, but if it's anything like the books then I'd like to!

Yes, and there are still more to review that I haven't gotten around to writing reviews for yet, LOL!

The movie was a bit different from the book in some ways, but a lot closer to the book than some movies are. I loved the movie too. I also love the book and movie for another book by the same author... "A Little Princess"

I hope the library has the books you'd like to read!