Saturday, 27 February 2010

Books I read in February

John Harvey Rough Treatment
One of my missing Resnick novels that I didn't get to read over Christmas. Slightly disappointing after all the anticipation.

John Harvey Easy Meat
Much better. More involving, more convincing. Perhaps the series gets better as it goes on.

Lynsey Hanley Estates: An Intimate History
Part history of council housing; part memoir; part polemic. Marvellous.

John Harvey Still Water
Another hit - with bodies in the canal, including one at Worksop - I could picture that vividly. What more could one ask.

Sue Gee Reading in Bed

Picked this up because the one of hers I read last year was pretty good. Not so this - completely unengaging and a real struggle to finish.

Anna Minton
Ground Control: Fear and happiness in the twenty-first century city

From why you can't take photographs in Paddington Basin (what first alerted me to the privatisation of public space), to the planned demolition of hundreds of thousands of perfectly serviceable terraced houses whose only fault is that they're not profitable, to why they are likely to be replaced by estates that look like prison camps, and how Britain has more CCTV cameras than the rest of Europe put together and still the most insecure and unhappy people - an articulation of everything that is wrong with a planning policy that puts profit before people. Tails off a bit in the final section, but... my book gets a mention!

Nicci Gerrard The Winter House
Terribly sad, sometimes to the point of being over the top, but some beautiful descriptions of feelings and turns of phrase.

Reginald Hill Dialogues of the Dead
Never sure what to make of Dalziel and Pascoe... touches of comedy and sometimes downright weird. Lots of entertaining reading in this, but I think I like a bit more credibility to my police procedurals.

Ann Granger A Restless Evil
Ligthweight but reasonably engaging mystery of the Sinister Village genre.

I've decided to do this every month now. It should keep me from reading the most egregious tripe, knowing that I have to publicly confess to it, and it is nice to look back on a record of those books I've read which would otherwise be instantly forgettable.

So, that's seven works of fiction, of which five were crime novels, and two non-fiction, at an average of slightly more than two books a week. And that doesn't include work reading (although the two non-fiction ones this month were relevant to work) - unless it's a pleasure as well. Where do I find the time, I hear yoy ask. Well, apart from three hours on the train each day I go to work (three or four times a week, that accounts for most of it)... how do you find the time to watch TV?


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