22nd June – The Plague

Written by Albert Camus, The Plague is at least partially an allegory of the German occupation of France during WWII. The narrator of the story is only revealed at the very end of the story. Most of the story is told in the third person, with only occasional references to ‘we’. The plague that comesContinue reading “22nd June – The Plague”

19th June – A Study in Scarlet

This is the story that started it all, the one where Dr Watson meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time and they move into 221B Baker Street. It’s a slightly clunky story in that the murderer is revealed half way through, then the background to the reasons why the murders were committed is provided, andContinue reading “19th June – A Study in Scarlet”

31st May – The Amazing Maurice

This is one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels though don’t expect any of the usual characters to appear – there are no wizards – apart from Death and the Death of Rats, who make only a fleeting appearance. Yes, some animals do perish in this book, but don’t worry remember how many lives cats have.Continue reading “31st May – The Amazing Maurice”

29th May – The Sign of Four

One of the classic Sherlock Holmes’ books written by Arthur Conan Doyle, the one about India, missing treasure, a boat chase on The Thames, and Dr Watson meeting his wife. The only thing I don’t appreciate about these tales is how weak the female characters are written, as though they’re just useful for creating plotContinue reading “29th May – The Sign of Four”

19th May – Cat Among the Pigeons

This is a superb book and it’s so easy to read. Murder(s) in a girls’ school leave some of the mistresses dead, but who did it? Well, it turns out that it’s not quite that straighforward and not everyone is who they appear to be, even one of the pupils isn’t who she says sheContinue reading “19th May – Cat Among the Pigeons”

14th March – Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe is a classic story by Daniel Defoe inspired by the experience of Alexander Selkirk marooned for 4 years and 4 months on the largest of the Juan Fernandez Islands 400 miles off Valparaiso, Chile. This is a story that builds up slowly and becomes more and more readable as the time passes. ItContinue reading “14th March – Robinson Crusoe”

12th March – The Left Hand of Darkness

I finished The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guen. Genly Ai, a lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice where gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion into a intergalactic federation called Ekumen. Winter is also referred to as Gethen.Continue reading “12th March – The Left Hand of Darkness”

15th February – John Steinbeck

Well-written satire that is still as funny today as it was when it was published. I believe this is Steinbeck’s only satirical novel and although it does poke fun at French politics, there’s more to it than that. The book, a fabrication in case you weren’t sure, is about Pippin Héristal, an amateur astronomer whoContinue reading “15th February – John Steinbeck”

Office Life – Excerpt 3

An excerpt from a book on life in an English office As Wood finished his cigarette he noticed a programmer called Phil Bracewell coming towards him. Bracewell had scruffy, brown hair, a wispy moustache, and glasses that magnified the hazel pupils of his eyes. “Eh Phil, I hope you’re not coming over to fart nearContinue reading “Office Life – Excerpt 3”

Office Life – Excerpt 2

Another excerpt from a book on life in an English office “I can only speak about the hair on her head,” replied Tranfield,”but it does look like the colour of shoe polish doesn’t it?” “God, Martian, who taught you to program, Aristotle?” “Harry who?” “Aristotle the ancient Greek philosopher, you dimwit, this code is soContinue reading “Office Life – Excerpt 2”