Weezie’s Reading Roundup: January 2011

Remember in school when it was time to write the dreaded English class book report? Everyone moaned and groaned and was quick to find something they knew could be rented from Blockbuster. Except me. Yeah, I was the dork at the back of the classroom, secretly thinking “Yay!”

Not a lot has changed since then, really. I still read just about everything I can get my hands on; some of it good, some of it not so good & some of it downright horrid (I even have favourites that fall into all three of those categories.) And I still love to share my opinion (asked for or otherwise – heh.)

Here’s a bit of what fell into my lap this month:
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook: A Tale Of Sex, Money, Genius And Betrayal
By Ben Mezrich
(Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

I actually watched the movie (The Social Network) that was based on this book first because, well… Justin Timberlake. Then I figured reading the book might actually clear up a few of the vagaries and unanswered questions left after the credits rolled. Not so much. Because so much of the book is pretty speculative (based, apparently, on legal documents and email correspondence rather than actual interviews with the parties involved) it’s more of a salacious bit of Geekboy Overcomes All fiction, rather than an actual account of what went down & who was actually responsible for creating the portal of daily time suckage we call Facebook. So, if you’re not so concerned with a clear cut answer to the world’s lingering Zuckerburg questions, then this is a fun read. Personally, though, I preferred the movie because, well… Justin Timberlake.

The Bishop’s Man
By Linden MacIntyre
(Random House of Canada / Kobo eBook)

Father Duncan MacAskill is “the Bishop’s man” – a priest exceptionally skilled at sweeping away sexual impropriety in the Catholic Church so as to avoid public scandal. Tasked, early in his career, with convincing a Priest (who’d impregnated his own housekeeper) to leave his rural Nova Scotia parish for a sojourn in Toronto, Father Duncan finds himself pigeonholed. It was never a job he wanted. But he was devout and did as his superiors dictated. And, for Father Duncan, a dark past combined with a sordid present prove that everyone has a breaking point. This novel is fictitious, but I would hazard a guess is based in a lot of truth. In fact, it could have quite easily been ripped directly from the headlines. I highly recommend this one.

Naked in Knightsbridge
By Nicky Schmidt
(Gazelle Distribution Trade / Kobo eBook)

If you’re headed to the beach, grab this and throw it in your tote along with your sun block & vitamin water. This is pure, unadulterated Chick Lit (sorry, I understand that the PC term is now Women’s Fiction) and it’s quite engagingly fun. Which is a bit surprising, considering the main protagonist isn’t a particularly endearing or likeable character. Jools Grand is 28, single, down on her luck (understatement of the year: she’s actually just lost her business as a result of torching a client’s home; she’s penniless and owes over £20,000 to the bank & is about to be evicted) and about to resort to selling herself to the highest bidder in order to dig herself out of her self-imposed hole. All the usual twists, turns, hilarity & romance ensue. So, if you’re looking for a cute distraction while on holiday (or home on a sick day, heh), this will certainly fit the bill.

By Brian Lumley
(Tom Doherty Associates)

I was browsing through some of LX’s paperbacks and found this little gem hidden away on a bottom shelf. He’d read part of the series and suggested I give it a whirl. I’m glad I did, because this is good old-fashioned schlocky horror fun – at its finest. A ‘necroscope’ (not to be confused with a ‘necromancer’) is a person who can speak with the dead. We meet two such individuals in this book – each with their own means of communication: one is polite about it, the other – not so much; one is an English schoolboy, the other works for an elite branch of the KGB; one is trying to raise an ancient vampire (or, in this instance: Whampyri) in order to steal his power, the other has had a wee chat with August Möbius and learned that time travel is, indeed, possible. See? FUN! The only problem is – I just learned that, what I thought was a 3 novel series… is actually 16. I may wait for the TV series.

Rock Star’s Rainbow
by Kevin Glavin
(Kevin Glavin Publishing / Kobo eBook)

Kobobooks.com has quite a selection of free downloads. This was one of them.

I have the next two in the Brian Lumley series on deck for February. And my father-in-law lent me his copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, so I’ll be hopping on that bandwagon as well.

What have you read so far this year?