mrschristine.com

2017

A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall

Published October 28, 2021

A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall

This is an odd one, another workplace memoir, this time from a life in the criminal courts. It was interesting but I don’t know if it went in depth enough. Obviously you have to be careful of the law, but it felt very light, skimming the surface of a handful of trials. I think there was also a lot of implied knowledge, I didn’t really understand the career trajectory of our narrator, thinking he was a judge before he’d actually made it, etc. Good but not perfect.

Father, Son and the Pennine Way by Mark Richards

Published August 25, 2021

Father, Son and the Pennine Way by Mark Richards

What I liked about this book was how natural and unassuming the writing is, it’s as if you’re sitting in the pub having a chat with the author, rather than reading the first in a series of books about his walks with his son. It’s breezy and startlingly honest in places, detailing the trip from inception to completion, and all the mis-steps along the way (getting lost, shouting at each other, coming to terms with one half being stronger than the other). A really good, relaxing book to read, and more to follow - I can’t wait to see what the pair get up to next.

The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley

Published July 28, 2021

The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley

Interesting book this one, you could feel the fact that it was originally published in four parts but it still worked well as a whole. I thought it was going to be the traditional rom-com, but actually it had quite a few more layers than I was expecting and a lot more depth. The only trouble is, because of the cliffhangers, there are some moments that seem put in there for no purpose, they don’t serve the wider story really.

I'm Still Standing by Colleen Coleman

Published March 23, 2021

I'm Still Standing by Colleen Coleman

Aww, this really was a lovely book. It was a super simple story that had plenty of drama but still somehow felt as though it was gently drawing you along the story of Evelyn. She goes to the big city after a break up and finds a brand new life that she would never have predicted for herself - running and restoring an authentic old pub back to its old self. Quite a lot of the story is just how the pub gradually comes back to life which is nice. The sad twist towards the end, of course, adds a bit of jeopardy but I never doubted for one second that it would all end happily. Which it did, and then some!

The Burial Hour by Jeffery Deaver

Published March 19, 2021

The Burial Hour by Jeffery Deaver

I wasn’t as keen on this book as I have been on others, the travel to Italy didn’t work for me as well as I’d hoped, there seemed to be quite a feature on the language barriers and different cultures without it really making any difference to the story. I did enjoy Ercole though, a fish out of water detective who was blamed for making errors when he was actually one of the smartest ones there. Still, interesting mystery that I didn’t guess any of the twists and turns to at all.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Published March 16, 2021

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Watched the movie and almost immediately started reading the book. It’s interesting in the way it’s intensely similar but has a few differences. I feel like the book was slightly darker, some of the things that took place really take your breath away. But then there are some circumstances the film does better - the fact that the main guy was the son of the male principal in the book seems very specific, whereas the female principal in the film is a more likely occurance and creates a more nuanced story. But still, it’s girl power, it’s kick-ass, and it’s brilliant.

Being David Archer by Timothy Bentinck

Published February 5, 2021

Being David Archer by Timothy Bentinck

I used to listen to The Archers religiously for a couple of years - blogged about it here too - but dropped away, so it’s been a while now. However, if you’ve ever listened to the serial, you’ll know of David Archer, arguably the current heart of the show. This memoir dips back to before Bentinck got the fabled job on Radio 4, and talks with admirable honesty about the realities and insecurities of being a jobbing actor.

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Published November 21, 2020

Mythos by Stephen Fry

After perusing the beginners’ guide to Greek legends recently, I thought who better to guide me through the details than Stephen Fry? So I snapped up the audiobook and settled in for the legend to talk to me about legends. And of course he does a great job trying to bring it down to a manageable level. Fry narrates the people and the stories very well, but I have to admit I couldn’t get to the end of it.

Artemis by Andy Weir

Published November 5, 2020

Artemis by Andy Weir

I have to admit that I started listening to the audiobook of this read by the most excellent Rosario Dawson, but it just didn’t grab me at all. I wasn’t hugely keen on the character and couldn’t quite picture the scenes. I wanted to give it another go, though, and dived into the ebook instead. I’m glad I stuck with it because it was an entertaining read. It was always going to be difficult for Andy to follow up the incredible success of The Martian, but this was a great effort.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Published October 29, 2020

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

This is such a gorgeous but sad book. Telling the story of a love affair from both sides - with two men struggling to find themselves, and the strong women beside them who facilitate their path. We start with Ellis who leads a lonely life and you don’t really know why until the back story begins to come out. His remembrances are all about the early days, and how everyone came together but also ended up apart.