mrschristine.com

2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Published August 30, 2022

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I’ve been playing catchup with Andy Weir books - having loved the Martian a bit more than is healthy, I was less bothered by Artemis, so a lot of pressure was on this most recent one. Thankfully, I liked it a lot more than Artemis, but it did take quite a while to get going. The mystery of the amnesia was interesting but I wasn’t sure it was going to sustain the book. Thankfully, after Rocky arrived, it was really great - I loved the way the pair learned about each other, how to communicate, and ultimately how to save their planets. They worked together and it made me feel slightly positive about humanity as a whole. Great book.

Silverview by John le Carré

Published July 25, 2022

Silverview by John le Carré

I’m relatively new to this John Le Carre journey so it’s a bit odd to be reading this, his last book, at this point. However, the title just called out to me. The book was basically finished before the author died, and it was polished by his son before release. I thought the writing was incredible and the characters are so well drawn… but I’m not sure I understood the point of it. What was the story, what was the plot? Review suggest it was showing the author’s disillusionment with the security services but, I don’t know, I think I just missed it all. It’s short though, so nice to just revel amongst these odd characters for a while.

Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

Published June 1, 2022

Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

This is more of a self-help book than I was imagining, although it made a nice change from the traditional memoir that follows a chronological story from birth to school to success. Instead, Jimmy kicks off with advice right from the start, and whilst structuring it around his journey through life so far - including the death of his mother, taking over Bruce Springsteen’s dressing room, and of course, that tax situation. It was really good, very readable, and with plenty of wisdom that you want to take on board.

The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc

Published April 9, 2022

The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc

Hmm, this one is a real shame. I love Mel so much and the writing is so wonderful, it was very easy to read. I listened to the audiobook and read by the author with great style and excellent characterisations. It’s just that the characters are truly awful, all of them, with no redeeming qualities from start to finish. It’s a riches-to-rags story but it isn’t until right at the last minute that anyone even contemplates the idea of getting an actual job to help them out. I don’t know that these characters would be easy to swallow at any time, but in the current difficult financial situation for much of society… it really doesn’t go down well.

Date Night by Jeffery Deaver

Published March 27, 2022

Date Night by Jeffery Deaver

This was one of those twisty short stories that Deaver does so well, but this time it’s an audiobook read by the marvellous David Harbour. I whipped through it super quickly. Interesting insight into death row and how people campaign against it regardless of the crimes and the feelings of the actual criminal themselves. The twist ending didn’t quite work in my head but I got the vibe and I do love the twists when they come.

Feel Your Way Through by Kelsea Ballerini

Published March 12, 2022

Feel Your Way Through by Kelsea Ballerini

I listened to the audiobook, and hearing Kelsea read these in her own voice with her own cadence was exactly the way to experience it. Occasionally a burst of emotion would crop out - stories of food disorders and the school shooting she witnessed are brutal but beautifully told - and I just whipped through the book. Wonderful.

The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

Published March 1, 2022

The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

I don’t really know a lot about Sharon Stone, I’ve only seen her in a couple of films and missed the time when she was super-stardom. I didn’t know she’d been ill, either, but this book dives right in from that moment, and then dips back and forth in time to tell the story of how she got there and how she recovered afterwards. If I’m honest, there were a few times I wanted to stop reading because I just couldn’t properly get engaged… but I had to get to the end because it’s so beautifully written, and ultimately quite optimistic about a difficult life.

Diddly Squat by Jeremy Clarkson

Published February 26, 2022

Diddly Squat by Jeremy Clarkson

Like many, I adored every episode of Clarkson’s Farm, enjoying as the host was told off every other minute by people that really do know how to farm. You always got the feeling that whilst he was being classic Clarkson, he also wanted to learn and do his bit and actually listen to the people around him. Unfortunately, this book - a collection of newspaper columns he wrote along the way - wasn’t quite as much fun, as he didn’t have the people to bounce off. It’s just a bit too Clarkson for me. But I did like him re-evaluating his own writing as we went along. ‘What was I thinking when I wrote this?’ he says at one point.

Coasting by Elise Downing

Published February 25, 2022

Coasting by Elise Downing

I’m always fascinated by an adventure story, but this was so much more. Elise, the author, and adventurer, plans to run around the coast of Britain, with the typical lack of planning and preparation that often accompanies these grand schemes. And, spoiler alert, that side of things all works out okay. I wasn’t so keen on the staying in many different people’s places - although their generosity must be recognised. And meeting all the different people helped Elise tell the story of her own journey.

Dying Inside by Damien Boyd

Published February 22, 2022

Dying Inside by Damien Boyd

Right up to date with Nick Dixon now, and eagerly anticipating the next installation in the series. This one was a good book, although following some pretty horrible crimes. There wasn’t a lot of home life this time, not too much Jane or Monty, but still plenty of back story and personal anecdotes to keep it interesting. I did enjoy the new dynamic with Cole, it’s fascinating to see what Dixon’s next career step brings him, the different challenges he faces and adjustments he needs to make.