My 52 book reading challenge: April

Hurrah!  I’ve met my goal and we are only four months in!  I may have to take up Loupie’s challenge and go for more. I mean, three books a week is doable, isn’t it?

42 : The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins

Lengthy review in a previous post.

43 : My Country and other poems by Dorothea Mackellar

Lengthy review in a previous post.

44: The Atrocities of the Pirates by Aaron Smith

A brilliant, short, historical work recorded for Librivox. Smith was taken as a pirate, and used this book as an attempt to rehabilitate his character. He had been captured at sea and forced to join a pirate crew or die. This is his (puportedly true) story of survival under a sadistic, unpredictable, and yet childishly gullible captain.

Agony column cover45: The Agony Column by Earl Derr Biggers

A novel based on the contents of an agony column in an old English newspaper. Not fair as a modern detective story, but I liked it nonetheless, and brief enough that you can forgive it for breaking the rules, since your commitment to it is low. Has a romantic frame story which works well, I feel.

46 : The Machine That Saved The World by Murray Leinster

Machine that saved the world coverAn odd novella about machines which have the ability to retain sympathies for the tasks they do, and strange signals from the future, which destroy less advanced mechanisms. Abrupt ending, and slightly horrific in that the author thought it was a great ending, demonstrating the ideology of the time. Excellently performed, with a Twainish twang.

47: Three Thousand Dollars by Anna Katherine Green

Three thousand dollars coverA short and not quite fair caper mystery. Fun, though, if you accept going in that some of the twists are implausible.

48: Told After Supper by Jerome K Jerome

I really enjoyed this. It’s brilliantly read and it deconstructs many popular ghost stories. If you enjoy historical ghost stories, its a joy to hear them again, but with an increasingly addled narrator gradually destroying them.

Evensong cover49-56: Lucifer  by Mike Carey (the last seven volumes in the series)

This series that telegraphs its punches so far in advance they may as well be written on the front page, but for all of that, it has a certain style to the telling which is enjoyable. I’d recommend it, but I’m not really certain who I’d recommend it to.  People who liked Sandman? People who liked Paradise Lost? It’s tricky to nominate a demographic, because its genre fiction, but its genre fiction that between the sword fights grapples with the issue of free will in a universe of predestination. To enjoy it, and I did, you need to be willing to have characters driven by deeply abstract philosophical positions, and you need to be willing to let the author pull deus ex machina after deus ex machina, although he does flag them fairly in advance.

Doctor Who RPG cover57-59: Doctor Who : Adventures in Time and Space Role-Playing Game,  Tenth Doctor Adventure Book, DWRPG: Aliens and Creatures.

A roleplaying game which has an interesting juxtaposition of simple  mechanics, but high GM scripting. Modern in rule design, but traditional in play form.


Next month: Great Australian Women by Susanna de Vries, and The Dawn, by Louisa Lawson.