52 books in 52 weeks – August

This month has been a bit of a dead loss in the reading challenge stakes. A few new children’s books aside, this is the first month where I have not read anything at all.

Part of it is that I’m now a dad, which is lovely, but it means I read the same books over and over to the microlibrarian. Most of them I’ve read at some stage before, so they don’t suit this challenge.

Part of it is that I had three books with deadlines of various sorts this month, so I was busy typing away at various things.

The main thing is I struggled on with some books I then quit, and I’m not listing them. I need to go all Nancy Pearl on them and just quit things that don’t grip me.

So, a bit of a slow month.

91: The Angel of Mons: reviewed in detail in an earlier post.

lord of the silent cover92: The Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters

I’m going to give this series a break.  I mean, it’s good and all, but toward the end of this one I wanted it to be over. I’m a little conflicted in that the villain, who keeps coming back from the dead, is the most interesting character, and I’m not sure that’s deliberate.  A good book, but too many in a row may have watered down the appeal of this series for me.

93: The Dancing Mania by Justus Hecker

This is a 19th Century attempt to discern if the dancing manias seen through history were a physical illness, or  a sort of contagious madness. Hecker’s view turns out to be surprisingly modern. He’s one of the first people I’ve seen who suggests that environmental factors can make people susceptible to mirroring the unusual behaviours of others. In societies which are not economically or culturally diverse, the similarity in the lives people lead can make them susceptible to manias which relive social pressures. The reading is by Martin Geeson, a Welsh (I believe) reader, who does an excellent job. I know from some of the interviews I’ve seen with him that he agonizes over the quality of his work, and his attention to the finished form really shows through here.

94: The Dragon of Wantley by Owen Wister

This was a well recorded book, but its one of those which is a pleasant companion for however many hours, as you are doing something else, which, afterward, has stuck so little in your mind that it is hard to review.  Pleasant, but in the way that a middling radio program is pleasant, rather than something exceptional. There are two LV versions (here and here) and I’m not sure which one I listened to.

cover for hippopotamus on our roof eating cake95: There’s a Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards

This is a charming book about an imaginative and strong willed little girl, and the hippo on the roof which gets to do all the things she is forbidden to do.  My daughter’s too young for it now, but I’m sure it’ll be a family favourite later, because I really like the rhythm of it.