BrokenTune

Reviews & Rants - Blogging about books, authors, and generally 

The Axeman's Jazz

The Axeman's Jazz - Ray Celestin

So, this is my RL book group's latest choice, which we will discuss at the end of this month. I am delighted to say that this was much better than the last book.

 

The Axeman's Jazz is a combination of historical fiction and police procedural set in the New Orleans on 1919 and based on the real crimes committed by "the Axeman". 

 

I will not give a lot of details about the factual background to the story - and I would advise any prospective readers to not look up the facts before reading the book - because knowing some of the details will spoil the reading experience some. 

 

The story of the book sets in when several attacks have been committed in New Orleans and the police cannot quite see any connections. There is a lot of conjecture which the author intelligently bases on the socio-economic situation of the city at the time and especially on the tensions between different groups of people  - particularly Irish and Italian immigrants. 

 

The other foundation of the story is New Orleans connection to music. In particular to jazz, which is a vital element of the Axeman's terror: with a seemingly random murderer on the loose, a letter by the self-proclaimed "Axeman" is published which announces the date that the next murder will occur, but also warns that anyone who is playing or listening to jazz music on that night will be safe.

 

I thought the book has a great premise and the choice and setting of the story was really interesting. However, the book struggled a bit. 

 

I enjoyed reading about the historical tidbits but the actual mystery, or rather the police investigation (which had another couple of subplots) left me bored. So, I had to look to the second team of unofficial investigators to carry the plot. This, however, only succeeded in part because as much as I liked Ida, the Holmes-obsessed lady detective, I just could not get my head around Louis Armstrong being involved in the murder puzzle. 

 

All in all, it was a fun read, but the historical part was more entertaining than the murder mystery.

NUART Festival

It's Sunday. 

 

I could have read all day. I could have made soup. However, on the spur of the moment, I met up with a friend for tea, gelato (somebody had to taste my favourite gelateria's new mojito flavour), and a wander around an art exhibition. The twist was the artworks were mostly murals and graffiti that has been commissioned all around town.

 

It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday, scavenging for art. There were lots of other people who had the same idea, and after a while we delighted in seeing the same groups all over town. It meant we were close to another exhibit.

 

We also discovered a few works that were not part of the current NUART project, but that was equally astonishing.

 

I'll add some of the pictures I took below without further comment.

 

Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This last one, Emile Sande, is probably not part of the current project, but I thought it was beautiful. Right in the city centre, in a park that was recently saved by public vote against refurb into a glorified car park. Love it.)

 

Warum sind wir so kalt? - Erika Manns Exilkabarett

Warum sind wir so kalt? Erika Manns Exilkabarett - Monika Sutil, AirPlay Entertainment GmbH, Anatol Regnier, Erika Mann, Rosel Zech

Warum sind wir so kalt? - Why are we so cold?

 

I have long been been looking for more information on Erika Mann's cabaret work. It is referenced in articles and biographies I have read about her but none went on to describe the actual pieces that were performed.

 

Die Pfeffermuehle was a political cabaret originally formed in January 1933 in Munich by Erika and her brother, which performed in protest of the politics pursued by the growing nationalist movement in Germany. After Hitler's rise to power later on in 1933, the members of the cabaret group were pursued by the authorities as enemies of the state and fled the country for fear of their personal safety. While in exile in Switzerland, the cabaret initially continued their performances, but Swiss authorities quickly discouraged these performances because of their political content and for fear that the relationship with German authorities, and especially the tourism trade may suffer.  

 

This audio production not only gives an insight into the biographical and historical context of the cabaret pieces, it also contains a performance of some of the actual songs and performances.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into the part of her and her fellow actors of the Pfeffermuehle cabaret. As for the pieces themselves, it is astounding to compare satire written in the 1930s with the subsequent events in history and see how close the nightmarish distortion of the cabaret turned into reality. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 7%.

Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum - Richard Fortey

I want to drag all the visitors to the Museum up to the tree and explain about time, and how we exist atop a vast history that has made us what we are, and that we ignore that history at our peril. But if I did, I fear that I should be branded with the same label as that funny old man who comes up in the street to tell you about his messages from angels.

I have a feeling that this, sadly, rings true for all history, not just the natural history that Fortey refers to. 

 

I'm really enjoying this book so far, which in part is due to Dr. Fortey's description of the impressive building and its very own history. The only regret I have is that I had not read this book two years ago when I visited the museum. 

 

The tree that Dr. Fortey refers to is a cross-section of a giant sequoia tree that has been part of the museum's exhibition since 1893. The tree was 1,300 years old and 101 metres tall when it was felled.

 

More Fool Me

More Fool Me - Stephen Fry

Memoir, the act of literary remembering, for me seems to take the form of a kind of dialogue with my former self. What are you doing? Why are you behaving like that? Who do you think you are fooling? Stop it! Don’t do that! Look out! Books, too, can take the form of a dialogue. I flatter myself, vainly perhaps, that I have been having a dialogue with you. You might think this madness. I am delivering a monologue and you are either paying attention or wearily zipping through the paragraphs until you reach the end.

Never a truer word. 

 

As much as I like, even adore, Stephen Fry, I cannot say that I enjoyed this third instalment of his autobiography.

 

The first part of the book basically retold the parts of Fry's life that were detailed in Moab is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles. Catching up with these parts would have been ok if the rest of this book had made for it with an account of the next part of his memoir that was written in the same engaging style as Moab or the Chronicles

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen. What follows the re-cap of his earlier life is an excerpt of Fry's diary recorded in 1993. 

 

But that is just it. There is little commentary from Fry on the diary entries which as a result read like a mere listing of dates, events, (famous) names, and an account of just how much coke he scored. 

 

In fact apart from the way that these uncommented entries make Fry look and sound like a bit of a tosser, there was a major part of his life that is hinted at but that actually is never brought up: What made him re-consider his coke habit?

 

All the way through the book, he goes on about how "naughty" or "debauched" his behaviour and especially his cocaine habit were, but there seemed to be something missing - most of the book goes on to show how his habit fuelled his enormous output of work during this period, without any apparent consequences. 

How do you get from this to a short couple of paragraphs warning people not to copy his indulgences because they will surely die???

 

I'm under no impression that the Stephen Fry of 1993, whose diary I found grating and who seemed quite arrogant, patronising, and sometimes even rude in his address or description of people he thought less skilled or less intellectual than himself, may have (and probably has!) developed into the person who wrote the compassionate,  introspective, and discursive volumes that are Moab and The Fry Chronicles. That aspect of Fry, his discussion of issues, is what is missing from More Fool Me.

 

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling, John Kerr Tiffany, Jack Thorne

I will keep this brief. 

 

There was little I liked about this book. The little there was were the three young characters Albus, Scorpius, and Rose. I loved that they were not cast as repeats of their parents and that their background did not determine their character or actions, which, I guess, it the main message of the book/play.

 

That was it.

 

Other than this....oh, dear.

 

The story is like a Greatest Hits compilation of all the best loved or most famous parts of the HP series that is thrown into a mix with Back to the Future.

 

None of the characters from the original books were anything like they should be. 

I mean, come on, Snape ending his sentences with "..., boy" rather than "..., Potter" ? It made him sound like he was taken out of Gone with the Wind, not HP.
 
I also had problems with McGonagall, Harry, Dumbledore, ... really anyone who was in the original stories. 
 
There was a lot of cringe-worthy dialogue, too. And then, of course, there was the twist...
 
I will not give it away, but if you really think about it, it is absurd and also made me go "eew".
 
Anyway, I read it. Thankfully, I was able to borrow the book rather than buying it.
 

 

The Courts of Babylon

Courts of Babylon - Peter Bodo

As many of you know, I like tennis.

 

Where I live, spring has finally sprung, and this means tennis season is back on. I usually try to read a tennis themed book in the run up to the European season, and today it just felt right to chill my tennis-tired bones after two days of matches (who doesn't go over-board on the first chance of playing outdoors?!) with an attempt to finish off some current reads. One of those was Peter Bodo's The Courts of Babylon, first published in 1995.

 

I usually like to start of my reviews with a quote, but in this case I simply could not find any meaningful, witty, or interesting quote that was not offensive in any way.

 

Which brings me to the issue I have with this book: While there are some interesting tidbits about tennis in the 1980s, much of the book is made up of yellow press gossip, and Bodo's own - VERY frustrating - notions on not only the the game and politics of tennis in the 80s, but also included his own judgement of the private lives of players, which was incredibly biased. And when I say biased, I do mean full of patronising, imperialist, sexist, and bigoted comments.

 

Here are a few examples:

 

Let's start with an innocent generalisation:

"Professional tennis players are rarely well-rounded individuals. Many of them are result-oriented, rule-addled, lavishly compensated victims of a totalitarian way of life."

Not to mention the constant assumptions about people's motivations or state of mind:

A few years ago Steffi Graf bought a lavish duplex in a new, fashionable building near Union Square in Manhattan. This was a remarkable choice for a thoroughly German girl going on twenty-three whose only other personal residence was a room upstairs in the enormous house she built for her family in her native Bruehl, Germany—a room that her agent Phil De Picciotto once described as “a really, really neat room.”

And don't get me started on what the hell he might supposed would be more "appropriate" for a "thoroughly German girl"...

 

But while we are at it, let's look at more national stereotyping:

This was not the only fashion error promulgated by Adidas, the German company that once produced tasteful, bold, and above all sporty clothes for characters as different as Stan Smith and Ilie Nastase. At about the same time that what-you-see-is-what-you-get Stef, Citizen Stef, was dressed like a walking Rorschach test, Adidas had leggy, petloving, family-centric Steffi Graf wearing shirts that came directly from the Salvador Dali school of design. One of those shirts appeared to be made from strands of genetic material, suggesting that maybe the Germans were up to their old tricks again, trying to revive some Uberfrau theme from their dark past.

This is the point where I would like to call the author a few names, but there is more (oh, so much more...)

Australians, whose only conscious national dogma is informality, like to call their nation “Oz.” Being a literal bunch, the Aussies don’t appreciate how accurate—and funny—that characterization is. But the problem with Oz—or other fantasy lands such as Disney World—is that spending too much time there becomes, well, boring. You might be oblivious to that fundamental fact of life if you live there, but it is brought home dramatically when you visit. Spend enough time in Oz, and you can feel the boredom creeping into your days with tidal consistency. That’s when you realize that there are disadvantages to developing as Australia did, in natural isolation from the peppery cross-influence enjoyed by the other, contiguous continents. On the surface, Australian people seem a lot like Americans. They inhabit a vast, underpopulated nation rich in natural resources and they have a rich store of frontier myths and sprawling suburbs. The Australians exterminated aborigines, the continent’s indigenous people, with a relish that even American settlers were hard put to match. Besides, while walking around in some quaint European city, you could easily mistake an Aussie for a Yank at fifty yards. They share an affinity for ghastly T-shirts, short pants, white socks pulled up to the knee, and running shoes that allow you to see if not hear them coming from a mile away. Australians surf. They drink beer. They barbecue. They drink beer. They like their own elementary version of football (Aussie rules). And they like to live in one-story, ranch-style houses with big garages and little windows that look out on identical setups where other people barbecue and drink beer.

Still with me?

There was a point during this part of the book where I still thought that maybe Bodo just wanted be cheeky-charming. It obviously didn't work.

 

Where I completely lost it with Bode, tho, was when he honed in on Women's tennis, the WTA, Billie Jean King's sexuality, oh and Martina Navratilova's too, you know, because the public portrayal of their personal lives is so erosive to the sport, whereas male players are mere eccentircs.

 

Let me make this clear: I don't object to the mention of elements of the personal lives of players, but the chapters didn't contain anything worthwhile - absolutely NOTHING - about tennis.

 

I should have thrown in the towel on this book when Bodo commented as follows on King's match against Bobby Riggs as follows:

"On that day, Billie Jean probably got 80 percent of the American population momentarily interested in something that was marginally about tennis. And that is a heck of an achievement.

But the important question is: Was that Battle of the Sexes a significant event in the growth of tennis and society’s march toward equality and female empowerment, or was it a chimerical happening that evaporated not long after the last ball was struck?"

The above are just a few of the passages that I had a problem with. There were many, many more, that I don't want to bore you with.

 

Overall, Bodo makes a lot of statements and assumptions, but few of them seem to be discussing issues from any perspectives other than his own bias. And trying to save his insults with a paragraph or two about how great certain players are does nothing to rehabilitate his self-congratulatory, dumbass comments, because the statement that they are or were great players does not require Bodo's validation - their respective titles and match records evidence this already.

Lucy

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

‘The TV’s the altar. I’m what people are sacrificing to.’

‘What do they sacrifice?’ asked Shadow.

‘Their time, mostly,’ said Lucy. ‘Sometimes each other.’ She raised two fingers, blew imaginary gun smoke from the tips. Then she winked, a big old I Love Lucy wink.

‘You’re a god?’ said Shadow. Lucy smirked, and took a lady-like puff of her cigarette.

‘You could say that,’ she said.

 

There are parts of this book that I find just delicious. Shadow's interactions with others are just fun to read.

 

 

(Reading progress - 31%)

Tim Pigott-Smith

Travels With My Aunt - Graham Greene

I just learned of the passing of Tim Pigott-Smith. :(

 

He was a fine actor and I always looked out for audiobooks he narrated as he had a great way with voices.

 

The first audiobook I had of his was Graham Greene's Travels with My Aunt and it is only a fitting tribute that I should repeat that listening experience this weekend.

 

The re-read, or re-listen, is on!

 

(Oh, and Lillelara may have helped with the re-read decision, too ;) )

 

Save

New Words

Dictionary.com has announced some of the new words that have been added to their listing.

 

It's not the OED, but, to be fair, I use Dictionary.com quite often. 

 

Some of the new words are overdue to be listed. I mean, "hangry" as a basic human condition is not exactly new. :)

 

Do you have any favourites?

The Man with the Golden Gun

The Man With the Golden Gun - Ian Fleming

M.’ s voice was gruff. ‘007 was a sick man. Not responsible for his actions. If one can brainwash a man, presumably one can un-brainwash him. If anyone can, Sir James can. Put him back on half pay for the time being, in his old Section. And see he gets full back pay and allowances for the past year. If the K.G.B. has the nerve to throw one of my best men at me, I have the nerve to throw him back at them. 007 was a good agent once. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a good agent again. Within limits, that is. After lunch, give me the file on Scaramanga. If we can get him fit again, that’s the right-sized target for 007.’

The Chief of Staff protested, ‘But that’s suicide, sir! Even 007 could never take him.’

M. said coldly, ‘What would 007 get for this morning’s bit of work? Twenty years? As a minimum, I’d say. Better for him to fall on the battlefield. If he brings it off, he’ll have won his spurs back again and we can all forget the past. Anyway, that’s my decision.’

 

There was a knock on the door and the duty Medical Officer came into the room. M. bade him good afternoon and turned stiffly on his heel and walked out through the open door. The Chief of Staff looked at the retreating back. He said, under his breath, ‘You cold-hearted bastard!’ Then, with his usual minute thoroughness and sense of duty, he set about the tasks he had been given. His not to reason why!

It is with a little bit of sadness as well as a little bit of relief that I am jotting down my notes on The Man with the Golden Gun, the last novel in the original Bond series.

 

The sadness is most definitely a result of reading the series with an awesome buddy, who never lost his patience when I needed to rant about the stupidity of the main character or of the author or both, and who is one of these awesome fans of the franchise that impart additional information about Fleming and the books, who was (at least seemed) happy enough to just geek out on some of the aspects of the stories, and without whom I would not have continued the series.

 

The relief is largely caused by the fact that, on the whole, the books are not great, and in some cases are just pure terrible and made me wish for brain bleach. 

Of the 13 novels and 2  short story collections, I would only recommend two of the novels (Diamonds are Forever and Dr. No) in addition to the short stories to unsuspecting novice Bond readers.

(Although, saying that, I recommended Dr. No to a colleague and he DNF'd it...because the racism was too much - I'm glad he didn't try Live and Let Die...) 

 

Anyway, what about The Man With the Golden Gun?

 

 

Well, the book Scaramanga is no Christopher Lee and there is no Nick-Nack (at all!!), but let's start at the beginning:

 

The Man with the Golden Gun was the last book written by Fleming and it appears that his writing process was to jot down the major plot, some random ideas and topics he may want to pick up on or not, depending on how he felt during the next rounds of edits. During subsequent revisions, he would perhaps also add the descriptions of characters and their natural surrounding which are always highlights of the Bond reading experience.

 

Unfortunately, Fleming died after he finished his first draft, and before he could add edits. I am not sure to what extent his publisher edited Fleming's text (there is one sentence about an em-dash which made me think an editor inserted it as a joke), but the book reads really disjointed. Well, like a rough draft.

 

Other parts read like Fleming - uncut:

"Distinguishing marks: a third nipple about two inches below his left breast. (N.B. in Voodoo and allied local cults this is considered a sign of invulnerability and great sexual prowess.) Is an insatiable but indiscriminate womanizer who invariably has sexual intercourse shortly before a killing in the belief that it improves his “eye”. (N.B. a belief shared by many professional lawn tennis players, golfers, gun and rifle marksmen and others.)"

This leaves us with a story of different parts. I believe there is a distinct difference between the first part in which Bond returns to London after being MIA. 

This part includes a quite thoughtful discussion of the Cold War, and especially of espionage during the time.  

‘Well, if you found these people so reasonable and charming, why didn’t you stay there? Others have. Burgess is dead, but you could have chummed up with Maclean.’ ‘We thought it more important that I should come back and fight for peace here, sir. You and your agents have taught me certain skills for use in the underground war. It was explained to me how these skills could be used in the cause of peace.’

Fleming knew the Cambridge Spies, or at least he was friends at school with Kim Philby, but it is a reasonable assumption to say the Cambrigde Spies scandal was on his mind, considering he even put Bond in a situation where he, too, could be a double-agent.

 

And maybe it is this turn where Fleming chose to show M's true character (see opening quote), which by the way was so well played by Dame Judi Dench that I now cannot see anyone else in the role of M.

 

 

So, shorty after his return, Bond is sent to investigate the villain of the piece Francisco Scaramanga. Unlike the suave, intelligent villain portrayed in the film, the book Scaramanga is a modern day version of a Wild West gun slinger.  And this is where the book quickly loses its original promise and descends into the Western genre, complete with the following scene:

The Rasta quickly pushed up the lever and the speed of the train gathered back to 20 m.p.h. He shrugged. He glanced at Bond. He licked his lips wetly. ‘Dere’s white trash across de line. Guess mebbe it’s some frien’ of de boss.’ Bond strained his eyes. Yes! It was a naked pink body with golden blonde hair! A girl’s body! Scaramanga’s voice boomed against the wind. ‘Folks. Jes’ a little surprise for you all. Something from the good old Western movies. There’s a girl on the line ahead. Tied across it. Take a look.

Yes, you read that right.

 

So, why did I still enjoy the book?

 

My main reason is that this last work of Fleming is so incredulously craptastic that I could not take it seriously. It is such a spoof Western that it was quite fun to try and predict which cliches Fleming was going to throw in there. And for this alone, I liked it.

She went towards him like the Queen Mother opening a bazaar, her hand outstretched. 

But other than this, the book suffered from the same problems as any other Bond novel: The portrayal of women, Jamaicans, .... well, anyone who is not white, straight, male, and British or American is just plain awful.

Now it may only be myth, and it is certainly not medical science, but there is a popular theory that a man who cannot whistle has homosexual tendencies. (At this point, the reader may care to experiment and, from his self-knowledge, help to prove or disprove this item of folklore! C. C.)’ (M. hadn’t whistled since he was a boy. Unconsciously his mouth pursed and a clear note was emitted. He uttered an impatient ‘tchah!’ and continued with his reading.)

But since I cannot take this book serious AT ALL, I am going to say that the main problem with The Man with the Golden Gun is that it lacks a certain Nick-Nack.

 

 

What can I say, I'm glad I've read them, and I have had fun with the gifs, but I look forward to kicking Bond into touch.

 

For anyone, who has not lost the will to live yet after this meander of a "review", I'll update my Bond Project page shortly with all the relevant links to reviews. 

The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe

The Haunted Grange Of Goresthorpe -  Arthur Conan Doyle

Many thanks to Murder by Death for pointing me to this early short story by Arthur Conan Doyle written around 1870. 

 

Even if ACD experts don't think highly of this short ghost story, I enjoyed reading it. I was thrilled by it. And, as I read it right before bed, I was a little haunted by it.

 

In my book, this is a great story.

 

It's almost sad that people are likely to hear of it only because it was only re-discovered in 2000, not because it is a fun story and shows another side to ACD that is not connected with Sherlock Holmes.

 

If you're intrigued, you can find the story here.

 

Sunday Soup

Time for another soup post, me thinks.

 

The last few weeks have been quite odd and somehow the sodding cold I caught while travelling provided some unexpected relief from thinking abut my father's passing a couple of weeks ago.

Now, the cold has finally buggered off, and not only am I finally getting back to sleeping and exercising, but I can also taste delicate flavours again.

 

So, what better way to celebrate than with some home-cooked cream of mushroom soup?!

 

I used the following recipe (which I first found here):

 

Ingredients ~

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, warmed (depending on your heart condition, feel free to substitute whole milk, half and half  or whole cream–any combo adding up to 2 cups is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method ~

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until the onions release their liquid and are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook for a minute or two (mixture will be very stiff). Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the cayenne pepper and the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the soup is slightly thickened.

 

And this is how it turned out:

 

 

N.B. I like my soups thick-ish, but a little more milk would thin this down further if needed.

 

Happy (Soup) Sunday!

 

American Gods: Reading progress update: I've read 12%.

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

"‘Tell him that we have fucking reprogrammed reality. Tell him that language is a virus and that religion is an operating system and that prayers are just so much fucking spam. Tell him that or I’ll fucking kill you,’ said the young man mildly, from the smoke."

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, but it sure sounds intriguing.

 

One thing I have noticed so far is how easy it is to just sink into the book, despite the bizarre scenes and characters that crop up out of nowhere.

 

I'm reading The Axeman's Jazz in parallel to this (this month's library book group read), and one of the things that has struck me is how much effort Celestin has put into detailing the time, place and characters. You can literally feel the author's effort when reading the book, which at times is also a little painful.

With Gaiman, it is different. There is a lot of atmosphere, but it is built by dialogue and plot elements, not detailed description.

 

The whole thing made me think about different ways that atmosphere is built and how those different approaches work for different readers. 

 

For example, I don't derive much of a sense of time and place from descriptions of social or historical background or references to locations (street names, cities etc.) as is the case with Celestin. However, give me dialogue and and references to smell or lighting and I am there.

 

Btw, I love the way that Shadow just accepts the weird goings on in his stride, without freaking out about them. It seems to make the characters and bizarre things they do appear really credible, as if the reader doesn't need to question them because Shadow does not question them either.

A is for Arsenic - The Poisons of Agatha Christie

A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

In a courtroom in France a few years before the murder in question, a prosecuting lawyer who was unsuccessfully trying to prove a case of murder by morphine declared thus: ‘Henceforth, let us tell would-be poisoners … use plant poisons. Fear nothing; your crime will go unpunished. There is no corpus delecti [physical evidence], for it cannot be found.’

A is for Arsenic is one of those books that I will look forward to consulting again while I read my way through the the Agatha Christie novels. It is the perfect companion that explains (mostly without spoilers!) the science behind the poisons used in Christie's mysteries.

 

While the book is written for readers / fans of Dame Agatha, Harkup makes sure to also include real life stories about the poisons, a description of their history, the science behind them, and information about detection and antidotes (where they exist!).

 

I loved everything about this book - the content, the way Harkup relates information without overbearing and without expecting readers to have a full working knowledge of chemistry (tho a little understanding of chemistry and biology is required), and the way that each topic is structured into different sections (background, chemistry, link to Christie, antidotes).

 

This was as entertaining as it was informative - and it even made me look up some more information about chemical compounds, which very few books or people have managed before. This is exactly the sort of book that I wish I had read when studying chemistry at school because it may actually have helped to give context to some of the theory about how things react with each other.

 

Loved, loved, LOVED this.

 

(Thanks, Murder by Death for recommending this!)

 

Ian Fleming: The Man with the Golden Gun - Reading progress update

The Man With the Golden Gun - Ian Fleming

We've just started the buddy read for last original Bond novel, ya'll.

 

This feels weird.

 

 

 

 

 

Currently reading

Die So Geliebte. Roman Um Annemarie Schwarzenbach by Melania G. Mazzucco
Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell
Progress: 43%
Metamorphoses by Denis Feeney, Ovid, David Raeburn
Progress: 144/723pages