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review 2018-11-05 17:10
Somewhere between Baghdad and Frankfurt
Destination Unknown (Signature Editions) - Agatha Christie

I liked this one less than I liked They Came To Baghdad, but much more than I liked A Passenger to Frankfurt. It's still a late Agatha thriller, which means that it has problems, but it wasn't awful.

 

"Peters said gloomily: “I suppose it always comes to the same thing in the end. A madman who believes he’s God.”

 

There is something so naive about Christie's thrillers - I think that early in her career, her youth and charm insulated her from the ugliness of geopolitics, and late in her career, her wealth served in the same way. It's interesting to me that the body count is often lower in the thrillers than it is in the straight up murder mysteries. She doesn't seem to even remotely grasp the actuality of the violence of espionage and political intrigue.

 

Destination Unknown lacks the romping charm of the Bundle Brent thrillers, or The Secret Adversary, but still requires a suspension of disbelief upon which it fails, ultimately to deliver. The main character, Hilary Craven, is likable and brave. There are wheels turning within wheels turning within wheels, but at the end of the day, the entire machine sort of breaks down.

 

Anyway, this is a lower tier Christie, but didn't hit rock bottom.

 
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text 2018-11-03 16:50
Reading progress update: I've read 58%.
Destination Unknown (Signature Editions) - Agatha Christie

This is an odd book. It does remind me a lot of Passenger to Frankfurt, but, at least so far, it isn't nearly as awful as that one. Although it was really the ending that blew up that book, so there is still time.

 

Christie had a really bizarre obsession with the "elites" basically starting their own society to take over the world. Her late thrillers - They Came To Baghdad, Passenger to Frankfurt, and now this one, remind me a bit of Rand's Atlas Shrugged, although Christie definitely frames hers as cautionary tales, while Rand basically glorifies the idea of (her formulation) "the makers" abandoning "the looters" to death and starvation. 

 

Destination Unknown doesn't have the charm of They Came to Baghdad, at least not so far. Hilary Craven (interesting name choice, there) lacks the manic pixie dream girl charm of Victoria Jones, being of a more serious, less effervescent, character.

 

At this point, though, Passenger to Frankfurt represents the execrable nadir of Christie novels for me, so anything that is, even slightly, less awful will be okay.

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review 2018-05-11 17:28
Wonderful BBC series
Mclevy the Collected Editions: Series 5 ... Mclevy the Collected Editions: Series 5 & 6 - David Ashton,Brian Cox,Full Cast,Siobhan Redmond

I love this series based on the life of McLevy, a Scottish policeman in Edinburgh.  Mostly because Jean Brash, who is freaking awesome.  If you haven't listened to this wonderful series, give it a go.  Nice humor, good characters, and Scotland.

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text 2018-01-31 13:43
January wrap-up
Alice Starmore's Glamourie (Calla Editions) - Jade Starmore,Alice Starmore
The Goblin King (A Tale of the Seven Kingdoms) (Volume 1) - Michael Card
Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward - Carl Abrahamsson,Gary Valentine Lachman
Real Quanta: Simplifying Quantum Physics for Einstein and Bohr - Martijn van Calmthout
The Victorian Christmas - Anna Selby
Uprooted - Naomi Novik

I don't see myself finishing any more books before tomorrow so 6 books finished for the month. Half of them were Netgalley, which is now clear, Yay!

 

All were interesting in their own ways but I think the stand-out for the month for me was Occulture, a non-fiction read.

 

My sample supply has stayed fairly stable as I've read as many as I've added. Hopefully I'll reduce the pile again as there are currently 87!

 

Meanwhile I'm having some problems with a slow computer so if I'm a little scarce for a few days, that's why. Must get my local tech expert to work out what's causing it.

 

At least if I spend less time on the Internet, I'll get more reading done!

 

 

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review 2018-01-29 11:13
Alice Starmore's Glamourie
Alice Starmore's Glamourie (Calla Editions) - Jade Starmore,Alice Starmore

by Alice Starmore

 

This is a knitting book with a difference. It focuses on costuming and has pictures of some incredible creations the author has designed. The big difference, however, is that the costumes also have stories attached, so it's more than a craft book.

 

The author also explains much about how she made each of the costumes and the inspiration behind them.

 

There is one disappointment though. The patterns in the back are not for the elaborate costumes pictured with the stories. We don't get those. They are for items more for everyday wear, with some elements of the costumes. For example, the Raven costume that drew my attention to the book is truly magnificent, but the related pattern given is for a basic poncho with some of the feather design that was incorporated into the more intricate costume.

 

Looking at the sale price of the book, I do feel let down that the actual costuming patterns were not included. While someone walking around in something like the Raven costume would be immediately perceived as a nutter in ordinary circumstances, there are events where costuming is appropriate and I would love to make this one for such events.

 

Having said that, the everyday wear patterns are unusual in their own right and the book is certainly attractive for someone who wants to add some unique items to their wardrobe. Details about stitches are given and I think any fairly experienced knitter could easily follow the patterns.

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