29/02/2020

Reading - February 2020

The Rainmaker by John Grisham (1995)
Still my favourite novel of Grisham's, probably just because it's a great David versus Goliath story, lots of justice being served to idiots and crooks. The romantic interest is nice, but a little cliched and she's a bit too perfect - and why is she so immediately interested in our handsome lawyer? Anyway, a bit of a fantasy in many respects but no less enjoyable for it.
A Cure For Gravity by Joe Jackson (1999)
A straight-forward, no messing autobiography of Joe's life from childhood to his first album. I wasn't there but my guess would be that this is as accurate a portrait of the life of a gigging musician in the 70s as any.  Readable, honest and enjoyable. It sent me back to his first two albums (Look Sharp & I'm The Man) which I first bought in the mod-80s (on vinyl) and still own - excellent albums both, by the way.
Guitar Magazine (March 2020 / Issue 378)
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (1992)
In later books Pratchett became very satirical but in his earlier books  he just seemed to be going for funny and entertaining, which of course he was - with occasional satirical side-swipes (e.g. Pyramids). However, here, in the 13th Discworld novel, the humour is definitely aimed at a specific target - in this case, religion, and the things people do in its name. I didn't find the characters very engaging and so it's not one of my favourites of his, but it's still a good plot and contains some amusing scenes, particularly the ones involving the Ephebian philosophers. And of course it's probably the only book ever to have had an audio codec named after one of its characters! [While I was researching Small Gods, prior to writing this review, I was very happy to discover the Annotated Pratchett File, and I'll try and remember it for all future Pratchett books I read.]
Lords & Ladies by Terry Pratchett (1992)
Next up in the Discworld series (I really am reading other books too) is this, a nice riff on fairies, elves and a little dash of A Midsummer Night's Dream. As is often the case, I didn't feel like I really understood what was going on towards the end, but it all works out, of course. Enjoyable, and I like Granny Weatherwax, so all fine by me, but the ending did a feel a bit like "and then a miracle occurred" (or, in this case, Granny Weatherwax decided to actually do some magic).
The Book Of The Year 2019 by No Such Thing As A Fish (2019)
Jolly good fun for dipping into (over breakfast, usually) and some laugh-out-loud facts, although actually I can't remember any right now. I've also been listening to their podcast a bit over the last month or so, and that's like the book - a nice way of filling in moments (in my case, my short drive to work) with something that's not too taxing. Dispensable but fun.

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