Now I can sell books and watch the Saints at the same time. Hehe, they better win! Speaking of books, it's a bit quiet here today. Sold some Stephen King but that's about all so far. I've only ever read one King book, Christine, and that put me off reading any more. I don't like that psycho-scary stuff. I prefer to be able to sleep after reading!
Hmmm. I quite like Sharon Penman's historical fiction....Sunne in Splendour, Here Be Dragons, etc. Sunne is about Richard 3rd, Dragons about John. There are a couple of others set around the same period....Simon de Montfort, etc. Her writing isn't as deep as Dunnett's (is anyones???) but it's very well researched and a great read. At the moment I'm reading Reginald Hill....British crime fiction writer. Much more character driven than the usual cops 'n' robbers stuff. I'm liking it quite a lot. Fantasy? The first half dozen of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series are excellent. He's lost the plot a bit since then but I keep reading on! I also loved Colleen McCullough's series on Ancient Rome/Caesar. First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, etc. Great research in that! In terms of depth and detail this probably comes closest to Dunnett of anything I've read in recent years. It's hard to get into at first because of the detail and because everyone in Rome had the same bloody name! Once I got used to that though, it was all systems go. Well worth the effort. Hmmm. Now I have something to think about....who else to recommend?
Interesting little Aussie film that I watched on DVD the other night. Man is run over by a train and the story then unfolds over a weekend. The witness, the train driver, the grieving partner of the dead man, the newspaper reporter(with wife and pregnant girlfriend) and newspaper photographer are the characters. William McInnes (the photographer, just diagnosed with cancer) and Justine Clarke (the witness returning from her father's funeral) are the leads. They meet at the accident scene. It's a very visual film with minimal dialogue. Justine Clarke's character sees disaster waiting at every turn and clever animations are used to show us what she's thinking. Some of these sequences are hilarious. Given that the central theme is based around people dealing with death, or the prospect of death, these animations could have been really misplaced but they work brilliantly. The ending, however, was a bit disappointing.....a very fast-paced montage of still photographs covering, I assume, the rest of their lives. Blink and you miss a lot. The performances are very good. I've never really been a fan of McInnes but he's excellent in this. Clarke is great too. It's a 'real' film: real people, real dialogue, real emotions, etc. Well worth watching.
by Witi Ihimaera. Read this the other day....doesn't take long. Nice story about a young Maori girl who ends up saving the beached whale by riding it out to sea. In doing so, she also earns her grandfather's acceptance.....he's the old fogey disappointed in her because she's not a boy. A lot of the dialogue is in Maori so it's wise to use the glossary at the back. I didn't discover it was there till I'd finished the story! It's pitched at younger readers so there's nothing too deep about it. There were, however, a couple of passages that almost had me crying. I particularly liked the passages written from the whales' point of view. It raises some topical issues: traditional cultures in the modern world, rejection and acceptance, conservation, etc. Worth a read. The film of the book got quite a few awards and I think the girl who played the lead was nominated for the best actress Oscar. I haven't seen it but I might hunt it down now.
The best thing about the bookshop, besides the books of course, is the people. So many of our customers just want to talk about their favourite books, favourite authors. Others want to find new authors. I love just swapping info about what we've read, what we've liked, not liked, etc. Just had a lady in who's a Dorothy Dunnett fan and is struggling to find something else 'cos nothing else is as good. I tend to agree....Dunnett's historical fiction is masterly. Her characters are drawn so deeply and the detail is mesmerising. Francis Crawford of Lymond is a character who will never leave you once you've met him! Unfortunately, she died a few years ago so there won't be anymore. Sigh.
Schrodinger's Cat by Robert Anton Wilson. Can't say that quantum mechanics has ever been my thing but I'm liking this book. There's an hilarious analysis of theVietnam War that I might swipe for a future post.