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Books I am reading - The Ex-Communicator

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March 4th, 2012


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08:41 am - Books I am reading
I am going to get my mum's cat today, to look after him for two or three weeks. I do that at this time of year as they always take a holiday in early Spring.

What I am reading at the moment:

On audio - Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds. It's quite a nicely done SF story, set in a near-future trans-solar almost-utopia which is dominated by Africa. It's a working-through of what universal online access means to humanity, as the printing press transformed the world in two hundred similar years. I think there may also be an alien contact story coming up in the second half. The reading is nicely done, I think by an Anglo-African actor, who does not use a bland generic 'African' voice but varies his delivery well with age and gender and class. All it lacks for me is that compulsion to return to it. I will probably finish it but I am not compelled to.

On Kindle - The Winter King by Thomas Penn. This is an account of the reign of Henry VII. This is about the world being transformed by the printing press and by centralised power. As far as I can tell it was developed by reading a lot of correspondence, mainly between the Spanish and English courts. It's quite an interesting and bleak story, as Henry basically uses the law as a way of grabbing money. It combines well with Wolf Hall as an account of the years immediately before and after Henry VIII's happier interlude, before he went out of control.

In a Book - Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft. It's a Nordic crime drama. I finished it very rapidly. It's sad, violent and a bit yucky. I would not like to judge Kallentoft's ability as a writer by this English version, but this writing is rather crude and clumsy. I think the translator worked too fast, and it's got the feel of being churned out to meet demand. I think that will be a big risk for this genre, and the publishers run the risk of alienating readers.

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