Friday, September 23, 2016

Clouds of Witnesses by Dorothy L. Sayers

I think this is my first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. Or is it my second? I'll have to go check. Anyway, in a bid to read more of the Golden Age of Mystery authors, I picked this up at the library.

Lord Peter Wimsey is a fairly respected (well, does work with a few police officers) amateur sleuth whose mannerisms remind me of a British version of Ellery Queen. Kinda flippant, if I'm making sense. When he's back from a holiday, he discovers that his brother is under the suspicion of murder and refusing to give an alibi. So Lord Peter investigates, and he finds out that not only his brother is has a secret, but his sister too.

Clouds of Witnesses is very cleverly written, and I did not figure out who the murderer was. Or rather, I couldn't figure out how it was done. At any rate, I enjoyed reading it, especially the climatic scene in the courtroom that I shan't spoil for you.

As for the characters, I liked most of them well enough, but Lord Peter feels rather dated (in a charming way, of course). I find that my memory of Poirot and Miss Marple feel more current than Lord Peter, possibly because I'm not familiar with how the upper class of Britain were at that time. So a lot of this felt rather new to me.

Still, I enjoyed this and I'll definitely be on the look out for more Lord Peter Mysteries.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Raven's Fall by Lincoln Cole

Raven's Peak came out in July and luckily for me, Raven's Fall just came out, which means that the series was still fresh in my mind (and I was still craving for that second book).

If you've already forgotten, Raven's Peak had Abigail breaking some pretty big rules, and with Haatim's dad rampaging for blood, well, poor Abigail is waiting for the trial of her life. Close by is Haatim, who is trying desperately to be helpful (and getting some valuable training in). While this may sound like a rather tame setup, especially compared to the first, let's not forget the greater evil that stalks the world, and that results in some amazing twists.

To be honest, I felt like this book was much heavier on the workings of the Council and I loved it for that. The first book was all about Abigail, The Ninth Circle was about Arthur, and now we know a little bit more about the world that they live in.

By the way, while Abigail has a lot less page time in this book, Haatim manages to develop and take the spotlight. Things that I dismissed as trivial in Raven's Peak end up holding great importance in Raven's Fall (you'll know what I mean when you read it), and I really, really want to see how Haatim and Abigail are going to work together now that I know what baggage each of them carry.

After reading Raven's Fall, I seriously can't wait for the next book, because it promises to be good.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author (whom as I mentioned in Raven's Peak, I know) in exchange for a free and honest review. All the fangirling was voluntary and sincere.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Strange History by Bathroom Readers Institute

This book is meant to be read in drips and drabs, a few pages at a time, and luckily for me my class camp meant that I did exactly that.

Strange History is a book full of facts that you probably don't know (unless you're a history trivia sort of person). At first, I thought it would be like the "horrible history" series, but as far as I can tell, they're not organised by topic or period of time, so it might be hard to go back and check for certain pages unless you can remember the page number. The facts last from half a page (those are usually two related facts at one go) to about two pages.

Story-time: While I was reading the book, one of my juniors came by, and since she's interested in practicing her English, I started reading with her. The first two pages went well, and then we came upon the entry with the archaic words, which sort of defeated the whole "reading as English practice time" Still, I would say that most of the book is good for ESL learners because the entries are short but interesting.

Definitely a book to dip in and out of.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Grit by Angela Duckworth

I've finally got a breather, so yay! Last week, I came back to Japan, and the day after I arrived, went for a class trip. The trip was fun, no doubt, but it was exhausting.

Right now, I'm reading a book that I bought at the airport - Grit by Angela Duckworth. I've been wanting to read it ever since I heard about it on the Freakonomics podcast, and so far, it's living up to my expectations! (Except for the cover, which dirties so easily it's annoying).

My teaser:
"That's also how people mistakenly think about interests, I pointed out. They don't realise they need to play an active role in developing and deepening their interests." (Page 183)
Anyway, if anyone is interested, we went to Hagi and the Akiyoshi Caves for my class trip (among other places, but these are the two I like the best:

What have you been reading?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page 
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!