Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book Reviews & Bells

I've been reading up a storm again - here's a quick recap.

First, The World According to Bertie, the latest of the 44 Scotland Street novels by the ever-witty Alexander McCall Smith. Because they're from a serialized novel printed in The Scotsman, they can be a little choppy. Other than that, it's entertaining and a quick read. I love the characters that he paints.

After that, I read Once Upon A Time In The North, a short but beautifully bound prequel by Philip Pullman. It centers on aeronaut Lee Scoresby, and an adventure he has about 30 years before he meets Lyra. It gave lots more depth to his character (which I felt was already there, just below the surface), and it gave me my Pullman fix. The thing that I liked most was the binding of the book - it was so gorgeously laid out and the cloth and board seemed really substantial. I don't usually buy books but as soon as I saw it I knew it wasn't one I could get from the library.

Last, I read The Little White Horse, as recommended to me by C. It's a children's book about a girl who arrives at her ancestral home and has to save something, and I loved it. It had really vivid descriptions (although some people might find them over-flowery), and the characters were all likeable. Magical animals, kids on a quest, and a cook who's a dwarf who sounds like he swallowed a dictionary. What's not to love?

I went to Old Newton to ring the bells tonight, and since a lot of people were away on vacation there were 7 of us and 5 bells. I got to do lots of ringing, including a new method (Easy Plain Bob, which doesn't really count). Usually I do a lot of standing and counting while we rotate through the ringers, but tonight was fab to just ring for an hour and a half.

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