Monday, 31 January 2011

Reading Challenge - 71 to 75

And here it is! The final post of the 2010 75 books reading Challenge. Only a month late (and because I forced myself to finish this today).

71 - A Sabedoria dos Mortos by Rodolfo Martinez [The Wisdom of the Dead]

This a collection of three stories, pretending to be new, unpublished adventures of Sherlock Holmes, that never saw the light of day because of their uncanniness. The author proposes that these have been written by John Watson, M.D. (not Arthur Conan Doyle – but there is an explanation for that), and that his job as been merely of translating the texts found on box in an antique shop in Soho.

Overall it was a nice book, it makes me wish I read more of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft. While I was reading I had some trouble in believing that John Watson could have written these stories. Not because he is a fictional character, but because it showed that the author of this story didn't have English as native language. Part of these objections where put to rest on the Translator's Note at the end of the book, but still I am unconvinced (especially having spend the entire book with those objections).


[Full Review]

72 - The Gift by Cecilia Ahern
This a book is something like a a Christmas Chic Flick. You know, the kind that comes out in the beginning of December, or that passes non stop on TV on Sundays afternoons.

It was a freebie, and it took me a long time to get around to read it because I was sure it wouldn't be my kind of book. I wasn't wrong.

It's light, and full of those special messages of being kind and good, and enjoying your family and your time with them. There is a bit of the story there but not much. The ending was clearly design to make the reader burst into tears – but it completely failed to do so with me.

It is also full of awful metaphors and similes that made me want to spoon my eyes out.

The only plus side is that is set in Dublin – and since I've been there, it was nice to read about something I know about.


73 - Scottish Fairy Tales by Philip Wilson
A collection of Fairy Tales, that I had on my bookshelf for ages.

I like fairy tales, but I might be too used to fairy tale retellings to properly enjoy a simple fairy tale. The stories on this book where nice, some were known, some weren't. Some repeated themselves, some were quite good. Common to all of them was the simplistic writing style.It was more enjoyable on a curiosity level than on a literary one.


74 - Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Seer of Sevenwaters is the new instalment of the the once-trilogy-and-now-series of Sevenwaters. Even if I feel that nothing really compares to the first books on the series (which were the start of my love for Juliet Marillier's books), this book managed to surprise me in how much I loved it!

To me, it's a book of dualities. Two points of view, and also two parts on the story. The first one is recovery and getting to know oneself again. It's mostly character driven, but not without some action. The second part is about adventure and setting wrongs right. It's full of action and excitement. And all this dualities are so well woven one into each other, they complement each other, and you wouldn't want to have one without the other!

I loved this book, and even if I'm biased, I have to say that if you like historical fantasy, I really recommend Seer of Sevenwaters (or any other Sevenwaters book).


[Full Review]

75 - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This was a bit of a re-read. Only a bit because the last time I read A Christmas Carol I was a tiny lass (not that I am much bigger now), and the version was abridged. So I guess it could count as a new read. The reason for me picking this book up, especially at the time I did had very little to do with being Christmas Time, and all with Doctor Who Christmas Special (based on this story, and quite marvellous).

It is my opinion that you can never go wrong with Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol is a very simple story - bad guy shown the error of his ways, and provided with a second chance. And it's hardly an unknown plot, as it has been adapted to all kinds of media (my first encounter with such an adaptation was The Muppet Christmas Carol).

I enjoyed reading this, not because it was mindblowing, but because it was well written, a nice story that you like because it is being told, not because of what's being told.


So here it is: Challenge Completed!

This would be place where I would post Stats and Stuff about the Challenge, but I've seem to have done that already :D So all that is left to say is that I enjoyed reading (most of) these books, and thank you for reading my reviews (and in some cases cheering me in order to finish this challenged): Thank you!


  1. And I was thinking of maybe buying a few of Cecilia Ahern' books ... now I'm not sure I want to do it :-)

  2. From what I've seen on booksites (Librarything, Goodreads...) the book I've read isn't her best. People seem to like "PS, I love you" better. My suggestion would be read one and see if you like it. If you do, then you can go on a book binge. If you don't, you can go on a book binge as well, but by any other author :D