Random Ramblings; books, music, films, other stuff…

March in Books


Only three books this month puts me behind in my 50 book challenge but I’m hoping for an Easter Holiday inspired surge in the numbers. March saw me flitting (can you flit slowly?) from Crime to Maths to Horror…

Kate Atkinson – Started Early, Took My Dog

OK…time for a confession. My name is Radders and I’m a book snob. If I judge something to be mass market drivel I don’t have any desire to read it. Da Vinci Code…no thanks, 50 Shades of Shite…jog on. Does this mean I miss out on some literary gems. Probably. Probably I’m a fool. When I heard that this book had been picked for bookclub my heart sank; a mass market story by numbers…did reading it change mymind?

In a word: no. There was nothing wrong with this book. It’s a nice book. Nice isn’t a nice word is it? All a bit plinky plonky. Never grabbed me, sat looking at me in a “you need to read me way” rather than a “you want to read me because I’m amazing” kind of way. I liked the Leeds references. Some of the characters were well formed – paricularly the older male Police characters but this may be due to me drawing parallels (Grandad was a cop).

So erm…yeah. If you like detective stories then this is probably the book for you. I must admit I haven’t read many (possibly any?) books of this genre before so I find it hard to compare and conrast. There’s mystery, there’s intrigue but it certainly wasn’ a page-turner for me. A middle of the road 6/10

Thinking In Numbers – Daniel Tammet

I have a large collection of Maths books – all of which live in my classroom in a make-shift library for pupils to borrow. I haven’t read them all. The main reason being after a long day at the chalkface I’m too goddam tired to give them the concentration they deserve. As term drew to a close I decided to read this recent “Popular Maths” book by the fascinating Tammet. Tammet is an Autistic Savant – his memoir Born on a Blue Day is utterly amazing and comes highly recommended.

This book is an accessible and varied romp through Mathematics in all it’s fascinating beauty. There’s nothing scary here if you’re not a Mathematician by nature. This aint no Triginometry textbook. What you get here is a collection of short chapters on different topics from inifinity to prime numbers, from snowflakes to literature. I adored reading this book. It taught me so much I didn’t know – links to philosophy, religion, culture and literature abound and make this a rich and rewarding read, whether you’re a Mathematician or a Mathsphobic there’s something here for you. 9/10

John Dies at the End – David Wong

The film of this book was showing at Leeds International Film Festival last year – the trailer alone weirded me out enough for me to put it on the “no way, Jose” list when shortlisting films to see. So yet again the bookclub choice fills me with dread. A horror book for an easily-freaked out reader like me is never good news. I would not have touched this book with a bargepole had it no been forced upon me (and yes I could refuse to red it but this goes against my Philosophy of Bookclub – give everything a chance). So was this another Kate Atkinson? Nope, nope, nope.

This was exactly the book I needed to pick up after Atkinson. Funny, weird, surreal, rich, complex. This is definitely horror but it didn’t weird me out as much as I expected. The horror here was in-your-face rather than your psychological Stephen King type of horror. It’s ridiculous to the point where you know it couldn’t be true, it couldn’t happen, whilst being written cleverly enough to make you think – perhaps it could? That makes no sense. Get used to that feeling – you’ll be having it a lot if you read this novel.

This book oscillates between horror and comedy almost page-to-page. It’s more than that though – it’s a romance, a friendship story, an adventure, a sci-fi.

A book I will recommend again and again and again. So….just read it, right? 9.5/10

Books read January: 6
Books read February: 2
Books read March: 3

Total books read 11
Books to read : 39


2 comments on “March in Books

  1. Pingback: April in Books | Radders

  2. Pingback: July In Books | Radders

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This entry was posted on April 3, 2013 by in 50 Book Challenge, Books.
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