Hardball (V.I. Warshawski, #13) by Sara Paretsky

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I’m don’t remember that I thought the last couple of Warshawski books were that good but a quick look back through my website shows that I raved about them as much as ever. Much the same here. VI is possibly starting to age a bit more gracefully, not that that’s what I want her to do particularly, I’d probably be disappointed if she managed to get through a book without hospitalisation. She didn’t get there by thinking she was immortal this time – I think that counts as “aging” in her world. This is a good plot, it took me a while to get my head in the right place to read it though. I didn’t like the device used at the beginning of the book: a bit of exciting action followed by “some time earlier”. This method of getting an interesting bit of action in the readers face before going back to the build up seems to be overused lately – maybe it’s on television I’ve seen it more than in books though. Especially since the book didn’t seem to gain anything from the device. If I know something before the characters do I want to be able to use my knowledge to see things in their situations that they don’t. There didn’t seem to be much of that here.All in all I enjoyed the book though, I liked the story going back to the sixties and featuring Martin Luther King in it’s periphery, I liked the involvement of more of VI’s family history. I think Sara Paretsky would have to start writing complete rubbish for me to stop reading her books the minute I get hold of the hardback but I’m glad to say she’s still writing the good stuff.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a hardback.

Scott and Scurvy

Totally fascinating article about how we knew the cure to scurvy from at least the 15th century, but how circumstances conspired such that we couldn't get it to work in the early 20th century. Good look at how and why science is hard.

Scott and Scurvy

Totally fascinating article about how we knew the cure to scurvy from at least the 15th century, but how circumstances conspired such that we couldn't get it to work in the early 20th century. Good look at how and why science is hard.

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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Finishing this it’s difficult to see how I managed to leave it lying around the house for a year or so before picking it up to read. Though I did leave it lying around numerous times during the reading too – putting it down while other books took my fancy. And indeed I’ve set down far more books halfway through than I’ve finished in the last couple of years so maybe it’s not so odd.

It is a really good read, and one that I think I’d enjoy as much on a second reading – if I didn’t have far too many other demands on my reading time to even contemplate it.

The story is mostly narrated by Roseanne Clear, a hundred year old resident in an Irish mental hospital, as she writes down her history in secret. Retelling her childhood and young womanhood in the years between the first and second world wars. There are also passages from her doctor who is wondering how she will cope with the old hospital closing and moving to a new facility. Steadily you find out why Roseanne ended up in the mental hospital – it’s pretty clear from the outset that she’s not particularly mad but has been classified as such for convenience at some point.

To be honest I think the book was better for my reading it slowly, it feels right to have done so. To have zoomed through it quickly might have condensed the years of the story too far. It feels like there was much more story here than the number of pages would have you believe.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 6th February 2009.