[i had a stack …

[i had a stack of random thoughts on the world trade center attack and it’s aftermath but i don’t feel like publishing them yet, if at all]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

Cover of

Rowling can weave a plot together better than most writers of books for adults. I’m impressed with how consistent the first three books in this series are. They all bring in new elements from Harry’s background but nothing feels like it was just invented for the convenience of the story. Great stuff for big kids as well as little ones.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 3rd March 2001.

A Pinch of Snuff by Reginald Hill

Cover of

It’s nice to see both Dalziel and Pascoe back at the police station and investigating a bone fide police case after the last couple of holidayish books. The ‘snuff’ in the title does seem to refer to movies. I think Hill is going to have a few interesting things to say about the use and abuse of female sexuality in this book judging it by what I’ve read so far. and thinking about it a bit more, male sexulaity too.

(this is book 5 in the dalziel and pascoe series)


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 18th July 2001.

A Pinch of Snuff (Dalziel & Pascoe, #5) by Reginald Hill

Cover of A Pinch of Snuff (Dalziel & Pascoe, #5)

It’s nice to see both Dalziel and Pascoe back at the police station and investigating a bone fide police case after the last couple of holidayish books. The ‘snuff’ in the title does seem to refer to movies. I think Hill is going to have a few interesting things to say about the use and abuse of female sexuality in this book judging it by what I’ve read so far. and thinking about it a bit more, male sexulaity too. (this is book 5 in the dalziel and pascoe series)


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

i started collating a …

i started collating a list of accounts and images and i tried to make some kind of order in my head of all the things that have been seen in the last two days. but i’m just going to keep reading.

syndicated news information

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Cover of

The original title Ten Little Niggers makes me cringe but that’s what it says on the cover of my second hand copy. I guess it’s only an old nursery rhyme and not intended any more offensive than Baa Baa Black Sheep but it feels a bit icky. From the review at amazon.com I gather that the current edition takes place on Indian Island which reflects the intermediate title of Ten Little Indians whereas mine takes place on Nigger Island. Hmmm.

I find Agatha Christie scary more often than I care to admit. Her books are most often considered ‘cozies’ in the mystery field today, ‘cozies’ being a sub genre that consists mainly of books with surburban librarian sleuths who drink tea, wear slippers and never encounter real violence in the course of their investigations. The image of Miss Marple as a quiet little old lady knitting in the corner means that all Christie’s books are considered under the same umbrella. I don’t think that this is the right way to classify them all.

On the surface the plot of this book is at least a bit ridiculous. Ten mutual strangers are lured to, and abandoned on, an island off the Devon coast and they die one by one until, as the modern title tells you ‘and then there were none’. That’s a lot of deaths, and characters, for a hundred and eighty pages but Christie pulls it off because of the suspense she builds up in the process. The characters are formed just well enough to make their minds believable. I found the psychology necessary to make this book work quite genuinely scary and though the resolution of the plot is really rather banal it’s the psychological aspect that raises the whole story to a level where it’s not ridiculous.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 22nd July 2001.

when every news site …

when every news site in the universe seems to have vanished under the load. blogger search come up with a stack of first person accounts. two planes crash into the world trade center. it’s horrible. and half the world must be going, as i am, ‘christ, i’ve been there’. the consequences must be horrific.

update: a little later in the day ev created a search page for just this purpose.

degraded service from amazon.com: …

degraded service from amazon.com: i tried to check out a whole basket full of books from amazon.com. it used to take several weeks to get books delivered surface mail from the us to the uk. amazon estimated four to six but they usually came a bit faster than that. now amazon tell me i can get by books in 15 to 18 days. which sounds good. but they’ve put the shipping prices up! i can no longer use the cheapest shipping method from the us to get my books. it looks like they’ve just removed that option and touted it as an improvement. bloody useless.