Sunday, October 2, 2011

September reading

Plenty of reading this month, but not a lot completed.

Scarlet Feather [Maeve Binchy]. Not sure how I ended up with this, but as it was marked 50c it probably came from a fete. Apparently it was a bestseller, although I don't know why - it could have done with a thorough edit and at least 100 less pages.

Medicus and the disappearing dancing girls [R.S. (Ruth) Downie]. Bought for $1 at the local community fair. I read this book over 24 hours and really enjoyed it. A murder mystery set in Britain at the time of Trajan's death and Hadrian becoming Emperor (117AD), it is the story of a Roman medic attached to the Twentieth Legion in Deva (which became Chester). Ruso, the medic, rescues a slave girl with a broken arm, and becomes entangled, rather unwillingly, in the search for the killer of two more slave girls.There are another three books, so far, in this series - I'll be tracking them down too.

Through Time: Pompeii [Richard Platt]. Birthday present :) This is really a children's book, but I found it interesting to trace the origins of Pompeii through one house. Starting as a small hut, expanding into a larger farmhouse, becoming a wealthy city house for locals and then the Romans who invade, before being destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius. But the story keeps going, through early treasure hunters who weren't much interested in the buildings or people, to archaeologists for whom the lives of the people of the time are revealed in the buried ruins.

Venice: Pure City [Peter Ackroyd]. Spotted this one in a bookshop and was powerless to resist :) A history of La Serenissima from its beginnings shrouded in legends. Reading this one in small doses, and suspect I will need to re-read it before our planned trip to Venice in 2012.

And I'm still reading Jude the Obscure ...

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