Sunday, 2 July 2017

Read in May 2017

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
#9 in the Ruth Galloway Mysteries series
(Read on Kindle)

This is my favourite crime series since I got started on it a couple of years ago... I read the first 7 books pretty much one after another in the spring of 2015; and #8 last year. Had to wait another year for #9! The setting is Norfolk on the east coast of England. The main character is Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist at a local university. She is often called in to help the police (or sometimes she has to call them) when old bones are found. So among the background characters in the series there are also some police detectives, and especially one DCI Harry Nelson. In The Chalk Pit, Ruth and Nelson are investigating a series of murders and disappearances that lead them to explore old abandoned tunnels beneath the streets of Norwich.

As bedtime audio book, I listened to 

The Enchanted Castle Audiobook
 The Enchanted Castle
  • Written by: E. Nesbit
  • Narrated by: Virginia Leishman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins 

Publisher's Summary

Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen can’t go home for their school holiday because their cousin is sick with measles there. Instead, they stay at Kathleen’s school with the French teacher. One morning, they set out to find adventure. Instead, they find an enchanted place - and magic, too! Walking through a nearby forest, they discover an enormous mansion, where a girl lies asleep in the garden. Although she pretends to be an enchanted princess, she is Mabel, the housekeeper’s niece. But she has a ring that really is magical. It can make the wearer invisible and grant wishes. It’s not long before the four friends are surrounded by strange and wonderful things.

E. Nesbit, born in 1858, was an unconventional woman whose home was a center for writers and artists, including George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. When she was asked to try her hand at children’s stories, she created a series of books that combined fantasy and memories of her own childhood. First published in 1907, The Enchanted Castle is a timeless story of friendship and magic.
Public Domain (P)2001 Recorded Books

I have read or listened to this book before, but then in Swedish. 
I think this is the first time I (re)read it in English. And I think what made me do it now was some comment by Meike (Librarian), although I don't remember in what bookish context that was.

As so often, one thing leads to another, and I also ended up buying an audio version of

The Psammead Trilogy Audiobook

The Psammead Trilogy
  • Written by: Edith Nesbit
  • Narrated by: Cathy Dobson
  • Length: 21 hrs and 8 mins

The Psammead series consists of three book: Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet

I read this series on Kindle back in 2013 - not "all that" long ago -  but they too are good "bedtime" audio books... (not causing any nightmares...) I bought this one as the end of May and have not yet quite finished it, but am including it here for "context". 

One thing I note with the Edith Nesbit fantasy books that I have read is that they kind of hover on a thin line of interpretation between whether the magical parts are to be seen as "real" or just children's games and vivid imagination.

In between those, I "tried" to listen to a novel by Ken Follett, A Dangerous Fortune - also bought from Audible. I have read other books by this author in the past that I quite liked. However, this story I did not like, and soon felt I did not want to waste time on it - so for the first time as Audible member,  decided to make use of their "great listen guarantee" and return it. This turned out to be as simple a procedure as promised, and I promptly got a credit in return to spend on another book instead. (I went with a "safe card" then, and got that Psammead trilogy...) I didn't get very many chapters into Follett's book, but the story is set against the backdrop of bank crash in 1892, and on his own web site, Follett says: "A Dangerous Fortune is, however, more about murder than money. There are several murders, and a mystery that runs right through the story. It also has my first female villain, Augusta who’s domineering, sexy and unscrupulous. I like her." - I, on the other hand, did not find anything to like about any character... Which is basically why I chose to send it back!


Also in May, I read a Swedish novel that I bought (in print) at our local book fair back in March. Not much point in reviewing it here as it is not available in English. But it was based on characters and events in the author's family history; and I liked it well enough, and found no reason to regret that purchase!


  1. I haven't heard of any of these books. But Ken Follett is big over here. I think I would like The Chalk Pit the best. You do know how to find them. Do you read book reviews?

    1. I read some book reviews, and tips from fellow bloggers - and I explore the Amazon/Kindle and Audible websites every now and then (and also get emails from them). And my Swedish talking books library website, and reviews in my local newspaper. I also search sometimes for new books by authors I've read (and liked) before.

  2. Maybe because I (re-)read "The Enchanted Castle" - also for the first time in English - and posted here about it in April you wanted to read the original version for yourself, too.

    As for the Ruth Galloway mysteries, I remember your other reviews and the series is on my list of to-be-read books :-)

    Sorry you did not enjoy the Ken Follett book. Like you, I have read some of his books and enjoyed them very much, but not this particularly one; I may safely give it a miss now.

    1. I knew you were involved somehow, Meike! ;)


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