Friday, November 18, 2011

Scorsese To Direct "The Snowman"

Photo: Rune Kjær Valgberg/NRK

Jo Nesbø's seventh book about the anti-hero police detective Harry Hole, The Snowman, will become a film directed by the famous Martin Scorsese, reports NRK. Nesbø has been approached about turning the popular detective series into films several times, but has always declined – until now. "I didn't want to," he says, "but I always said that if Martin Scorsese called, I'd reconsider."

Scorsese is Nesbø's favourite director, and Nesbø couldn't quite believe the news when he heard Scorsese had signed the contract. "I called my agent and asked him to double-check," says Nesbø. "It's crazy but as a writer you develop delusions of grandeur, so in a way it's only logical that Scorsese will direct. He'll have great material to work with," Nesbø laughs.

The rights have been acquired by Working Title. Who will play the main character is yet to be decided.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Collecting Dust On My Shelf

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's topic is

Top Ten Books That are Collecting Dust On My Shelf 
(aka Top Ten Guilty Conscience Books)

I buy a lot of books. Unfortunately my incoming rate is not proportional to my read rate. Not even close. The result is shelves groaning under the weight of an ever-growing number of unread books. (One of the reasons I love Pickwick - my Kindle - he can keep a lot of books without getting fat.) Most of the books on this list are still unread because although I really wanted to read them when I put them on my wishlist, by the time I got my hands on them there were about a million other books I wanted to read first. Going through my shelves I realised that there are books I've had for almost ten years(!). Poor little things, they'll probably never get read.

1) Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Some nice BookCrosser sent me this four years ago and I'm ashamed to say it's still unread. The whole point of BookCrossing is to keep books moving, and I have a pile of BC books that haven't moved from my shelf in years. I feel really bad about not reading them yet.

2) 5 Freunde auf der Felseninsel by Enid Blyton
I got this because I wanted to brush up on my German. I never did.

3) Dead Famous by Ben Elton
I bought this at a flea market four years ago, mostly because it was cheap and one of the few books they had in English. The whole controversy of reality shows seems to have blown over by now, so the book is not as current anymore. I've heard good things about Ben Elton though, so I'll read it one of these days.

4) A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
It's Shakespeare. I need to read it. I just have to find a study guide to have on hand when I do first.

5) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
This has been collecting dust on my shelf for six years and I'm beginning to realise I might never read it. It's one of those classics I feel I should read, but it just sounds so depressing I'm never in the mood to pick it up.

6) Sharpe's Eagle and Sharpe's Revenge by Bernard Cornwell
These were two of the first BookCrossing books I received over six years ago. I always have to read series in order, so I put these aside until I could get caught up. I still haven't started the series.

7) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
I bought this while I was an English student, thinking "finally a classic that sounds fun!". Pirates, adventure and buried treasure - sounds great, right? Why I've never read it remains a mystery.

8) Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
I bought this a long, long time ago when I had just discovered the thriller/spy genre but the daunting size (it's a brick!) put me off ever reading it. I think I'll just watch the movie (I assume it's been made into a movie?).

9) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams
I got this omnibus containing all five books in the trilogy at a bargain price about eight years ago. I've read the first two or three books (can't even remember that...) but never finished the whole thing. It's high on my TBR list though, so hopefully next year.

10) The Land Down Under
I was given this book by my host family for my birthday while I was in Australia in July 2001. It has travelled across half the globe. I love Australia and its culture and history. I should have read this book ages ago.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that keeps buying books and never reads them?

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

I'm reading again!!

After hitting a reading slump that lasted about four months, I have finally found the joy of reading again. And it feels wonderful! :) I still don't know why I suddenly lost all interest in reading, but it doesn't really matter now and I'm not going to over-analyze it. Suffice it to know that I've read two great books in the past couple of weeks and really enjoyed them - so much so, in fact, that I stayed up until almost 3 AM this morning to finish one of them. I've been yawning all morning, but it was worth it.

Here's what I've read lately:

Murder in the 11th House by Mitchell Scott Lewis
This was a review book that took me forever to read. I never really connected with the main character, which is why I think I wasn't too excited about picking it up again once I'd put it down. Read my review here.

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
I read Incarceron around this time last year and really liked it, so when I started feeling like I wanted to read again I decided the sequel might be a good place to start - easy to read, exciting and with characters I already knew (plus I had to read it before I forgot everything that happened in the previous book). I don't think I'll be writing a review for this as I never reviewed Incarceron, but I like this series a lot. There's non-stop action, a brilliant setting and great supporting characters. I'd absolutely recommend it if you like YA fantasy/dystopia.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
This is the one that kept me up all night last night. I just couldn't put it down, it was that enchanting. And it has the most adorable cover. Review will be up soon.

Now the big question is, what to read next? I'm terrified of picking up something I'll end up not enjoying and falling into another reading slump. I think I'll look for something short and sweet just to be sure I won't put it down and not pick it up again. I love reading right now, but it somehow feels a little fragile, like the joy might disappear again without warning. It sounds silly but I can't help it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Review: Murder In the 11th House

Murder In the 11th House
By Mitchell Scott Lewis

First published: September 2011 by Poisoned Pen Press
Series: Starlight Detective Agency #1

Read: 3 – 27 October 2011
Challenges: Mystery & Suspense Challenge #9

Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley

From the publisher
Astrological detective David Lowell must use his charts and knowledge to solve the murder of a federal judge in a New York City parking garage. Joined by his daughter, Melinda, a young defense attorney; his hacker sidekick Mort; vivacious assistant Sarah; and bodyguard Andy, Lowell is racing against time to prove the innocence of Johnny Colbert, a loud mouthed bartender wrongly accused of the crime.

Birth charts and street smarts help Lowell sort out the misdirections of a cast of characters, from the judge's clerk and her lawyer boyfriend to the judge herself, to trace the real reason of the crime back to a surprising source.

Murder in the 11th House begins a new series that introduces a unique character to the annals of detective fiction.

My thoughts

I have always been interested in astrology and find it a very fascinating subject. Using astrology as a tool for solving murders sounded like a great concept, so I was excited to read this book. While the story itself was good, there were a few things that bugged me enough to make this a less enjoyable reading experience than I had hoped it would be.

The biggest problem for me was that I didn't connected with the main character David Lowell. From the very first page he came across as pretentious and arrogant and even though he mellowed a little during the course of the story, I never warmed to him. It felt a little like Lewis was trying too hard to make him a new quirky Sherlock Holmes and it just didn't work for me. My enjoyment of what I'm reading is always character-driven, so if I don't like the main character, chances are I won't enjoy the book as much. I did however like the rest of the cast, from Lowell's attorney daughter Melinda and the client Johnny to Lowell's secretary Sarah and assistant Mort. 

My other complaint, and people who aren't interested in astrology will probably disagree with me, is that I don't think astrology was used enough in the solving of the case. I think most of the information Lowell found by consulting charts could have been revealed by other means and sometimes I even forgot about the entire astrological element until Lowell pulled out another chart.

I also missed a little more story and less dialogue. Sometimes long dialogues consisting only of direct quotes got a little confusing. In addition there were some rants, for lack of a better word, on social issues like gambling that bordered on preaching in my eyes.

All that being said, the plot in itself was intriguing; a good murder mystery where the clues are slowly revealed and you can make your own guesses as to who the real murderer is.

My rating:

The Starlight Detective Agency Series
  1. Murder In the 11th House (2011)
  2. Death In the 12th House: Where Neptune Rules (2012) 
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