Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.   

Last week I mentioned I was reading these two books at the same time.


Prague is set in 1989 to 1991 after the fall of communism and takes place in Budapest.
Fortunes of War is set before and during the Second World War. This caused me some confusion going back and forth between the books, forgetting what generation I was reading about.

Since we had visited Budapest in May I was pleased to recognize many of the places mentioned including the McDonald's, the first in post-Communist Europe.
It is the aftermath of the fall of Communism, when Hungary is experiencing the challenges and opportunities that integration with the West represented. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and become rich. The Americans and a Canadian in the story are there to either "experience the cultural event" or are there to make money.
The meaning of the title Prague rather than Budapest where it is set refers to the grass is always greener as in nothing happens in Budapest but everything happens in Prague.
I said last week that I was hooked. That was in the beginning. I was interested in the descriptions of Budapest immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall. he does an excellent job at the beginning to draw you into Budapest and his introduction of the characters.
But as the book went on and Phillips attempts to make these characters "meaningful" and instead I just found them boring. I began to wander in the middle section of the book when the Hungarian printer is introduced and a business deal is set up. However, it slightly recovered towards the end and I'm gald I finished it.
Fortunes of War

Other than the story line about the financial aspect regarding the German industrialists during WW II the rest of Fortunes of War was just unbelievable. The characters are bland and have way too much money available to them. Their lifestyles just don't seem to fit into the war years.

There were lots of things annoying about this book.  The characters continually mention their answering machines. However according to Wikipedia "the first commercial answering machine offered in the US was in 1949, the Tel-Magnet, which played the outgoing message and recorded the incoming message on a magnetic wire. It was priced at $200 but was not a commercial success."
I highlighted this section:
"She routinely unplugged her phone, made no dates, and refused to attend meetings, script readings, or rehearsals. Dressed in sweat clothes, sneakers, and large, dark glasses, her hair tucked under a ball cap, she could do her shopping and and come and go as she pleased without being recognized."
Could phones be unplugged in the early 1940s?
Really? She went out in sweats??sneakers?? ball cap?? I think we've all seen enough old movies to know that no one went out dressed that way in the 40s.
So I am glad this was a free Kobo book download and I am glad I read it for the historical financial aspect of the monetary side of war.

The Cold Cold Ground (Sean Duffy, #1)
From the book jacket:
The Cold Cold Ground is the start of a major new series from Adrian McKinty, author of the acclaimed Falling Glass, Fifty Grand and the DEAD trilogy.
Featuring Catholic cop Sean Duffy whose outsider status in the mostly Protestant RUC makes it as hard to do his job as the criminals he’s fighting, this is the start of a new series set in Troubles-era Belfast. A body is found in a burnt out car. Another is discovered hanging from a tree. Could this be Northern Ireland’s first serial killer, or another paramilitary feud?

2012 books read (43 to date):
The Coast Road - John Brady
Still Midnight - Denise Mina
The Bulgari Connection - Fay Weldon
Good Bait - John Harvey
The Heretic's Treasure - Scott Mariani
Dead I Well May Be - Adrian McKinty
The Devil's Elixir - Raymond Khoury
A Darker Domain - Val McDermid
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
GB84 - David Peace
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
Stonehenge Legacy - Sam Christer
Inquisition - Alfredo Colitto ABANDONED!
The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell
Nineteen Seventy-Four - David Peace
Faithful Place - Tana French
Dead Like You - Peter James
Brother and Sister - Joanna Trollope
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton ABANDONED!
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English -Shappi Khorsandi
The Snowman - Jo Nesbo
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo
The Stone Cutter - Camilla Lackberg
Miramar - Naguib Mahfouz
The Gallow's Bird - Camilla Lackberg
Nineteen Seventy- Seven - David Peace
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Millennium People - JG Ballard
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins 
Birdman - Mo Hayder
Clara Callan - Richard B. Wright
The Paris Vendetta - Steve Berry
Little Girls Lost - Jack Kerley
The Reutrn of the Dancing Master - Henning Mankell
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
Dublin Dead - Gerard O'Donovan
City of Bohane - Kevin Barry
This Beautiful Life - Helen Schulman
The Copenhagen Project - K. Sandersen
Prague - Arthur Phillips
Fortunes of War - Gordon Zuckerman


  1. I think I may have mentioned that I sent a copy of Prague to my son while he was living there (from 1997-2008).

    Thanks for sharing your books...and for visiting my blog.

  2. are quite a reader. I see many interestint titles!

  3. I like to learn about new series by new to me authors! Have a great week of reading.


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