Friday, November 30, 2012

friday book review:what cats want for Christmas

One of the fun things about working in my branch library is that we have a MASSIVE collection of Christmas themed picture books, which go out on the library floor on December 1. They are very popular. I borrowed a few for the weekend because I love looking at the pictures,and occasionally the story/words are OK. Top 3 pictures are from one called What cats want for Christmas by Kandy Radzinski.

 At work today, one of my co-workers, R, will get out the Christmas tree and decorate every surface/wall/light fitting etc that she's allowed -  by our branch librarian - who has to keep the brakes on otherwise it would look like Santa threw up in the library.

Two more pictures: one from Bemelman's Madeleine's Christmas and one from a Richard Scarry Christmas book. Mr Scarry was/is still hugely popular here at home!

In other reading news:

1. I haven't read any more Dickens yet because
2. I am half way through The Passage sequel: it is called The Twelve.

If you have read either of Justin Cronin's books you will know how deeply the reader is sucked into the world of the survivors and the colonists and the virals and that you really can't concentrate on any other book at the same time. (Sorry to those who don't know the story - but it is a post-apocalyptic tale where vampire type creatures spreading a virus have taken oven North America, decimated the population to a few colonies and sent it  back to the Stone Age ( not quite)).

I struggled with the first 80 or so pages because I was expecting the sequel to take up the colonists story ( first book ended with a suspenseful cliff hanger) and plunge right in, but Cronin eases the reader in, which in hindsight is smart, because he has killed off a few major characters.

Also since it's about 18 months since I read the first one, when, after about 180 pages we finally get to the colonists properly I had to go back to the first book because I couldn't remember who a couple of the characters were  (Lucius Greer, anyone ?)

This book is not a disappointing sequel: some edge-of-your-seat-suspenseful passages are really entertaining. What is sort of  very darkly comic - to me -  is that when Cronin changes scene and you are introduced to a new bunch of characters, invariably nine out of ten of them will be dispatched by the virals within 100 pages or so. So, you know, don't get too attached to any of them....


  1. I should know better than to read your book reviews. I do know better, but read them just the same. Is it my imagination or are children's books (on the whole) much, much better than when we were children?

  2. Well Richard Scarry is still tops (but the butcher is a pig that sells bacon - creepy!). We recently borrowed a kids book called Poo Bum which Thom thinks is hilarious (surprise surprise)


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