Google+ Bookslingers Blog: December 2011

The Bookslingers Bookslinging Podcast #3: We Only Like READING About Murder

On this week's Bookslinging podcast, we talk about:

  • The upcoming Tintin movie
  • P.D. James' new Pride and Prejudice murder mystery
  • The western world's weird fascination with (fictional) murder (we swear we're not terrible people, really)
  • The magnificence of Flavia De Luce!

This marks podcast number three! Statistically we are ON A ROLL.

New Review: The False Princess

This was one of those impulse buys you make - I’m sure we all do this - when you already have an armful of books at Kidsbooks and that little voice, the one responsible for most of your more ruinous financial decisions, assures you that one more book won’t make any difference on top of the nine you’re already carrying, and after all, you should support local independent bookstores!

I call it Book Voice.

Anyway, The False Princess, by Eilis O’Neal (and how great an author name is that?), is all about Nalia, the Princess of Thorvaldor, who, in her own opinion, isn’t much of a princess.

In Which Miss Corene Has A Book Hangover

I woke up this morning with the sort of hair that would make Molly Ringwald weep with envy.

Like this but with more air

There was a weird taste in my mouth and my eyeballs felt like they'd had a team of 1950s housewives scrubbing them with bleach throughout the night.

"What the hell did I read last night?" I wondered.

I lurched over to my desktop, dog trailing worriedly behind, and pounded on my computer with clenched fists until Goodreads appeared.

"Ah," said I. "Of course. That explains so much."

Word tequila

The book was, of course, Talking about Detective Fiction by J.D James.
On first glance, you wouldn't think that such a slim, delicately worded essay could pack a punch that would leave a full-grown adult on their back for three hours (I may have taken a nap somewhere in between). James deftly covers the history of the detective novel with in-depth chapter essays such as:

  • How is Sherlock Holmes so Awesome? 
  • Stop Ragging on Agatha Christie Please
  • People Who Don't Like Detective Novels - What is Up With Them? 
  • Why is Wallander So Sad?

(I paraphrase. Wildly)

I picked this up after a conversation with a co-worker who walked by holding an armful of Kate Ellis mysteries.

"Oh, they're nothing. Just a few mysteries," she said dismissively.

"Ohh!" I replied. "I love murder."


Raised eyebrows.

"Reading about murder. I love reading about murder. Because obviously there is no such thing as a good murder. Murder is bad. Murder is a crime that is awful. Except for that guy in Murder in the Vicarage. He was a jerk. Even if he was played by Derek Jacobi in the Geraldine McEwan television adaptation. I am not a psychopath. I have a certificate in my wallet."

Murdering him is okay. Narratively. Please don't murder Sir Derek Jacobi, CBE, National Treasure

Detective fiction is important and complex and no mystery aficionado should be ashamed of enjoying a good (literary) murder. You are in good company: W.H Auden (poet with an impressive Wikipedia page) was a detective novel addict.

P.D James is a lady who knows what she is talking about. There is so much meat in this book that you will be overwhelmed with thoughts the next time you step into the library's mystery section. If you know someone in your life who scoffs at Scarpetta, jokes about Quintin Jardine or despairs about Dalgliesh, take this book and throw it at their head.

I gonna go take a couple of aspirins, some Tolkien and read this one off.

The Bookslingers Bookslinging Podcast #2: A Bookslinging Miracle!

Bookslingers, it's a miracle: we're back!

More or less.

After more than a year's hiatus (that's what we call it when we're too bogged down with school and work to even think about doing anything fun), your favourite book-slinging heroines have returned, with a brand new podcast for your enjoyment.

This Week In Books we talk about Scholastic's One Million Books for One Million Bookprints campaign, and Rob Lowe's new book, Love Life.

We don't have a theme this week, but we talk about Megan Whalen Turner's surprisingly, confusingly amazing The Thief, and fail to talk about Alan Bradley's Flavia De Luce series. Ah, well. There's still time.