Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bout of Books days 6-7


Saturday

Quite a busy day at work today. Most of the day - when I was not serving customers - I was working hard at resetting the education books, revision guides and practice exam papers, which had been condensed down over the Christmas season to make room for all the gift sets and Christmas books. It's looking pretty good for now - until the little darlings and their parents go rummaging and shove the books back anywhere they please. I'll give them a couple of days...

Started reading a new book at lunchtime: Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton. It's a loan from my friend Jamie, a science-fiction/dystopian novel set in the not too distant future. It's pretty macho so far, military and lots of technobabble. The novel launches straight into the action with the protagonist, Greg, killing a man in cold blood, for reasons of plot that are unclear, and for reasons of character which are painfully obvious: to establish Greg as a tough-guy, ruthless and conflicted, an antihero. I suppose it's better than the Danielle Steel approach of writing: "He was a tough guy, ruthless but conflicted, an antihero" but, at least to me (having studied the art of writing to degree level) it is about as subtle as a brick on the head.

When we meet the first female character - a Navy marine named Nicole - we are told that the protagonist couldn't remember her ever wearing anything other than a bikini (really?!) and we get a detailed analysis of her body weight and figure. Yeah, thanks for that, Hamilton! The second female is a beautiful barmaid, who Greg defends against a bossy cult member, or possibly parent, or both, and who shows her gratitude in the predicted way. (No doubt Hamilton wished to show that even though Greg is a tough-guy conflicted antihero, he is also chivalrous and irresistible to women, and can charm any lady he chooses and she'll just fall into his bed. Sigh.)

Books read today: Mindstar Rising 
Pages read today: 27
Running total: 693
Books finished: 2: NOS4R2, Something Borrowed
My life outside books: Sorting and rearranging all the education books. Yay.

Sunday

I didn't get any more reading done after work yesterday, but instead spent the evening cross-stitching in front of Star Trek: TNG and just generally mucking around on the internet. Oops.

Feeling a bit more forgiving of Mindstar Rising now we've got through the character establishing cliches and onto the plot. It's possible that my attitude towards it was influenced by being put into a foul mood just before lunch, thanks to a customer's phone going off with Creepy Robin Thicke's song as a ringtone. No. It wasn't a great beginning, but it's improving. Now Greg, who is revealed to be an ex-military private investigator with surgically enhanced psychic abilities, has been set an assignment: to uncover a security breach in some rich black-market billionnaire dude's company. 

I had a first go at working out with Miranda Hart's Maracattack fitness DVD, while the house was empty and no one could see making a prat of myself. Fun and exhilarating, but I am horribly out of shape, as well as less co-ordinated than Miranda herself. (I expect she had more practice before filming, however.)

I'm planning to spend the rest of the day reading and generally chilling out, as I'm working full-time next week. I do need to type up my Fangirl notes which have been sat in a draft post for what seems like forever, though probably was only a few days.  

Books read today: Mindstar Rising 
Pages read today: 80
Running total: 773
Books finished: 2: NOS4R2, Something Borrowed
My life outside books: Me and fitness have not been on speaking terms for a long time, but I'm trying.

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