The Android reader

Note: This post was written in April 2011. Since then I got myself a kindle.

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At one point of time somewhere at the end of last year, it suddenly struck us.  We don’t have any more place to keep books. A new room was built in dude’s childhood home, to include a wall-to-wall storage space, filled with books.  My childhood home now has every free and built-in cupboard overflowing.  Another full wall-cupboard at our home is choking, not to mention another cupboard for the kid’s books, in addition to all the books that lie scattered all over the house (careful, don’t step on that book there..).  Although all three of us have a certain share in the crime, the major partners are dude and the kid, who would have been happy to have been born with extra eyes and hands.

So there were the following options – stop reading, get rid of all books that have been read at least 27 times (which would clear out most of our cupboard)  or try out the ebook reader.

Obvious choice.

My husband got himself a kindle and now it has become a third appendage – if it is not in his hand, it is in his pant pocket.

Now, I am not as voracious a reader as dude, and so I settled for an imitation iPad (local make, assembled, we named it the Android), and use it only as an e-reader (“fb-reader”), in fact, I don’t even know what other functionalities it has.  It was decided that the kid and I would share the iPad, since the only time I get to read anyway is when she sleeps (and hence NOT reading).  The sharing system worked excellently for about half-an-hour since we received the blessed instrument.   Now, when dude is not reading his kindle, he is arbitrating  (“appa, amma used the android all of yesterday, I want it now”..”Dude, ask her to go and read a paper book, I only have now to read” etc.).

Disgusted, the dude ordered another kindle, for the kid.  I will be glad to FINALLY have the android to myself.

It seems that I have been reading more (20 + since January) since I got the Android. Strangely, I have only been reading female authors since the start of the year.  It wasn’t intentional, but just happened.

I have a bad (?) habit.  When there is a series of books, I can’t move on to another author unitl I finish the series.  And I am a linear reader, unlike dude, who reads up to 10 books at a time (not simultaneously, of course).   Here are some books I read

Rhys Bowen : Royal Spyness Mysteries

1. Her Royal Spyness

2. A Royal Pain

3. Royal flush

I am looking for Royal Blood, but haven’t got the book yet.

What I like about the Royal Spyness Mysteries is the setting of the stories – early nineteen hundreds England, with all its snobbery, and laced with a stiff upper lip humour.  The problem though is that the story tends to drag in the middle and somewhere along the way you feel like screaming “Get on with it already…”

Rhys Brown – Molly Murphy Mystery

1. Murphy’s law

2. Death of Riley

3. For the Love of Mike

4. In Like Flynn

5. Oh Danny Boy

6. In Dublin’s Fair City

7. Tell me pretty Maiden

8. In a gilded cage

9. The last illusion

Have not yet been able to get Bless the bride.

The setting is New York at the turn of last century and the protagonist is an Irish refugee, accidentally turned detective. The setting is charming, the characterization, cute.  But like the Royal books, tends to sag in the middle.

Cleo Coyle: Coffeehouse mysteries

I started reading the series in random which is a bother because, even though the plots of the main mysteries are independent, the lives of the characters are closely entwined with the main plot. This is true with the earlier Rhys Bowen series as well. This is very different from the Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle genre, where the detective (Ms. Maple, Poirot, Holmes) is not personally involved in the mystery other than im-passionately solving it, so each is a stand alone story not requiring you to read prior books before launching on this one.  So, I read a few random coffeehouse stories, and although it does not really affect the flow of the main plot, the supporting stuff is irritatingly disjoint.

1.Murder most frothy

2. Decaffeinated corpse

3. Espresso Shot

I am drinking more coffee than before since I started reading Cleo Coyle, her descriptions of various types of coffee are very very distracting.   Some books (e.g. Espresso shots) even have a few recipes at the end, that I skip for two reasons (a) I am mageirocophobic and (b) I don’t want to read about the frosted, dusted, oozing cookies at the dead of night and end up not being able to sleep because I WANT THAT DARN THING NOW.

Both Rhys Bowen and Cleo Coyle throw in a a lot of romance – a Daniele Steel meets Agatha Christie mess.  Agatha Christie had romance in her books (think Harlequin stories), but in none of them would the protagonist (the detective) be involved.  In both RB and CC books, the detectives have a flaming love life and it becomes distracting to the central plot.  In an effort to be sexually liberated, the books end up being more banal and pretentious than if the romantic escapades had been absent.

Erma Bombeck:

1. The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank

2. When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time to Go Home

3. A Marriage Made in Heaven … or Too Tired For an Affair

4. At Wit’s End

5. Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession

I love Erma’s sense of humor.  I love her fighting spirit. I love the way she can take an adversity and laugh it off – like the “Riddikulus” spell in Harry Potter. Her books make me laugh and tug at my heart in a nice way.

But for the first time in life, there was one book by Erma Bombeck that I did not like – Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession.  It was not funny at all.  In fact, it was quite depressing, despite all the attempts to poke fun at many aspects of motherhood.  I don’t think I will read this book again.

Apart from this, I re-read a few Agatha Christie – the word re-read is used loosely, because I can actually commit from memory many of the stories, verbatim – that’s how many times I have read it in the past.

I want to read something else, but I suspect that I can’t go onto the next author until I have finished all the coffeehouse mysteries in my android – it is a disease really.

I shall update in a month or two, if my read list grows enough to warrant a post.

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