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Books I Read in April 2008

A lot of books this month. But you might think that there was a bit of cheating going on.

The Bible: The Biography – Karen Armstrong
This is a book I’ve wanted to read ever since I saw it published in hardback last year. Actually, it wasn’t quite what I expected. I was expecting a lot more about the writing of the bible, but that was all covered in the first couple of chapters. Most of the book was about the history of the interpretation of the bible. It was all very interesting stuff. I recommend it.

The Children of Men – P.D. James
Something else that I had wanted to read for some time. In this case, my interest was piqued by seeing the film adaptation last year. This was one of the best films I saw last year so I really wanted to read the book. This is the first PD James book that I have read and I was very pleasantly surprised. The plot has major differences to the film, but it’s a great story and well worth reading. I understand that it’s not typical of James’s work though so I’m not usre that I’ll be rushing to read any more of her books.

Linux Networking Cookbook – Carla Schroder
Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two – William Hagen, Brian Jones

The first little bit of cheating. Neither of these books are really meant to be read from cover to cover, but I skimmed over them both over the course of a few days. Both of them do exactly what it says on the tin and if you’re interested in Linux systems administration then you’ll find one or both of these books to be useful.

The Fifth Child – Doris Lessing
This is this months book club book. I’ve read a couple of her books in the past and this has left me wanting to read more. I’ll probably start by tracking down a copy of the sequel – Ben in the World.

Lyra’s Oxford – Philip Pullman
More cheating here. This book is about twenty pages long. And the pages are tiny. I read it because I’m a big fan of the His Dark Materials books. But this is a pretty pointless extension to that series. I bit of a waste of time to be honest. But not much time.

A Spot of Bother (Mark Haddon)
Like pretty much everyone I know, I read and loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime a couple of years ago. That was always going to be a really difficult book to follow. This isn’t in the same league at all. But that’s not saying it’s a bad book at all. Far from it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone. It’s just a shame that its predecessor gives everyone such high expectations which, realistically, were highly unlikely to be met.

Slam – Nick Hornby
A new Nick Hornby book is always a cause for celebration. This is apparently aimed at young adults, but you barely notice that. The protagonist is younger than you’ll find in Hornby’s others books, but other than that we’re on familiar territory amongst the middle class of Islington. There were a couple of chapters that didn’t really work for me. I can’t go into too much detail without giving spoilers, so I’ll just say that Hornby doesn’t seem particularly comfortable writing supernatural events.

Update: Removed one book which I realised I’d read in May, not April.