Reading with an eraser at the ready

August 29th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

I recently read an entire book with an eraser in my hand. Because a library user who had read it before me had felt compelled to write comments all over the place. At least he did it in pencil and not in pen, but why do it at all?

Maybe I would’ve expected that kind of behaviour in Reading for Dummies » Read the rest of this entry «

Working out who did what in the crime books of Peter Temple

August 19th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 1 comment § permalink

When you read Australian crime novelist Peter Temple, it doesn’t take much to recognise he’s a very, very good writer indeed. What is harder to work out is what is going on in the book. Temple is clearly of the belief that he doesn’t need to tell the reader everything, and that it’s okay for reading to be challenging work.

One of the ways this manifests itself » Read the rest of this entry «

Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza – the cop from Ipanema goes walking

August 10th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 0 comments § permalink

Inspector Espinosa, hero of the crime series by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, is a reader of crime stories himself.  His flat in Copacabana is overflowing with books. You get the feeling this is where he wants to spend all his time, but… there’s crime on the streets and he has to solve it. On foot, mainly.

As a real cop, Espinosa would be unusual. As a crime fiction hero, » Read the rest of this entry «

Following the clues given in book titles

August 5th, 2011 by Zirk van den Berg § 2 comments § permalink

Some titles tell you about all you need to know about a book. Does Major Snodgrass Does the Boogie-Woogie or District Nurse leave much doubt about the kind of books they are? Just about any book with blood in the title is a crime story.

There’s a whole class of books with titles built on the formula of funny surname (Snodgrass, Winterbottom, Pettigrew, etc.) followed by a simple statement, as in the example above. I usually avoid them. Not that I’m always right to do so. » Read the rest of this entry «

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