Saturday, 28 June 2014

My Week In Books 7.... 5 New Additions....

Hi again, it's been a little while since I wrote a "My Week In Books" post so I thought I'd rectify that on this rainy Sunday afternoon.

I've not had any time for 'real-world' book shopping this week, (apologies to our local bookstore friends) but I've tried to do the next best thing by buying four of this week's five new purchases from a second hand bookstore in Perth,  Elizabeth's Bookshops The prices are very reasonable and the website is well worth a visit if you can't get to your local independent retailer.

As you can see I've increased my little Penguin collection with the addition of a couple of C.S. Forester novels, Brown On Resolution and Death To The French. In Brown On Resolution, Leading Seaman Albert Brown is serving aboard H.M.S. Charybdis at Singapore. It is the story of an enlisted man cut off from his comrades in his fight against the enemy. Looking forward to this one.

The wonderfully politically incorrectly titled, Death To The French (give the author a break, we English were at war with them for a good few centuries, that sort of thing takes a while to get out of the national psyche....) follows a similar theme to Brown On Resolution, a soldier working alone against the enemy, this time set in the Napoleonic Wars. Rifleman Matthew Dodd could well be an inspiration for Bernard Cornwell's great series of Sharpe novels a few decades later, I don't know, but that's what brought it to my attention.

Thirdly, 1066 And All That is a tongue in cheek look at history through the eyes of W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman that has become a 'classic' of the satirical world  since it's publication in 1930. As a massive fan of history, I had to give this one a go.

Finally from Elizabeth's Bookshops, I went for 1867 How The Fathers Made A Deal. I have to confess, as an aficionado of British themed historical writings, I know virtually nothing about the history of Canada, outside of it's overlap with the history of the United States. I'm hoping this well received book from Christopher Moore will rectify that. 

My final addition this week is brand spanking new, from Book Depository. I know, one of the enemies of independent booksellers but hey, with a book this specialised, I might have waited decades before one came available in Melbourne's second hand independent book world, so it is what it is. Mad Man by Dick Knight is a tale of football, or more specifically a football club, Brighton & Hove Albion, and how Dick Knight changed their fortunes. My Dad recommended this to me, (as you can read about in my blog a few days back...) so I was going to get hold of a copy any way I could. 

In other news this week, I'm still reading The Better Angels Of Our Nature by Steven Pinker and loving it,  and The Devil's Decade by Claude Cockburn, but I've also sneaked in a bit of Agatha Christie, with a Penguin copy of The Labours Of Hercules, a collection of short Poirot stories, for some light entertainment value.

Finally, I'd like to say a big thank you and welcome to new 'likers' on our Facebook page, I hope we can continue to entertain you! 

That's it for this week's post, enjoy your reading!!

Stevie at B.L.M.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead Vol 2 Miles Behind Us...

The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us (Nov 2004)
Published by: Image Comics
Creator, Writer, Letterer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
BLM Rating 7 / 10
Acquired at: Melbourne City Library
[Read all BLM Walking Dead reviews here]

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

5 Books To Help Weather The Storm....

If you're Melbourne based, or indeed anywhere in Victoria, you might be just about fed up with the stormy conditions we've been experiencing for a few days.

What better way to escape than into a steamy, sticky, hot and sweaty novel. No, I'm not advocating diving into the nearest adult bookstore and turning up the temperature that way (but hey, each to their own...) 

I'm thinking more along the lines of novels that are set in the hotter parts of the globe, books that really make you feel totally tropical. So here are five classic titles from world renowned authors,  just to take you up a degree or two.....

Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene
Have the tequila bottle beside you for this romp through pre-Castro Cuba. A comedy-thriller featuring a vacuum cleaner salesman who moonlights as a spy.... What could possibly go wrong?!

Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie
You've all seen the movie/TV show in one form or another I'm sure, but to feel Poirot getting sand between his toes under an Egyptian sun, you simply have to read the book.

The African Queen by C.S. Forester
Steaming it's way through the steamy African jungle, with romance in the air between a British missionary's sister and a cockney (yes cockney, the character was Canadian in the movie because Bogart couldn't do the accent) boat pilot, WWI reaches the depths of Africa!

Burmese Days by George Orwell
Mentioned on this site a little while back,You will come away from this book feeling the prickly heat, seeing the moisture drip from the steaming native flora, oozing the bitterness of colonial oppression mixed with acidic self-loathing that the characters ought to or actually feel.

A Handful Dust by Evelyn Waugh
A Handful of Dust is included in the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels Our hero is stranded in the sticky Brazilian rainforest with not a football in sight to entertain him....

Friday, 20 June 2014

Book Review: Geek Sublime Writing Fiction Coding Software by Vikram Chandra...


Geek Sublime: Writing Fiction, Coding Software (Nov 2013)
Published by: Faber & Faber
Author: Vikram Chandra (Or Vikram <underscore> Chandra as the cover says!)
Acquired from: Melbourne City Library
BLM Rating 8.5 / 10

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Father's Day, Football And Family Ties...

As you may or may not know, Sunday just past, the 15th of June was Father's Day in the U.K.

 Like the dutiful son that I am, I was chatting to my Dad yesterday and he inspired me to write a little blog. Of all the things I have to be grateful to my parents for, possibly the two most important are my Mum's successful efforts to teach me to read before I'd started school, something which (for a short time at least) gave me an edge, and in the long term, gave me a life-time passion. 

For my Dad's part it was buying, collecting and being surrounded by books.

Self-indulgent Day....

So, absolutely no prizes for guessing how I spent my birthday!  All from local independent booksellers around Melbourne!

I now have some cataloguing to do..... B.L.M. Stevie

Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead Vol 1 - Days Gone Bye...

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye (June 2004)
Published by: Image Comics
Creator, Writer, Letterer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Gray Tones: Tony Moore
Additional Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
BLM Rating 6 / 10

I have always been of the opinion that I do not like zombie movies, or books,

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Map Is Coming....

Hi everyone, just a quick post to let you know we've got the long promised map facility underway in our Listings section. 

It's far from functional yet, but you'll see it pop up there now and again as we fine-tune things so hopefully you won't have to wait too long until you can log on to B.L.M. on the go and find your nearest bookshop in and around Melbourne!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Anne Frank's Diary - 12 June 1942

72 years ago today, on the 12th of June 1942, Anne Frank received this red and white checkered notebook as a gift on her 13th birthday. She decided she would use it as a diary and started writing in it that very day. Written between June 1942 and August 1944 when she was captured by the Nazis and eventually died at a concentration camp, this wartime diary is one of the most read and talked about accounts of the time. In addition to her personal reflections, this diary captures the madness of Nazi occupation and the Second World War. It is also what we picked as the "must-read" for the 20th century period in our article "Ten Historical Periods, Ten Great Reads"

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Guest Review: Ex-Machina by Brian K Vaughan and Tony Harris (comic book series)

The other day I picked up Walking Dead -my first comic book since my school days and posted a picture on Facebook. My friend Vinay – a comic book aficionado – was delighted and suggested I also check out Y the Last Man and Ex-Machina, which I have now put on my list. For all our other readers out there, read Vinay’s review of Ex-Machina below. This now HAS to be the next series I pick up.

Vinay blogs about comics, speculative fiction, books, movies, travel and anything else that fancies him at Konjam Random, Konjam Arbit . This post first appeared on his blog as “Ex Machina – The time is gone, the song is over,Thought I’d something more to say…”

“If you follow any story to its real conclusion, you always get the same thing. Regret. Pain. Loss. Except for superhero books with their perpetual second acts ” – Mitchell Hundred, ex-mayor of NYC

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Venturing into the world of comic books

With the number of movies and TV shows being based on comic books these days, it is quite impossible to ignore the genre. I don't think I have read comic books since I was in school (except Fun Home of course) - always thinking of them as something for kids. To venture into the world of "adult" comics, I have chosen this book:

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Book Review: The Human Factor by Graham Greene....

Written more than forty years after "England Made Me", the last Graham Greene I reviewed here, The Human Factor returns to one of Greene's favourite themes in his canon of work, namely espionage. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

What's On Your Reading Pile II.... Take 2.....

I was inspired, earlier this week to write a response post to Baju, my co-blogger's post "Whats On Your Reading Pile" with my own reading 'to-do' list, books I already have in my possession, but haven't got around to reading yet. 

Now as you may know, I'm an addicted book buyer, so it could be argued that my 'to-do' list is about 1000 titles long, the number of books in my library is around 1500, so statistically I'm failing dreadfully to make any headway. I always fully intend reading every book I buy. I'm usually reading at least two or three books at any given moment. I read every day. But still for some mysterious reason the backlog grows and grows....hmmm.