Bring up the Bodies – and do pay attention, please

Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell novels seem to divide readers into those who think they’re absolutely wonderful and those who… don’t. As a member of the former camp I’m delighted that she’s won the Booker again. I have to admit, though, that I’ve never actually “read” either WOLF HALL or BRING UP THE BODIES. Instead I’ve enjoyed having them read to me while I’ve been busy doing other things.

The ‘other things’  have to be chosen with care. I once tried a long-distance drive in the company of Ian Rankin’s THE COMPLAINTS, and while the book was great, the  resultant speeding ticket wasn’t.  So now I reserve audiobooks for repetitive tasks not involving dangerous machinery. Thomas Cromwell has unwittingly helped to clear many piles of dirty dishes, and there’s a patch of garden at Downie Towers that I shall forever associate with the terror of young Mark Smeaton in much the same way as many of us can remember where we were when Kennedy was shot.

That, I think, is the sign of a good book.


One for the Brits, one for everyone…

Two good things to pass on today.

Good news for those of us in the UK – Jane Finnis’s first Aurelia Marcella novel finally launches here next month. It’s been available as an import from the US for some time, but it’s finally got its very own British edition with a new title (Shadows in the Night) and a fabulous cover which you can see here, along with full details of the launch event in York.

Secondly – thanks to L G Johnson, who recommends  Mike Duncan’s The History of Rome. “The last podcast was actually recorded a few years ago, but it is still relevant, as ancient rome ended quite a while before 2010 🙂  He is quite knowledgeable, very witty, just a lot of fun to listen to.”

The first podcast was recorded back in July 2007 and I’m looking forward to listening to it this evening.