in books, musings

London: Fog, Books, and Free Museums

Catherine Parr
Things I learned while in London last time: First off, Catherine Parr was absolutely gorgeous, if her portrait is anything to go by. Poor woman. Especially as I had just run across her as a character in the Shardlake series of mysteries, so seeing her portrait was a bit of an “ah-ha, that’s what all the fuss was about” moment. Second, the Oyster card is a genius idea, and I’m sure it will never happen in Manchester (what with our private companies all vying for passengers and being unwilling to invest as a group in anything, and the whole “charge different rates depending on where you’re going” complication), but it was so easy to get from place to place on whatever mode of transport was nearest  (trains! tube! bus!), and I loved just swiping the card and not digging for change.

It was fun to hit up the National Portrait Gallery, and even more fun to go out to a BookGeeks night out.  So much fun, in fact.  Especially because I managed to snag a seat near enough to the food to make sure that any stray potato wedges were alllll taken care of.  I’m sure the rest of the attendees appreciated it. There were a number of the other reviewers there, and we all had a fun time putting a face to the reviews we’d read.  I was slightly jealous that so many of the reviewers managed to have book oriented jobs AND write for BookGeeks. Of course, most of them live in and around London, and I’m not really sure I’m ready for that sort of move, let alone, for example, changing jobs.

It was a nice way to wrap up my November though, before the madness that was the holidays (and what was the best week ever in Wales. If you haaaave to be ill with the flu, and you have to also rent a house for the week with a group of awesome people, I recommend Wales.) I managed to read about 15 books during the two weeks of holiday, and now that I’m better and back at work I’m looking on catching up on the reviews. One of the best bits of the holiday was that I brought an assortment of books to loan out as well and dropped them off with friends throughout the two weeks, I felt like some sort of amazing book fairy. It was excellent.

The best books I read over the two weeks were probably: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (young adult) and The Dragon’s Apprentice by James A. Owen (also young adult).  In terms of plot and characters, they were easily the most engrossing, and I’ve been a fan of the “Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica” series for ages (the Yovanoff was a debut novel). I’ve now finally gotten around to “Dr. Yes” which is part of Colin Bateman’s “Mystery Man” series, and hilarious, so at least I’ve got something fun to look forward to after work (besides, obviously, riding. Moss is still lovely.)