Reading roundup 29/03/23

Welcome to this week’s Reading Roundup post! Every Wednesday I check my Goodreads account, where I log all of my books, and post the covers, blurbs and my short reviews on this blog. I like to use Goodreads as it allows me to keep track of my reading and is a great way of checking whether I have read the latest books by my favourite authors. I can also make sure that I haven’t missed anything from a good series and keep an eye out for a great book recommended by one of my friends.

Here is the first book of the week…

The Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller

I have been intending to read this book for ages! The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller was on my wishlist for ages, so I was really pleased when it became available from our Library’s ebook service.

This is the blurb:

“Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.”

And this is my response on Goodreads:

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness! What a wonderful, amazing book!

I am so in awe that I am struggling to find the words that I need. As someone who has read parts of the Iliad in Ancient Greek, I really appreciate how Miller uses some of the same or similar language and structure found in that masterpiece. Those words sang like beautiful chords in my head as I read them and I wish this particular e-reader enabled me to quote these passages.

So much of the original story is well-known, but Miller brings a new angle and freshness to the grim tale and famous characters. The gods and goddesses are still there, so are many mythical creatures, but the result is somehow believable. The actions of heroes and villains feel human and plausible.

Even though I knew the tragic aspects of the story, I was gripped from beginning to end. Most of the books that I borrow from the library, even the good ones, begin to fade in my memory after a while, but I am sure that this one will stay. Even if it does begin to dim a little, I am determined to remind myself of its glittering brilliance. So, yes, I will now go and buy my own copy!

Thank you, Madeline Miller, for writing this amazing book.

View all my reviews

How to follow that? Well, I decided to read a wide range of genres and so turned to a very different book for my second book of the week:

Vanished by Lynda La Plante

I have read some of Lynda La Plante’s books before and watched the TV series based on her work. This time, I chose Vanished, #03 DC Jack Warr, just to see what it would be like. Anyway, here is the blurb:

“When an eccentric elderly widow claims she is being stalked, Detective Jack Warr is the only person willing to dig into the truth behind her wild claims.

Jack soon finds himself embroiled in an international drugs operation, art theft – and a murder investigation. On the back foot throughout, he is forced to play second fiddle to the Drug Squad, confront an old adversary, and even fight off accusations of assault.

But Jack believes that every aspect of this multi-faceted case is simply a distraction from the one person who lies at the heart of it all – the widow’s elusive stalker. Find him, and the truth will come out…”

And this what I wrote on Goodreads:

VanishedVanished by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the third book in a series and I haven’t read the first two books. So, there were a few issues, although the book worked quite well without the back story. I am pretty certain that I will read the first books at some point.

The plot was very exciting in places and quite complex. La Plante’s writing is easy to read, although a bit clunky in places and there were a few errors, which should have been picked up by her editor. The main character was a complex mixture of mostly good with a sprinkling of bad, which made him more interesting than the usual type. I also liked the insight into his domestic arrangements.

All in all, a good crime novel, worth the time to read!

View all my reviews

For my third book, I decided to return to a favourite series: Black River by Will Dean, #03 Tuva Moodyson Mysteries. I had already read books 1, 2 and 4 so was very pleased when this one became available…

Black River by Will Dean

I have rated the other books quite highly and this one was no exception. This is my Goodreads review:

Black RiverBlack River by Will Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am really enjoying this series and am quite sad that I only have one more to read (I have read them out of order). This instalment was very good. I love the writing of female characters and, once again, I am really surprised that a male author manages this so well. The setting is very atmospheric and, now that I have read several books, I really would not like to visit this part of Sweden either in the winter (freezing) or the summer (nasty flying and biting creatures)!

The characters are all really quirky and interesting with weird and creepy undertones to many of them. I certainly wouldn’t like to meet some of them in the dark, or in daylight either! The local town is singularly unattractive too, but there is something in the writing of these books that draws me to them again and again.

Looking forward to reading number five when I get to the head of the library queue!

View all my reviews

I have almost finished a fourth book. In fact, I will probably get to the end this afternoon, but will carry it over for next week’s post. I hope you have found this Reading Roundup interesting and, perhaps, useful and I will be back next week to tell you about the next batch of books.

Happy reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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