Tag: Moon over Soho

Monthly Review – November 2013

Posted November 30, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 5 Comments

the bone peopleNow that November is coming to an end, I feel like I need to breathe a sigh of relief. I feel like I’ve been in a major reading slump during this month, but on reflecting it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought, there was a period of a few weeks where I struggled to finish anything but in the end I was able to manage nine books; not too bad.

Let’s have a quick look back at the month for the book club on Goodreads and our book of the month, The Bone People.  I went into this book not knowing anything about it, I never heard of it and glad I was able to read it. This was a controversial and confronting book and as readers of this blog know, I do enjoy a confronting read. If you missed the conversation about this book, head over on to Goodreads, there is still time to join in.

Next month we are in for a mystery, when we look at And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I’ve not read any Christie so this will be a new experience for me. I hope it is a nice quick and enjoyable book to read over the holiday period. If you’re not aware, the book discussion and everything else will be happening over on the Goodreads forums, so feel free to join in there.

As I said before, this was a difficult reading month for me; not that I didn’t like the books, just an annoying slump. Check out my thoughts about reading slumps in this post if you are interested.  I had a great month in October; I did enjoy some interesting non-fiction books this month. Highlights include The Know-It-All and Perv. As for fiction, I think I did better with the lighter books, like Moon Over Soho and The Martian. How did you go this month?

Read More


Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Posted November 24, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

Moon over Soho by Ben AaronovitchTitle: Moon over Soho (Goodreads)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Peter Grant #2
Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Published: Orion, 2011
Pages: 396
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Constable Peter Grant is back and this time he suspects sorcery in Soho. Jazz musicians in the area are dying; brains scans show they have been magically drained. When the girlfriend of one of the victim’s ends up in bed with Peter, complications are ensured. DCI Nightingale is still recovering so it is up to Peter Grant to handle this one alone.

One of the things I loved about the first book in this series, Rivers of London, was the fact that Peter Grant was a new police officer and new to wizardry. Moon over Soho is a natural progression from that; except that Peter Grant has improved in leaps and bounds. There are still mistakes being made but he is starting to come into his own element, it is like watching him grow as a character.

I’m not sure why the humour has been scaled back in this series but the urban fantasy style seems to be well established and I’m excited to read book three. The series is starting to give Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files a run for his money. While not as dark, the London setting and humour in all its nuance makes for a fantastic read. Ben Aaronovitch’s series may in some parts feel very similar to other urban fantasy novels; I’m impressed with the way he stands apart from the others.

I want to say it is the real English flavour that makes this series enjoyable; I love that style of crime and comedy. This could be because more urban fantasy novels are set in an American or fantastical setting. The uniqueness of the style makes this feel fresh, and then you get all those tropes from urban English novels thrown in as well, like slang.

When it comes to plot, the novel is pretty standard in relation to urban fantasy. I think the characters, the setting and humour is what makes this novel and series interesting. I was in a reading slump when I worked my way through this book. I tried it as a way to break the slump; I was able to read and enjoy the novel but never got out of my slump.

Unfortunately I’m still in a slump, but reading this novel was fun and entertaining. I’m almost tempted in reading book three just to work my way out of the slump. I will talk more about slumps later but reading books like this might do the trick in breaking my reading problems. Peter Grant is a fun character and the series is really enjoyable, I can’t wait to read more.


How to Deal with Reading Slumps

Posted November 23, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 16 Comments

I’m currently in a reading slump and about to start another semester of university. This is not a good combination; I don’t want to struggle through my reading while trying to get good grades. This is not the first time I’ve fallen into a slump and I find it so frustrating and stressful. When I finally do break out of a slump, it is so refreshing and I feel so relieved.

So I want to talk about slumps and see if there are other ways to manage and break them. I’ve looked around and have found some peoples hints and maybe I am missing something. We will find out what works for some and open a dialogue about reading slumps here. So here are some suggestions I’ve found.

  • Read something light: I recently tried reading Moon over Soho which was light and enjoyable and made me want to read the next in the series, if I read the next book does that mean my slump is over? What would happen if I try something heavier?
  • Read a favourite genre: This can be problematic because I’m a literary explorer and sometimes not too sure what my favourite genre is. Maybe it’s hard-boiled crime but this sounds similar to reading something light, assuming they are talking about reading genre fiction.
  • Try something short: Short stories, novellas and short books might work, this way you are not spending too much time in a story and feel like we are making progress. I’m not sure if this works, I’ve never tried it.
  • Recommendations: I’m really don’t think this will work, I’ve got plenty of books recommended to me sitting on my TBR just waiting to be read.
  • Take a break: While this might be the answer, the idea of not reading at all does not appeal to me.
  • Revisit a favourite book: This could work; I do need to reread Frankenstein for this semester of university, so if I break that out now and start reading it, will I get out of the slump? At least I know the book is great.
  • Make time: I’m not sure this would work, this feels like forcing myself to read when I struggle. The stress is already there and being forced to read doesn’t sound like a way to reduce stress.
  • Read a classic: This could work, classics are normally great books, so reduces the likelihood of reading a dud.
  • Try non-fiction: Someone suggested trying some non-fiction as a way to break the slump, instead of looking for a great novel to break the slump, maybe learning something new might help. This is a suggestion from my local indie bookstore, so I’ve been trying it out.
  • Put all books on hold and just read whatever looks appealing: This is what I’m trying at the moment, I had a few books on the go and they have now been put aside and I am just picking up a book that looks appealing. I’m willing to put it aside if it’s not working but at the moment I’m trying to work my way through The Martian and NW.

Now I’ve talked about solutions, I want to see if I can work out the root cause. Is there a way to avoid this in the future? I don’t think so, sometimes life gets in the way or you read too many below average books at a time. For me, I think what caused my slump this time was the fact I read some great books like The Bell Jar and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler followed by some books that I felt were less than average; The Tale for a Time Being and Harvest, followed by some novels I needed to finish in a limited amount of time (due back to the library or for book club).

I don’t think I can avoid average or bad books, but I should try and be better with abandoning books. I’ve never been good at quitting a book, but I’m getting to a point in my reading career where I feel like I now have a good baseline for judging books. I don’t want to fall into a slump again, and now I know the signs of it coming on maybe I can avoid it. How do others manage slumps and try to avoid them altogether.