Category Archives: funny

Rivers of London



Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch reads like a hybrid between a Doctor Who episode and a police procedural. In a way it’s not surprising since Ben Aaronovitch has written two serials for Doctor Who about Daleks.

Rivers of London is the first book in a series by Aaronovitch about police detective/wizard Peter Grant. It doesn’t take the novel long to reveal it’s magic elements to the reader. The first element introduced is the ghost Nicholas Wallpenny. Grant sees Wallpenny while investigating another crime and Wallpennt gives Peter details about the crime. The crime itself has it’s supernatural elements as well. A man seems to appear and disappear without ever being caught on camera.

As Peter delves deeper into the mystery he is confronted by the head wizard in the police department, Nightingale, and asked to join as his apprentice. Grant then becomes the first English apprentice wizard in over 70 years. As the apprentice, Peter must practice and hone his magical abilities as well as solve two seemingly unconnected cases.

In one case he must find an entity that is possessing people and forcing them to kill, and in the other Peter must make peace between the gods of the River Thames. As the novel unfolds the connection between the cases becomes clearer.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the protagonist, Peter Grant, and the way he interacts with those around him. I did, however, find this novel a bit hard to follow in terms of the plot. It read very much like a TV show, abrupt cuts and all. But whereas in a TV show you have visuals that connect these scenes together, in the book it left me a bit lost.

Even with a few plot holes, I would love to read the other books in the series and see what’s next for Peter Grant and Nightingale.

Rating: 4/5

Stay tuned for the next installment of Book Battle 2015. Happy reading!

A Blast From The Past

A Blast From The Past

The next book in Book Battle 2015 is one I picked up from my grandmother’s house called The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side of the Septic Tank by Erma Bombeck. I had a few different funny books in mind for this challenge but my grandma convinced me to give this one a try.

First published in 1972, this book became an instant best seller for over 11 months in the 70’s. I had never heard of the book before but have heard of Erma Bombeck. I remember my grandparents reading her syndicated column in the newspaper. Plus, when I opened the book a tardy slip of my mom’s from 1976 fell out. Apparently she overslept. Funny that my grandma should use that as a bookmark.

Upon reading the back I discovered that this novel is a fictional account of what happened when the Bombeck’s moved from the city to the suburbs. The blurb they had on the back and in the front of the book did make me laugh which is a great indication of what’s to come.

Has anyone else heard of this book or read one of Bombeck’s others?

One thing this book has already inspired me to do is create a new challenge, maybe for later this year, where reader’s are challenged to read books they pick up random places. I can’t say how many times I’ve been walking down the street and have paused at a box marked free with books inside, picked up books from coffee shops, or even picked up books from the discard bin at the library. How fun would it be to read some of those disparate books in a challenge? I think it should definitely happen.

Happy reading!