Monday, June 29, 2015

Light reading update

Overdue a light reading update. Basically, the month in summary: crest of relief when I dig in on a longish series that's good, then dismay when it comes to an end and I am not sure what to read next! Trying to get my act together for a productive week of work starting tomorrow, as that is the thing most likely to improve my mood and morale - this year has been unduly taxing, I am now operating at about 20% capacity, that's not good....

Just finished an advance copy of the excellent Lauren Groff's forthcoming novel Fates and Furies. I found the first half puzzling and a bit unsatisfying (it suffers by comparison with A Little Life, which on the face of it sets out to do some similar things), but the second half makes sense of the first - I wish there had been some way to have the reveal come sooner. Very good, though, regardless.

The latest Expanse installment is just as good as one might expect. I think I will reread the whole series from the start before the next volume, both because they are so intensely pleasurable and because the human element of the story sticks with me more consistently than the intricacies of the protomolecule.

Caymanian author Elke Feuer's Deadly Race, which I enjoyed very much (it's the second installment in a series, both are well-written and engaging but this one asks for less suspension of demographic disbelief in the matter of serial killer populations!).

Stephen King, Finders Keepers (an enjoyable read, good storytelling but the characters are forgettable, types rather than individuals).

Sarai Walker, Dietland (like a sort of inverse sequel to Fay Weldon's Life and Loves of a She Devil).

I liked the first two installment of Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy books so much that I decided to reread them in preparation for Unmade. I was sorry indeed as I read the last page: these books remind me more of Diana Wynne Jones than almost anything I've ever read, it gave me a pang!

Tim Lebbon, Coldbrook (certain similarities to the other book I recently read of is led me to suspect that he must have been as strongly influenced/impressed as I was by The Day of the Triffids in some earlier stage of life).

Then I came upon an amazingly good fantasy series by Robert V. S. Redick. Redick is my "friend" on Facebook, and posted a picture of a gecko there that captivated me sufficiently that I looked up his books: and they are so very good! Also there are four of them and they are LONG, so they got me through a tough week or so. The series is called the Chathrand Voyage, more information here: highly recommended.

I couldn't quite get in a groove after that (I have been reading a lot for work as well too, obviously, including some very interesting stuff about documentation and marginal annotation), so the rest of the list is more miscellaneous: a very brutal zombie novel by Mason James Cole, Pray to Stay Dead; four much more frivolous zombie novels (this kind of urban fantasy is so silly but so relaxing to read), Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series; Sarah Hepola's gripping Blackout (this Guardian excerpt captured my attention earlier in the month: not as complex and interesting a book as Caroline Knapp's drinking memoir, but extremely well-written and interesting to read); and Vendela Vida's The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty (I liked it, the writing is ravishing, but it is more novella than novel - reminded me a good deal of a couple books by Kate Christensen that were more substantial - and I found the late-stage double revelation needlessly melodramatic - one or the other thing would have been enough?).

My bedroom is stacked with dozens of half-read books, but I am too lazy to document that all here - will have to get subsumed into actual writing....

1 comment:

  1. You may enjoy Simon Kurt Unsworth's The Devil’s Detective.