Reading Update: 14th October

Oh the books. The piles of books. The new books coming out. The unread books still waiting. So, this week I have found myself with four books on the go, simultaneously: waking and alert, I’m continuing Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under and as I drive I’m listening to Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black from the Man Booker Shortlist; and…

Company of Liars, Karen Maitland

This was … not what I expected. A band of travellers in the England of 1348, travelling and telling tales to each other over the course of their journeys. The reviews and comments on it make an obvious but – to my mind – highly suspect assertion that this somehow a re-imagining of The Canterbury…

The Bands of Mourning, Brandon Sanderson

I tend to have three books on the go simultaneously most of the time: an audiobook for the drive to and from work; a thoughtful, dare I say literary, book for when I’m at home; and a just-entertain-me book for when I don’t actually want to think too much. We all need a just-entertain-me book…

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

This book – a Booker Prize shortlisted book from a Booker Prize winning novelist – has been sat on my book shelf since forever. I was convinced I’d read it. I am sure I’ve had lengthy and enthusiastic discussions about it. Heated debates. Yet, having downloaded it from Audible as a re-read, expecting something familiar…

The Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu

What the hell was that? There is this much fuss over … this? Now, I suppose I should confess: I’m not a great science fiction reader. Especially not hard science fiction. And I’m neither a scientist nor a historian of the Cultural Revolution in China. But this was not a good book. I didn’t dislike…

The Pure In Heart, Susan Hill

I’m genuinely unsure of what to make of this book. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad book; listening to it as an audiobook was a pretty pleasant way to spend my journeys to work. But it didn’t seem to be what it was packaged as and marketed as: a crime mystery. It felt…

The Collectors, Phillip Pullman

  This is an absolute gem of a read – or more likely a listen, as Pullman wrote it for Audible as a free giveaway at some point. That’s how I collected it – see what I did there? – and it’s been lurking in my library ever since and today I thought I may…

Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of those authors who I have been aware of but avoided for a while. I put my hands up, it was and has been deeply unfair of me. Like that chap in the village I grew up in who always crossed the road when he saw my mother to avoid talking…

Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch

I’ve been reading some weighty books recently. Miéville. Ali Smith. Haruki Murakami. All brilliant. But sometimes, just sometimes, a slightly lighter read is called for: fun, engaging, escapist. And Aaronovitch delivers exactly that in his Peter Grant novels. An authentic police procedural with an engaging first person narrator whose wit is warm and genuine. With…

Embassytown, China Miéville

Hmmm… where to start with this one? It’s a book on which I am still ruminating and which is still rattling away inside my brain after a couple of days. Nagging at me. Gnawing at my consciousness. And Miéville’s writing does that: it dwells and lingers and questions and challenges you. That is why Miéville…