What I’ve Been Reading #1

I post a lot on twitter but the only books I’ve ended up blogging about recently are ones I’ve finished writing reviews for.  By only posting reviews I  miss out talking about the ones I’ve been dipping into or not got around to reviewing formally. So, I’m going to have a go at  writing about the other books; books that are coming up or books which take my fancy, and see how that works out.

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First up is The Innocence of Father Brown. I’ve only managed to read the first story so far and, to be fair, I was a little bit unconvinced by the farcical nature of it. That was until we got properly introduced to Father Brown at the end. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Speaking of classic crime I’m about a third into The Crime at Black Dudley, it’s my first Margaret Allingham and my introduction to her detective Albert Campion. As so often with her contemporaries she’s using another guest to be the eyes of the investigation and giving an outsiders view of Campion. It’s not the most flattering view though that’s more telling of the narrator than the character of Campion.

I’ve just finished Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan, it’s another first, and it joins Jingo by Terry Pratchett and The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs on the to-be-reviewed pile. I will say of Thief’s Magic that I did and didn’t enjoy it. It’s trying to be different, with a different take on heroes and fantasy worlds and magic but it used two contrasting threads that make it hard to get the weave right and I struggled a bit with the comparison. The ending though is a proper cliffhanger for both characters involved.

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A background fascination in my reading is going back into science fiction’s past. Luckily the SF Gateway makes that such an easy task. For example, I was reading the introduction to In Search of Wonder by Damon Knight, which collects his critical writing from 1950-60-ish, and it mentions the Science-Fiction Handbook by  L. Sprague De Camp & Catherine Crook De Camp. Now in the past, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t have bother tracking down a second-hand copy but a couple of clicks later and there it was, ready to be read. The thing about the De Camp book is it contains an essay giving lots of thought into the embryology of science fiction pre-1900 and it’s something I’d never had read without the SF Gateway, so hats off to them. I’m still working my way through both books but greatly enjoying them.

The last book to mention is my unintentional rereading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It might have been seeing the new covers from last year in the shops a couple of weeks ago, which put the idea in the back of my mind, or maybe it’s just one of those things. Anyway, I bought the ebook when Pottermore was first available to test out the online shop and see how it integrated with Amazon (it worked flawlessly btw) but not got round to reading it. I was looking over the books on my kindle trying to figure out my next ebook (I try and keep one paper novel and one electronic novel on the go) and I wondered if it would still be any good so many years later. The answer to that question is YES. Especially as I’m easily over half-way and really want to stay with Harry until the end of this book, though I might have read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets soon after.

That’s my reading, what about you?

2 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading #1”

  1. Right now I’m reading Crichton’s The Lost World for the first time. I loved the original movie, and I guess the new movie sparked some interest again.

    I picked up a couple G. K. Chesterton novellas at a used booksale this month. I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett’s non-fiction lately, and he quotes Chesterton quite a bit, so I thought I should check him out.

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