I’ve finally started on my stack of Scottish literature by diving into Muriel Spark: The Complete Short Stories. The collection opener is ‘The Go-Award Bird’ in which we see a girl called Daphne grow-up in the Colonies before staying for a few ‘seasons’ in England. The only other Spark I’ve read is The Driving Seat and I found that, like this, disturbed me. There is an edge to Spark’s writing which lingers. She writes character who can’t truly like but get investing in their lives regardless.
This is going to sound odd but her writing making me think of the weird, which is a genre that plays with the minds of characters (and the readers) so you’re never sure if they are mad or if there is some unknown influence at work.
There is actually no hint of ‘genre’ as Spark plays it very straight but she does play with the readers expectations of normality and scratches off the veneer to show the chaos underneath everyones exterior.
I’ve also finished The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette De Bodard. There is a review coming soon but it ticks all my fantasy boxes. It’s not perfect but its imperfections make it a charming read.
I’m also reading a book I’ve been asked to review for another place. More details soon.
… Adding to the TBR
The last two week’s additions to the TBR are:
I’ve been a fan of The Dresden Files since I saw the TV series on Sky (2007 or so). I’m always surprised how Jim Butcher manages to keep raising the stakes without being silly and keeps me wanted to go back and read the next one (never mind reread the whole series but I cant’ find the time).
Don’t get me wrong I’ve read one dud but he pulled it back with the next book so I have every confidence he knows where it is going, which is an apocalyptic trilogy apparently, though not for a few more books. It’s even more surprising when you he had this series planned from the start to be that long.
I like that he writes in-between-book short stories for the series. I have the collected Side Jobs, the novella Backup illustrated by Mike Mignola(!), and Working for Bigfoot, which collates the three shorts where Bigfoot is Harry’s client: “B is for Bigfoot,” “I Was a Teenage Bigfoot,” and “Bigfoot on Campus”. In addition to that there will another collection like Side Jobs hopefully next year.
This month sees the release of The Aeronaut’s Windlass and a new series. I’m not sure if I’ll read it. I’m a fan of Harry Dresden more than a fan of Jim Butcher. In the same way I’ve not read Codex Alera. Sometimes it’s the characters and not the author.
Speaking of characters, last week saw the release of The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett. It is the last Discworld novel. The end. I’ve not read it yet. Despite being being a massive fan I’ve kept one or two back to read and I need to catch up Tiffany a little before I read. I couldn’t have read it last week even if I wanted to.
Below is a picture of the book that saved me as a reader and was a corner stone the tail-end of my teenage years next to the last. It’s an illustration of the beginning and the end.
Moving on to illustration my life at the moment is in need of the promise of my next two books. I’ll let you know how I get on.
There is probably more I should share. There are some great review copies coming in which I’ll talk about next time.
What have you managed to read recently?