If you solely know me from this blog you might not think I’m doing a lot of reading at the moment. I am but I’ve also been away on my travels.
One was a trip to London on the train and I did a bit of reading.
I love my Kindle. It is my traveling companion of choice when it comes to reading but I’ll come back to that.
When I was in London I got to see the new Star Trek movie (the first one) at the Royal Albert Hall with its soundtrack played by a live orchestra with choir.
That was the afternoon and rather than booking into the hotel there was a mad dash to see Angela Lansbury play Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s Blythe Spirit. I was fan of the film growing up but had forgotten the ending, which made it a nicer surprise. Lansbury was the person that everyone had come to see but the entire cast did a memorable turn especially Charles Edwards playing Charles, who gets trapped between his current and former wives.
I bought the text of the play on my way out, the only book I had chance to buy in London.
On Sunday the day included a visit to Royal Observatory Greenwich and their Longitude Punk’d exhibition.
One of the highlights for me is art from Robert Rankin. If you get chance I really recommend you visit.
I’ve also been to Paris for the first time, the weather was mostly kind though the queues were huge. So not everything on the list was ticked off. But I’m looking forward to going back some day.
Back to the Kindle. For Paris I took a paperback, Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell, but it remained unopened. I wanted to take The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan but it’s out in trade (also in hardback) and I couldn’t really justify the weight to carry it.
I ended up reading short stories from The Weird Anthology, which is such an impressive achievement, though according to my Kindle I’m only 20% into it with another 45 hours or so reading left (I’m on page 233 of 1111). And as I was reading them one after the other rather than leaving gaps the stories had a strange addictive quality.
Before I went I read Lovecraft’s ‘The Dunwich Horror’, finally, I’ve been putting it off as I’ve failed on more than one occasion to read ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ but instead of being slow and boring I can see why it’s such an influential tale. And well worth reading if you haven’t.
I read four – The Book by Margaret Irwin, ‘The Mainz Psalter’ & ‘The Shadow Street’ both by Jean Ray and ‘Genius Loci’ by Clark Ashton Smith – they do start playing on the back of your mind after a while. I like ‘weird’ stories a lot.
I also had time to digest chunks Speculative Fiction 2013 (which brings together some of the best of last year’s genre blogging) - highlights for me this time were Rethinking Prometheus and I hate Strong Female Characters. Both give lots of food for thought.
Every month I join Savidge Reads and Adventures with Words on Hear…ReadThis! a podcast book club. This month it was my choice of new book and Kate’s choice for an older work. I chose Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill and Kate chose A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken, illustrated by Jan Pienkowski (which was a bit of mammoth task to find) but unfortunately for an adult me rather disappointing. Dreams and Shadows on the other hand I loved. It’s dark fairytale fairytale. Rob wasn’t keen on the format, which has extracts and mini-tales that build towards the ending.
Oh, and I made a special guest appearance on The Readers Podcast for their 100th episode. It was fun being back.
— Gav Reads (@gavreads) June 12, 2014
It’s a reissue from 1971 so I’m greatly looking forward it.
And speaking of reissues, I treated myself to another new Fantasy Masterwork:
And I think that’s enough for now – I’ll try to not leave it so long next time.
What bookish stuff have you been up to?