I wish I could manage to read just one thing at a time. However given that I read for work, for writing and for pleasure its probably an unrealistic expectation that this will ever happen. Do other people read just one book at a time, first page to last without deviation, hesitation or repition? (Yes, repition. How many times have I taken a book from the book pile, shuffled through to find where I left off and then half an hour later been struck by the eerie sense of deja-vu that tells me I’ve read this chapter before.) Am I the only person to have between four and twelve books open face down around my abode, like abandoned conversations waiting for the next sentence. Possibly.
Currently the book pile is slightly lighter than usual, but only after some savage pruning over X-mas.
Top of the pile is Shriek: An Afterword by the incomparable Jeff Vandermeer. JV is blazing a new literary trail in the fantasy fiction world at the moment. I picked up his short story collection City of Saints and Madmen a few months ago but bounced off it. Shriek has really grabbed me though, so likely I’ll post a review in the near future. Imagine Gormenghast crossed with Thirty Something penned by Douglas Coupland and you’ll be a few feet away from the imaginary land of Ambergris where Shriek is set. Its just been relased in mass market pb so now is a good time to pick up a copy if you like that kind of thing.
I picked up three hardback volumes of George R R Martin’s for a steal from one of Leicester’s second hand shops (the look of doubt in the dealers eyes as he handed them over made me think I got them cheap). If you don’t know Martin you probably soon wil as his fantasy epic ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ has just been optioned by HBO, makers of Rome and Deadwood. I read the whole thing earlier in the year, and now I’ve started rereading it for fun.
I’ve got 5 YAF books to plough my way through for late Feb for work. Teenage fiction can be great, it can also be duff. I hope these are the former.
Finaly I stumbled into some imported American Fanatsy/SF in the works from the Tor US imprint. Market differences between the UK and US mean that imports tend to fail in the UK market, so I picked up a whole raft of really great books for 99p each! First on that list is Charles Stross ‘The Family Trade’.
So many books, so little time!