Saturday 8 April 2017

Monthly Muse

Bit late getting to this for March, had a manic two weeks, then underwent an operation and two weeks off of work. Back now and it has been insane this week… Anyway, reading wise, March was pretty productive. The two weeks at home meant that I could speak to the contractors that we need to quote for our kitchen revamp over the summer and I managed to make some inroads into my backlog of review copies. In all I read 21 books. It could have been higher, but social media does get in the way. And they were these:

Quite a varied collection this month. One of the best was The Art of Neil Gaiman, a behind the scenes look at the way that he creates his masterful works. Walking the Americas was really good too; will be watching the TV series soon, now I have finished the book. I bought the Wildlife Trust Series after I had some book tokens last year, and I am making point of starting each one of the first day of that season. This month was Spring, which I started on the 20th March. Harrison has a knack of finding some absolute classic texts as well as some promising new authors.

I was vaguely aware of Anne Dillard, but have never read any of her work. Canongate had kindly arranged for me to get to of her book that were being re-printed for their Canons series. Teaching a Stone to talk was the first of Dillard’s book that I had read, well worth it, and I have the Abundance to read soon. How to Survive a Plague was worth reading, though it is an immense book full of detail and people with the fight that the gay community had to go through to get AIDS research on the agenda. Kapp to Cape was enjoyable too, an attempt at setting a record cycling from the very north of Norway to South Africa. Read (more inhaled) one graphic novel, but it was Gaiman so it had to be done and was partially mesmerised by Falling Awake.

Read more fiction this month that I would normally do, there was the disturbing Roanoke Girls, the creepy Behind Her Eyes and the out of this world Stars are Legion. Sealskin was a worthy retelling of the ancient legend of the selkies, Sleeping Giants was a sci fi book set on our planet and the new fantasy world that Terry Goodkind had created. The no fiction I had read was interesting too, from the quirky Adventures in Stationary, the future thinking Homo Deus, a lovely book on the fox and learnt how to make a hit. Paul Kingsnorth’s new book on his thoughts on how the green agenda is losing its focus was interesting too.

I have been asked by Rebecca at Bookish Beck to be a member of the shadow panel of readers who will make our way through the six titles shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. We will be choosing our own winner shortly before the official prize announcement on Monday, April 24th. We are also joined on the panel by Amy Pirt who blogs at This Little Bag of Dreams. I will also be on the Wellcome Prize blog tour on the 19th April. Never participated in one of these before so slightly nervous!

This coming month I will be ploughing through the backlog of review copies that I have.

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