Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Archivist Wasp

(September 2015)

Brought this without realizing it was YA. Heart sank a bit when I realized it was YA. Heart sank even further when I realized the protagonist was a teenage girl caught in a dystopian society and which compels her to fight her peers in an annual match to the death.

Monday, 14 September 2015

The Book of Phoenix

(September 2015)

Never let anyone tell you that twitter is worthless. In addition to the massive box of books I scored a couple of years back based on nothing more than a cheap seasonal pun, I'm now in possession of a gorgeous hardback copy of The Book of Pheonix, thanks to the fact that the good people at Hodderscape (or at least their social media managers) have a surprisingly similar taste to me for dubious mid-90's RnB poetry mash-ups.

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Fifth Season

(August 2015)

Fantasy like I remember it when I first discovered it. Fantasy that keeps you turning the pages until the small hours of the morning. Fantasy with wit and grace and grime and agony. Fantasy with characters that matter, and relationships that matter, and stories that matter.

Fuck me but this is good.

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Southern Reach

Jeff VanderMeer, 2014
(August 2015)

Where to begin with this? Let's start by acknowledging that, like Lord of the Rings, this is best considered as a single book that just happens to be published in three volumes. If nothing else it'll help you get you over the hump that is Authority. Difficult Middle Volume syndrome in full effect there, otherwise.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Bonjour Tristesse

Françoise Sagan, 1954, 1956 [Heather Lloyd, 2013]
(August 2015)

Oh so very Gallic. Gamine young women; passionate affairs with older men; existential ennui: it couldn't be more French if it created continent-wide wide travel chaos through aggressive industrial work-stoppages whilst eating a wheel of cheese and listlessly smoking a Gauloises inside a Gitanes.

Monday, 31 August 2015

The Secret Agent

Joseph Conrad, 1907
(August 2015)

A slightly bizarre reading experience, this. While continuing the slow migration of my library from the UK to Japan (i.e. going through boxes of books in Mum's loft) I found an old copy of this with a bookmark wedged about forty pages from the end.

Friday, 28 August 2015

When the Emperor Was Divine

(August 2015)

You’ll recall that I was blown away by The Buddha in the Attic, which you could say acts as something of a prequel to this. Emperor isn’t quite up to those rarified standards, but is still a very good book, dealing with the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, and so reading this during early August just added to the normal merry-go-round of opinion and counter-opinion regarding the end of the Pacific war. Once again, I'm quite glad I’ve got the excuse of these bite-sized holiday round-up posts to let me avoid expanding on that, to be honest.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Starship Troopers

(July 2015)

So now I’ve read some Heinlein. A handbook of military etiquette leavened only by some tedious and dubious civics lessons. Disappointed Grandpa Lecture in its purest, most literal form.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Wicked + The Divine / Sex Criminals

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie ,et al, 2015
Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky, 2015
(July 2015)

I really should stop pairing these two up when I read and write about them. It's not doing me or Sex Criminals any favours at all. Don't get me wrong; SC is pretty good, even if Jon continues to annoy the everloving shit out of me. WicDiv, however, is astonishing. I know I mentioned this last time, but it really does seem almost intentionally set up to push my personal buttons in the best possible ways. I can't recommend this one highly enough; if you're not reading it you should be.