Catch-up: what I’ve been reading while I was away

So, there’s been some upheaval in my life recently and as such I didn’t blog for a while.  Here’s a summary of what I was reading while I was kind of busy living and how I’m getting on with my challenge!

  • The Stand (King) – eh, this could have been about 200 pages shorter (and I read the original version!).  I don’t like a lot of aspects of King’s characterisation.
  • Metamorphosis (Kafka) – this was fantastic and much less dry than I expected it to be (I do’nt know why I expected that, tbf).  It’s both darkly comedic and horribly disheartening.  I loved Kafka’s turn of phrase, even in translation.
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – this was funny, but repetitive.  I also didn’t really care about a lot of the stuff she wrote about behind the scenes at the Office as I’ve neveer watched the American version.
  • Midnight Riot (Aaronovitch) – I liked this, but it definitely felt like the first book in a series.  It reminded me of the first Thursday Next book in that I could see the building blocks of something good, but not the whole that it was going to become in further books. I am endlessly disappointed at the eventual ending though.
  •  (Williams) – ugh.  I wanted to love this – and I still think that it has some of the best writing I’ve ever read, in terms of the dialogue and the atmosphere – but the treatment of the characters and their flaws in particular just left me uncomfortable and not necessarily in a good way.
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Wynne Jones) – read this as a palate cleanser after Streetcar. I still love this book entirely too much.  DWJ’s grasp of language is just phenomenal – she’s the queen of the understatement – and the teasing out of the characters of both Sophie and Howl are fantastic.  I’m currently in the midst of the sequel and it’s just as good so far, if completely different!
  • Winger (Smith) – this was good – and I was totally blindsided by the ending – but I still can’t make up my mind whether I liked the degree of realism to high school or whether I could have done with just a touch more “fictionalising” because teenagers can be really repetpitive, borning and a bit illogical.
  • Daddy Long Legs (Webster) – in terms of American fiction for young women, this is my jam.  There’s obviously a bit of moralising that doesn’t really mesh with 21st century values, but there’s so much else to love I don’t care.  I can see how the endgame might creep some people out, but, for me, it didn’t hit that button.  Recommended!

I’ll post a full review for The Silkworm later today.  In terms of my challenge, I’m not doing so well currently (as expected).  A lot of the above were books I read on my Kindle, as I’ve not been in my flat a lot and haven’t had a paper book on me.  I also bought NINE (yes, NINE) paper books in the last few weeks.  Two were Terry Pratchett, who I always collect in hard copy, and there is a trilogy in there of which I’ve read the first part (Chaos Walking) but I still probably shouldn’t have bought them even though I spent £10 actual money total. I’m now up at around 165 books unread 😦


Onward we plunge!



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