July 2021 book blog

July kicked off with a return to an old favourite, I recently realised that Octavia Butler had written a sequel to ‘Parable of the Sower’, so I decided it was time for a re-read of the original and to read the sequel. I know, I’m very late to the party, but better late than never eh?
I haven’t read Parable of the Sower for a long, long time, and I was a bit taken aback by how closely the timeline of the story tracked current events. Despite the events of the book, this is an uplifting story, the main character is determined to build something big, whilst concentrating on the small things at the same time. Loved it, I’ve always loved it.
Whilst I was waiting for my copy of ‘Parable of the Talents’ to arrive, I picked up a December book, a gift from my husband. Arkady Martine’s ‘A Memory Called Empire’ is a political thriller with added science fiction. This novel’s MacGuffin takes the shape of an implant that records a person’s memories and personality. It can then be implanted into that person’s successor to give them the benefit of one or more generations worth of experience in the job. I loved the idea, and there’s a lot to play with, with that alone. Add to the mix a dying Emperor from a different culture, the threat of an alien invasion, and a young woman finding her feet in her dream job, and you’ve got the makings of a great story. I enjoyed it a lot, and as it looks like the sequel is already out, I’ll drop a hint to my husband re December pressies.
And then, there it was, the book I didn’t know I’d been missing for several decades! ‘The Parable of the Talents’ is a sequel told from three points of view, over a period of many decades. Again, many of the themes are quite prescient, but hope and determination save the story from a dystopian bent. No spoilers, you should read both of these books.
I was tidying some shelves when Rosemary Sutcliff’s ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’ literally fell on my head. Never one to ignore an omen, I settled down with it that very night, and remembered why I’d loved it so much as a child. It’s a great story, and guess what, I’ve just found out that there are seven sequels. Oh dear. I might have to binge some young adult Roman Britain books some time next year. I read the book several times as a teenager, but my first re-read as an adult held a bit of a bonus … since I last read it, I’ve become familiar with the area of Kintyre where parts of the book are set, so I had some fun checking off the locations on a map as I read it. It’s true, we never read the same book twice.
Continuing on the Young Adult theme, for some reason I had a copy of ‘How I Live Now’ on the shelf. It’s definitely one of those ‘How Did That Get There?’ books. I have seen the film adaptation, and remembered it once I started reading the novel. Anyway, Meg Rosoff’s tale of a USAian girl getting caught up in a war of invasion whilst visiting her ever so slightly weird English cousins is an entertaining read.
July’s last read was Cloven Hooves by Megan Lindholm. This was an impulse buy when I was spending some vouchers earlier this year. My thoughts keep returning to it. It can be read as a straight story of a young woman and her relationship with a satyr, or as an allegory for a journey of self discovery. I prefer the second, as otherwise it’s just a depressing tale of a young woman who sinks without resistance into a submissive life as a wife and mother not once, but twice. The second time around is very different on the surface, but it boils down to the same thing. It does have a happy ending though, so all is forgiven. I’m glad I read it.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *