May 2021 book blog

I tried out a new author in the first week in May, I’d been promised sf, but I don’t think it was. Not my thing, but it was well presented and I’m sure other people would like it, so I won’t comment further.
So I picked up a book from my December pile, this was a gift from my husband. ‘The City in the Middle of the Night’ is the first book I’ve read by Charlie Jane Anders. I really liked it, proper science fiction, interesting characters, intriguing world building and an engrossing story line. It set the tone for a great May reading list, and I moved on to Widowland, by C.J.Carey. This had been sent to me for an honest review, which you can find in my previous blog post. I’d say that it falls more into the ‘thriller’ category than sf, but I did enjoy it.
Now and again I’ll read a YA novel, because why not. ‘Sweet Erin’ by Sian Turner is one that I’d definitely recommend for a teenager. Two girls are connected by a mysterious app, and they develop a friendship that helps them through their adolescent troubles. An enjoyable read, but it put me in the mood for something a bit meatier. The next book on the December pile was another Charlie Jane Anders novel, ‘All the Birds in the Sky.’ I read it in two days, which pretty much speaks for how much I enjoyed it. Magic and advanced technology collide in an intriguing way that suggests that they are separated only by differences in approach and intent. Definitely recommended.
I like to re-read books, there’s a pleasure in revisiting old friends. When I was in my teens and twenties I re-read a lot, especially in my twenties when I didn’t have easy access to a fiction library and was dependent on my relatively small collection of books. Things are different now, and I have a lot of books. Too many to re-read, to be honest, but as I don’t know which ones I’ll want to re-read, it’s hard to cull them. Despite the high pile of new books that I have to look forward to, I was drawn to the Stephen King shelf, and I picked up ‘Revival’. It came out in 2014, and my copy was a birthday gift from my parents. I know I read it, probably in early 2015, but I realised that I couldn’t remember a single thing about it. So, pretty much, I was holding in my hands an unread King novel. Fantastic! Having a rubbish memory has its rewards. ‘Revival’ isn’t the best King novel that I’ve ever read, but he’s the master, and I read it in three days and didn’t begrudge a minute of it. Something about the villain’s charismatic power over others led me to revisit ‘The Vampire Tapestry’ by Suzy McKee Charnas. Her vampire, Weyland, is a lone figure whose vital emotional isolation from his prey is threatened by a series of interactions with humans whose lives intersect with his. It is one of the greatest vampire novels I’ve ever read and I’m glad that I took this chance to read it again.
May’s reading experience was a pretty good one. Two re-reads, one new author that I’ll definitely seek out again, a couple of stand alone novels that have certainly given me something to think about in my own writing, and a ‘dud’ that reminded me that not everyone likes the same thing, but every writer needs to write their own truth.
What will June bring?

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