Monday, 31 May 2010

Busy times

Hmm, been very busy reading and rereading for the Branford Boase award - great fun and you can see the short list here - It's a really strong short list and can't wait for the announcement of the winner in July! Judging an award - any award - is great because you get the chance to discuss books with other like minded individuals - i.e. real readers, and it's often about books you might not otherwise have read because they hadn't come across your desk or been picked up in the library.

But there's also the pleasure of reading what you like best - and I have finished one long series from a favourite author - Garth Nix's 'Keys to the Kingdom'. Lord Sunday was a fitting finale to the mayhem and battle that has troubled the house, though I was not surprised that our hero ended up as the Architect at the end of the book - though his answer to how to still live on Earth too was novel. Fantasy of a superior sort!

Then there was a new series from well established pair Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. Wyrmeweald: Returners Wealth is the first novel set in a new world where man (the two skins) both protect and prey on the variety of wyrmes that live in this harsh and unforgiving landscape. Gripping and involving - this should be the start of another successful series from these two.

Now I must finish this post as I am reading Larsson's Millennium trilogy - and the middle of book two is calling to me!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Mr Golightly's Holiday

This is a simple tale - you think- of a slightly unworldly man who has obviously suffered some tragedy in the past associated with his family - who decides to take a holiday in Great Calne on Dartmoor. The story follows him as he gets to know the village, it's characters and its politics and settles himself into his new temporary home. Throughout the whole of his holiday Mr G seems to be getting odd, short email messages - unsigned and untraceable - are they sinister or a joke played on him by someone from the office?

Whilst he is In Great Calne he thinks he may rewrite his book (his great work) in a new and novel modern way and employs a young man - who appears to be from a very disadvantaged background - as his researcher on the internet. This is the story of the repercussions of small coincidences, meetings and interactions and the impact they have on the everyday lives of the village occupants.

The sudden realisation half way through the book of the significance and importance of Mr Golightly was a shock to the system in this very enjoyable, very readable and recommended tale.