This month, I solidified my love for Neil Gaiman, read a classic (and didn’t like it), tried a popular fiction novel (thought it was okay) and reread some stories from my childhood.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I loved this one. It’s written with the whimsy of well-loved childhood story, but with Neil Gaiman’s master of language, it’s sophisticated enough for an adult. It’s a great story about childhood friendship and triumph against adversity (and dark magic) told by the man when he is much older with a twist at the end. It’s lovely and sad at the same time, nostalgic and a bit heart breaking.
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
I read the first of this series several years ago because my flatmate was throwing it away and I thought I’d read it first. This one I bought on purpose and while I don’t regret it, it wasn’t my favourite. It’s a good story – written from Thomas Cromwell’s Machiavellian perspective when the kind is trying to get rid of Anne Boleyn. It’s almost like a diary in that things just sort of happen one after another. I find it distracting that because it’s based on a real historical event, I sort of know what’s going to happen. Maybe Historical Fiction just isn’t my thing.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
I know this is a classic. I know Jules Verne is an amazing storyteller. But I swear, if I see another Latin classification for any sea creature in the next few weeks I may totally lose the plot. There were a lot of very long passages on the Latin names for sea creatures and the book seemed like it would never end.
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Not a classic work of literature by any means, but fantastic (in both senses of the word). I couldn’t but this down. A female protagonist (who is hilarious) fights for her kingdom which is the remnants of some utopia that was founded when a group of people made The Crossing. It’s fantasy, it’s mystery and it’s a big adventure. I really liked it (and immediately downloaded the 2nd in the series.)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Since I was very young, I have always loved the stories of Sherlock Holmes. I’ve read the majority of the stories and thought I would re-read some and read some new ones in this collection on my Kindle. It was everything I love about Sherlock Holmes – the mystery, the almost omnipotent character of Holmes, the images of London a hundred years ago.
What have you been reading this month? Any recommendations?