Whilst I wasn't blogging over the last month or so, I was most definitely still reading. Here are some quick thoughts on the titles I finished:
Peter Grant thinks he is headed for a dull life of police paperwork when he finds himself interviewing a ghost following a murder in central London. This leads him to Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England, and the person in charge of policing the parallel, magical London. The number of gruesome murders across the city is increasing, and it's up to Grant and Nightingale to find out and apprehend the supernatural culprit.
I had high hopes going into this book, as it's the first of a very well regarded series, but I was disappointed. I liked the urban fantasy atmosphere and the originality of the supernatural elements, but ultimately this book was too much crime, too little fantasy for me. I wasn't interested in solving the crime alongside Peter and as a result the pages dragged. This one has been donated to the charity shop, and I won't be continuing with the series.
2.5 out of 5
I love the Little History series, and this literature based volume did not disappoint. Covering everything from Greek myths to the future of printed books, this book is divided into short, bite-sized chapters that give an overview of authors and trends from the Western canon. There's also chapters dealing with the development and history of the publishing industry.
I studied science at university, so I was missing a general overview of the history of literature, and this book filled that gap nicely. It's perfect to dive in and out of, as each chapter only takes a few minutes to read. Although I would have liked to have seen more on non-Western literature, I loved this book as it inspired me to pick up more classics. Highly recommended.
5 out of 5
The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru
Pran Nath is the son of an Indian woman and English man. Throughout his life he experiences being a privileged son, a cast out, exploited in a backstreet brothel, a political pawn, a student at Oxford university and finally an anthropologist. Pran is able to flit between these roles effortlessly, assuming new identities, but what are the consequences of lacking a true identity?
This book is truly epic in scale, covering three countries and a dazzling array of side characters. It's also utterly engrossing, mainly for the minor characters and the settings, which are bought vividly to life. I really enjoyed this for the story, but have a feeling I missed some of the deeper meanings involving post-colonialist identity.
4 out of 5
The third volume in Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. This series is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Objectively, I know there is lots to dislike about it - the repetitive descriptions, the fantasy clichés, the gender stereotypes, the unnecessary, pace-slowing detail - but I just can't help but find this series utterly compelling. It's just wonderful escapism, especially now Jordan has broadened the world somewhat and introduced new places in this volume.
I wouldn't recommend this series to everyone, and I'm not even sure why I like it so much, but like it I do.
4 out of 5
A Little History of Literature sounds really interesting! I had never heard of that series of books and now I definitely want to check it out :)ReplyDelete
It was really fun. A Little History of the World is great too :)Delete
I am pleased to hear you have continued to enjoying your reading :-)ReplyDelete
A Little History of Literature sounds like a worthwhile investment. I'll look for it!ReplyDelete
It definitely is. I have a beautiful hardback edition, it looks great on my shelf and I can imagine myself browsing through it quite a bit in the future.Delete
I'm a big fan of John Sutherland in general so I've been meaning to check out A Little History for a while - thanks for reminding me! Rivers of London has always vaguely appealed to me from afar, but I've never actually taken the leap to start reading it. Maybe that's for the best :)ReplyDelete
I've recently started re-reading Wheel of Time and I'd forgotten how much I loved it! I agree that it has so many features that I know I should find irritating and yet I still love it. I think for me it's a lot about nostalgia - it was the first epic fantasy series I ever got into and I read it before I really knew enough about the genre to see its flaws. I'm really looking forward to getting to finally know how it ends!ReplyDelete
I'm bummed to hear that Rivers of London fell short for you. It sounded like a good one!ReplyDelete