Back on the Blog

Part One

It’s been more than a year since my last blog post (17 months!), I don’t really know why I haven’t posted anything, but I do want to start up again; I’m just a little out of practice. I’ve been keeping my blog up to date with what I have been reading and the book group books, I just haven’t reviewed anything. My last blog post was for H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, since then I have read 56 books – I’m not planning on catching up on them all individually. Maybe the most useful thing would be a highlights reel…

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This was an interesting book about a travelling community surviving in post-apocalyptic North America. This group of people are a theatre troupe performing Shakespeare to small communities that have grown out of deadly virus hit world.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The only Neil Gaiman book I have read, but I want to read more; it was beautifully written with a blend of supernatural and childhood remembrance. At first I thought it was going to be a book for early teens, but was shocked by its visualisation of some horror elements. Fantastic stuff.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

This was the second time I attempted to read this; I gave up the first time because of the sheer brutality of the writing. Tough, violent, bloody, grotesque, grim, and unrelentless, McCarthy never lets off…

Oryx and Crake/The Year of the Flood/MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

The MaddAddam trilogy begins with the astonishing Oryx and Crake – set in an off-kilter and surreal future, it flips between a time before and after a disease has been released killing most of the world’s population. The world which Atwood creates is very close to our own but driven to an extreme. Published in 2003, it is a disturbingly prescient. Although, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam don’t quite hit the heights of the first of the trilogy, they were still very good pulling an overall story arc together brilliantly.

The Passage/The Twelve/The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

Another trilogy, but this time a vampire driven horror masterpiece played out over the three books. It is set across centuries, has hundreds of characters, a multitude of dazzling action set pieces, truly chilling moments, and all across more than 2,300 pages long, need I say more. Read it; love it!

High-Rise by JG Ballard

We read this for book group when the film was released, then went to see it at the local cinema. I really liked High-Rise – although it was written in a near future style, its heart was firmly set in the 1970s. Ballard’s small cast of characters spread throughout his block of flats are perfectly despicable throughout. The glaring allegory for the society of classes is delivered with flair and brevity. Both the opening and closing lines are fantastic.

After writing this so far, I’ve realised that I could do with splitting this up. Hope you like part one, part two will follow…

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