Friday, 14 December 2007

The only plus side of being hospitalised for four days

I caught up on some reading. I've been terribly slack recording my reading lately and have probably missed some books.

Having read every PD James and Dorothy Sayers novel in the library and every Agatha Christie book ever written, it was time to branch out.

I've re-discovered Minette Walters who writes detective fiction incorporating totally warped psychological thrillers and almost too forensically descriptive crime scenes. I finished The Scold's Bridle and The Sculptress.

I've also started reading Faye Kellerman whose detective novels feature a detective who is also an observant Jew. I finished both Justice and Street Dreams while in hospital. They were compulsive page-turners - Justice was particularly good.

Earlier this year I bought two books by Geraldine Brooks for my cousin and she was kind enough to lend them back to me. Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize for March, which looks at the life of the absent father in Louise May Alcott's Little Women. It was good but I found her other novel, Year of Wonders about a small English village which voluntarily quarantines itself when plague arrives to stop it spreading further - a decision which led to the death of two thirds of its residents - far more compelling.

Finally, I got around to reading another one of Ursula le Guin's novels The Telling. The protagonist is an Earth observer on a world where its inhabitants are regarded only as producers and consumers and its original religion has been banned and driven underground. Part sci-fi, part fantasy and wholly a warning on what is lost when materialism drives all.

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