Monday, 23 May 2011

A pleasurable re-read

I'm on a re-reading kick right now, which is both unexpected and, to be honest, a little bit counter-productive. I have enough unread books to build a house obviously (don't we all!) but more immediately importantly I'm supposed to be proof reading the excellent second Shooty Dog Thing collection for Paul and Jon and finishing off reading a really pretty superb fantasy novel which it looks like Obverse Books may soon be releasing (before any of the involved parties get the hump, rest assured I'm half way through both books and I'll have them finished asap!).

But I managed, while negotiating my way to my desk in the glorified corridor I call my office, to kick over a pile of haphazardly stacked paperbacks. They fell like a pack of playing cards, fanned out across the floor (all the way to the guinea pig cage for those who know my house) and right in the middle, shining up at me, was the first Brenda and Effie book, Never the Bride. I reviewed that in another place ages ago so I won't bother doing so again, but one thing which struck me at once is that Brenda and Effie and the rest arrive fully-formed in this first book in the series. There's no feeling, as with many such series, that this is a testing ground, that Brenda may end up a different character as Paul Magrs writes each successive book, honing the eponymous bride to his satisfaction. Instead everybody feels real from their first appearance on the page and, as a result, it's a book which takes no effort at all to read, slipping down even on a second read like an exotically Alan Bennett flavoured sorbet (or something). Looking forward to Something Borrowed now.

Of course, one book re-read hardly makes the promised re-reading kick, but I also put both the full set of Little House books and the full set of Flashman novels on my e-reader when I got it, and sitting outside shops waiting for Julie recently, I found myself dipping into - and then being ensnared by - both series, so that, almost before I realised, I was travelling out of the Big Woods of Wisconsin with Laura and 'defending' a besieged Afghan fort with Sir Harry. Since I'm also just about finished Simon Forward's very enjoyable Evil UnLtd book (review to follow) and writing a secret short story for the Obverse Quarterly (and pondering plotting out a Max Carrados novel - well, you never know, someone might be interested!), I seem to have a pleasantly full book-related calendar ahead of me - which is how I like it.

Which mean, I suppose, that I must stop typing on the Internet and get back into it...

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