The Book Pile – 17th August 2020

A few weeks back Tabby and I went to see her family and her brother mentioned that he hadn’t enjoyed Artemis by Andy Weir. I liked Artemis when I listened to the audiobook. Then Tabby’s brother mentioned that he prefered his other book The Martian, which I had never read or seen the film. I have had The Martian sitting on the shelf for a year though.

After I finished If It bleeds, I was looking at the shelf and saw The Martian and decided why not. I was in the mood for some sci-fi. I near enough read the whole book in one day. Leaving only 50 or so pages for the next day. I really loved this book. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started, but it really clicked with me from the beginning. It was very easy to read. There is a lot of scientific terms and processes while Mark Watney is stuck on Mars and is trying to survive, which are written in such a way to make them easy to understand and follow. Even parts describing his plans to grow potatoes are captivating to read. The book is very grouded and feels realistic. Well worth a read.

Last week was my 27th Birthday. For it I got 1 book, 1 comic and an amazon voucher that I spent on 4 kindle books. The book I got was Witch Hill by Marcus Sedgewick. Tabby got me this, because she read it when she was a teenager and it really scared her. We were talking about scary books at one point, which prompted this surprise present. It’s quite a short book, that I read in one day. It’s good, but I wouldn’t call it scary. It might have something to do with the fact that I’m around double the age of the intended audience. It was still enjoyable to read and I’m glad I did. I have made a note to read more by the author.

Lovecraft Country is being turned into a TV show, which airs very soon. Produced by Jordan Peele, the genius behind Get Out, US and the recent Twilight Zone tv series. All of which I loved. I watched the trailer for Lovecraft Country a while ago and thought it looked good. Then I found it was based on a book. With my birthday voucher I bought the book and read it over the next few days. It’s a collection of short stories that are interwoven with each other and build up to a grand finale. I really enjoyed it. It deals with race relations in 1950s America with a blend of the supernatural. I don’t want to give anything away, but it was very good and I can’t wait for the tv series, which I’m sure will be good.

The next book I bought with my birthday voucher was The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, a collection of three novellas set on a different planet that humans have inhabited. The first story deals with an unnamed narrator who has been released from prison and goes back to his childhood home and tells us the story of his life up to that point. I enjoyed the first novella quite a bit and it was very strange to start the second one and for everything to change. The second story, set on the same planet but in the distant past was almost like a dream the entire time. I found it very hard to follow at points and had to keep on rereading passages to make sure I hadn’t missed something. By the end of the second story I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue, but I’m glad I did. The last novella, which focuses on a side character from the first who has been arrested himself, feels almost like Franz Kafka’s The Trial at points. It’s disjointed, strange and somehow mesmorising. I think the first story was better, but I would recommend reading the third one as well, just skip the middle story.

My current reading list includes finishing the final book in the first Archibald Lox trilogy by Darren Shan, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin and then Clockwork Angels by Neal Peart. I’m really looking forward to that last one. Clockwork Angels is in my top 3 albums by Rush, one of my favourite bands and the novel, written by the drummer, expands on the narrative. I’ve wanted to read it for such a long time, but just never gotten aroud to it. Once I’ve finished those, Tabby shold have, I hope, finished with Midnight Sun, the new Twilight book. I think Tabby’s most anticipated book of the year. It’s been a decade or more, but I really ennoyed them when I read them and I still think the films are good as well. I was shocked at how long Midnight Sun is when it arrived. It’s aroud 800 pages.

Thanks for reading and until next time,


About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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