Last year, I fell out of the habit of reading a bit. I think I was so caught up in writing, and dealing with various real world issues that had sprung up, that reading fell by the wayside.
Fortunately, I got my reading mojo back last year, after Kelsey at the Highland Bookshop suggested I try Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice. I devoured the book – a gripping, slow-burn survival thriller set in a Anishinaabe community in the far north of Canada – in a couple of days, and then jumped straight into another book – The Girl on the Train – this time on Kindle.
Since people are often asking me what I’ve been reading, I thought I’d start doing a semi-regular round up of the last few books I’ve read, so here’s what I’ve been making my way through in February so far, and some choice for what I might read next. Feel free to suggest others.
The Satsuma Complex – Bob Mortimer
I’ve always been a fan of Bob Mortimer, from my teenage years watching Shooting Stars and The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer to his recent autobiography. I also met him once, albeit very briefly, and he was a very nice man indeed.
I really wanted to love this book, and for the most part I found it very enjoyable. It did very much feel like Bob took ‘write what you know’ a little too literally, though, and if you’ve read his autobiography you’ll recognise a lot of him in the main character.
But, it’s a crime thriller (sort of) by Bob Mortimer, and is a fun, easy read, full of the sort of flights of fancy you’d expect from the man. If you’re not a fan of Bob’s, there’s probably not a lot here for you, but if you like his sense of humour, then it’ll be right up your street.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie
My mum and I used to love Sunday nights watching David Suchet as Poirot on ITV, and I felt it was high time I started making my way through the books featuring the inscrutable Belgian detective and his little grey cells.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is the first Poirot novel, and how can I possibly have anything bad to say about it? It’s Agatha Christie, for God’s sake!
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
It’s as creepy and atmospheric as the original, which I vaguely remember from my teens, but with enough additions that it felt, to me at least, like its own unique thing.
Be warned, though – between this and The Last of Us currently showing on TV, you might never look at mushrooms in quite the same way again.
Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill
Given the rise of ChatGPT and other AIs at the moment, this book about an entire world full of artificially intelligent robots turning on their human masters feels a little too close to possible reality at times.
It’s the prequel to the brilliant Sea of Rust, which I read a few years back over a couple of nights. This one took even less time – I started at around 6am today and read it on and off until around 2pm, when I finished it. It’s a great little read, and you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy it. I’d happily read stories set in this world forever.