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Reading

I saw this idea on Medium and had to copy it. Below is a list of the books I’ve read, and mini-reviews of each.

Full credit to Amanda Pinsker for her great idea. If you’re going to buy them, and you’re in the US/UK, why not try Bookshop.org.

November 2020

White Noise

Don Delillo

My first read of a Don Delillo book, and I was mesmerised. I wonder if the underlying messages were lost on me, but this thorough examination of death, the messages around it, and what it means to face up to them really made me think. My favourite character? The Nun in the penultimate chapter.

Right Publish Repeat

Write. Publish. Repeat.

Sean M PLatt, Johnny Truant, David Wright

It’s taken me a long time to get back to this, as I struggled with it the first time. Not because the advice isn’t great – there’s some really good thoughts in here on marketing and staying away from trends and fads – but because it’s underwritten by the just write loads message, which just makes me feel guilty about my output.

Going Short Cover Nancy Stohlman

Going Short

Nancy Stohlman

As I’ve moved into more short fiction recently, and following a recommendation, I picked this up on Kindle. A quick but insightful read, I plan to apply the tricks within to some of my own work. Less of a ‘how to write’ and more of a ‘how to write this.’

Revenger cover _ Alistair Reynolds

Revenger

Alistair Reynolds

My first taste of this writer. I got this because I wanted to see how an experienced writer went about world building. It turns out, with a heavy dose of ‘mentor and mentee’ for the first few chapters. The pace of the story never gives up, and even when the characters are ‘learning’ there’s still a lot of conflict.

Vital Abyss Cover

The Vital Abyss (Novella)

James S.A. Corey

I can’t get enough of The Expanse, and I went through this novella as quickly as any of the other books. The main character, who it took me longer to place in Expanse world than it should have, is well written and it offers a interesting back story to one of the most devious characters in the series.

October 2020

Stoned Love Ian Patrick Cover

Stoned Love

Ian Patrick

Short snappy sentences are the order of the day in this sequel to the excellent Rubicon. While the plot for the sequel wasn’t as tight as the previous book, the main character is one of the strongest I’ve seen in similar stories.

Cloud Atlas Cover

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell

Imaginative and ambitious, this is a mammoth book that I very much enjoyed. The stylistic changes alone make this a must read, and I enjoyed seeing an author at the top of his game balance the different genres within the book.

Why I'm Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race

Reni Eddo-Lodge

A powerful book with an important message, I can tell this book will impact on my thinking . The writing is also excellent, urgent and persuasive, but never too complicated lest it detract from the message.