I’ve been stuck in a bit of a rut with my reading recently, having been slowly getting through Christopher Berry-Dee’s ‘Talking With Serial Killers’ for the best part of a month. However, as my mental health has recently taken a bit of a dip, I’m keen to leave Berry-Dee on the shelf for a while, and get lost in some lovely mindless fiction. To this end, I’ve purchased about £100 worth of books a few days ago, and plan to spend all my free-time over the next month either blogging or reading. For me, as someone who gets bored really easily, I like to begin a couple of books at the same time, and see which one I find myself wanting to pick up first every night, and eventually just concentrating on that one. I am, however, currently borrowing a horror book off my friend, which I’m obliged to read fairly quickly, so The Cabin At The End Of The World has slight honorary status on this list as an intense, taut thriller. The rest are weird, funny and cute and just what I need.
*NOTE: I HAVE NOT YET FINISHED ANY OF THESE BOOKS AT THE POINT OF PUBLISHING THIS POST. NO SPOILERS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE*
*ESPECIALLY FOR THE DOCTOR WHO ONE AS I’M LOVING IT TOO MUCH*
The Cabin At The End Of The World by Paul Tremblay
This is the book I’m borrowing off my friend and the only intense and heavy entry to make this list. At the end of the first chapter, a bunch of menacing looking people with scary hand-made weapons in their hands have turned up in the driveway of a remote cottage where 7 year-old Wen is staying with her adoptive fathers. She’s been talking to a man, Leonard, for the last 5 minutes, and whilst he seems incredibly kind, it turns out that he’s with these strangers. I have no idea where this is going to go, although I don’t think it’s gonna be a slasher kinda thing, as Leonard mentioned ‘saving the world’, so I’m thinking maybe eco-terrorists? Idk. So far, I’m loving the focalisation of a 7 year-old character, it’s so interesting to have a narrative unfold through a very naïve character’s point of view. Here’s to hoping she doesn’t turn out to be the virginal Final Girl, because that shit is just so stupid and unnecessary.
Hera Lindsay Bird by Hera Lindsay Bird
Poetry! Recommended to me by one of my colleagues, who is one of the brightest, kindest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. Hera Lindsay Bird’s poetry is fabulous – to-the-point, brutal and laugh-out-loud funny. This collection is worth it’s £9.99 price tag just for the 3-page poem about Monica Geller off the popular TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S.. Don’t even get her started on Ross.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
This is being billed as the next Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, in that it’s a book about a woman who doesn’t fit societal norms. It’s only about 150 pages long, with no chapter breaks, so I’m reading it in daily chunks of 10-20 pages. So far, I don’t particularly like Keiko, but I suppose that’s the point. A lot of people commented they didn’t like Eleanor at the start of EOICF either, but I actually always found her likeable, just anxious and regimented. Keiko seems a tad psychopathic, retelling us a story of how, when she was younger, she encountered a dead budgie and wanted to take it home to eat it, when the other children were shocked and wanted to bury it. Eleanor would have walked past the dead bird and made some comment in her head about how the council should clean up the streets. Keiko works in a supermarket and she loves it and feels she has found her purpose in life. Apparently this purpose is going to get challenged. It’s well-written and I am intrigued to see how they develop Keiko and hopefully humanise her.
The Beginning Of The World In The Middle Of The Night by Jen Campbell
So this is super crAzy and wAckY and right up my street! It’s a collection of experimental short stories that are slightly sci-fi/fantasy in nature, but all feel very human, albeit in a dark and fucked up way. I’ve only read the first two so far but my God, they are so good. In the first one, you can make people love you by having two hearts from any one animal, ad attaching one to yourself and one to the person you want to love you. The protagonist has potentially killed (???) his partner (???) and keeps trying new animal hearts in both of them to make her love him. This story centres on him going out and finding a swan heart. It’s gripping and gruesome in equal measure, as well as being totally original. I’m excited to see what else is in store.
Borrowed Time: A Doctor Who Novel by Naomi Alderman
I’ve always wanted to get around to reading The Power, Alderman’s award-winning novel that was THE sell-out book of last summer, but I’m not very good at getting myself to read anything that’s been mega hyped-up by other people. For instance, I’ve never read The Girl On The Train either, and I have no intentions to do so (but that’s more because thrillers aren’t my kinda thing to begin with). So this seemed like a great way to read some Naomi Alderman, whilst also diving deep into the one fandom that I’m sort of okay with being a part of: Doctor Who. And also because I met Jodie Whittaker at work the other day, and I seriously fan-girled over her and I still haven’t gotten over it and I need the new series of Doctor Who NOW.
So I’m meant to be reading a chapter of each of these books one-at-a-time and then writing an ongoing review, but I’m already on chapter 7 of Borrowed Time and I already want to pick it up again. It’s incredibly pacey and the mystery is already building. Two strange salesmen are offering strung-out middle managers at a bank the chance to borrow some time, at the very reasonable interest rate of 5 minutes per hour. The Doctor already senses something is wrong with the bank but when Amy notices a manager seemingly check his watch before dropping dead, they realise something more sinister is afoot at Lexington International Bank.
This story features the 11th Doctor, with Amy and Rory as the companions, which, I’ll be honest, were none of my favourite characters, but their three storylines are merging together really well so far. Each of them has gotten themselves into their own slightly dangerous predicament unbeknownst to the others and I’m excited to see what the climax will be!
Have you read any of these books? What are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments!