I was reasonably sure that one day I would be able to read fiction again, even after the pandemic and the end of a 20 year career had sucked all the enjoyment of reading from my brain.
I imagined that it would be a little like starting to ride a bike again after a couple of decades without wheels.
I knew that I would know where my feet and hands should go, but I thought the seat would be harder than I remembered and that I’d need to be careful, so that I didn’t fall off when going around corners.
But it turns out to be far less wobbly bicycle riding and more whooshing open the floodgates.
The pandemic had bricked up my thirst for literature, but that dam appears to have finally burst and I am averaging two days per book, which is pretty good going even for me, although I haven’t picked up a truly weighty tome yet.
Book one: Joyland by Stephen King.
This one is a re-read. As previously mentioned I suspected my loss of appetite for reading was my brains way of protecting me from yet more disappointment, so I decided to dive back into the muddy waters with a companion I was sure wouldn’t let me down. There isn’t any real horror as such in this one, it is more of a crime thriller, with an obligatory ghost or two of course, but the characters are likeable and the plot it good. It has the same easy to read pacing of a Stephen King classic and I highly recommend it to everyone, even those who wouldn’t normal pick up one of his.
Book two: To Be Taught If Fortunate by Becky Chambers.
I already love Becky Chambers first three novels and this stand-alone didn’t let me down either. She allows the familiar to lead seamlessly into the sci-fi, which lets you immerse yourself without pause. This is a tale about explorers and scientists but in its own way it is also…hopeful, which is very welcome right about now.
Book three: Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This was a book I bought from a charity shop, during the brief period between full lockdowns when they were open and able to supply new possibilities for about £1. The first third of the book is great, I got into it very quickly, but then it did seem to drag a little. I finished it though, and I am glad I did. The plot is good and the characters are likeable, but there are moments when he tries to create tension…even after you’ve realised there are no actual baddies in this world, which sort of defeats the purpose a little. I knew this one probably wasn’t for me when no-one batted an eyelid at the comment that Google have ALL of EVERYBODY’S emails stored in a big box somewhere. (Is it just me or does that level of creepiness demand at least a small shudder?) Having said that I AM glad I read it, even though this one will be making its way back to the charity shop, whenever that becomes possible again.
RIGHT….which book next?
(Beautiful images from Unsplash.com)