Well, I hope you’re enjoying this newly revitalised blog, with all the varied content that I’ve been putting up since “What I Read in June.”
OK, OK, I know.
As it happens, quite a lot has been happening with my own writing recently. I’ve been working on Book Three of the Mathematical Mysteries, which now has a new title: THE RIDDLE OF THE FRACTAL MONKS. Snappy, eh? Even more importantly, this book already has a cover, but I’m not allowed to reveal it to you for another week. But trust me, it’s just as awesome as (possibly even more awesome than) the first two in the series.
July also saw an exciting 99p/99c promotion for A QUESTION OF TRUST, which I probably should have told you about, but then everyone reading this has probably got at least three copies of the book already – no? The most exciting bit was when it briefly touched #141 in the Amazon US Kindle store and was #1 in humour. Sorry, humor. Heady days.
Anyway, time to look at what I read last month. Make sure you stay till the end, where there’s a giveaway. Don’t we all love a freebie?
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon. This was my third Chabon, after Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and I think it’s probably my favourite so far. The only problem is that, as with all Chabon, he’s just too bloody talented. He can do proper comedy, his literary qualities are second to none, and he can also – as evidenced here – do the whole world-building thing as well as anyone. All of this means that reading a Chabon book can be a little exhausting. But well worth it.
The Secret Barrister by … um … The Secret Barrister. One of the two non-fiction books that everyone seems to be reading this summer (the other being James O’Brien’s How to be Right, which I read in June). Deeply alarming report on the state of Britain’s judicial system – hell of an eyeopener, and highly recommended.
Finding a Way by Diane Simmons. This is a short book of flashes on the subject of grief, based on the author’s own personal experience. I’ll be honest – I bought this partly out of a sense of loyalty, because I know Diane and I wanted to support her first publication. But I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d make of it. However, Simmons (let’s be appropriately formal here) has a sure, light touch and what could have been a grim experience turned out to be unexpectedly uplifting. Remarkable book.
The Great American Cheese War by Paul Flower. Broad satire on guns, militias and right-wing US politics, the first of two books this month from the greatest little publisher on the planet. This was great fun and at times utterly inspired. Now as it happens, I have accidentally acquired an extra copy of this book, and if you fancy reading it yourself, please do leave a comment below and I’ll put you in the draw. UK readers only – sorry.
1971 Never a Dull Moment by David Hepworth. Very entertaining jaunt through the music of 1971, which the author claims is the best year ever. It’s a fairly preposterous claim and most of the music and musicians he writes about are somewhat mainstream, but he does dig up some fascinating anecdotes. Currently in the two for £5 pile in HMV, by the way.
Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch. The second book from Farrago this month – technically for kids, but, frankly, far too good to be kept just for them. I absolutely loved this – worthy of Pratchett in his mid-period pomp. Buy this one, read it first for yourself and then read it to your kids. And if you haven’t any kids of suitable age, borrow one. Bin Night will never be the same.
Right, that’s it. Remember, if you fancy a free copy of The Great American Cheese War (UK readers only), drop me a line below. And watch out for the cover reveal next week!