Autumn Reading

It’s been a while since I posted more about the stuff I’m reading, and since the triptych format seems to have gone down well with my readers, here are the latest three books I stuck my nose into:

Notes from a Big Country Spook Country The Scar
I seldom have the opportunity to make a chuckling fool out of myself in public, but Bryson’s books have been compensating for that in spades – and Notes from a Big Country is no exception. Being a compendium of Bryson’s column for British readers, it conveys the oddness and bemused wonder of his re-acquaintance with US life in short (often hilariously funny) pieces eminently suited for my daily commute. The somewhat cliché beginning of many Gibson novels – with the main character taking in the surroundings of his/her hotel room gets a new lease of life with Spook Country, a spy tale whose plot evolves (and comes to a close) in Gibson’s trademark roundabout style, bouncing off odd cultural niches with the assurance and smoothness one would expect of him. The subject matter, however, and the lack of any cyberpunk derring-do (replaced by a larger emphasis on the characters’ own search for answers), may well disappoint some fans. Having spent a few engrossing hours inside Miéville’s universe while nursing a flu recently, I was eager to confirm that the way the experience whisked me away from my aches was wholly attributable to the great writing and not a casual by-product of stupendously tasty chicken soup. My second dive into Miéville’s vision, The Scar has, so far, proven an apt sequel (in environ and depth if not directly in plot and cast) to Perdido Street Station, and a good way to spend many a cosy hour in the evenings watching (as it were) its sharp characters playing out their parts against a lusciously imaginative set of backdrops.

As usual, feel free to drop me a note with more book suggestions (do check out my wishlist beforehand, since I keep adding suggestions to it).