I’ve been buying mostly non-fiction books recently – Characters, Emotion and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress, The Art of Writing Fiction by Andrew Cowan, and The Creative Writing Coursebook by various authors (seeing a theme?!).
It’s nice, for a change, but of course it’s also been the perfect excuse to say, “My goodness, I need a new novel!” When I read a lot of non-fiction, I find myself hunting out novels I’ve already read – almost compulsively, which is obviously an unacceptable state of affairs.
In the last month, I’ve re-read Jane Eyre, The First Verse and Dark Matter. The last of those was inevitable, really – we popped to Amsterdam for a few days last week (pretty city; terrible food!), and Dark Matter is becoming a regular travelling companion. I’ve been trying to be strict with myself and read things from the books I’ve already got but, somehow, The Shining Girls got bought.
As I say, not too sure what happened. Me, Amazon, the Internet in general, the postman – I’m not apportioning any blame; it’s happened and I’m going to have to make the best of it.
So yes, wheee! New book!
The Wikipedia blurb says, “In Depression-era Chicago, a drifter named Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women who burn with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.”
The Independent is quoted as calling it “A triumph”, while the Observer says it’s “Brilliant”. The ever-hideous Daily Mail says, “Keep the lights on” but it’s not clear whether it’s warning you about the book or just the usual immigrants/Muslims/feral youths, so just ignore that one.
So, I’m intrigued to give it a read. In the meantime, I’ve just read The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, which was actually really lovely – the story of Higg, a survivor of a flu pandemic that has wiped out most of the world’s population.
It took me a while to get into it, but Hig, his faithful dog (and co-pilot of his light aircraft) Jasper, and his fellow survivor, the grumpy, gun-toting Bangley, creep under your skin and make you care about them. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would, so I’d recommend it.
There’s no real point to this post. It’s a book brag. Lovely, lovely books!