Bookish Topic Tuesday – Waiting for the Next Book in the Series

Bookish Topic Tuesday

 Waiting for the Next Book in the Series

I want to discuss today the sense of entitlement some fans have over their favourite author, especially when it comes to a series which is yet to be completed. I discussed the fact previously that Books Belong to their Readers, and while that might be true, their authors most certainly do not belong to readers. As Neil Gaiman elegantly put it “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.” When he was replying to someone asking whether or not it was unrealistic that readers should feel let down by Martin not yet publishing the next novel in his series. I do suggest you read his full response which you can find here.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

This was a very easy read, I finished it off in two days, in a few hours total. Of course the diminutive size of about 180 pages helps (it looks tiny compared to the copy of A Storm of Swords I have waiting beside it), but it also flowed quite well. I wasn’t expecting what I got, though I should have been considering this is Gaiman. It’s almost subtle fantasy, wrapped up in childhood reminiscence. I did really like the story, and came away feeling good, almost warm and fuzzy.

The story starts by us being introduced to a man who has left a funeral in his old home town (presumably his last surviving parent), and is supposed to be going to his sister’s for the wake. Instead he ends up heading to his old home, and then down the lane to the Hempstock Farm, where he finds Mrs Hempstock, and sits in front of their pond, and recalls a story from his childhood.

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

What a different, yet awesome book! Seriously, I had no clue what I was getting into with this book. I saw it at the library, and I had seen online that it was pretty good, and I knew Neil Gaiman was special, so I picked it up. My only other Gaiman experience (well that sounds a little odd…) was when I read The Graveyard Book three years ago. I really loved it, but unfortunately, people in my class hated it, so we didn’t do any assignments on it. I’ve also seen Coraline the movie, but that’s not quite the same thing. So I knew that Gaiman’s works were different, and reading the 10th Anniversary edition introduction, I could see from the varied awards it had one, that the book didn’t quite fit a specific genre. Which excited me, and I was not disappointed.

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What have I been reading lately?

I haven’t done this in a while (I think the last one I did was back in April!), so I thought I would fill you in on what books I have been reading lately. You can of course check out my Goodreads profile, which you can find on the side, to check out what I’m reading, and where I’m up to, as well as ratings, and ‘reviews’ on the stories I have read. I did say that this would come yesterday, and I was going to do that, but then I realised that I didn’t think I would have time to write a post for today as well, so you get this instead! The Stone Key will begin (with an introduction, analysis of cover, etc) tomorrow!

So I think there is quite a list, so I don’t know how much I’ll talk about each one

The Without Warning Series by John Birmingham. This includes Without Warning, After America and Angels of Vengeance (and no matter how many times I write this or read it, I immediately think Angles of Vengeance, those would be some nasty angles!). As you can tell by the second title, something has happened in America. This isn’t a spoiler since it happens pretty much straight away. Everyone within America (basically) vanishes. They seem to liquefy. This is alternative history, so it happens just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now as you can imagine this has huge consequences on the world, some of which are devastating. The point of view changes, and it encompasses a whole range of people who are struggling to come to terms with the events. All three books follow the perspective of pretty much the same people, and even once things have ‘settled down’, there are still huge issues, which are left unresolved. I haven’t finished Angels of Vengeance so I can’t tell you how it ends. But there are plenty of shocks and action along the way. Now all three books are formidable, as they look like huge tomes. They are lengthy, but their detail is one of its strengths. Well worth a read, maybe if you live in America, it would be too shocking to comprehend an event like that, but alternative history is a genre I haven’t gotten into, but is very interesting.

I’ve recently finished a book titled: “Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too” written by blogger Beth Terry. Now as the title suggests, this is a non-fiction, environmental book. About how to reduce the amount of plastic you use, come into contact with, and throw away. There are more than just environmental reasons for following this book, including health, economic and even spiritual. It really makes you think just what plastics might be doing to our bodies, through the chemicals they leach into our food and drink. To some people it might be alarmist thinking, but if you go with an open mind, you’ll pick up some really good tips on how to avoid plastic. And in the process you can save money, and get out of the consumerism cycle. Beth has been trying to live plastic free since 2007, so she knows what works and what to do. If you don’t want to read the book, take a look at her blog, where you can find more great tips, and stories of her journey (be warned there are a LOT of posts to get through!). You can find Beth here: http://myplasticfreelife.com/

I finished off the Kane Chronicles with The Serpent’s Shadow, written by the great myth writer, Rick Riordan. I’ve spoken about Rick and The Kane Chronicles (as well as The Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson) previously, and nothing has changed. He is still an amazing writer, who can do mythology and fantasy so well. I was gripped from the first word, and the action is continuous and there are so many twists, turns, shocks to keep you entertained. Rick’s work is always worth a read, they are pretty light-hearted, as they are intended for ‘youth’ but don’t let that stop you! I mean how light-hearted can you be when you are facing off against the God of Chaos (Egyptian in case you were lost)!

Another book series intended for youth is The Billionaire’s Trilogy, by Richard Newsome, now, I re-read the first two books in preparation for the final book. The series consists of The Billionaire’s Curse, The Emerald Casket and The Mask of Destiny. They are a very interesting idea. What would you do if you inherited Billions? Okay it is a little like a fantasy, but they are enjoyable, as there is clearly something more going on than meets the eye. Again quite light-hearted. Plenty of action, though, honestly, definitely for younger readers. It doesn’t pull off as well as Rick’s work, but still give it a go. The trilogy has actually become a quadrilogy (?) or quartet (apparently tetralogy) of novels, with The Crystal Code released this year. I haven’t read it, and if I can find it and I have time, I might give it a go.

The final book to mention is Good Omens, a collaboration between two literary greats, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (who has written more books, that several authors combined!). This is yet again, light hearted. But how strange is that, when we are facing The Apocalypse! Yes, The Apocalypse! Seriously hilarious, with great references, and a fantastic pace. Has a lot of great footnotes, and it is just perfection! Seriously, find a copy, and prepare yourself for the end of the world! Best standalone book I have read!

I did also read Macbeth, but that is such a well known book, it needs no explanation. You either love Shakespeare or you loathe him. Especially if you hated studying him in High School. I quite happen to like his work, but I’m definitely not fantastically inspired in his work, as some English teacher seem to be…

That’s all for now! I do seem to be on a borrowing frenzy from my local library (get behind them, they are amazing!). I actually have Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank on loan, and I cannot wait to read it. Such a well known story, I am looking forward to seeing just what it is all about. I’ll let you know about more books, next time!