It's a been a good reading week: I've completed three Halloween bingo books, two of which were five-star reads; gulped down the latest Murderbot novella on the day it was issued and started four more books.
Of course, another way of saying it is that I've spent another week without getting a bingo. True, but not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this week.
Here's what I completed this week:
In "Dark Matter"Michelle Paver proved beyond doubt that she is a terrifying woman.
This tale of a haunting in the Arctic dark masterfully demonstrates how to create and sustain creeping dread.
"The Stepsister Scheme"by Jim C Hines was a five-star read and the beginning of an irresistible new series.
Jim Hines' writing now owns the place is in my heart that new Terry Pratchett novels used to fill.
"The Halloween Party", a late Agatha Christie Poirot novel, is probably not Agatha Christie at her best but it was entertaining and clever enough to enjoy despite constantly giving voice to worldviews that are so "Daily Mail" editorial I'd read them as parody if we weren't currently being governed by a Party that sees the "Daily Mail" as suspiciously moderate.
I'm currently reading two books in squares that have been called and two more where the books just matched my mood.
"Dawn" by Octavia Butler has been on my TBR pile for a long time. Now that I've started it, I wonder how I could have let that happen. It's harder-edged than I had expected and feels entirely contemporary even though it's thirty-one years old.
I'm reading it for the Diverse Voices square, which has already been called. The fact that I wasn't even aware of this book when I was avidly devouring science fiction in the eighties and nineties says a lot about the publishing industry. The fact that it's so widely available now gives me hope.
"Silence Fallen", the tenth Mercy Thompson book, is a treat I've been storing up for myself. This week I expect to have a little time as I wait around for various work to be done and spending time with Mercy sounded like the perfect way to stay calm.
I'm now 28% in and it's not in the least calming. It's fresh and tense and I'm very glad I'm reading it. I'm reading it for the Shifter square that's already been called because who better than a werecoyote to fill this slot?
I'm reading Jim Hine's "The Mermaid's Madness" because it's the next book in Jim Hines' Princess series which I'm impatient to read and because it's a perfect fit for the "Fear The Drowning Deep" square.
Now if only that square were to be called, a bingo could be mine.
My wife and I needed something to listen to together on a long car journey so I picked "The Rules Of Magic" to keep us company.
I'm nearly a third of the way through and I'm a little disappointed not to be more engaged by the characters. I'm hoping that will change but I'm beginning to wonder if it's a prequel that doesn't work unless you've read "Practical Magic. I'm reading it for the as yet uncalled Spellbound square.