Ungh. I’m falling behind with my reading challenge, you’ll all be riveted to know. The least I can do is to give you a preview of what I intend reading in the near future, and the categories these books are supposed to fill. In the meantime I’ve a couple of reviews in hand, but who knows when they’ll see the light of day.
Titus Groan: this is the book of more than 500 pages which I’m currently exploring and enjoying, not least because of that fantastic creation, Gormenghast Castle. Though I’m over a quarter of the way through it still will take me a while to complete, and I don’t want to rush it as I’m really relishing it. Still on castles is Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle, a title which was published in the year I was born (1948, since you ask). A bit of trivia for you: some of the 2003 film was shot in and around Manorbier Castle in Pembrokeshire, one of several castles in that county which I managed to visit when living in the far west of Wales.
I’ve managed to wangle a couple of rereads of Diana Wynne Jones novels that I first skim-read over a decade ago when I acquired US editions (at the University Book Store, while on a 2002 visit to Seattle, Washington). Power of Three is, unsurprisingly, a book with a number in the title. Her other title, A Tale of Time City, is partly set in the future (though, as with much DWJ, it’s not as straightforward as that).
Another reread will be an historical novel by Henry Treece: The Green Man has the virtue of having a colour in the title as well as being a wicked conflation of the lives of two intriguing ‘fictional’ characters, Arthur and Amleth (better known as Shakespeare’s tragic hero Hamlet). That nicely leads on to Batman: the Chalice as my choice for a graphic novel — it simultaneously includes my one-time favourite comic character and is also about that famous Arthurian artefact, the Holy Grail — and, again, it’s a reread, this time of something I first looked at about two decades ago.
Finally in my line-up is something which, if not a Pulitzer Prize winning book, at least is by the late author, Ray Bradbury, who got a special Pulitzer citation in 2007 “for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy”. This may be either Fahrenheit 451 or Something Wicked This Way Comes (the latter a novel I stalled on last year).
I don’t know quite where this leaves other books I’ve recently devoured — Grain Brain, The True Face of Shakespeare, The Frog Report and others — which I couldn’t squeeze into any of the reading challenge categories; but though I’m still behind in my self-imposed schedule I don’t care as I’m having fun by pushing myself to read a bigger range of genres than normal. And I’m also indulging myself by giving cursory reads a second much-deserved chance.