Friday, November 1, 2013

October Reading

Novels

The Sending - Book 6 of the Oberneytn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody
Not a lot more to say about this other than it's more of the story reviewed in September. I look forward to the last book, when it is published, hopefully next year. I wish she had just done a preview chapter in each book telling the story so far, or just a message saying, "go read the other books first," rather than trying to incorporate the pre-story in each successive book. It makes these later books slow moving and somewhat annoying. But I want to see what happens so will keep reading.

Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons
After her husband's death, Lilly takes a trip to her lifelong favourite place on the coast of main, where she spent her holidays as a child, and met and married Cam. The book is an exploration of her past and present, which is a form I don't usually like, but it is written well enough that I felt very involved. However, I didn't like the ending.

No-one You Know by Michelle Richmond
Ellie's sister was murdered, and she turned to her trusted professor to talk through the experience and her feelings. He betrayed her by using her words to write a bestseller about the murder, and in which he pointed the finger at another academic, who was, however not charged. Decades later, Ellie happens upon the accused man, who still protests his innocence, and Ellie starts investigating. I loved this book for its lack of over-dramatisation, its lack of rabbit-out-of-the hat surprises, it's lack of involved sexual relationships - it is all so realistic and possible. And yet the ending is still, in fact, a surprise. It's really more a book about people, with murder just a setting, than a book about murder itself.

Non-Fiction

The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
I haven't read all of this book - it will take a long time, and I probably won't ever read it all. I have Katz' Wild Fermentation already, and have found it most useful, but this book takes the subject to another level. While still full of practical advice, it also provides a lot of fascinating information about a huge range of fermented foods. It is, in fact, exactly what it says in the sub-title: "An in depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world with practical information on fermenting vegetables, fruits, grains, milk, beans, meats, and more."  I look forward to years of reading when my copy arrives from The Book Depository.

Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking by Jill K. Berry
This is all about using mapmaking almost as a journalling tool. It shows how to use mapmaking to create art maps of your self, experiences, grief, hopes, plans, memories - whatever is in your mind. As well as suggesting techniques and starting points, it also offers some information about traditional mapmaking, and has a gallery of maps by contributors from around the world as inspiration - including New Zealander Hillary Barnes. I'm looking forward to some rainy weather so I have an excuse to play inside. Actually, I've invited a friend to come over for a play-day, we just have to organise a date. She may well find it useful in her work with children and young people. It's a beautiful and inspiring book.


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