Really intrigued by the idea of this new meme being set up by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith, so thought I'd give it a go. Rules here, if you want to join in.
The starting point today is Burial Rites, which I haven't actually read, but why let that stop me?
Burial Rites was one of the first books to be swapped at my first ever
book swap, which I went to last week in Foyles - a fabulous event which
I'd definitely recommend!
Sadly I wasn't able to swap anything myself at the event- I took a copy
of Phil Rickman's masterful horror story December. I somehow failed to
do a good enough job of selling the audience on this one, which is a
shame, as I'd loved to have passed it onto someone else for them to
experience this hugely chilling read. Following the members of a
band who split up after a terrible occurrence when they're recording at a
ruined abbey on the same night that John Lennon is murdered across the
Atlantic, it's a terrifying tale.
December isn't one I'd normally have tried myself, to be honest, but I
couldn't pass it up as I'm a massive fan of Rickman's current Dr Dee
series, about Elizabethans Dr John Dee and Robert Dudely. This
fabulous pairing are one of my favourite fictional duos of recent years. I'd definitely recommend The Bones of Avalon to all fans of historical fiction!
Doctor Dee gets a very different, but just as intriguing, portrayal in Gwenda Bond's marvellous Blackwood, a stunning adventure story which takes in the mystery of what happened to colonists in Roanoke centuries ago.
Blackwood is published by the superb Strange Chemistry, who publish so
many fabulous books, including Rosie Best's Skulk. This tale of shape
shifters in modern day London is one of the best books I've read at
matching up fantasy aspects to the characters' real world problems.
And another of the best I've read at that is The City's Son by Tom
Pollock - which, coincidentally, was the book I was desperate to obtain
at the book swap mentioned in the first paragraph!
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