Another in an irregular series of reviews of books I have not enjoyed. Links to earlier episodes are at the end. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Beyond the Northlands. Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas This book, bought at the British Museum’s bookshop, was so promising, with such a good pedigree: an exciting young(ish) scholar; a … Continue reading Raging aggravations
I can't remember how this truly excellent fantasy novel found its way into our house. We know it was at EasterCon this year, but while my husband claims the credit for buying it, I'm not sure. Maybe I looked at it so often in the Books on the Hill bookstall that I merely think that … Continue reading Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor
Does the world need a new biography of John Buchan? There have been three so far: a very thin and respectful one written a few years after his 1940 death, in an atmosphere of sincere grief and hagiography. Then there was Janet Adam Smith's 1965 biography, invited and facilitated by the family, which was the … Continue reading Ursula Buchan, Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps
HERE BE SPOILERS. Avengers: Endgame is not a film you can talk about in detail without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, so please don't read on if you get upset by spoilers. I MEAN IT. I don't yet know if I liked the whole film or not. I was very bored in … Continue reading Avengers: Endgame.
Alice thrust this novel into my hands as I began running for my train, since we'd spent too long talking in a café after meeting up in person again after almost eight years. We had become friends in Brussels fifteen years ago or so, where I was an editor and she was a novelist, and … Continue reading Alice Jolly, Between the Regions of Kindness
This is the third in a series (but not necessarily a sequence) of novels about humans who fled a dying Earth and lived for centuries in their spaceships, looking for a new home. The first novel, The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet, takes place on a spaceship, and the second, A Closed and … Continue reading Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few
This novel by Trifonia Melibea Obono (a most beautiful name for a writer, or anyone) is from Equatorial Guinea, and is apparently the first from that country to be translated into English. Lawrence Schimel, a prolific Spanish-English translator and author, has done an impeccable job of effacing his translator's presence by presenting the story's complex … Continue reading La Bastarda