Considering the name of this blog, I actually seem to write very few words on it - the camera has taken over! Anyway, to somewhat rectify this I thought I'd post something about the books I'm either reading, or that I'm hoping to read over Christmas and the coming weeks. Never one to go for light-heart frothiness at this time of year, my reading choices seem to be verging on the downright gloomy at the moment.
My current read is Nemesis by Jo Nesbo. Nesbo writes Norwegian crime fiction, which is dark, complex and wonderful, with plots that are more twisty-turny than a twisty-turny thing. Of course because I'm perverse I've read them in the wrong order - it still doesn't spoil the enjoyment of the adventures of Nesbo's chief protagonist Harry Hole, the alcoholic loner police detective. My friend Sandra always reads them too and we have a great time discussing who we think has done it, and why Harry has such unsuitable girlfriends.
Amongst the goodies arriving from Amazon over the last couple of weeks was Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, a ghost story set in the Arctic. What is it about Christmas and ghost stories? Is it all down to A Christmas Carol? Talking of ghost stories, there is also on my tbr pile The Dead of Night: The Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions. Less well known than the likes of M R James, Onions (1873-1961) wrote over forty novels and story collections. Mention of M R James has reminded me to re-read Casting the Runes. One of my favourite supernatural tales, and the basis for the film Night of the Demon, which is a great film although the demon himself is a bit of a damp squib. Think early Doctor Who monster... (yes I will be watching Dr Who on Christmas Day, even though I still prefer David Tennant).
I also want to start re-reading the Charlie Parker books by John Connolly. These are crime stories too, but with an element of the supernatural (sort of a Chandleresque Paradise Lost), and Connolly writes like a dream. He also has the best two side-kicks ever in the form of Angel and Louis the two gay hit-men (some of their dialogue makes me laugh out loud).
Mention of Milton (how's that for alliteration?), means poetry. I have various poetry anthologies that I like to dip into so will be doing that at various points. I usually grab a poetry book whilst sitting eating breakfast (if I have time to sit - often I'm standing in the kitchen trying to make my lunch at the same time). That's the great thing about poetry - it's usually short and can be managed in small bites (much like my breakfast). One of my tutors for literature, a specialist in poetry, once said he couldn't understand why Middlemarch was so long as if it were a poem it could be fitted onto one page. I don't think he was a fan of novels...
Non-fiction wise I have Magnetic North about Sara Wheeler's travels in the Arctic, because you can just never have enough snow and ice at this time of year, and for some moments of spiritual reflection there's a book on Buddhism. Last of all, as Santa is bringing me a new camera (weather and Royal Mail permitting), I also hope to be perusing the Canon 7D instruction book. It took me about four years to get to grips with the last camera so I might be able to post pictures from it by 2015!
Happy holiday reading to all, and God bless us, everyone etc...