I have been slow of the mark with my November read, 'Apple' by Michael Faber. This was a short story collection based on characters in Michael Faber's novel 'Crimson Petal and the White' set in Victorian England. I haven't read this novel and I don't think I am going to. I find it difficult to connect with this time in history. I did however enjoy the short stories and I am curious to find out how my book group liked it. I fear for some, one or the other story may be a little too explicit.
I have listened to Robert Galbraith's new Cormoran Strike novel, 'Career of Evil'. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, which kept me captivated for the entire 17 hours of audio time. I may have neglected my maternal duties a little. This book opens with the delivery of a severed woman's leg delivered to Robin, Cormoran Strike's assistant. The perpetrator is driven by revenge and hatred and by a need to destroy Cormoran's livelihood and Robin's live. I am not giving away more than that! If you decide to read it make sure the ironing is done and several dinners have been cooked and frozen!
I have read a fascinating non-fiction book by Giulia Enders. It is called 'Gut' and is - you may guess it - about the gut, or more precisely, the gastrointestinal tract from entrance to exit. It also touches upon the gut microbiome, which is always fascinating. Well, if you are like me it is. I have quite a history of reading both popular science books and hardcore scientific publications on microbes of all kinds and I am never bored by the critters. The book is well written. If you happen to be a gastroenterologist, or are otherwise medically trained, this will be light reading, if you are an interested lay person, the science is explained lightly without an overly patronising touch. Giulia Enders has a witty germanic sense of humour, which I really like. Despite this book dealing with a serious subject, I had to laugh out loud now and again. You'll know how to relax on the loo after you read the book. Toilet humour at its best.
I am continuing my exploration of the microbial world with another book that has the microbiome at its heart. It is called 'Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues' by Martin Blaser. I remember lectures about antibiotic resistance back in the 90s. It was a worry then and it is an even bigger and more threatening problem now. I'll tell you more about the book when I finish.
For December, I am reading 'The Fall: 'Tales from the Apocalypse' edited by Matt Sinclair. This is an anthology of short stories that explore different visions of the apocalypse. Nature has been rather apocalyptic lately, stormy, windy and very very wet. I like to be prepared for all eventualities.
What have you been reading? Anything I should add to my Christmas wish list?
It is the middle of the afternoon, the wind is blowing down the chimney and the Scots pine in my neighbours' garden is demonstrating extreme flexibility. Time to put the kettle on I think and sink into an armchair with a steaming cup of coffee. Maybe with a dash of Baileys. It is that time of year. Have a lovely evening!