Thursday 29 December 2022

What I've Been Reading Recently

The end of year edition of this totally pointless quarterly update. But would you believe that some people read it? So as long as they do I'll keep producing it. Anyway, here are the books I've read since the previous list.

The Glimpse by Arnold Bennett
Sabbat Worlds edited by Dan Abnett
The Emperor's Gift by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Into the War by Italo Calvino
Priests of Mars by Graham McNeill
Lords of Mars by Graham McNeill
Gods of Mars by Graham McNeill
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Baneblade by Guy Haley
Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Mike Phipps
Fireworks by Angela Carter
States of Injury by Wendy Brown
Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet
The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
From the Factory to the Metropolis by Antonio Negri
To Sir With Love by ER Braithwaite

Some things worthwhile noting. Yes, I did have a bit of a Warhammer 40K splurge, with six books hailing from the grimdark future of the 41st millennium. And while their merit isn't about to be recognised by the gatekeepers of high literature, each one of these books are deftly plotted and well written. Ultimately, they're designed to sell even more books (there are now over 700 40K titles), but more importantly offload the overpriced Games Workshop boxed sets. With news that Amazon are stumping up the reddies for films and TV series over the next few years, the franchise is primed to go totally mainstream.

Elsewhere on the list, I'm going to stick up for Arnold Bennett for once. The Glimpse, his short 1909 novel about a near death experience was certainly ahead of its time. Thinking about Burroughs's Naked Lunch and the trippy sequence from Clarke's 2001, Stoke's finest has beaten them to it by over half a century. It does beg an interesting question - why wasn't it "rediscovered" during the 1960s? I guess Bennett never had the cache enjoyed by the likes of Henry Miller, and in this particular instance it's a real shame. The Glimpse broke new ground on its publication and deserves more than the obscurity it resides in.

What have you been reading recently?

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