Leisure time is scarce for many of us nowadays. If there’s one past time that relaxes and satisfies me in equal amounts after a long day it’s reading a good book. No TV, no loud music and no constant hum from my laptop. Just me, a literary work and my imagination. Bliss. Nevertheless, with all the writing, game playing and fact-related reading I’m doing these days, my reading list has been given far less attention than I had hoped to give it at the start of this year.
How fortunate then that books, unlike battery-depended portable devices, are immediately accessible. Whether I’m travelling around Nottingham, stopping off for lunch or relaxing in my not-so-comfy bed, I’ve always got a book to hand; ready to get me through the slow parts of the day. Tales of adventure, espionage, science-fiction & fantasy, local stories, myths & legends, humour, crime, horror and even romance.
Though I don’t dabble as much as I’d like these days, I’ve recently digested a few books, which certainly helps keep my expectations high for storytelling in other media. On the teen & older fiction side there’s Necropolis, Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox and Superior Saturday. Some people – probably the ilk who feel smug about buying the adult editions of Harry Potter, when the normal editions are exactly the same – may consider me a little old for these books, but when I’ve been reading the work of these authors since primary school I most certainly shall read their newest works. Besides, some of their sagas still haven’t concluded yet, so I must see them through to the end.
About a month or so ago I finished Anthony Horowitz’s, The Killing Joke. Being one of the few adult books he’s written, I was unsure what to expect at first. All my doubts were soon put aside when his signature style of crisp characters, a motivating plot and intelligent humour shone through once again. There are even a few subtle jokes and references that will have anyone with a basic knowledge of theatre history cracking a broad smile. Crafting such brilliant novels time after time, he is definitely my favourite author.
The Silver Sword, a book recommended to me by my mother more than ten years ago, was another touching and reflective read. And just last week I finally closed Halo: The Cole Protocol – beyond the entertainment factor my reasons for reading it will become clear in a series of future posts that are coming soon. A slick first-half made me think I was in for a real treat when I got to the finale. Shame the plot tied itself up a little too neatly and avoided what could have been a climate finish. On the plus side the author did a great job of make the Covenant more than just ugly looking aliens, adding more weight to their history and dogmatic beliefs. On the flip side, there is a point where some of the military personalities become monotonous – a subtext of army recruitment and what it means to serve ones country is heavily embedded. OK, but not the best game-to-novel adaption I’ve read.
In the coming weeks I hope to fill you in regularly on what I’m reading, offer an opinion and give a few recommendations while I’m at it. At present I’m stumbling my way through one of the most taboo-ridden books I’ve ever come across. More on this criminal caper shortly.