I really did have the best of intentions to write a Sunday Salon post this time last week but we were going to see Avengers: Endgame again and I ran out of time, and then it turned out to be the one week in the year (there is usually one) when I had something planned for every day, and here we are with two weeks to catch up on.
So, in terms of stuff done:
- I went to see a performance of the Rite of Spring at Sadler’s Wells, choreographed by the Chinese dancer Yang Liping, mixing Stravinsky with Tibetan music. It was strange and beautiful
- Saw the Elizabethan miniatures exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
- Missed dinner with friends due to travel problems, but had lunch with other friends the following day neat Tower Bridge
- Missed a book launch but attended a funeral
All human life is here.
It has been a really good couple of weeks from a reading perspective. I’m currently slightly more than halfway through Black Helicopters by Caitlin R Kiernan, and in the very last chapters of the Iris Origo biography I’ve been reading for what seems like forever.
I have finished the following:
The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor – a new writer to me, I thought this creepy murder mystery with tinges of horror was very well done and I read it in a couple of sessions. Enjoyed it so much I’ve already bought her next novel and have the one after that on my wish list.
Cradle Song by Robert Edric – the first his Song Cycle trilogy featuring his private detective Leo Rivers, this was also very well written and a compelling story. Will be interested to see whether the following volumes are linked in ways other than sharing a main character, because of course I bought them both as soon as I had finished this one.
The Gameshouse Trilogy by Claire North – I love Claire North. She is a remarkable young woman with an impressive catalogue of work and I had the pleasure of meeting her when her second novel Touch came out a few years ago. I bought these novellas (due to come out in a single volume very soon) when they were originally issued but only got round to reading them in the past week and they are so so good. The Serpent is set in 17th century Venice, The Thief in 1930s Thailand and The Master in the modern day. Highly recommended.
- Siren Song and Swan Song by Robert Edric, as mentioned above
- The Poison Song by Jen Williams – the final book in her Winnowing Flame trilogy, I was sad to miss the book launch but excited for all of the excellent reviews this book has been receiving
- King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America’s Spymaster in Korea by Blaine Harden – “based on long-classified government records, unsealed court documents and interviews in Korea and the US […] tells the gripping story of the reign of an intelligence commander who lost touch with morality, legality and possibily even sanity” Irresistible.
- Milk of Paradise: A History of Opium by Lucy inglis – “a tale of addiction, trade, crime, sex, war, literature, medicine, and, above all, money“
- Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep – “The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird“
- The Killer Across the Table by John E Douglas & Mark Olshaker – more true crime based on the experiences of Douglas, one of the original FBI profilers.
I am very, very behind with reviews so please look out for some round-up posts over the next week or so as I try to get back into some sort of regular posting schedule.
Have a great reading week!