August Reading

Leaving out rereads for comfort and things I’m rereading for the nth time for my thesis, this is the sum of my reading  in August. I am also working my way very slowly through Jessie Greengrass’s An Account of The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It, John Gordon’s The Giant Under the Snow, and Annie Zaidi’s edited anthology Unbound, but reading has been very, very slow.


Penelope Lively, The House at Norham Gardens: I love the feel of this book–the prose, the quiet interiority of it, everything. What I don’t like about it (and I don’t know to what extent this is the result of reading it for work rather than for itself) is its sense of aboutness–it feels very much a book About Memory and About PostImperial Britain in ways that  reduce its potential to be more than those things. But again, possibly this is more my fault (or the fault of the context in which I’m reading) than the book’s. It is still gorgeous, though.

Terry Pratchett, The Shepherd’s Crown: I was worried about reading this one because Raising Steam was terrible, in nails-down-chalkboard ways of jarringly bad. The Shepherd’s Crown is certainly far, far better than that– and a good Last Book in the ways it attempts to tie things up, marry existing plot threads, and generally create an impression of things ending (and things beginning). And it’s about old men and women and happy deaths in ways that could easily feel manipulative but (to me) did not. What I’m not sure about is whether it’s a good Discworld book, and whether, considering that its final act is a version of the final acts of the last two , possibly three, Tiffany Aching books, it counts as a good book in this sub-series. But I’m glad I could enjoy it.





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