A Celebration of Books: How My First Library Visit in Months Introduced Me to Something Amazing

Never mind the pubs reopening, I thought as I was watching the news. It’s the library I’m excited about. As expected the experience wasn’t quite what it used to be. With face masks, a one way system and a limited assortment of books available things didn’t feel like they’d gone back to normal. But I’ve stumbled upon a real gem. I always love it when that happens.

Chainsaw Sisters: A Review

Picture this. A novella about two sisters: Sis and Amy. One of them alive, one of them dead. The living one muscular and feisty. The dead one reincarnated… as a chainsaw. Together they set off to get their revenge on Amy’s killers. Cue rampage, gore, mayhem. And, in case you missed it, a talking chainsaw.

Reading Unusual Books: A Continuing Story

With the library still closed I continue to read whatever books people throw at me. This week I’ve swapped my usual fiction for a true story: Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five. Its subtitle – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper – tells one exactly what to expect: a story that has been told many times before and yet hasn’t. As Rubenhold rightly points out, the Ripper’s victims are often solely defined through their brief and fatal relation to their still unidentified killer. The Five aims to set this inaccuracy right and tell the untold stories of the victims’ lives rather than their deaths.

Horror, Loneliness and Love: Rereading Poppy Z. Brite

With the world still in peril and the library still shut, I’ve recently found myself reconsidering my own book shelves. I only own a handful of books, mostly because my voracious reading habit would otherwise become rather space-consuming and expensive, and I rarely reread books anyway. But since I don’t like to read from screens, which means ebooks are out, and no imminent end to the current lockdown seems  likely, it looks like I’ll need to reconsider my principles.

Call Me By Your Name: When the Film Is Better Than the Book

Call Me By Your Name (2017) has been on my to-see-list ever since I failed to go and see it in the cinema when it was released. One of the reasons why I kept putting it off was the fact that the film is adapted from a novel. I’m biased, for I really like books, but I find that film adaptations rarely match up to the novels they are based on. But the trailer looked interesting, I’d been assured by several people that the film was worth watching, and with nothing better to do I decided to give it a go.

Reading as Escapism: Charles Willeford’s Hoke Moseley Novels

On day two of an almost complete lockdown, with nothing to do and nowhere to go apart from my NHS job, I’m feeling a need to write about literary escapism. My local library shut down indefinitely last Saturday, and although I’ve managed to get a stash of books that’ll last me a few weeks, I’m already missing my trips to pick up new ones. It’s all temporary, of course, and all for a good cause, but I’m probably not the only one for whom life feels rather odd and claustrophobic at the moment.