This is another slap-dash post from my local cafe on current reads.
In a previous post I promised more highlights from Dangerous Women ed. George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois. I had already mentioned Joe Abercrombie, Megan Abbott, Joe R. Lansdale, Megan Lindholm and Brian Sanderson, so now that I've finished the anthology, I thought I'd mention another exceptional story: "Second Arabesque, Very Slowly" by Nancy Kress, which juxtaposes a struggle for survival in a harsh, dystopian, urban setting with a beautiful aspect of the human condition: passion for the humanities, in this case the forgotten art of ballet. Naturally, like any good story, it also explores a range of other themes, from friendship and loyalty to ethical choices.
And I've just finished Arthur and George by Julian Barnes, which, apart from one character's incredulous philosophising at the end, is a work of literary-historical fiction at its best. I won't delve into the plot or characters as I read it without any prior grounding and loved it. I suggest you do the same.
I think I might go Barnes-storming.
Short story collections ATM: The Boat by Nam Le and The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami. And my choices for my book club's novel are from Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, Peace by Gene Wolfe, Flesh and Blood by Michael Cunningham and Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold. I'll let you know what the gang votes on.
Some very exciting publication news - more to come when the contents are officially released.
And in a final note, at the risk of sounding narcissistic (I never know whether to post these sorts of things), I was flattered that the novelist, Guy Salvidge,
mentioned me in his snapshot interview (no. 4 on the link).
Happy reading and writing!