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Written and Read 4/12


Writing Goals


  1. 'The Quest of the Summer King' is ready for pubication

  2. 'The Reign of the Winter King' has its beautiful new cover

  3. Castle Priory Press have announced the signing of 3 new authors


Reading Goals


  1. 3/30 library books (12 left)

  2. 2023 kindle list complete. Reading books added in 2024 now

  3. 2/15 bookshelf books read (4 left)

  4. 0/3 books to buy read (3 left)


Once again, this month's reading has largely been born out of necessity. Whilst I have read a few books from my reading list, most of what I've read this month has been, in one way or another, linked to preparation for the Robin of Sherwood convention. Similarly, the need to complete all the various craft projects for our convention stall, has meant I haven't done any writing at all this month (although I've done lots of editing and work for CPP) and much of my reading has been of audiobooks, listened to as I crafted!

However, just because the reading has been things I needed to read, doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed the books anyway. Actually, it's brought me to two new series of books and an excellent audio narrator, as well as giving Arthur a new set of books to read. Not a bad outcome overall.

Nevertheless, the main thing to come out of this month is a new appreciation of Robin of Sherwood. I've loved the show for about 20 of the 40 years it's been around and knew it was good, but I didn't appreciate quite how brilliant it was until I started immersing myself in it and learnt about the depth of knowledge that had gone into its creation and the political commentary it made on 1980s society.


Science-Fiction


20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne (Read this after reading a book based upon it by Rick Riordan. An interesting read, but on the whole I preferred the one it inspired.)


Romance


Silver Wish Farm - KT Dady (Latest in the Pepper Bay series. Full review coming on 5th May.)


Non-Fiction


The Great Cat Massacre & Other Episodes In French Cultural History - Robert Darnton (Read so I could discuss it with the eldest, who is studying it at university. First couple of chapters were interesting, but the rest of it wasn't.)


Skillingers of Brightlingsea - Sean O'Dell (Interesting insight into the history of oyster fishing in Brightlingsea. Read for research.)


The Hooded Man Volume 2 - Andrew Orton (Looks at Series 3 of Robin of Sherwood and the audio drama/book Knights of the Apocalypse. Extremely useful and interesting analysis of the show.)


A Complete History of Cornwall - Thomas Cox (Vaguely interesting account of events in the county up to the 19th century.)


Fantasy


The Fall of Numenor - JRRR Tolkein (Audiobook. Collection of stories about the Second Age of Middle Earth. Worth a read if you are a fan of LotR as it adds depth and background to the world Tolkein created.)


Children's


The Falcon's Malteser - Anthony Horowitz (Parody of the Maltese Falcon, so convincing that I spent years telling people I'd read the original as a child, only to realise belatedly that it was this I'd read! Excellent first book of the series, enjoyed by both myself and my son.)


Groosham Grange - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Arthur thought it was a bit too scary, husband and I both quite enjoyed listening to it. Definitely slightly scarier than other books for this age group.)


General


The Fortnight In September - RC Sherriff (An excellent illustration of how a book can keep you captivated even when nothing much really happens. A family take their annual two week holiday to the coast and the most exciting thing to happen is that they get to stay an extra night than anticipated. Nevertheless, I was engrossed from start to finish and interestingly, although it was written in the 1950s, I recognised much of it from my own family holidays in the 1980s.)


Crime


The Consequences of Fear - Jacqueline Winspear (Penultimate of the cuurently published Maisie Dobbs books. A particularly dark instalment of the series and there is a definite sense of Maisie's time as a detective coming to an end.)


The Word Is Murder - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. 1st in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series. It took me a little while to get into it and get my head around the structure. It's metafiction and I needed a few chapters to accept Horowitz the character as a separate entity to Horowitz the writer. However, as I got further into the story, I found myself making time to listen to it because I was suddenly thoroughly enjoying it.)


Contemporary


What You Are Looking For Is In The Library - Michiko Aoyama (Audiobook. Utterly brilliant book that everyone should read. The librarian at the community library has an uncanny knack of understanding what everyone 'needs' when they come to her library. The book is effectively a collection of short stories that centre around the library and its unique employee, but in the final chapter, all the stories come together and are bound up into a neat parcel.)


Days At The Morisaki Bookshop - Satoshi Yagisawa (Whilst I didn't enjoy this as much as the book above, it was still very good. Full review can be found here.)


Robin Hood


The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle (Audiobook. Victorian version of the tales of the famous outlaw. Overuse of the word 'truly' was driving me insane by the end. Was nice to see how the tales had been edited and evolved for a Victorian audience.)


RoS The Complete Look-In Comics - Look In (This was a surprisingly lengthy read, considering they were all comic strips. However, having never seen them before, it was good to finally know what people had been raving about. They were pretty good on the whole, but sometimes the characterisation was not as good as the artwork. I couldn't imagine Gisburne as a gardener somehow.)


Robin of Sherwood - Richard Carpenter (Novelisation of Series 1. Interesting to see some of the differences between the stories and the television episodes.)


The Hounds of Lucifer - Robin May (Novelisation of Series 2. More interesting differences between the different versions of the same stories. The title story had behind the scenes explanations of things which added depth to the plot.)


The Knights of the Apocalypse - Richard Carpenter (Audiobook. Planned story from the Series 4 which never happened. It was good to have a sense of completion, but there were certain bits that didn't feel quite right. Was good to picture the actors one last time though.)


The Hooded Man - Anthony Horowitz (Best of the novelisation in my opinion and I enjoyed Herne's Son as much in novel form as I do on TV.)


The Time of the Wolf - Richard Carpenter (Strange final episode of Series 3 given more background in the book, particuarly the monks, who I had much less sympathy for after reading the story.)


Adventure


Forever and a Day - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Fabulous narration by Matthew Goode. Continuation of the James Bond novels and from the very start, I thought they really captured the essence of Fleming's original novels and I'll definitely be reading the rest of them.)


Book of the Month?


'Forever And A Day' just pipped 'The Fortnight In September' to the top spot. Whilst I loved the former book, the latter was not only an excellent book in its own right, but it did it in the style of another writer. Writing books is hard enough on its own. When you factor in trying to emulate the style of someone else, it become ten times harder. This is why I opted for this one in the end.




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