B – Fiction
Jim Butcher – Dresden Files (original Covers – the new ones are just bleurgh)
I suppose this is quite close to The Folly with regards to genre – urban fantasy…crime solving wizards etc. Are we sensing a theme here? However, this is a series that I’ve been reading for years and Jim Butcher is probably the author that began my love of Urban Fantasy. I read Fool Moon and Summer Knight first then got hooked and trawled Lancashire libraries in order to read them all in order. I caught up just before Turn Coat came out but I’m two books behind at the moment – I’ve got Cold Days waiting in my Library to-read pile for when I have a solid couple of hours to read straight through.
It’s a long series – 16 books with a 17th soon due – but it doesn’t feel like it’s fading out at all. Some series I feel really carry on past their sell by date, end up getting repetitive and to be quite frank a bit dull. Not so with Dresden Files. They’re still page turners – and no Literary World that is NOT a bad thing – and they manage to juggle a huge cast of characters and intricate world building without ever being boring. The universe just keeps expanding, the characters continue to intrigue and of course the humour is still going strong!
B – Poetry
An oldy but a goody. I was fascinated by this book at college. We had to study it for A level and although I’d heard of Blake before – we all know how fond teachers are of ‘The Tyger’ – I’d never understood the collection as a whole. Seeing the work for the first time – the illustrations, the shared themes, the mirroring across Innocence and Experience – I think it was the first time that I really understood just what a poetry collection was, that it was more than just a collection of what you had written so far. The multiple meanings ascribed to the poems also really hit home, when you study Literature as a subject you can be confined by ‘the right answer’ and this was the first time I began to see that a poem could mean so many things to so many different people. I didn’t understand then just how much it changed my views on poetry, I hope that I can appreciate it more now.
I’d been wondering what to choose for my poetry B but I’ve just received a beautiful copy of Philip Gross’ collection A Fold in the River illustrated by Valerie Coffin-Price for Review from Seren (http://www.serenbooks.com/book/a-fold-in-the-river/9781781722336). It’s a staggeringly beautiful volume and instantly brought Blake back into my mind. In the end he was the obvious choice. I’ll be reviewing A Fold in the River probably at the weekend – I’ve got a bit of a post backlog so there’s going to be a lot of reviews up over the next fortnight.