Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks

Written in 1960, this is a book that definitely deserves to still be in print.  In it's barest form it's a story about being single and pregnant in your late twenties at a time such a thing was a massive social failure.  There is so much more than that, however.  It's about the humanity in everyone.  The characters are wonderfully developed, with the failings and strengths of each unflinchingly and compassionately explored.  There is a sense while you read that however alien someone may seem to you their simple 'human-ness' cannot be denied.
If you're looking for a book that will leave you feeling uplifted and in charity with the world around you, this should fit.  There is a lovely flow to the writing that draws you on, gently unveiling the story as the narrator describes her life, her past and her hopes.
Curl up in front of the fire and enjoy.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

There's some very fine Fantasy authors out there and I think Jim Butcher is one of the best.  He's probably more famous at the moment for The Dresden Files, which were made into a TV series but if you want something to really get your teeth into The Codex Alera series (Six Books) is worth a try.  In a society with Roman undertones, where magic comes in the form of controlling the 'Furies' (elemental beings), there is power, political intrigue, grand scale warfare, love and self discovery.  Fast paced, with many a twist and turn the plot flows wonderfully from book to book, slowly revealing new dimensions stage by stage until the very satisfying finale of Book Six: First Lord's Fury.
Look at 'Genre/High Fantasy' on www.askmeaboutbooks.co.uk for this and other great Fantasy reads.