Oh hey, remember me? I've had a little bit of a time out recently - from the blog, social media, work, the world outside my living room... all thanks to a little operation with a disproportionate amount of recovery time. It would be easy to pin the blog silence on this alone, but in all honesty I just haven't had very much to say, and I'm struggling to find words for things I do want to say.
In times like this, I turn to books.
I'm trying to keep a record of my reading this year - an unofficial resolution, if you will - so for posterity's sake, here's what has been keeping me going since the year turned.
Trigger Warning & Fragile Things & How The Marquis Got His Coat Back - Neil Gaiman
The Fire Sermon - Francesca Haig
The Lake of Dead Languages & The Drowning Tree - Carol Goodman
The Invisible Library & The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
Pretty Honest - Sali Hughes
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix & Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Some of these are re-reads - for example, I began reading the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time whilst at home over Christmas, and stopped at Half Blood Prince in January, around the same time Alan Rickman passed (bless his soul). I haven't been able to bring myself to read Deathly Hallows since I stumbled home the day he died, put the film version on and sobbed, great wracking sobs, at his interpretation of the Prince's Tale. Pretty Honest is a book I keep on my coffee table as I love dipping in and out as the mood strikes, and Outlander was selected purely because it is enormous and would keep me going while waiting for my operation to take place.
In my teenage years I was utterly obsessed with Carol Goodman's novels - a chilling mix of drama, secrets and classic literary references. I bought two of my old favourites from Amazon marketplace and am happy to report I still feel the same way as I did ten years ago! The Lake of Dead Languages is my favourite for its school setting and Gothic feel.
I finally picked up Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning, another anthology of his short stories. Gaiman is the master of short stories, in my opinion - I very quickly re-read Fragile Things as soon as I had finished. There's just something about his writing that makes me feel as though I've awakened from a long, dreamless sleep - it coaxes any creative thoughts of mine out of hiding, and I find myself far more prone to daydreams. I also zipped through the novella How The Marquis Got His Coat Back - a perfect little continuation of the Neverwhere story (which has now been adapted for radio by the BBC, for those interested!).
Genevieve Cogman's Library series was entirely unknown to me until Jon brought the first book home, but I was absolutely enthralled after the first chapter. A little bit magical, supernatural and mysterious, with some heavy Sherlock influences and a kickass heroine - I can't wait to read the next installment.
Finally, The Fire Sermon was on my wishlist for quite some time - I'm a big fan of dystopian fiction and I think Francesca Haig has done quite a believable job here. The premise is a bit different to anything I've read before - civilisation has been halted thanks to an apocalyptic event, people are born in sets of twins, with one being an Alpha and the other an Omega, and naturally conflict follows... I'm pretty sure there's going to be a sequel so I look forward to it being released!
I normally have a list as long as my arm of books to read but I'm drawing blanks at the moment for my March reading list - is there anything you've read recently that people absolutely have to know about? Please let me know in the comments!