American Gods, Neil Gaiman
The Girl Before, J P Delaney sample
Clover Moon , Jacqueline Wilson
The Evenings, Gerard Reve (1947)
Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, Jenny Colgan
A Year and a Day, Isabelle Broome
reviews )
This morning, I finished reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. ‘So wot?’ I hear you ask. So it’s the only complete book I’ve read this month. It was worth it because, Wow, what a book! But also, what a long book.

What are these good intentions? To read, in December, only what I really want to, with probably quite a lot of re-reading. I still have books which should be reviewed, or at least given a mention and it makes me feel guilty. Guilt and reading should never go together, IMO. So I’ve been resisting all most of the tempting offers from NetGalley.

I have very much enjoyed Issue 4 of The Scribbler. Books about women’s war work, books about nursing, Christmas books. A frightening short story by Ethel Lina White* which I read elsewhere recently. Best of all is a brilliant Twelve Days of Christmas quiz. I’ve looked through it and am really looking forward to having a go some wet afternoon. Recommended, as I said here, for lovers of middlebrow fiction and children’s books.



*Recently? It was nearly a year ago! Took me a while to find but it’s reprinted in Serpents in Eden, one of the British Library Crime Classics. The fact that I remembered it so vividly shows how good it is.
Where did the month go?



I’ve just read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and will now add my voice to the chorus of praise for it. I wouldn’t expect to describe a book which begins with 'orrible murder as charming, yet it is. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, escapes as a baby from the man out to kill him and finds refuge in the graveyard, where he is brought up and kept safe. It’s the graveyard folk who make the story so delightful. They’ve lived in different centuries and preserve their habits and speech patterns and they are always introduced by the inscriptions on their graves; just one of many touches of humour in the book. It’s cleverly written to be exciting for children without being too frightening. 'The man Jack' is sinister, the threat to Bod is real, but the reader never doubts that Silas, Bod’s guardian, will rescue him from any pickle he gets himself into. This reader lost it when it’s revealed that the child has been predestined from blah, blah, blah. It’s just me; I don’t like that sort of story and I never will. Ignoring that (sorry, fantasy lovers) it’s a wonderful book. More books )

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