Recent reading: Fantasy science-fiction, and historical fiction

For recent leisure reading lately I read four novels/novellas/collections/YA.

  • China Miéville, The Census Taker.  While I did not enjoy the novella, it was like a good workout, following along with an excellent writer a concept, “What would a novel be like if it were… sketched?”  Well, it would take a lot of competence by the reader, one realizes, to appreciate the craft.  So you feel like you are part of the reading elite, reading it.
  • Nancy Bond. A String in the Harp.  I found this in Burkina Faso among some donated books. Cover was ripped off so no use to the libraries there.  I like reading these to imagine a someday Burkinabè fiction: take the 10,000 YA novels already published and adapt to French West Africa => millions of hours of reading pleasure for young people.  But who has the time!  Bond was clearly a master of the genre. The novel is exactly the kind of novel I read in 1973 when I was 11 years old and in 5th or 6th grade.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin. The Found and the Lost (collected novellas).  I had not read too many of the Ekumen stories when I was growing up and reading science fiction in the late 1970s.  These are generally wonderful.  But maybe reading one a month would be better than 10 at a sitting.
  • Francis Spufford. Golden Hill.  Perfect vacation novel.  Good historical drama, with enough intersectionality to fill a pig trough.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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