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.