Autumn is my favourite time of the year. The days get shorter and cooler which gives more opportunity for snuggling up in a blanket with a book. With only 4 months left of the year, there are likely only 4 books that I’m going to be able to squeeze into 2017.
- Slade House by David Mitchell
“On one side of a high wall lies a narrow, dank alley; on the other, a sunlit garden; and between them, a small black iron door. You just need to open it. Welcome to Slade House.”
I know everyone says, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, but there is something about this one that I love. Maybe it’s the intricate detail, and the chaos on the cover, or maybe it’s the autumnal colours? I have started reading this and I must say, it is so gripping. There are moments of Poe inspired gothic and at times, I have been caught feeling a little anxious reading this alone at night. This is one I cannot wait to finish!
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
“Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, an existence made even more hellish by her status as an outcast among her fellow Africans. And she is approaching womanhood., where greater pain and danger awaits. So when Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, Cora takes the momentous decision to accompany him on his escape to the north. In this razor-sharp novel, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box-car pulled by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Thus begins Cora’s perilous journey, as she is pursued by a ruthless slave-catcher names Ridgeway, obsessed both with Cora and her mother, who eluded him years before.”
This book first came to my attention when it won the Arthur C. Clarke book award for 2017. Also well known for winning the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award, I am intrigued as to whether this novel is as award-winning as it seems. With a distinctly ‘Roots‘-like feel, I have high hopes for this novel!
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
“All over Britain life is beginning again now the war is over, but for Lenny and Miriam, East End London teenage twins who have been living on the edge of the law, life is suspended – they’ve contracted tuberculosis. It’s away to the sanatorium – newly opened by the NHS in deepest Kent – for them, where they will meet a very different world: among other patients, an aristocrat, a young university grad, a mysterious German woman and an American merchant seaman with big ideas about love and rebellion.”
There seems to be a running theme of each of these novels so far in that they are set in the past. Yet what interests me about this one is the exploration of being institutionalised for something other than madness or insanity. It will be interesting to see where Grant influences the readers’ sympathies to lie; with the twins or someone else..?
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
“Once, Lovelace had eyes and ears everywhere. She was a ship’s artificial intelligence system – possessing a personality and very human emotions. But when her ship was badly damaged, Lovelace was forced to reboot and reset. Now housed in an illegal synthetic body, she’s never felt so isolated. But Lovelace is not alone. Pepper, an engineer who risked her life to reinstall Lovelace’s program, has remained by her side and is determined to help her. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over. Pepper was born Jane 23, part of a slave class created by a rogue society of genetic engineers. At ten years old, she had never seen the sky. But when an industrial accident gave Jane 23 a chance to escape, she jumped at the opportunity to leave her captivity. Now, recreated as Pepper, she makes it her mission to help Lovelace discover her own place in the world. Huge as the galaxy may be, it’s anything but empty.”
I do love a good sci-fi novel! Nothing interests me more than the debate on AI being ‘alive’ so I am really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one. I have a feeling that Pepper/Jane 23 is going to be a sinister character in the novel, like a Hal of 2001 Space Odyssey.
Keep an eye out of the reviews of each one! 🙂
What are you looking forward to reading this Autumn?