Utopia Avenue – David Mitchell
I was ecstatic earlier this week for two reasons:
- I found out David Mitchell has a new book out this year
- I managed to somehow get approved for a copy through NetGalley.
It’s called Utopia Avenue, and it follows the journey of the fictional, titular band. There are also other real famous musical figures that pop up, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
I recently finished the audiobook of Daisy Jones and the Six, which I adored, so my benchmark for fictional band novels is pretty high. I’m about 20 percent of the way through Utopia Avenue, and it’s… fine. It’s immensely readable, but it hasn’t immediately gripped me like The Bone Clocks, or Slade House did. I’ll keep you posted.
Wise Children – Angela Carter
I’ve become weirdly picky about the audiobooks I listen to. It can’t be anything too heavy, but I like a compelling story, or a non-fiction book that covers a topic I’m incredibly interested in. I’ve abandoned a lot of audiobooks this year, taking advantage of Audible’s generous exchange policy, and the incredible Los Angeles Public Library.
I noticed a recent Twitter thread about funny audiobooks, and someone mentioned Tracey Ullman’s narration of Angela Carter’s Wise Children. I’m working my way through Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ as part of my short story project, and I love her writing, so thought I’d give the audiobook a shot. I love it so far.
According to Wikipedia – “The novel follows the fortunes of twin chorus girls, Dora and Nora Chance, and their bizarre theatrical family.” It’s hilarious, and Ullman is obviously a comedy genius, and she spells her name correctly, yay!
Bram Stoker Awards 2019
Horror fans will be pleased to know the Bram Stoker award nominees are out. I immediately scrolled through to the Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection nominees, and almost instantly purchased the collections by Kate Jonez and Sarah Read. Very excited for those.
Also great to see the wonderful Gwendolyn Kiste’s name pop up a couple of times, which prompted me to subscribe to Nightmare Magazine.
No doubt I’ll dive deeper into the nominees when I get chance, but my TBR is ridiculous. There is currently a bookcase to house it, disassembled, in a box, on my bedroom floor. Next to the three towering piles of books.
I reactivated my Kindle Unlimited subscription this week, as Amazon were offering two months for free. I’ve had it before and I barely used it, but I was able to get Disturbing the Beast: An anthology of weird fiction by women, from Boudicca Press. I read Kirsty Logan’ story, ‘Girls are Always Hungry When All the Men are Bite-Size’ which I’ll review in my weekly round-up of short stories later this week.
I’m also excited to read Adam Nevill’s latest novel The Reddening, as his book House of Small Shadows is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever read (note to self, read this again).
Geek Love – Kathryn Dunn
I’ve tried about four times to read this book over the last ten years or so. I don’t know what it is, but something does not immediately connect. And apparently, given my love for weird, female authors, I should adore this book. Anyway, it was $2 on Kindle, so I’ve bought it (again), and 2020 is the year that I finally bloody finish it.
Monster She Wrote Podcast
I love the book Monster She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson, which was published in 2019. So I was thrilled to hear they were launching a podcast of the same name. The first episode is up now, and is an incredibly interesting discussion about how authors such as Shirley Jackson (all hail Shirley), and Daphne du Maurier’s undeniable contributions to horror are often overlooked. It’s a fantastic listen, and I highly recommend it.
The next episode will be a discussion around du Maurier’s phenomenal short story, The Birds, which as I am always shouting, is available on Spotify and AppleMusic, narrated by Peter Capaldi. He does Don’t Look Now too, it’s awesome. Du Maurier’s short story collection, Echoes from the Macabre, is one of my comfort reads. Weirdo.
I read a couple of stories about Baba Yaga a couple of weeks ago, and got quietly obsessed with her. My grandma died late last year, and she always said we can from a long line of Lancashire witches, so I used an unexpected work bonus to buy something to remind me of her. It’s gorgeous, and I can’t wait for it to arrive.
Picture taken from the item page on Etsy.
Right, that will do for this week. I’m off to the library.
What’s does your literary week look like?