One of my favourite things to do on a lazy day is to read a really good book. And when I'm having trouble sleeping, reading a new book makes me feel better. Takes my mind off that dreadful 'oh, dear, it's been another hour and I'm still not asleep' frustration. So I thought I'd run through a few of the books I've discovered, read and liked in the last few weeks.
Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher
I finished this one last night, because I was struggling to sleep (as usual) and Steve had nodded off (as usual). This was a great book. It's about a vast, living prison and the world outside it. I think it's supposed to be a children's book, but I'd be amazed if most adults didn't love it too. It's fast-paced, and the characters are memorable and complex. The only small reservation I had was that, given the complicated structure of the prison, I found it very hard to picture certain places in spite of Fisher's descriptions. Definitely worth picking up, though. I'm determined to get the sequel already.
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, by Leanna Renee Hieber
I love the Gothic, I love ghosts, and I love Victorian settings, so this one hooked me on concept alone. It combines elements of ghost-hunting with humour, horror and bits of the boarding school genre. It gripped me all the way through, and I loved the way the relationship between the hero Alexi and the heroine Percy developed. Be prepared to feel extremely frustrated towards the end: it's one of those situations where you and the hero know the right answer, but everyone is insisting just the opposite and you want to strangle them. This was lots of fun!
The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry
This lost the Man Booker to The White Tiger, which I really like, but I also liked this. It starts off a little slow, and you may be tempted to put it down. But I was determined to find out the ultimate 'secret', and so I persevered, and I'm glad. There's some really beautiful writing here, as well as a really poignant, tragic story (and I'm a sucker for poignant, tragic stories. You'd have to be, to love Wuthering Heights.)
Anyone read these? What did you think of them? Any recommendations to make of your own?