A book meme, a bit about birthday presents and, of course a kitten. Look out in our next instalment for Morris Men and a Museum…
A book meme from Simon T of Stuck in a Book.
1. The book I’m reading
Guy Gavriel Kay “Lord of Emperors” (2000)
A wonderful mixture of fantasy and history, blended in a way that only Kay seems to have achieved among all the fantasy writers I have read.
Guy Gavriel Kay began his writing career working with J R R Tolkien's youngest son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, on the editing of JRR Tolkien's great central work of mythology, The Silmarillion, first published in 1978. Born and raised in Canada, Kay is still based in Toronto, although he now does most of his writing in Europe. He is described in Fantastic Fiction s ‘An author who transcends the limits of labels or genre. His books have increasingly blurred the boundaries between history and fantasy, creating fictional worlds that are unique and richly realised, yet at the same time draw recognisably on the resonances, culture and folklore of medieval and earlier times.’
In ‘Lord of Emperors’ Kay takes the traditions of Byzantium and the Empire of the East and refashions them piece by piece to form an intricate tale of drama, adventure, and politics. Continuing the saga of the world created in "Tigana” and "Sailing to Sarantium", the empire of Sarantium is beset to east and west but Valerius II wishes to take back the western lands which gave birth to the empire he now rules. The master mosaicist, Caius Crispus, is called upon to play a role. He wants to concentrate on his art and like Rustem of Kerakek, a physician, is on a journey of self-discovery. But no man may withdraw from society that easily, and both men soon find themselves drawn into the deadly webs of Sarantium.
2. The last book I read
Michael Popek “Forgotten Bookmarks” (2011) – a bookseller’s collection of odd things lost between the pages. A bit of a disappointment. I’m not sure what I expected but somehow it fell short. The format is good – an illustration of the item and the book it was in. There is a ‘translation’ where the writing on the item is not overly clear but I was disappointed that there were some poor ‘translations’ and obvious errors. I would recommend it to anyone who has worked in a library or bookshop and has themselves found things in books and would be interested to hear the views of others as to whether they enjoyed it more than me.
3. The book I’ll read next
Either the answer to Number 5 or Chris Lavers ‘The Natural History of Unicorns’ (2009). A scientific quest into the origins of a species with real, living relatives.
4. The last book I bought
The Summer Tree (1984)
(The first book in the Fionavar Tapestry series)
A novel by Guy Gavriel Kay
Because of the answer to 1, I aim to work my way through all the Guy Gavriel Kay books.
5. The last book I was given
“Ferney” by James Long (1997) – a gift from Friend-über-special. I have yet to read it and don’t want too many spoilers by reading reviews but I do know it has a mixture of history, romance and adventure. Sounds like just my sort of read.
It’s a couple of weeks since my birthday now and I haven’t mentioned my presents. Needless to say most of them were books but there are a couple that were somewhat different and may be of interest to you.
One of my presents from Richard was a desk light – or so it appears.
But it isn’t.
It’s a tiny booklight that can be taken off its stand and put on a boojk. How sweet is that?
Another present was a much wanted hose reel from GB. (I say much wanted and I mean it but at the moment the last thing the garden needs is more water!!)
What wasn’t clear in the instructions was whether I have to wear a pink shirt and white shorts to use it as per the illustration. I know GB does when he’s gardening but they aren’t quite ME!
I know I wouldn't be forgiven at the moment if I didn't include our kitten in a rambling blog posting..
Excuse me but that's my chair!
And that is Partner-who-loves-tea's pillow....