Posted in book review, books

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

Last night I finished reading Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell. I loved this book. It’s short, at only 144 pages. I’m finding that I’m really liking shorter books lately and longer novels often seem in need of editing that would remove about 100 unnecessary pages. It’s a book about magic and supernatural creatures and women in England. And it’s the first in a series. I’m not sure how long the series is supposed to be, though the second book is due fall of 2016 according to Goodreads. I already have the 2nd book on my Goodreads TBR and will read it as soon as it’s released.

One fun thing about the book is that it’s written like a tv show. You could easily imagine all of the book on screen. So, I wasn’t surprised to read in the author part that Paul Cornell has written for tv before. Maybe this series will be made into a tv show. I’d watch it.

The only annoying thing about the book is that you’re more than half-way through before it’s revealed that one of the main characters is black (Autumn). It’s revealed in a casual manner, so it’s not a spoiler. It’s as if the (white male) author was like “Race isn’t important, but by the way she’s black.” Race is important. Representation matters. And that’s why I’m revealing it here. I still recommend the book because otherwise it’s great.

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Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

I just finished this small (178 pages) book and loved it. I’ve seen it described as a book about a marriage. It’s that, but also contains interesting facts and musings. It’s told in an unusual style. I’ve only seen people praise the book and I can see why. I highly recommend it and with its small size, perfect for carrying to the beach (or plane) this summer.

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Library Day

Today is library day. I picked up Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell, Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile, Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins, and When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi for myself.

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The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag

Yesterday I finished reading The House at the End of Hope Street. I thought this would be a light hearted and fun book. The description on the book tells of a house that shows up for women in need of hope. The main character’s name is Alba and she has some magical senses. I was really looking forward to this book. However, the book has story lines for two housemates of Alba and it dragged the book down. The housemates seemed caricatures and not fully formed interesting people.

Alba was interesting. Her story was interesting. If the book had been solely focused on her, I would have been happy with it. Though there is a part of her story that feels like it was ignored and then toward the end rushed together. I would have also been happy if the story had been focused either solely or just along with Alba’s that of Peggy, the house mother. Peggy was an interesting character and her story actually wasn’t badly done.

There are magical parts of the book that I like. And I did like Alba and Peggy’s stories enough that I stuck with the book until the end. But the ending felt rushed and unsatisfying. The book was disappointing, partly because you could see how the book could have been much better.