Wednesday 18 November 2009

Some bedside reading

My partner is laid up in bed with a bad back, and I must say he is getting a bit crotchety with the pain and enforced boredom.

What's more, he ran out of books to read.

His favourite fiction at the moment is Mike Carey's supernatural noir series of Felix Castor books, about an exorcist-turned-detective set in a version of modern day London thick with ghosts, zombies and sinister plots. But my partner had just finished reading the most recent one - The Naming of the Beasts - and didn't have anything else he fancied starting. So, I popped down to my local library to see what I could find.

I wasn't convinced I'd find him anything he'd like. It's always tough choosing what to read after you've just finished the latest book in your favourite series. And I'd have to agree that the Felix Castor books are very good.

Perhaps I'm biased as they are set in my own home city of London and show such a wonderfully intimate knowledge of the capital that you can easily visualise the streets, buildings and even back alleys where Mike Carey sets his books' action. One of the places Felix Castor is often depicted visiting is Bunhill Fields cemetery - London's oldest graveyard - which is, incidentally, a place I often visit in my lunch hours from work, to sit and read a book.

What my local library did have was the Dresden Files series of books, by Jim Butcher, about a wizard-turned-detective in modern-day Chicago. My partner hadn't read the latest in that series so I was in luck finding something suitable.

But I am also frequently surprised at the good range of books on magic, mythology and spirituality at my local library, which is only a small branch.

On the shelf entitled New Books, I saw a lovely hardback called Myths and Legends by Philip Wilkinson. This is a large book with lots of beautiful pictures and photographs and is the kind of thing that is a joy to dip into. It covers the myths of Europe, South and East Asia, Africa, The Americas and Oceania.

Although you could criticise it as being a bit of a coffee table volume, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. It might not go into great depth on any one area but it is full of fascinating tales and information.

I'm going to use it to pick The Bad Witch's God or Goddess of the Week until I have to take the book back - that is if I can wrest it from my partner, who seemed more interested in browsing through it than in reading the Dresden Files book I'd picked for him.

The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel
The Naming of the Beasts: A Felix Castor Novel
Myths and Legends
Storm Front (Dresden Case Files)
Small Favour (Dresden Files 10)
Myths and Legends


Debra said...

I heart Felix Castor books! I haven't read this one but it's good to know that the books don't lose their appeal.

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