There’s something about Fridays that suggests books – at least it does to me. The chance to drawn breath, put up feet, install a cat somewhere about my person…
Here are some books I’ve read and enjoyed recently.
Koi Carpe Diem – a little collection of short stories by Sheila North. Strange, charming, whimsical, with mythical creatures, talking cats, and a badger or two. As a child I loved animal stories. As an adult, I love the way in which animals can be used to talk askance about the human condition. Underneath the cute and comedic, these are also stories about difference, tolerance, and making room. As a species we’re not very good at that, and it’s easier to talk about cats as police officers than some of the more painful real-world stuff. You can get a flavour of Sheila’s writing from her blog.
And you can get the book itself from Amazon.
Gloucestershire Ghost Tales. Local storytellers Kirsty Hartsiotis and Anthony Nanson have put together this slim volume of ghost tales from the area I live in. It’s very good, and I wasn’t familiar with any of them. Most of the ghost stories I know locally go along the lines of ‘well, someone saw something over there a couple of times’ but these are much richer tales, with their eerie backgrounds and the supernatural encounters are much more engaging. A must-have for Gloucestershire folklore enthusiasts, and for anyone who collects ghostly tales.
You can get the book directly from The History Press, or from other places that sell books.
Releasing this week, Sheena Cundy’s The Madness and the Magic is a wild, earthy, funny, occasionally a bit weepy tale of a menopausal witch, her daughter’s unintended pregnancy, and the challenges of fancying the vicar. I really enjoyed it. Proper review elsewhere on the blog.
Find out more about the book here.
You can find out more about Sheena on her blog (and I did a guest post with her recently).
I’m also going to do a shout out for this one, which I haven’t read, and want to, but have hesitated on picking up. I’m really interested in the premise – the author used shamanic techniques to overcome significant mental health problems. As someone who struggles with depression in an ongoing way, I think there could be things to learn here. As someone struggling with depression the moment, I haven’t had the emotional energy to feel like I could engage with it. Eventually, I will. Lucya Starza has reviewed it on her blog.
More about the book here.