All the books I finished reading in July were available from various branches of the county library to which I belong.
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks
This book could not be less like the book I read by Sebastian Faulks in June. He is a very versatile writer. The book is in five sections, which are connected by tenuous threads. The reader needs to pay close attention.
The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martell
This book was chosen by a family member. Surprisingly its structure was not unlike that of the book I read immediately before it. In this case there were three parts, which were more closely related. Yann Martell wrote The Life of Pi, which I read in March 2007. The author is exceptionally imaginative and either draws readers into the world his characters inhabit or alienates them completely. I continued reading both books to the end, being fascinated.
The next three books I read in quick succession are by one of my favourite authors, Jasper Fforde. They are The Last Dragonslayer, The Song of the Quarkbeast and The Eye of Zoltar.
These three books were shelved in the junior section of the library. The third one is marked as teenage. I advised a friend against introducing her preteen son to them just yet. There is so much in the background, that would go over the heads of younger readers. Subatomic physics and high finance are woven into the plots. I had been looking for these books in the library for years. Circumstances allowed me to borrow the whole series almost simultaneously. (The loan period for books 1 and 3 overlapped with that for book 2 from a different branch.) I am waiting in eager anticipation of the publication of Jasper Fforde’s next book, which is a sequel to my favourite of his books. (I was disappointed to realise that I have read them all, although not always in the correct order.) Shades of Grey is my favourite so far, followed closely by The Eye of Zoltar. The next book is due out later this year. I also learned from Jasper Fforde’s Twitter that The Last Dragonslayer is being filmed for SKY and due to be shown at Christmas 2016.
The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy was the second book by this author, which did not come up to the standard I expect. It is a book of short stories (as was the other, published posthumously.) I have to admit that I prefer novels to short stories. In a way reading short stories is like reading a whole batch of first chapters in a row. As soon as the scene is set, the story is half over. These stories had been written at different times and collected together. It struck me that the world in which we live today is far more dangerous than the world of the 1980s, for example. In my opinion only two of the stories were worth reading.