This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.
I had two nice trips with Anne that month, first to Bruges, where I became fascinated by the portraits of Baron de Keverberg and his young English wife:
And then to Sofia, Bulgaria, where my former intern M married D, who I had introduced her to in the summer of 2013.
The celebrations unfortunately had to be downscaled at the last moment because it was the weekend of the Paris terrorist attacks, and D was the foreign minister of Bulgaria at the time. We returned to a locked down Brussels, where worse was to come a few months later.
This was also the month that I formally took on the role of Hugo Administrator for 2017, with Colette Fozard as my deputy. And in London for a work trip, I looked at Charles Babbage’s brain and Jonathan Swift’s cranial cavity in the Hunterian Museum.
I read 33 books that month (though in a couple of cases these were short story collections where I read only the ones from 1940).
Fiction (non-sf): 8 (YTD 40)
Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro
Kai Lung Beneath the Mulberry Tree, by Ernest Bramah
The Summer Before the Dark, by Doris Lessing
Sleepyhead, by Mark Billingham
The Invention of Happiness, by Brian W. Aldiss
Dodger, by Terry Pratchett
Babes in a Darkling Wood, by H.G. Wells
Waiting for Elizabeth, by Joan Rosier-Jones
SF (non-Who): 16 (YTD 112)
The Ultimate Egoist, by Theodore Sturgeon (1940 stories only)
Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories vol 2, eds. Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg
Axis, by Robert Charles Wilson
The Clock Strikes Twelve And Other Stories, by H. Russell Wakefield
The Past Through Tomorrow, by Robert A. Heinlein (1940 stories only)
Kallocain, by Karin Boye
The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares
The Ill-Made Knight, by T.H. White
Somewhere! / هُناك , by Ibraheem Abbas
A Million Years to Conquer, by Henry Kuttner
Monkey Planet, by Pierre Boulle
Twice in Time, by Manly Wade Wellman
North Wind, by Gwyneth Jones
Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol 1, ed. von Dimpleheimer
Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol 2, ed. von Dimpleheimer
The Wonder City of Oz, by John R. Neill
~8,600 pages (YTD 72,600)
6/33 by women (YTD 76/261) – Munro, Lessing, Rosier-Jones, Boye, Jones, Staples
2/33 by PoC (YTD 17/261) – Abbas, Staples
The best this month were Alice Munro’s collection Too Much Happiness, which you can get here; Scott McCloud’s graphic novel The Sculptor, which you can get here; and (a reread) the third part of T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, which you can get here.
On the other hand, The Wonder City of Oz has been justly forgotten. You can get it here (for a price).