This week in books

The last week or two have been quite interesting book-wise.  After the usual post-Christmas slump, when any remaining dregs of mental and physical energy are employed in the immense effort of getting back to early mornings, sensible eating and the drudge of work, my reading mojo has returned.  I’ve taken my first foray into existentialism with Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Existentialism and Humanism” (you can read about my reaction to his book here) before returning to normality with the purchase of a couple of novels that are in much more familiar territory: “The Gustav Sonata” by Rose Tremain and “The Wine of Solitude” by Irene Nemirovsky.  The first is a novel I’ve been waiting for in paperback for ages, but the second happened to catch my eye on a display in a beautiful little bookshop in a town some miles from where I live.  You can keep your online recommendation algorithms: absolutely nothing beats stumbling across a book completely unexpectedly thanks to the curation and care of a passionate bookseller!

I’ve also been delving into some articles about forthcoming publications and there’s one in particular that’s really piqued my interest.  “Arrowood” by Mick Finlay (release date 23rd March) features a Victorian detective who sees himself as a rival to that most renowned of investigators, Sherlock Holmes.  Arrowood has no time for what he sees as Holmes’ intellectual pottering around London’s elite, preferring instead the down and dirty approach, solving crimes by attempting to get under the skin of the city’s less desirable inhabitants.  The character of Sherlock has had a real resurgence in recent years thanks to that iconic portrayal by a certain Mr. Cumberbatch, but this sounds like a unique and entertaining twist – and hopefully by the sound of things the launch of a new series.

The good news is I have a week off work coming up (yay!) meaning plenty of time to read and write, so keep an eye out for some new reviews on the blog very soon!

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