When I was a child I was a readaholic. It was a serious condition. During school visits I often tell kids about the time I missed out on a maths lesson and test because I simply didn’t put my book down (I think it was an important maths lesson and had I been paying attention maths would have actually made sense during the rest of my life). I’ve also missed bus and train stops because of this serious illness.
I mention this only because in later life, I have become so busy (and no longer require much public transport) that it has almost cured me. But, over the weekend I slipped into old habits. The cause of this was none other than the Rugby League Grand Final – the Roosters Vs the Dragons (Seriously? Is that really a fair battle? Dragons can breathe fire!!). Historically in my household, this important annual event was heralded in with much fanfare, chocolate biscuits, sausages and a few gallons of tomato sauce. I would choose the occasion to stock up on a healthy supply of books and disappear into worlds where football didn’t exist. The long weekend that has just passed saw me reunited with my family on Grand Final day and therefore reunited with my old addiction.
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to rave about my latest reads ….
Chaos Walking Trilogy – Patrick Ness
Everyone’s talking about this trilogy and with very good reason. It is awesome. It is a Young Adult trilogy (some serious themes and language in it) but as with most Young Adult fiction, it is equally as enjoyable for adult readers (unless as an adult reader you only enjoy reading boring things about mortgages and income tax and self-help books on how to transform yourself into a millionaire in under a week – if that’s you keep away from these books). The opening premise of this series sees Todd, the youngest person in town, living in a strange place where all the women have died off and men can’t hide their thoughts, in fact you can hear them constantly – you can even hear what all the animals are thinking. The world is filled with noise and when Todd becomes a man (and there are no more children left) something big is going to happen but in the chaos of the noise Todd can’t determine what … The books are so well written and so damn entertaining so do yourselves a favour and check them out: The Knife of Never Letting Go; The Ask and the Answer; & Monsters of Men. (Recommended for 14+)
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
I’m been enjoying Neil Gaiman books for adults for a while now but I’m finding I’m enjoying this book for children even more than his other works. I haven’t finished this but it is one of those compulsive reads where I spend the rest of the day just waiting for the opportunity to sit down and enter the graveyard once again. Wonderfully dark characters and ideas – I love it. (Recommended for 9+)
The Midnight Zoo – Sonya Hartnett
I’ve been slightly obsessed with Sonya Hartnett since I first read Sleeping Dogs many years ago and I follow authors the way my brothers follow football teams. This, her latest offering is a wonderful fable set during wartime as three orphaned children stumble into an abandoned zoo. Her writing is so beautiful and the ending is perfect. I always dread (but secretly can’t wait for) the ending of a Sonya Hartnett book – anything could happen and anyone could die – happy endings are rare. (Recommended for 9+)
And so that’s it, my latest raves as I head back into remission and work on trying to finish my next book without distractions. Also, I’m pretty sure the Dragons won the game but I saw that coming a mile off.