Isolation Book Club: April

With lockdown restrictions easing substantially, this will be the last Isolation Book Club. However, I enjoy writing these mini-reviews. So while I am retiring the name, I will continue to pen these monthly reading recaps. I have no idea what the new title should be. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Also, I am over the halfway mark to meet my reading goal. Well, the first one. My first goal is to read 24 books, this is the main goal but I have a bonus one. That being to beat last years total read, which was 43. If I can keep this up, I should be able to hit that target.

I think that is enough rambling for now, onto the books!

The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany

I felt like I was going insane while reading this anthology. In a good way.

I have never heard of Lord Dunsany until I attended a talk about fantasy fiction. Dunsany was name-dropped quite a bit, so I decided to check out his work. He is said to be an inspiration to both J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft, and after reading The Book of Wonder I can see why.

The Book of Wonder is a collection of short dark and twisted fantasy tales, each one as weird and fantastical as the next. All normal logic is thrown out the window in these stories and frankly, that is why I loved reading them. It’s the perfect read for anyone who likes unusual stories.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez

That is a title and a half, isn’t it? 

After falling in love with Love in the Time of Cholera, I wanted to read more of Gabriel García Márquez’s work. I managed to get my hands on two of his other novels, one being Memories of My Melancholy Whores.

On the eve of his 90th birthday, a columnist decides to get himself a birthday gift. Namely, to put it nicely, a night with a young woman. He ends up falling for the young woman in a sort of Sleeping Beauty way. These encounters change his view on life and his previous perspective on love.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores isn’t a pleasant read but that isn’t the point of the story. Much like Love in the Time of Cholera, it is a harsh look at the ugliness of humanity. 

Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

A short but poignant tale.

This short story is about the titular Mary Ventura as she is sent off on a journey alone. While riding the train, she meets an older woman who offers some worldly advice. Spanning only forty pages, it is punchy and powerful. 

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

It’s rather embarrassing that it has taken me this long to getting around to reading The Invisible Man.

Scientist Griffin is a victim of his successful creation after discovering a way to turn himself invisible. From there it is a slippery slope into madness. You know what they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. An absolute classic of SciFi.

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

What would it take for you to play the ultimate game of Russain Roulette?

Gateway by Frederik Pohl is a Space Opera all about desperation, survival and taking seemingly impossible chances. 

I did write a full review for this book, for more information please check it out. 

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton 

Despite my love of Lovecraftian horror, I haven’t read many ghost stories. My horror taste tends to lean towards paranormal or otherworldly, yet I don’t tend to pick up anything with ghosts. I’m not scared of ghosts, but they just don’t seem to haunt the pages of books I often read.

Well, after reading The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton, that is due to change. I loved this collection of short but bone-chilling stories. Needless to say these are all by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton. From ghosts bewitching the living to not being what they seem, each story was unique and spooky in its own way.

What have you been reading? As always, please let me know!

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