October 2021 Reads

Firstly an apology to regular readers who may have noticed of late a distinct lack of activity on this site other than my reading lists or links to reviews I have written for The Geek Show. As things presently stand, my father is in serious decline with dementia and, as I am his carer, I have seldom had the time to come up with ideas for the site, or indeed maintain it. Apologies.

Here’s the books I read in October…

Cat’s Cradle: Witch Mark by Andrew Hunt

And so, I’ve managed to read all three books in the Cat’s Cradle trilogy of New Adventures this year. It’s a fairly loose trilogy to be honest, but no matter; each book was of very high quality and I actually think that this one, which I had the vaguest of memories dipping into as a teen in the 90s, ranks as possibly the most enjoyable to read. I was a little wary initially as I’m no fan of the sword and sorcery, Lord of the Rings style fantasy, but Hunt excels with characterisation of the 7th Doctor and Ace that feels very much in keeping with the TV series, albeit the more carefree era of Season Twenty-Five as opposed to Twenty-Six and the previous books in the series. Did Hunt ever write anything else? I think this was his sole New Adventure.

Rating 4/5

The Shadow Men by M.R. Mackenzie

Another page turner from my friend and Tartan Noir author M.R. Mackenzie. After last year’s The Library Murders, we are back in the ongoing adventures of academic Anna Scavolini and her lifelong friend Zoe Callahan as they unearth yet more secrets from beneath Glasgow’s seemingly civilised establishment.

Rating 4/5

Class Act: The Cultural and Political Life of Ewan MacColl by Ben Harker

An interesting biography told specifically from the perspective of MacColl’s political life and activism. I must admit it succeeds as some of the more interesting chapters in the book lie at the start, when exploring what made MacColl a political animal, his personal myth-building, his relationship (both personally and professionally) with Joan Littlewood, and his desertion from the army during WWII, than the later chapters that detail MacColl the established folk singer and performer. This does however mean some of my attention was waning as I progressed towards the end.

Rating 3/5

Fast Forward by Stephen Morris

The second volume of the Joy Division and New Order drummer’s memoirs is arguably even better than the first, focusing on life after the death of Ian Curtis, the success of New Order and it’s eventual collapse (or was it?) in the mid 00s when Hooky left the band. Interesting to see certain events recalled from a different perspective and once again, Morris is an endearing and sympathetic figure. Having read these volumes, Hooky’s and Barney’s own, I have to say that Barney just seems like an utter mardarse. The chapter detailing the death of Morris’ father from dementia hit home for personal reasons.

Rating 5/5

Number of books read so far: 48

One thought on “October 2021 Reads”

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