Haunted by the unread, vol. II

Continuing the perilous survey of my numerous unread books, proving I am damned equally for wasting money and laziness. Beware the unholy half-read!

Since I’m downstairs, we’ll start at the top of the prodigious stack of woefully neglected literature which I like to call, ‘On the brink of falling and maiming a cat.’

First up, Night’s Master by Tanith Lee. Proper, pocket-sized, can be read with one hand (but why would you need to?), olde-fashioned mass market paperback. First new edition printing of June this year, although the first edition was originally published back in 1978. Condition: new and unread, only a little dusty. This is a little unfair: I literally bought this last week, and naturally balanced it precariously on a pile of all my other unread books. I picked it up because it was mentioned as an inspiration in the Exalted RPG, which I don’t own but a read a preview of on the internet. The cover blurb says, ‘demons and gods grant wonders and wreak havoc’, which sounds pretty damned excellent to me.

Below that, we come to My Work is Not Yet Done by Thomas Ligotti. Small (UK size) trade paperback published by Virgin Books in 2009; 8th printing. Condition: new and unread, little dust. I think of this not so much as neglected as being saved. I read the Penguin edition of Ligotti’s short stories not too long ago, and when I regained my sanity and could sleep again, I invested in this little beauty. Ligotti is the supreme macabre writer of this generation, one of the greats, so I’m saving this for a single-session read-through on a day when my serotonin levels can take the hit.

And next in the stack is The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey, who happens to be the same Mike Carey who also wrote a whole bunch of comics and a rather good urban fantasy series. TPB by Orbit, 2015; 7th printing. Condition: Unholy Half-Read!! Marker from Brattle Book Shop in Boston (one of the good ones) indicates I made it to page 79. I do remember it well enough to resume, but I probably won’t. It is pretty well written, but I’m sick of post-apocalyptic stuff and even this clever-seeming variation on 28 Weeks Later couldn’t hold my interest. Also, I think there’s a movie out soonish and I might want to watch it without grumping about how it’s different to the book. But I am pleased that Mike Carey got a big breakthrough with this.

Looots of tomes lurk yet in this tetering stack. Find out what they are, or maybe what I haven’t read from other piles around the house, soon enough in volume III of… Haunted by the Unread!

If you can’t wait that long, here’s volume I.