How to Stop Time was my first encounter with Matt Haig, but not the last, as I now have several of his books on my TBR. This one is my featured book on today’s A2Z Challenge. It changed my perceptions of my life with my pets. I think it qualifies as time travel, but the travel part is less important.
The plan for the month is to feature daily a book I’ve reviewed in the past (or review it that day), and also highlight others: not all are included each day.
- spacetime challenge (I host this reading challenge – you can join here)
- middle grade (childrens) choice
- series (love a good series – there’s a challenge for finishing those, too)
- ‘notable’ reads
- ‘outstanding’ books
- my books!
I have to warn you: there are some seriously good books beginning with H! Most title links are to reviews on this blog.
Featured Book : How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
First off, I had to go much further back in my media gallery than I expected to find this cover. 2017 seems another world away. The premise of How to Stop Time is that time does not move at the same rate for everyone. So that feels somewhat spooky. This was early in my NetGalley career, and How To Stop Time was slap in the middle of my favourite things. Time, and what ifs?
If you haven’t read it, I hope I won’t spoil it for you. Read my review including the blurb and you’ll get a good feel for it,. The protagonist is long-lived. He doesn’t know any others with this problem, so he has normal relationships with his friends and lovers…. Until someone notices that they are growing old and he… isn’t. Then he has to leave and start a new life. But over all of this, he is searching for something, or someone.
What got me to the heart, that the ratio of the protagonist’s life to the typical human life, is about 12 or 14 years to 1. If you have guinea pigs or other animals (I think cats are similar), consider that in relation to their lifespan. It becomes a weird concept. It also made me appreciate their lives more.
Homecoming by Sue Ann Bowling: This is a masterpiece of space opera and galactic worldbuilding. I raved about Judith Tarr’s worlds for F: Sue Ann Bowling started from her professional knowledge of genetics. She built several alien races and their cultures, dynamics, social progression, warfare, and made such a complete world, sorry, universe, that it is just tragic that she died before finishing the third book. Homecoming is probably one of the great undiscovered classics of the genre. It’s still available on Amazon, even though Sue left us nearly nine years ago.
If you”d like something lighter (and horsier), try a novella set in the same world, but on one of the farming planets, Horse Power. Tourist Trap is the second book in what might have been a series. The third might have been called Jarn’s Journal, and is still accessible in small parts on Sue’s free wordpress site. Click on Jarn’s Journal in the Tag cloud, but of course it’s latest post first [checked 27/1/23]. I downloaded it all to a text file. The rest of her sites no longer exist.
Middle Grade Books
Harry Potter. By J K Rowling… rhymes with Bowling… Was there a genre of ‘boys and girls who discovered on their nth birthday that they had magical powers/destiny’ before Harry? I get seriously bored with wading through the discovery and disbelief process before getting to some really rather good books/series these days. But yes, I believed I was going to develop my magical powers when I turned 12… I just keep quiet about them now. My favourite is Prisoner of Azkaban.
Series – Crime this time
Elly Griffiths will turn up again on my blog this month. Her new crime series features a detective called Harbinder Kaur (Sikh descent) initially based in Sussex (UK south coast). Starts with The Stranger Diaries, followed by The Postscript Murders (authors get murdered!). The most recent one is Bleeding Heart Yard, where Harbinder has now moved to the Met (London’s notorious police squad).
Two books that sprang to mind for H, which at least means they are memorable:
The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared (memorable not just for the length of the title). This delightful book by Jonas Jonasson features a man who decides he’s too young for the old folks home around him, and leaves. He then relives his adventures, which entail him getting involved in a huge amount of European history. Being sequential, this pieced the world together for me in a way history lessons never did. Funny and eminently readable.
A Heaven for Toasters by Nicholas C Rossis. Weird earth-based scifi, wholly irreverent and hilarious. One of the funniest scifi books I’ve ever read.
That’s all for today, so come back tomorrow for more. I’m hoping to meet more people who like the same kinds of book, so feel free to recommend something you’ve read beginning with the letter of the day!