Thinner – Richard Bachman/Stephen King
While I’ve enjoyed most of King’s books, I don’t rate Thinner as one of his best. This might be because he was writing it under his Bachman alias. I just didn’t really like the “curse” idea.
Holes – Louis Sachar
I actually re-read this a while ago, as I was teaching it to a Year 7 class. It’s still as good as I remember it, and it was fun to see how the students responded to the novel.
Animal Farm – George Orwell
I read this many years ago. I got a new copy over the Christmas holiday, so that I could re-read it in preparation for teaching it to GCSE students. It’s amazing how much I remembered from my first reading. However, having a greater understanding of the world and of political movements enabled me to develop a far stronger understanding of the novel.
The Dragon Done It – Ed. Eric Flint and Mike Resnick
I’m currently working on a series of fantasy crime novels, and I was interested to see what was already out there – beyond the shelves of urban fantasy a la The Dresden Files. After a bit of searching, I stumbled across this anthology.
While many of the stories feature fantasy elements, many of them seemed to heavily inspired by Raymond Chandler and Co – they were definitely detective fiction. This doesn’t mean that they were bad though – far from it. I enjoyed most of the stories, especially how they carried over tropes from detective fiction and mingled in the fantasy elements. Overall? The anthology adds weight to my idea that there isn’t much crime fiction set in a fantasy world.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
An excellent book that was recently made into a film – I haven’t seen that yet. The book itself is great and manages to capture elements of being a teenager while covering pretty similar ground to The Fault in Our Stars… Except I think Me and Earl and the Dying Girl did it better.
SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror
The second anthology of short stories on this update. While the stories were of varying quality (from good to great), they were all good fun and had a few slightly disturbing ideas as well as a lot of monster-killing violence. Probably not suitable for the kids, but a good read nonetheless.