Before I picked up Visitants, a collection of short stories that involve angels, I would have ventured to say that the heavenly host are there for humanity's well-being.
Now... well, now I am not so sure.
You may not like every story in this collection, but you will never think of the heavenly host the same, ever.
I first became interested in this book because of Neil Gaiman: his is the first story in the collection. His tale, "Murder Mysteries," is personal and unreal at the same time, a character that makes the entire story immediate and plausible.
I felt brave, so I soldiered on.
From plagues to plays, from computers to curses, each author takes an interesting turn around the block with this subject. Each was interesting in its own right, and editor Stephen Jones arranges them in an interesting, attractive order. I have to admit, I was awash with a particular tide for a while, but as I read one or two stories a day, I wasn't too overwhelmed when a particular them…
I will celebrate Charles Dickens' 200th birthday tonight by reading the second chapter of Oliver Twist. (I read the first chapter a few days ago.)
I look forward to discovering the terrible nature of one of literature's vilest villains, Bill Sikes.
Interesting tidbit: the author was accused of anti-Semitism when the book was first published. At first, he defended himself. Then, according to Wikipedia, he "then halted the printing of Oliver Twist, and changed the text for the parts of the book that had not been set, which is why Fagin is called 'the Jew' 257 times in the first 38 chapters, but barely at all in the next 179 references to him."
If you want something Dickens-ish — but not by Dickens — consider Drood, a fabulous mystery novel by Dan Simmons that speculates if there wasn't more truth to Dickens' final, unfinished novel.
With a new kitten in the house, little has been done to anticipate the upcoming books. I will rectify that.
But first, a picture of the kitten.
Now we may continue.
Many of the books I am looking forward to reading are sequels, including:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, the sequel to the delightful and suspenseful A Discovery of Witches (due out in the summer). (I apologize for not offering a review of the first novel, but I urge you to read it right away.)The Return of Shandar, the third in Jasper Fforde's Dragonslayer series, is due out in November. (I have been remiss in the second installment published in 2011. Please don't tell Mr. Fforde. The Last Dragonslayer, the first in the series, was amazing.)The as-yet untitled sequel to Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (publication date yet to be announced)
Other novels I anticipate that are not sequels include: Gold by Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee, whose story about the friendship between …