It’s been a hectic, tiring month. I’ll explain more in a post to come later in the week, but for the moment let me capture the feeling by saying it’s taken me a couple of minutes just to compose these first two (rather boring!) sentences.
It’s no coincidence then that two of these books should be short story collections. Whenever I’m feeling like my attention or concentration is too taxed elsewhere for longer novels, short stories are a psychological helper; whenever I get through one, there is a feeling of accomplishment. Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson has been the primary text I’ve been working through – although, in the spirit of honesty, I have to say I’m still making my way through Fiona McFarlane’s The High Places. (It’s still marvellous.)
Dark Tales is very enjoyable – Jackson does the insidious, creeping unease of suburbia very well. I haven’t read her most famous book yet – The Haunting of Hill House – but no doubt I will come to it. This is the second time I’ve borrowed Dreaming in the Dark, edited by Jack Dann, from the library and I’m determined to not return it unread again. It contains stories by the cream of Australian speculative fiction, including writers whose works I’ve long wanted to explore.
Okay, with the above noted, I did start a novel this month: Nocturnal Animals by Austin Wright, recently adapted into a move staring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m only a chapter or two in so far and I can see that the movie made some character changes (Adams’s character is a housewife, not a gallery owner, for example). But I remain innocent of all the major plot points, both book and movie (which I haven’t seen, having only gleaned what I know from the trailer and reviews), so that’s a good thing!
What are you reading this month?