What if you could travel through books?
Books, glorious books! There's a town on the English Welsh border that's FULL of bookshops, on every corner, every square, and under every awning; bookshops that cross the road; bookshops with themed shelves built into tiny closets set off staircases so narrow you can only pass strangers on the level; bookshops like no other anywhere. It's a wonderful place:
So, of course, we went shopping for books. I found a fascinating series by Jasper Fforde with cool literary titles (like the Eyre Affair) and I couldn't resist. My big regret is I only bought book one, but I'll look for more. We traveled in out over through and off bookstores all the afternoon, until youngest son demanded we do something else.
Okay, it was quite a beautiful something else! It would have been a shame to miss it.
Anyway, having traveled through all those bookstores, and found those Jasper Fforde books, one really must ask, what if you could travel through books as well? So here are some book reviews, starting with...
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde invites readers into a fantasy world not so very far removed from our own. Designer pets are designed using ancient DNA obtained via time travel. And books are preserved with careful attention to forgeries and those who might try to change the past. But what if you could travel through books? And what if the ending of Jane Eyre was, well, somewhat up in the air? Enjoy this cool, zany, fascinating, literary journey with an elegant 4-star coffee to hand.
Exchange by Dale Cozort follows the same multiple universe theme, looking at what might happen if a nearby universe were to impinge on our own. Would disease become rife? Would wild animals destroy our natural flora and fauna? And would those of evil intent set out to colonize the nearby place? It's a well researched novel that includes its facts so naturally and seamlessly you simply believe in it all. Cool romance, scary mystery, fascinating science - enjoy with some suitably complex 4-star coffee.Time Assassins by R Kyle Hannah imagines a world of multiple possibilities, where time-travelers work to ensure the best of all possible outcomes, using the benefit of hindsight. But something's gone wrong with these Batman-type good-guys and now the whole structure might unravel. It's a cool premise and a fun story. Enjoy with some bold dark 5-star coffee.
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan sticks to one time and universe, but blends past and future beautifully. Computer game geek meets print font geek, and you'll love the smell of glue in the morning. It's a cool fast read, thoroughly modern - like Ready Player One combined with the Da Vinci Code perhaps. Enjoy with another elegant 4-star coffee.
Finally, City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin invites readers back to the world of Passage and the 12. It's a scary world, inexplicable perhaps, but City of Mirrors brings all its disparate parts together, invites deep questions of the meaning of life, and totally enthralls the reader. Blending dark and light perfectly, it's the perfect end to the trilogy. Enjoy with some deep dark 5-star coffee.