Well, bless me, December already, as if the additional mayhem in the shop hadn't already alerted me that Christmas was fast approaching.
So let's just start with the apology that would normally be coming your way later. Blogging may be somewhat sporadic this month as work becomes more hectic and I lose the ability to think by the time I get home. I will try and update you as often as I can but am making no promises.
So, lets get on with the business at hand. I've been a busy girl this week and have squeezed in quite a few titles. Last time I blogged I was in a quandry about what to read next. Never fear, the fates stepped in with a timely proof of Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden, just when that most useful of bloggers, dovegreyreader, had been enthusing about it. A most enjoyable and enthralling read it was too. A fascinating account of the lives of the Cree in modern Canada and how their lives have changed with technology. This is due to be published in the UK in March and I can highly recommend it. I shall now have to seek out his previous book, which is about Cree soldiers fighting in the First World War.
Next up, at the end of a tiring week, some action and adventure with a strong plot was needed. Who else would fit the bill but Bernard Cornwell. Sword Song is the fourth in the Alfred the Great series, which follows the life of Uhtred, born Saxon, raised by Danes, sworn to Alfred but eager to escape his oath and fight for his own destiny in the North. Now, while I enjoyed this book for the storytelling, which is always one of Cornwell's strong points, I did feel that it didn't move the story arc of the series along very much. It seemed a bit of an interlude to the main body of the plot, so while enjoyable in itself, was a bit lacking in substance. Of course, this could be the masterful Mr Cornwell toying with me, and it's possible that with hindsight, this book could be the hinge that the whole series hangs from. There were one or two hints at things to come that may prove very interesting. Guess I'll just have to wait for the next book.
Finally I came back to The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona MacLean. I started this ages ago, before I went on holiday, but I misplaced it and only found it again last week during the big book sort. This time I managed to get a bit further and have now got well into the action (it did take a little while to get going). Set in Banff in the 17th century, this is about the murder of a young man. The tale is told through the eyes of the Alexander Seaton of the title and it's beautifully written with a fantastic sense of time and place. The language really makes you feel you're in the town. It's very atmospheric. But, and I think the publishers have missed a trick here, I wanted maps. The plot concerns some maps, and I really wanted there to be a map of Banff at that time to help me navigate myself around. Maybe that's just me (I love maps). I don't know much about cartography but apparently it was a fairly new science in the 17th century and much suspicion and ignorance seemed to surround it. Anyway the book is proving to be one of those that you can't put down once you've got into the meat of the plot.
Crafting update tomorrow - hey, two days off in a row. Can't be bad.