Another selection in my occasional looks back at old reviews which I finished by saying something along the lines of “I’ll be looking forward to reading more of her work/this series/his books in the future” to see if I actually did read more and, if I did, did I like the ones I looked forward to as much as the ones that made me look forward to them?
Let’s see then…
The Secret Life of William Shakespeare by Jude Morgan
First reviewed 24th April 2013. A well researched and beautifully written imagining of Shakespeare’s life and the events that may have influenced his writing. I said “A wonderful book that will appeal not only to Shakespeare fans but also to anyone who appreciates a superbly crafted tale filled with poetry, humanity and tenderness.” Its five-star rating put Morgan onto my looking forward list to read more of his work. But did I?
I did not! I find this unaccountable. He is no longer on my list and I can only assume I removed him during a particularly brutal cull. Over the intervening years, several people have recommended his book about the Brontës, The Taste of Sorrow, and I have now added it to my wishlist. (These posts are playing havoc with my TBR!)
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Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux
First reviewed 25th April 2013. This one is hard to summarise in a few words. Part science fiction, it’s really a study of what it is that makes us us. I said “A story of mad science turned to evil purpose, the age-old search for immortality, man’s inhumanity to man, but at its heart this is a search for a definition of humanity.” I loved it and again its five stars put him on my list to read more. But did I?
I did! I read his next book, Far North, and sadly felt it was a pretty standard post-apocalypse thriller that didn’t really thrill me. As a result Theroux slipped off my list. I’d still be happy to read another of his books if it came my way, but I no longer specifically look out for him. (Harsh, I know, to drop someone on the basis of one book, but there are well over a hundred authors on my Looking Forward To list, so I have to be pretty brutal.)
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Free Fall by Chris Grabenstein
First reviewed 3rd May 2013. Set in the sunny beach resort of Sea Haven, this is the 8th book in a series about police detective John Ceepak, as told by his sidekick, Officer Danny Boyle. I described it as “cosy with an edge” and said “I’m certainly looking forward to spending some more time in Sea Haven in the future.” But did I?
I did not! To be fair, this is mostly because he hasn’t published another in this series since, seeming now to be concentrating on a highly successful series of children’s books. But I could have – should have – read some of the earlier books in the series! I’ve now added the first, Tilt-A-Whirl, to my wishlist.
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The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Engelmann
First reviewed 4th May 2013. This historical fiction is beautifully written, though sometimes a little too sweet and frothy for my taste. However the art of the folding fan, its manufacture and use, is given centre stage, and I found that aspect fascinating. As a debut novel, I felt it showed real promise and said “overall this book gave me a sense of deep enjoyment. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.” But did I?
I did not! However I’m completely exonerated from the charge of neglect this time, since she has never published another novel. Such a pity, since I felt she has a lot to offer. Her website tells me she’s working on another, so I’ll keep looking forward to reading more sometime in the future…
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So, two neglected authors I’ve now reinstated to my wishlist, one who fell off my must-read list but stayed on my might-read list, and one who has stymied my desire to read more by not writing more! Undoubtedly my least successful batch of four so far – told you things would soon start to go downhill. 😂