This is one of those books that I really wanted to read. I always meant to suggest it for our virtual book club before it disbanded. Every month, we would pick one book under 300 pages and we had a lot of ups and downs. Most of the other members just wanted books about people getting killed. From my experience, crime fiction under 300 pages doesn’t tend to be that great. Unless it’s Agatha Christie but they’d already torn And Then There Were None apart before my eyes. I thought this sci-fi romance book might have something to keep everyone entertained. Especially as I’d pretty much only heard great things about it.
I’d seen this book all over but didn’t pay attention until Foyles named it their Children’s Book of 2022. I know, I’m fickle. There are so many books published each year, so you need to be discerning about what I pick up. Unless a children’s book is really making waves then I don’t tend to think about reading them. When I actually looked into this book, it just sounded like my kind of thing. I’m not a massive fantasy lover but I think children’s fantasy might be my ideal for the genre. The world-building tends more engaging and fun. A lot of the adult fantasy books I’ve read recently have been too ambitious and I haven’t connected with them. Children’s fantasy books tend to keep things a bit simpler which means they don’t get too tied up in knots.
I had great plans to see this when it was out in the cinema but it was around the time when I still wasn’t ready to go back to the cinema. Covid memories were still in my head so I missed it. When it came to Prime, I was ready to watch it but, yet again, it didn’t happen. Last week I had decided it was finally time but then I went and watched the live-action Pinocchio. After that went terribly, this felt like my reward. I don’t know what I really expected from this film but it certainly wasn’t that I’d come out of it with a bit of a thing for Data from The Goonies. Not something I considered for my 2023 bingo card but here we are. But, unexpected crushes aside, was this film worth the wait?
I hadn’t read anything by Erin Morgenstern when I bought a copy of The Starless Sea. I had owned a copy of The Night Circus and figured it would be something I enjoyed. It was just that constant struggle to actually read it. So buying a copy of The Starless Sea could have been slightly foolhardy. However, once again, I was drawn in by a gorgeous edition. Waterstones released special editions of both books and I had to have them. Guys, they had sprayed or stencilled edges. How could I not? As I’d treated myself to them, I was a bit worried about how much I would like them. I decided it was better to just never find out, so they remained unread. Until this year when I found the audiobook on my library app. I decided it was finally time to cross it off my TBR.
In my review of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, I criticised the 2022 Disney version. I haven’t actually watched it. I felt bad enough about it that I actually did this week. I’d originally been planning to watch Everything Everywhere All at Once. I guess that can wait for another week. Instead, I’ll watch Tom Hanks talking to a CGI wooden boy. Even though I know there’s no way that it’ll be as good as del Toro’s version. How could it be?
It seems as though the trend of introducing modern readers to Greek mythology isn’t going away any time soon. And I couldn’t be happier. I love being able to revisit these stories in a more relaxed way. I finished listening to Stephen Fry’s Heroes last Sunday and immediately started listening to Troy. I had so enjoyed his retelling of the myths about the great Greek heroes that I knew I wanted to see what he made of the Trojan War. After all, we’d heard it referenced so much in the earlier work. It also helped that Helen gets a mention in Less is Lost. I felt like the universe was telling me that it’s time.
The Netflix film debate is a weird thing. Not only is it ridiculous that certain people seem to be gatekeeping cinema but it refuses to accept that the way people consume media has changed. Why should it matter whether people watch films on a massive screen with a bunch of strangers or at home with their loved ones? Yes, I agree that going to the cinema is a joy but I’m also well aware that I haven’t really been to the cinema much since Covid. We also have to question why, if streaming services are ruining the film industry, so many famous directors are releasing films on it? Martin Scorsese, Bong Joon-ho and now Guillermo del Toro are just a few of the great filmmakers who are now Netflix official. If films should only be watched at a cinema then why are they so willing to take their money?
I picked this up on a whim when I was browsing the January sales. I hadn’t heard of it before and was probably only interested in the cover. Thankfully, it also sounded like exactly the kind of book that I enjoy reading. Although, I’ve never been a massive fan of short story collections. I always find that they’re too, for lack of a better term, short. I’m a greedy reader and want the chance to get to know a character first. Short stories give us too brief a glimpse into their worlds and they end just as I’m getting excited. Still, I was willing to give this a chance and I figured it would be a good read during a pretty busy time. It was good to be able to dip into a short story of two a night without worrying about keeping track of a longer narrative thread.
I’ve had the audiobook version of this book in my Audible library for quite a while but never felt like listening to it. I don’t find it easy to listen to myths when I’m working because I tend to lose track of who everyone is. Those Greeks had such similar names so I always worry that I’d get lost. It’s also much longer than my usual audiobooks, so it wouldn’t be something I could finish over the course of one day. Meaning I’d had to rely on my memory to remember what I’d just listened to. In my constant attempt to decrease my TBR, I decided it was time to listen to it. Over the last week, I’ve listened to it in between reading a physical book. I definitely think this was the best way to do it. That way I can take a break whenever things get a bit too weird or rapey. Although, thankfully, there isn’t as much in the follow-up to Mythos.
I absolutely fell in love with Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel Less. I constantly recommend it to friends and suggest it every month in my book club. I just believed that everyone should and would enjoy reading it. Okay, not everyone but a lot of people. It’s also my main piece of evidence to throw into the ring every time somebody says “Literary Fiction is just depressing and dark”. Less was anything but dark. It is the opposite of dark and I’ve been obsessed with ever since. So I was genuinely delighted that there was a sequel coming. I wanted to spend more time with Arthur Less and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to it in 2022 when it was released. Instead, I figured I would start the year off on a positive note and make it my first book of 2023. Would it be as good as the first book? Or would it be a tricky second album?