One of the reasons I’ve been quieter here, despite reading like mad is the number of books I’ve been reading and reviewing for the next issue(s) of Shiny New Books, and Issue 12 is published today!
I’ve reviewed an eclectic mix of books for this issue, and would like to highlight the two non-fiction titles to you today:
This is no normal biography – it’s Morley’s own outpouring, an account of his life with Bowie as much as it is a history of the man and his many faces and influences.
It’s an appreciation too, Morley’s vision of Bowie’s ever-changing mind rather than sticking purely to the facts – something that many readers posting their ratings on a certain website don’t quite get, but Morley is completely upfront about this.
This book has its faults, it’s a little rushed and repetitive in places, but in others it is beautiful, although Morley’s style won’t be to everyone’s taste.
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Marcus Sedgwick is one of my favourite authors. He’s prolific, writing books for all ages as well as making forays into illustration and graphic novels. (I reviewed his novel The Ghosts of Heaven for Shiny here.)
One thing that many of Sedgwick’s novels have in common is northern snowy climes. From his fictionalised tale of Arthur Ransome’s adventures in Russia in Blood Red, Snow White to the Arctic gold rush in thriller Revolver – (reviewed here and here respectively at my old blog) – both wonderful novels by the way. Sedgwick travelled to these locations to do his research and started to become obsessed by snow.
Then he moved from UK fenland to a chalet in the Haute-Savoie, on the edge of the French alps and has adapted his life to living with snow for months of the year. This new life forms the frame around which he builds the six chapters of this book which look at sayings, art, myths and legends, literature, exploration and science of the cold white stuff – one for each side of a snowflake. This is a wonderful little book which should be on your Christmas wishlist!