Lethal White is the fourth Cormoran Strike novel and it begins with Cormoran being visited by a mentally ill young man named Billy who tells him about a murder he believes he witnessed as a child. Before Strike can get into the specifics, Billy flees the office and sends Strike, and his partner Robin Ellacott, on a mission to satisfy his own need to make sure that Billy is okay and that no one is getting away with murder. The tale weaves in and out of London. It ends up at protests (it is set before the London Olympics) and in the Houses of Parliament. It reintroduces characters from Strike’s past. The mystery, in the end, felt a little forced. Or, maybe that Strike just can’t let some things go felt forces. I don’t know. I didn’t love this. In fact, now that it has tied up some story lines relating to Robin and her partner Matthew, I may be done with this book series. We’ll see. I do still very much like both Robin and Cormoran. If you really loved the previous books, I say give this one a go, but if you were only so-so on them, I’d say pick something up you are more interested in.
Last year, completely by accident, I discovered that small presses sometimes offer subscriptions. What better way to support books, publishing and literacy? You buy a subscription and they send books as soon as they come out! Amazing!
So, I did some googling around and here are three small presses who offer subscriptions.
Sibling Rivalry Press is a publisher of poetry. They are a publisher devoted to “[promoting] underground artistic talent – those who don’t quite fit into the mainstream.” I’ve not read anywhere near enough of this year’s subscription, but everything I’ve read I’ve really enjoyed.
Above/ground press seems to have their fingers in a lot of different publishing pies. (That’s exciting if you, like me, like to read around.) Their subscription includes a number of different types of things (chapbooks and broadsheets and who knows what else?) It seems pretty cool.
Burrow Press‘s subscription includes their physical books, ebooks and a membership pin. There are four titles listed at the link that are slated to come out in 2017 and who knows what else will be added?
The only one that I have subscribed to before was Sibling Rivalry and that was delightful. The other two look pretty good as well. Have you done a subscription to a small press before? Did you like it? Do you have any subscription suggestions for us? Take to the comments and let us know!
Everyone, I have a confession to make. I don’t think I like Margaret Atwood’s writing. (Although, I’ve been told I’ve only read the meh ones). I’ve read Oryx and Crake and The Penelopiad and now the(I think I may have also read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school but I don’t remember how it ends so I’m not counting it.) And, I’ve not been super enthused about any of them.
The Blind Assassin seems to be going for a certain kind of style and I think it succeeds. So, I can recognize that it is technically a good piece of writing. But, the main narrative which was focused on the lives of two sisters, did not keep my interest at all. The story is told by Iris, an old woman recounting her life in letters. She tells the story of her childhood as the daughter of button magnate in Ontario. World War I happens. The business booms. the depression happens. The business fails. She and her sister fall in love with a communist or anarchist or writer or artist. Iris marries another manufacturing giant to help the family stay afloat. Her sister Laura publishes a book called The Blind Assassin that becomes a huge scandal and therefore a huge hit.
The sub-plot (sub-story?) about the Blind Assassin was awesome. I wanted to read the Blind Assassin. More of that, please. But, the main narrative itself…well, I could see where it was going and I wasn’t interested enough to be excited that as the plot revealed itself and I was right in my guesses.
So, there you have it. I feel like I should have loved this. And, I didn’t. It wasn’t terrible. But, it also wasn’t life-changing. I don’t recommend it but I also don’t not recommend it.