As I was focusing this month on writing more blog posts, I did not do as much reading in November as compared to October.
The Pearls of Lutra, The Long Patrol, Marlfox, and The Legend of Luke by Brian Jacques
I continued reading Brian Jacques’s Redwall books this month. I have mixed feelings about these books. On one hand, I love the detailed world that Jacques created in them: the world of Redwall has a lengthy history and rich geography, and each of the different groups of animals (mice, shrews, otters, moles, etc.) has its own distinct culture and dialect. But on the other hand, the stories themselves feel repetitive and I do not like how certain animals (rats, weasels, foxes, etc.) are always portrayed as evil, while the others are nearly always portrayed as good. I am determined to read the entire series, though, just because I like to complete things that way. My favourite of these four was probably The Legend of Luke, as I tend to find the books set earlier in Redwall’s history to be more interesting.
The Mammals of Canada by A.W.F. Banfield
The Birds of Canada by W. Earl Godfrey
These are a pair of reference books on Canada’s mammals and birds, originally published in the 1960’s and 70’s (I think new, updated editions have been published more recently). As I mentioned in my post on the books I read in October, I do collect field guides and related books, but I think these ones are excellent books for anyone interested in Canada’s wildlife. They are not overly technical and they contain a lot of interesting information, which makes them fairly good reading. The colour plates also contain some lovely illustrations. I found my copy of The Birds of Canada in the free box at a local used book sale. I felt surprised and a bit sad that someone thought that this book was not worth anything, but happy to find it, as I had been looking for it ever since I bought The Mammals of Canada earlier this year.
Elidor by Alan Garner
This is a fantasy novel about four siblings who accidentally stumble into the magical country of Elidor. Children going to a magical, alternate world to save it from some evil force is a common theme in fantasy, but in this book the visit to Elidor is over in the first few chapters, and the most interesting things happen after the children return home and Elidor’s power continues to make itself felt in the mundane world. Garner has a deceptively simple and spare writing style, with a focus on dialogue rather than description. He builds up a truly ominous atmosphere that is only partly relieved by the quick ending. Alan Garner’s books always make me feel that there is a lot more going on, just below the surface, than is apparent in a single reading, and I look forward to re-reading this one.
What good books did you read in November?