Alice and the Fly by James Rice book cover
May was a really exciting month for me, as it turned out. Not only was my novel released in hardback – which goes a long way to making me feel like an almost-proper author – but it was also reviewed in The Lancet: Psychiatry, which was a lovely surprise (discovered, admittedly, while googling myself). Not only this, but I also got to conduct an interview with world-famous psychologist Philip Zimbardo and really dig into his new book Man (Dis)connected, which deals with so many of the same issues my own novel deals with. All that kept me pretty well on my toes, and I’ve been giving out interviews left, right, and centre (ok, a couple – some of which may have been self-conducted in front of a mirror), myself to help my hardback into the world. So reviews have rather got lost in all of that, although I did manage to write something on Pig Tales a couple of days ago, which is a really interesting novel so if you’ve read the book, do let me know what you thought.

While reviewing has been a bit on the slow side, I’ve still found plenty of time to read so there are reviews locked and loaded in the old brainbox ready to spill out over this here blog when I get a chance to write them up. So, let’s see, I’ve got The Establishment, Far From the Madding Crowd, and Mansfield Park wanting reviews. I expect I’ll be able to wring a few thoughts on those out of my bonce-top before the month is out. In terms of new reads, there’s one I’ve been waiting for from my local library for a while: Alice and the Fly. Here’ the blurb:

This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It's about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it's about love. Finding love - in any of its forms - and nurturing it.

Sounds quite good, right? For fans of The Curious Incident… apparently (which, if you read my recent review of Mark Haddon’s novel, you’ll know I am one). And isn’t the cover lovely – there it is at the top of this post? You can’t see all the details, admittedly, but I like it.

I’m also reading some poncy rumination on love by Alain Badiou (In Praise of Love), which, at all of about one hundred tiny pages long, is a conversational (literally an edited transcription of an interview) in which Badiou (which I am needlessly pronouncing Bad-I.O.U in my head) rambles on about love and all sorts of philosophers thoughts on it. I’m not sure if it’s succinctly profound or just a bit vacuous at the moment, but he does throw in some good quotes from others so I’m running with it for now.

I keep dipping in and out of books by Camus and Hamsun, too, and I have a stack of non-fiction that want reading at some point soon-ish. Ahh, what’s a bibliophile to do?

Time for sun, books, and a Pimms-shaped pitcher of regrets…

p.s. Holiday reads for 2015 – what are we reading, trendy wendys?

Notable Posts from May
Review: Man (Dis)connected by Philip Zimbardo & Nikita Coulombe
Interview: Philip Zimbardo
Review: Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq