Books I read in May 2022

I started a couple of books and didn’t finish them so I only finished two books in May.

Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler

This is such an interesting book. The prediction of the chaos caused by climate change and other factors is pretty prescient, and there’s even a Trump-like US president. It’s also narrated by multiple narrators with different perspectives on events, which is interesting. My sympathies are still with Earthseed and Lauren Olamina, though I am not sure if I agree that humanity’s destiny is to travel to other worlds — if they are capable of supporting life, they’re probably already inhabited.

Precious Bane, by Mary Webb

Mary Webb was very rooted in Shropshire and this is reflected in all her books, with the use of Shropshire dialect and descriptions of the landscape. In this book, the main landscape feature is the enigmatic and atmospheric Sarn Mere, rumoured to be bottomless. This is a tale with unforgettable characters: Prue Sarn, who believes that she’s ugly. Her brother Gideon Sarn, who is driven by the urge to make money and get land. The Beguildy family, wrecked by getting entangled with Gideon. And Kester Woodseaves, the weaver, who is kind to animals and definitely a hottie. The book is a deep dive into the worldview of rural early nineteenth century England, with a local wizard or cunning man, a sin eater, and belief in witchcraft still existing.

Sarn Mere, Shropshire — Helen Garrett

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