Every new Culture novel by Iain M. Banks is welcomed by a whoop and I like to read them as soon as possible. Hugely enjoyable, so fabulously imagined, just a great little bit of escapism – although they tend to be quite heavy (physically) so perhaps ‘little’ not the best word to describe them. Having purchased The Hydrogen Sonata a couple of months ago, I’ve finally read it. This is the best bit of Christmas holidays – the amount of time I have for making friends with sofa, blanket and books.
The book, by the way, was very enjoyable and well imagined, funny too in places, just not quite as fabulous as some of the others. I do love it when Culture novels heavily feature ship Minds, which The Hydrogen Sonata did, just thought perhaps the story was a tiny bit weak. Not a disappointment by any means, just not one of the best. Have also realised that I’ve never read Use of Weapons, which seems to be a favourite with many Banks Culture lovers so have got that too. Won’t be reading it straight away though as ‘pile of shame’ of unread books has grown quite a bit with some lovely Christmas presents.
The other book I’ve also just finished but not posting separately is Niall Ferguson’s Colossus about America and (un)imperialism. Had it for ages (‘pile of shame’) and it bore some relevance to the course I’m doing at the moment so I thought I might as well read it. It was pretty good too.