So I’ve bought a couple of new books. I was in Odense yesterday and there’s an all right bookstore so I of course had to go – and I was determined to buy something. So even though there wasn’t any of the books I’m really itching to get my hands on, they still have a couple of all right books that I would have bought sooner or later anyway.
Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors and I love the Unseen University and the wizards. So of course it was only a matter of time before I bought Unseen Academicals (Discworld # 37). This is Pratchett’s football novel and it came out around the time of the World Championships in South Africa. Of course, Pratchett’s take on football is quite different from … well, from anybody else’s really so there’s no way this isn’t going to be very funny.
About the book:
Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork – not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they’re in the mood for trying everything else.
The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt (and no one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too). As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed for ever.
Because the thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football.
Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!
The second book I got was one, I’ve heard both very good things about – but also very bad. Deborah Harkness is a professor of history and A Discovery of Witches is her first novel. I hope it’s an intelligent take on the vampire genre and that she has written an exciting novel about witches, amperes, daemons, love – and academia. This is the first novel in the All Souls Trilogy – vol. 2 (Shadow of Night) should be out this summer.
About the book:
When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.
Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.
- Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett – Book review by Harry Ritchie for the Guardian
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – Book review by Jenny Turner for the Guardian