Friday, December 4, 2015

Books of the Year - John Howard

John Howard, our Camera Obscura columnist, and author of Touchstones, Essays on the Fantastic, writes:

This is a selection of the books I encountered during 2015, and which I particularly enjoyed.

The Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen
Fiction and reality flow together in a constantly entertaining and compulsively readable outpouring of self-examination and satire built upon a foundation of human virtues and humane values – and the necessity always to nurture and stand up for them.

The Aegypt Cycle by John Crowley
In the four novels of the Aegypt Cycle – Aegypt (later retitled The Solitudes), Love & Sleep, Daemonomania, and Endless Things – a historian slowly becomes aware of the world’s possible secret history, hinted at in multiple interlocking narratives.

Soliloquy for Pan
edited by Mark Beech
This is an anthology of new and reprint stories, poems, and essays ‘in praise, in awe, in fear of the great god’.

The Confidential Papers of Admiral Horthy

These documents provide a glimpse behind the scenes of the government of Miklós Horthy, Regent of Hungary between 1920 and 1944.

The Magus by John Fowles
An evocative novel where nothing and no-one is as it seems. Unreliable witnesses form a queue here!

Julian by Gore Vidal
During the two years Julian was Roman Emperor (361-63) he tried to put the clock back with his restoration of paganism and promotion of classical virtues. Vidal’s novel is a witty and sympathetic look at the life of the man since known as ‘the Apostate’.

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