27. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
I keep seeing this in charity shops and am not convinced as the blurb on the back makes it sound good but it's packaged in a really girly way, so when I saw it in the library I grabbed it.
I ended up loving it, and got through it really quickly. I'm still not sure how much of a guilty pleasure it is though. It has two time lines - on set in a stately home in 1914-1924 and the other in the present, with the one surviving person who was involved in a tragedy in 1924 telling the story of what really happened to her grandson. It's got lots of good gothic elements - the family decays, the house decays, there are several betrayals. The ghastliness of Edwardian society where appearances are more important than actual virtue is a big element.
28. Cosmonaut Keep by Ken Macleod
This months' bibliogoths selection. Takes a while to get going, but it did grow on me. It's really obvious that Macleod grew up with Ian Banks (and there's a good portion of Charles Stross in there for good measure, so what's not to love?). This is left-wing space opera that's a lot easier to read than most of the Culture stuff (see earlier review of my struggles with Matter
). Another one with two strands - a near-future dystopia set in Scotland, and a farther-future set on a different planet colonised by the characters in the first. With sentient reptilians, and the great minds of the galaxy are a squid-like species called the Kraken.
Even after I got into it, I didn't think I was all that impressed, but it was one the really impressed me on reflection afterwards. Also, as hirez
has reminded me, I need to read more books with Ideas in (and I'm not doing so well on the gargantuan non-fiction pile). So, today I took delivery of the other two volumes in the trilogy, and a newer Macleod novel, a near-future murder mystery, which could only appeal to me more if there was a supernatural element. After some reading on Wikipedia I was sorely tempted by his Star Faction series but purchasing 7 books by the same author at once would have been excessive, even by my standards.
29. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Largely the same idea as The House at Riverton
, but even better. It's more complex (three time lines instead of two) and the mystery is more mysterious, and the characters in the past timeline even more like something out of a 19th century gothic novel.
Still not convinced this isn't chewing gum for the mind - there are themes and ideas and stuff in there, but any 650-page book I can read in 3 days when I'm not in bed sick just can't be that substantial!
30. Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
Young adult urban fantasy set in an alternate reality London (and the real thing). Up to now I've worshipped at the altar of China, even though Iron Council is really, really heavy going, but I'm afraid the jury is still out on this. The bits where he describes the strageness, and colourfulness of Un Lun Dun reminded me just a little too much of Clive Barker's Abarat, and parts of it really dragged. There were concepts that struck me alternately as hilarious and stupid, depending on my mood (the binja - nina garbage cans being the main one), though the career of Extreme Librarian is too good to be true. He does get some points for subversion  of the epic quest genre.
 I don't think I mean subversion - something similar, but I've lost the word. Damn cognitive blips.