One of the great things about being the LabLit Guru™ is that I am constantly receiving interesting books to look over.
A stack of lab lit, yesterday – plus an intriguing hanger-on there at the bottom
One of the not-so-great things is that (A) I am always desperately behind on my reading, and (B) it doesn’t leave me time to read anything else except novels with scientists in them. (I think the last non-science-y novel I read was Gone Girl back on summer holiday two years ago.)
Still, there’s nothing that makes me happier than a stack of books. And I’d like to direct your attention to the third-from-top volume: A Box of Birds by Charles Fernyhough. I am delighted that Charles has agreed to be our guest at the next Fiction Lab – my monthly lab lit book group at London’s Royal Institution.
Charles is a brilliant writer and a fascinating person. I first met him a few years back when I was researching my third novel and wanted to understand a little bit about what it ‘sounds’ like when people experience auditory hallucinations. This being London, you can find an expert on absolutely anything within just a few city blocks, and so it was that we ended up in a coffee shop in Farringdon talking about all sorts. Charles is a Professor of Psychology at Durham University, a novelist, a popular science writer, a broadcaster and a whole host of other things too. To whit, I picked up my copy of the novel from him last month at the Wellcome Trust Collection, where he is (enviably) part of the first group of Residents in the Hub.
I enjoyed his first (non-lab lit) novel The Auctioneer immensely, and am still haunted by some of its images. So the prospect of reading his latest is exciting – because I can already tell it’s hard-core lab lit from the opening paragraph:
As intrigued as I am? Then do read the book and come along to meet Charles and discuss Box of Birds on 13 April at 7 PM. It’s free, and all are welcome.