What is the Library Bizarre?

As the years soldier on and new works of fiction get released in ever-increasing numbers, even more slowly fade out of common memory. They drift endlessly in a half-remembered state, perhaps occasionally referenced but not within the public consciousness as they had been decades before. Such is the limbo of old, forgotten books; one step away from total obscurity, they await oblivion.

But they still exist. On shelves in second-hand book stores and charity shops, packed away within dusty boxes in the loft or buried in the back of that old wardrobe you’ve been meaning to clear out but haven’t yet got around to. The internet records their being but a book is there to be read. Portals to other worlds fantastical and peculiar, the only true way to keep a book’s memory alive is to read it.

Greetings, reader. I am Kikoskia, the custodian of the Library Bizarre and I welcome you my small corner of the internet. It is here that I shall be reading works of fantasy and science fiction, old and half-forgotten. Picked from a short-list selected by you, I shall be providing my feedback on each book; if they’re good or bad, what I liked or disliked about it and if it I will be retaining it within my collection or returning it into circulation. I will be going into each book with an open mind and little knowledge of what’s to come, a fair chance given for them to capture my attention and imagination.

Draw up a comfy chair and settle down, reader. It is time to peruse the shelves of the Library Bizarre.

How will it work?

Books for selection will be collated into groups of four, two fantasy and two science fiction where possible. A picture of the cover and the blurb will be provided for each and nothing else; I will not be doing any research into the four choices save if they won any awards and only when that book is picked for reading. If one of the selections is part of a series I will try my best to read the first book in that series.

A poll will be created to determine which book gets read first out of the four. After that book is read the choice will then be one of the remaining three, then between the final two before there is no choice and I read the last. After that, a new collation of four books will be compiled and the process will start again.

I will be reading each selection in full from start to finish, then writing a review to post here on this blog. My review about each book will go into the following:

  • Where I found the book
  • If it won any awards when published or afterwards
  • The general plot, theme and tone of the book
  • What I thought of the book’s method of delivering it’s of narrative
  • What I thought of the protagonists, villains (if any) and any other characters of note
  • Things within the book I especially liked or disliked
  • What I thought of the book in general

This list of bullet points is not exhaustive and may be altered as time goes on.

At the end of each review, I will be deciding if I liked the book enough to keep and if I’d encourage others to read it. If it’s part of a series, I will decided if the book makes me want to read the next one; if so, it will be a future selection when I can get hold of it. Any books that I decide not to keep will be put back into circulation for another to get, donated to a charity shop.