When British Jenny stayed with us back in November, she gave us a copy of Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair as a thank you present. I'm a little embarrassed to say it took me about six months to get around to actually reading it, but once I did, I was quickly charmed by Fforde's amusing narrative. The Eyre Affair is the first in his "Thursday Next" series, about a literary detective named (duh) Thursday Next who investigates things like Shakespeare forgeries and pirated copies of novels with alternate endings. She ends up fighting a supernatural villain and chasing him into Jane Eyre through a crazy invention of her uncle's called a Prose Portal. It sounds very bizarre but it's all quite funny and enjoyable to read.
Before I'd even finished The Eyre Affair, I picked up another by Fforde, Shades of Grey, on audiobook for us to listen to on our drive to Ohio back in June. This one's not part of the Thursday Next series and is about a world in which humans have evolved highly specific color vision. No one can perceive all the colors in the visible spectrum, and of course there is a social hierarchy built upon what one can and cannot see. Click through the link for a better summary than I can provide and take my word that it's another entertaining read.
Tom's read through Book 6 of the Thursday Next series and both of Fforde's "Nursery Crimes" books as well, but so far I'm straggling behind and have only finished Lost in a Good Book and The Well of Lost Plots. The story kind of goes off the rails at the end of Lost in a Good Book and transitions almost entirely into BookWorld. I don't mean off the rails in a bad way, but it definitely veers away from "bizarro alternate universe" and over to "straight-up fantasy world." Entertaining though. I'm taking a short break to read some nonfiction (and I also blazed my way through Wool in 4 days), but then I'll be back to see what's next for Next.