It’s Bonfire Night, so bonfire books are required. I’m avoiding some obviously related to 5th November and going for books with a general autumnal feel or some other relevance. Here are a few books to curl up with for the next few days, with a mug of lapsang souchong or a toffee apple cider (not at all exactly what I had tonight to celebrate bonfire night):
- The Devil’s Charter by Barnabe Barnes – I’m starting with an early seventeenth century play for the Gunpowder Plot/James I theme, but this one also has fireworks and devils, to make it even more relevant. The Devil’s Charter is the TV series The Borgias for the early modern audience, with plenty of soul selling and special effects. Plus the plot revolves around wording disputes with the devil.
- Night Watch by Sarah Waters – This book has no connection to Bonfire Night, but has an overall autumnal feel, smoke in the air and people hiding their sadness under layers of coats. It is fantastic to sit and read on a cold afternoon wearing jumpers and drinking tea as the light fades and you sink into melancholy over Waters’ wonderful characters.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – Again, no obvious connection, but the world of Regency magic that Clarke creates has an autumnal feel, partly set in Yorkshire countryside. The swirling smoke of magic and London contributes to the mystery and as a huge slab of a book, a perfect investment for long evening reading.
- Inferno by Dante – Maybe hellfire is a bit obvious, but what better to consider as the nights draw in as the ways you can burn in Hell?