Following the events of The Eyre Affair, Thursday Next is happily married and content with life in her alternate 1986; far to happy to last. When the Goliath corporation eradicates her husband from history, Thursday is thrust once again into a whirlwind of grand scheme conspiracies, time- and interdimentional travel, literary crime and cheese.
Fforde's strenght lies in his ability to portray a bizarre and alien world realistically. Thursday's universe has rules, and follows them; time travel may be possible, but there are certain ways of doing it; the United Kingdom has a rather different history and culture, but this is explained in a satisfactory manner, and so on. In this, the second novel of the series, more of the action takes place within an even more improbably subsection of this universe, that of Jurisfiction, the entity that polices books from the inside, yet the plot does not degenerate into outright silliness. This is to Fforde's credit. The Eyre Affair remains my favorite in this series, if nothing else because Jane Eyre is one of my absolute favorite novels.
#2 Last Chance to See - Mark Carwardine
This is the much anticipated sequel, or rather follow-up, to Mark Carwardine and Douglas Adams's book of the same name. In 2009, Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine followed in Adams's and Carwardine's footsteps, visiting some of the world's most endangered animals. I was at first disappointed to see that Carwardine was the author rather than Fry, as I very much enjoyed Adams's novel, and was hoping for a similar treatment of the material, which I was sure Fry would have provided. I need not have worried. Carwardine is a funny, observant writer, and his knowledge of the subject matter only enhances the text. Furthermore, his gentle scrutiny of Stephen Fry is just as penetrating and interesting as his descriptions of the animals. Fry and Carwardine meet with, among others, the Amazonian manatee, the Northern white rhino, the aye-aye, the Komodo dragon, the kakapo and the blue whale. An excellent - and important - read!