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Book cover for Jo Walton's Farthing shows a blue swastika, within the swastika shape is a house with one window lit up

Jo Walton is the Judy Dench of SFF. She’s a beloved grande dame of the genre; an award winner with an impressive back list of titles, who is highly thought of by many prominent critics. I have read plenty of blog posts that extolled the virtues of her fiction over the years. So, of course, despite having three of her books in my house I have been studiously ignoring her work up until now. What makes us readers collect multiple books by an author but then shy away from actually reading them? How do we cure ourselves of this bookish sickness?

As we all know, the only way to go from being a collector to a reader is to ignore any irrational guilt about how long you’ve had one work or another and just dive in wherever you like. Sorry "Tooth and Claw", your luck is out. I love dragons, but the book I wanted to read the most was the one that promised me a policeman who was gay. Which leads me to this posy about "Farthing", the first book in Walton’s “Small Change” trilogy, which I wrote just days after turning the book's last page. Judging by the speed of my typing fingers this was a choice well made.

Spoilers for WWII and whodunnit )

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