Oh good, I just checked out Un Lun Dun. Gonna get on it once I finish this non-fic.
It's a chunky volume but it whistles along very quickly. I had to slow myself down deliberately so I could savour it.
Apart from recommendations and the subliminal effects of icons, how do you select your next reads?
I am quietly indulging myself by working through Philippa Gregory's Tudor series. Well paced, sumptuous or stark as necessary and enjoyable.
Sometimes I pick up on book reviews from the Economist or New Scientist and order from Amazon (if it's not towards the end of the month and hence my paycheck). I've also been making an effort to read things that are considered classics that I know I missed out on previously. I'd like to complete Zola's twenty-novel cycle of which the three listed above are a part eventually.
Wow! Good list! Something for everyone! I'll definitely get some of the recommendations off of this list...
It is a bit of a hodge-podge. I think I can break down the composition as follows:
- My core favourite authors
- My tendency to look up famous literary personages from the countries I visit
- Things the bloke liked that he leaves lying around for me to pick up
- Things my internet friends/work colleagues have burbled happily about
- Things that are available as cheap, lightweight paperbacks through Oxford/Wordsworth/Penguin Classics
2010-06-02 16:00 (UTC)
I'm happy to see other people liking Sharp Teeth. I thought that it was a really kick-ass little book that sadly wouldn't get enough press because: free verse and: fantastical, but it's like the love child of Neil Gaiman and Tim Powers.
My copy is currently on loan and I hope it stays that way for a while. I think it's pretty remarkable that he managed to get the pacing and plot development spot-on when writing in such a medium.
Gaskell seems to have that effect on people. Her novels are always better dramatized than read.
Thanks for the recommend on Burnt Shadows. It sounds more uplifting than Nella Larsen's Quicksand.
I'll have to give watching Cranford a go. I have to admit the same holds true for me with Jane Austen. Once I'd seen the BBC series of Pride and Prejudice, I found re-reading the book a much more pleasant experience than when I'd been forced into it in high school.
Your reading habits are so much more refined than mine. The most highbrow/refined my selections get these days is Neal Stephenson. Otherwise it's all really cheesy fantasy. Which is why I don't really blog about books. My usual excuse is that I use my brain all day and tend to want to curl up with something non-challenging at night, but that doesn't really fly in this particular company. :)
I think it might not be far off the mark to replace "refined" with "cheap", as a lot of classics cost £2 or less through various publisher's editions. :-P I have been making an effort to read more canon literature from various cultures over the past couple of years, and it's worked out pretty well. Some of them are not as hard going as I had feared - they wouldn't have become canon if they weren't enjoyable.
I think just about every Victorian novel makes me want to scream and tear lace off people's collars. In college I had to read House of Mirth, and some other Victorian period piece that I blocked out. I hated them both, not because of the writing, but because of the way women were portrayed as either pretty and useful (ie marriageable) or plain/ugly and useless (a drain on their fathers who must support their spinster daughters).
I recently read Stieg Larsson's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire". Waiting for paperback copy of "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest." A film version of the first novel was made in Swedish and now they're talking about making an American version. Can't wait to see what kind of hash they make out of it.
I much preferred The Age of Innocence to The House of Mirth because in the former, pretty much everybody behaves badly regardless of gender. It's easier to take.
The bloke's mum has gotten into the Stieg Larsson books. I'll borrow them from her the next time we visit.
Speaking of re-made Swedish things, have you watched the original version of the crime drama "Wallander"? I suspect you would like it. I'm not easily hooked on television serials, as they are too much of an emotional and a time commitment for me, but Wallander is proving to be an exception.
I was going to read Un Lun Dun after Dan, but he lost it on a plane. Will try and remember to get it from the library, or buy another copy at some point.
Have you seen the film version of Cold Comfort Farm? It's completely ridiculous, but fun.
Nope, it was the next China Mieville book I lost in Jeddah.
Un Lun Dun is somewhere or another.
PS. I loved the unbrellas.
At first I thought you were making a clever pun about having lost a book rather than Un Lun Dun. :-)
I haven't seen the film. I've heard good things about it from friends who like the book. Plus it's got Stephen Fry and Kate Beckinsale and that's a combination I've got to see, so it's in the Amazon cart now. Thank you!
that all looks really good!
*adds to growing list*
I'm glad you found it useful. I used to just keep lists of the books I've read but it's much more helpful just to write down a sentence or two so I don't entirely forget the flavour of them.
The China Mieville one sounds quite interesting. Is it very strange?
Oh no, not any more so than most children's fantasy. If you enjoyed The Phantom Tollbooth, I would say this is a good comparison.
His earlier work Perdido Street Station is kind of like the adult version of Un Lun Dun, but is a lot more bizarre.
I haven't read any of his books, but I've heard of them. I generally love children's fantasy books, so I might get that one some time. I like anything alternative London, generally, since I came to know Neverwhere!
Randomly, the phrase "children's fantasy" brought to mind a comment I saw from an author somewhere once. They said, "Kiddy-lit is something you put in the cat's litter tray. It's children's literature." So true!
Thank you for this. I started my 26th of the year today and am making note of a number of these for future reading.
I'm torn between posting my list early and annotated or saving it for the end of the year as usual. So far it's lots of reread, reread series, read others by author(s) of series, non fiction, and other comfort reading. Don't much expect that to change.
I didn't wait until the end of the year for two reasons. First, I figured 50+ is a lot of book reviews to absorb at once, even if they're short, and second, when I read over the list after adding Un Lun Dun, I realized I couldn't recall much about the first one. That was only going to get worse if I waited until the end of the year to write reviews. I imagine your comfort reading doesn't suffer from that problem!