Wednesday, 31 December 2008
1. Gone with the Wind, Mitchell
2. East of Eden, Steinbeck
3. The Gargoyle, Davidson
4. Roots, Haley
In 2009 I seem to have gone a little mad with the challenges but I enjoy being able to discover new books and I've also managed to add mainly books from mount tbr to my challenge pools. I will be coming on here less to browse, as I find I can easily waste an hour and a half when I should be doing something productive. But when I do come on I hope to write better posts and comment more on peoples blogs (I've deleted loads of blogs from Googlereader who I just skim).
I'm also hoping to tackle more non-fiction to stretch my brain a bit further.
Plans for January - as well as getting back to the gym (3 weeks away now! all that hard work will have gone to waste). I'm planning on reading:
finishing American Gods, Gaiman
finishing The Tales of the Beedle and the Bard, Rowling
The Northern Clemency, Hensher
The Hive, Camilo Jose Cela
Blood River, Butcher
Family Maters, Mistry
When We Were Orphans, Ishiguro
Fugitive Pieces, Micheals
The House of Spirits, Allende
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Wanda becomes engrossed in Melanie's memories, falling into love with her boyfriend and caring deeply about her brother. But she has to fight for acceptance from other humans, some give it easily - a little too easily - and others will never drop their guard around her. She also has to battle with fellings and emotions she never expected or had ever experienced before. Huge questions are asked about what it means to be human and about love.
This book is sold as Meyer's first adult novel, but I couldn't see that it was anymore adult than Twilight was, and I can't see many non YA reading adults reading this.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Well that's Christmas over for another year. I had a good, but very quiet one. Ate too much and received many presents. Book wise, I got 6 new books, as seen above. The one not pictured is called The Book of Words by Tim Glynne-Jones. I have read a few tales from The Beedle and the Bard (ok so far) and I'm 200 pages into American Gods (Fantastic so far).
Mister Pip ,Lloyd Jones (Australia)
The Plague, Camus (Algeria)
Moon Tiger, Lively (Eygpt)
Persian Brides, Rabinyan (Persia)
Peony in Love, Lisa See (China)
The Devil and Miss Prym, Coehlo (South America)
Microserfs, Coupland (Canada)
The Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guvara (Peru)
Peony in Love and Mister Pip are probably my favorites, and Moon Tiger is certainly the most disliked.
1.) What did you like about the challenge?
I enjoyed the opportunity to read books from a wider range of countries and also to read some great reviews making me add to my amazon wishlist!
2.) What would you like to see change for next year?
I didn't see any problems with last years challenge, maybe a mini challenge to make us go and look at other people who are participatings reviews - something I tend not to do with challenges that use a Mister Linky rather than a challenge page.
3.) About the rules, or the non-existent rules...did you like that?
It was nice and simple, ideal.
4.) Are you going to join us next year?
Yes, I'm already participating in several challenges making me read books from different countries, but I'll be joining yours too.
5.) Pretty please give me any suggestions for changes, the betterment of the challenge, or just anything that you would like to see changed for next year.
Only, as I said above for questions 2
6.) Would you like the challenge to be more involved? What if we read books together sometimes? Would that interest you?
That would be good, or we could all read a book from one country or continent during one month
7.) would you be interested in helping somehow next year? How would you like to help?
I wouldn't mind hosting a mini challenge, possibly likned to short stories.
Monday, 22 December 2008
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Last week was hectic, end of school, work dinner and just being worn out as its he end of a very long school term, I read 'Passing' by Nella Larson and All the Pretty Horses. But this week I'll be able to read lots more. I'm starting The Host by Stephanie Meyer and I have either N orthern Clemency or The Court in the Air to take home for the holidays, I will also definately read The Beadle and the Bard, as I know for definite Santa has got me it - my mum ordered my Christmas books whilst Amaon was logged into my account! Doh!
I get to spend 4 days relaxing and enjoying my time off then I have a week off but that will need to be spent getting marking and planning done, turning a year older (yuck!) and working in a bar New Years Eve.
Saturday, 20 December 2008
This is my list, as usual it is subject to change:
George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin (Barbados)
Michelle Cliff, Abeng (Jamacia)
Naipaul, Migel Street (Trinidad and Tobago)
Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Diaz (Dominica)
Christina Garcia, The Agüero sisters (Cuba)
Grace Nichols, Whole of a Moring Sky(Guyanu)
Sunday, 14 December 2008
The Pillow Book by Shonogan
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, Mishma
Just a quick note to say you should check out this story - The Parade of You, by Barth Anderson, it's a very perculiar story about a death ritual but beautifully written.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Another Challenge!!! My Year of Reading Dangerously 2009
Your job: Read 12 books you deem "dangerous." between January 1st and December 31st 2009. They may be banned or challenged books, new-to-you genres, books that seem to inhabit a permanent space on your stacks, or authors you're afraid of. The possibilities are endless! If it's dangerous to you, it's challenge-worthy to us!
My Pool: I'll read some of these and probably discover other books as I read throughout the year.
War and Peace
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
A Passage to India by EM Forester
Night, Dawn, and Day by Elie Wiesel
Inferno, by DanteBeasts, by Joyce Carol Oates
Man in the Dark, by Paul Auster
American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
The End of America, by Naomi Wolf
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Maus I and II, by Art Spiegelman
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
Moll Flander's - Defoe (Banned)
Fahrenheit 451 - Bradbury (Banned)
Brave New World - Huxley (Banned)
Cry, the Beloved Country (Banned)
The House of Spirits, Allende
My thoughts: Hardboiled/Hardluck by Banana Yoshimoto
I polished off these two novell this weekend. Hardboiled is a strange mystical story about a Japanese woman on a walking trip, everything seems to be fine untill she comes across a shrine, an area with a funny feel to it. The day continues with many strange occurances including fires and ghosts. Very simply told, an easy way to pass an hour but not overly exciting.
Hardluck this was the better of the two, only around 50 pages in length it tells the tale of a young woman waiting for her sister - who has been labelled 'braindead' to die. During this tiem she mets a man, a man she knows ahe would love if only she had met him at another time.
Japanese Literature Challenge book 2/3
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
The World Citizen Challenge
I've signed up to read at least 3 books. I have a few on my TBR pile to consider:
Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart, Tim Butcher
The Trouble With Tigers: The Rise and Fall of South-East Asia
Plus I'd like to read some history, I'm quite interested in Colonialisation and Slavery, or some books about Religion and Cultures - particuarly the treatment of women in other cultures.
2009 Young Adult Book Challenge
12 YA books. I've done this before and never struggled with it. I have several on my TBR pile I'd like to read including: the rest of the Twilight series,
the Scot Westerfeld books,
And then I'll probably read some of the Carnegie nominees
Dewey's Books Reading Challenge
1. Pick one book from each of the 6 years that Dewey has archives of. You can
access her archives by clicking on the archive link in the sidebar of her website. It’s a dropdown menu. For
instance, you would read one book that she reviewed in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, and 2008 for a total of six books.
I've linked each of the books to her review
2003: Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
2004: The Inner Circle by T.C Boyle
2005: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
2006: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
2007: The God of War by Marisa Silver
2008: After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Indonesia: Maybe Not Yem, Etik Juwita
This morning I read:
'The Gold Cadillac' by Mildred Taylor
This 1950's story starts with a father returning home with a new Cadillac, gold in colour, gold insides the full works, a car that everyone stops and stares at. But the problem is he is black, in Ohio where he lives thats fine, but when he wants to travel down to Mississippi it's like "putting a loaded gun" to his head.
"A Stench of Kerosene" by Amrita Pritam
What starts of as a happy story, a story of a seemingly independent, confident girl in 1950s India changes drastically when her husband is given a new bride, as his first bride hasn't produced any children.
I need to finish one challenge by the end of December, and really need to get my butt into gear to start working on my challenges that I have already signed up for to finish mid 2009, as I have signed up for a huge amount in 2009. I'm not hugely disappointed if I don't complete challenges, it's about trying to make myself dive into mount tbr, and finding new discoveries from other peoples reviews. I will also be joining Eva's World Citizen challenge, as I feel I know so little about the world, even about England. I lack knowledge of politics, history, culture and religion - the little I do know is stuff I had to research as it related to a novel I studied.
As for this weeks reading, I'm planning on finishing Choke by Chuck Palahniuk and the last few chapters of East of Eden. I will be swamped with exam marking for most of the time, I'm trying to get it all finished so me Xmas holidays can be spent studying and planning for teaching Lord of the Flies - I'm trying to make the lessons very hands on, and introduce lots of theories, real life links and politics as they are high ability kids. I had them studying politics in relation to the film V for Vendetta this term, and seem to have brought about some radical ideas, and quite a lot of ideas and thoughts about why some terrorists strike - not sure how well it will go down with the parents!
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
The premise of this book is simply about a female driver, driving the roads of Scotland in search of muscley hitchhikers to pick up. As the chapters progress we discover that her constant searches for hitchhikers are for hidden purposes and she has a hidden agenda. Which I won't reveal here as it would spoil the book for future readers.
I have really enjoyed Faber's other work, The Farenheit Twins and The Crimson Petal and the White, but always ignored this one as the cover just put me off. But I'm really glad that it was lent to me. As well as gradually revealing what is hyappening as the novel progresses Faber is also writing his his Animal Farm style political comment imbedded beneath the surface of the story.
A must read.
Monday, 17 November 2008
I'm torn between picking Contemporary Classics or Move 'em Along (Bookcrossing Books) both of which I have plenty of unread options for. Hopefully by February I will have picked.
Sunday, 16 November 2008
The Little Black Book of Stories, Byatt
Fragile Things, Gaiman
Mystery Stories of the Nineteenth Century, ed. Robert Etty
Friday, 14 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?
If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?
I'm a bit all over the place. Nowadays new books coming into my house tend to come via bookcrossing - a good way to read books for the price of a few stamps, and also a good way to save trees.
I do use the library but tend to do so sporadically, and I find when I'm in there I grab stacks, which then sit around for months waiting to be read and are often returned unread. I think because I'm not paying for them I tend to take stuff I'm not sure of, or let it linger because I have book rings to fulfill first. I also find a lot of the books I want at the library I have to order in advance, it's when I go to pick these up I end up picking up a few that I notice on he shelves.
My book buying habit is improving all the time. I once only brought books and they had to be brand new, now I tend to buy in second-hand stores, library sales (10 paperbacks for £1), and in the privately owned section of Amazon. As these books are cheap I'm not discerning about what I buy and I know that when read they will get moved out of the house via bookcrossing.
I now try to only go into the bookshop when I have money to spend, or I am buying for a gift. I like buying books that are part of a series so I have the whole set, books from certain authors that I love or are classics I know I will reread. Having said that I sometimes get this terrible itch where I just have to spend some money - whether or books, clothes or shoes - then its the pretty covers and the 3 for 2 offers that kill me.
Ans just to say that I hate that supermarkets now sell books, they are usually half the normal price and you just end up chucking them in the trolley as you wander past, not really thinking about the 400 unread books you have at home already.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I've been meaning to read this for years and years and disgracefully only just got around to it, but at least I got there. This was my first read for Dewey's Martel Harper Challenge.
I knew the basic concept of this book, a guy wakes up one morning transformed into a bug, but I never realised how drawn in I'd get. As the novella progresses we watch the way his family reacts to his transformation - moving from fear through to contempt. And we watch his reaction, his loneliness and abandonment.
Definately a book everyone should checkout.
The Martel- Harper Challenge is to read the books that Yann Martel sends to the Canadian president Stephen Harper, here is a copy of the letter Martel sent along with the book
Olympic Challenge 2012
Despite not having read much i had 6 books arrive in the house this week, 4 of them are bookrings which need to be finished in the next 4 weeks
My list of possibilities:
My Revolutions, by Hari Kunzru (from 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Books)
The Calling, by Inger Ash Wolfe (from 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Books)
The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, by Asne Seierstad (from 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Books)
Bog Child, by Siobhan Dowd (from 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Books)
A Long way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah (International Reading Association 2008)
The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon (ALA Notable Book List 2008)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (ALA Notable Book List 2008)
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story, by Diane Ackerman (ALA Notable Book List 2008)
My South Seas Sleeping Beauty by Guixing Zhang (Kiriyama Prize Notable Book List 2008)
Monday, 3 November 2008
For an extra challenge try and finish your list by 09.09.09
The Library group is here and they have their own blog for reviews here
1. Award Winners
- Wild Swans, Chang
- A Suitable Boy, Seth
- Cold Mountain, Frazier
- Small Island, Levy
-Fugitive Pieces, Micheals*
- Tamar, Peet
- The White Tiger,
- Sunshine, McKinley
- The Sea, Banville
- Family Matters, Mistry
- Spring Flowers, Spring Frost, Kadare
- Blonde, Oates
- Jack Maggs, Carey
- Fugitive Pieces, Micheals*
- Alias Grace, Atwood *
3. TBR pile
- A Suitable Boy, Seth *
- Big Sur, Kerouac
- The Peacock Throne
- Sophie's World
- Bel Canto, Patchett
4. Fantasy/Fairy/Folk tales (originals or rewrites)
- Beauty, McKinley
- The Ladies of Grace Adieu
- The Princess Bride, Goldman
- The Complete Chronicles of Narnia
- American Gods, Gaiman
- Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland
- Blood River, Butcher
- Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia, Chris Stewart
- My Booky Wooky, Brand
- History of Modern Britain, Marr
- Himilayas, Palin
- New Europe, Palin
6. African reads
- Blood River, Butcher*
- Caliban Shore, Taylor
- Bitter Fruit, Dangor
- Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton
7. Margaret Atwood
- Alias Grace, Atwood
8. I've always been meaning to read
- The House of Spirits, Allende
- Canary Road, Steinbeck
- Love in a Time of Cholera, Marquez
- Nights at the Circus, Carter
- The Brothers Karamazov (LT group read)
- War and Peace
- Fellowship of the Ring
- The Two Towers
- The Return of the King
9. New Fiction
- The White Tiger
- The Northern Clemency, Heshner
- A Fraction of a Whole, Toltz
- The Clothes on Their Back
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Exceptionally simple instructions!
1. Browse through the previous Weekly Geeks posts.
2. Decide what you’d like to repeat.
3. Do it!
4. When you finish, come sign the Mr Linky with the url to your specific post, not just your general blog url.
5. Don’t forget to check out what other Weekly Geeks chose.
Becky is also asking for questions about her up and coming reads
have a food name in the title
Thursday, 30 October 2008
This was the last book I had to read for the 2008 Man Booker Challenge, this year I read:
2. The Famished Road (winner)
3. Sour Sweet (Short listed 1982)
4. Moon Tiger (winner 1986)
5. Mister Pip (Short listed 2007)
6. The Orchard on Fire (Short listed 1996)
Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in
pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers
bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?
I used to bend the corners of pages to make my place, but I have gotten myself out of that habit, however I do leave them open face down. The spines do get broken, and occasionally pages have a gorgeous quote underlined or starred. I tend to only write notes around poetry.
I believe books are there to be enjoyed, they are not items in a museum. I used to know a guy who barely opened the book to read it as he wanted it to look pristine when he had finished with it, he always looked uncomfortable as he read.
As most of the books I read are second hand, or come from bookcrossing, they have already been read so its not a problem what condition they arrive in.
What makes me annoyed is when the kids at school bend the cover all the way around, its not their book and is just likely to make it break or pages fall out so other people can't enjoy it in the future. And when they write rude words or pictures in it - then they know they are in trouble!
P.S I have a challenge running till Dec 09 based on the BTT question from a couple of weeks ago, about books that have been sitting on your shelf for ages waiting to be read. Thr Rescue Challenge is to save those poor books from being ignored any longer, details can be found here
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
As I have a week off I'm planning to attack my reading piles and especially my reading challenges. I have to finish The Gargoyle and Out, both of which are extras for Carl's RIP III challenge. Out is also my second read for the Japanese challenge, hopefully I'm going to find another Japanese book this week and get this challenge bagged. I'm also trying to read at least one short story a day from a collection of Nineteenth Century short stories, then I'll only need to read one more collection of stories before the end of the yet.
Anyone else tackling their challenges st the moment? How is it going?
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Did you participate in the By the Decade Challenge last year? Would you like to
again? Or, if you didn’t take part in 2008, are you interested in doing so in
2009? We’d love to have you join us!
Decades ‘09 Rules:
1. Read a minimum
of 9 books in 9 consecutive decades in ‘08.
2. Books published in the 2000’s
do not count.
3. Titles may be cross-posted with any other challenge.
You may change your list at any time.
5. Peruse the eligible book lists and
reviews from 2008 or 2007. Any book from that decade is eligible; it doesn’t
have to be on the list to qualify. A good source to find out when books were
published is wikipedia. For example if you follow this link, you will
see how easy it is to search books by a particular decade. Another resource is fantasticfiction.co.uk.
7. Sign up through Mr. Linky below.
Please use the url of your specific post for this challenge rather than just
your blog url.
8. 6. After about January 12, come back and post the links to
your reviews into Mr. Linky for the appropriate decade. Please don’t post
‘09 reviews in the Mr. Linky before January 12. I’ll need some time to
switch over the ‘08 reviews and set up the new ‘09 Linkys. You don’t have to,
but you are encouraged to post all the books you’ve read for that decade if
you’re participating in Decades ‘09.
9. Have fun reading your Decades ‘09
books, and have a great year!
Here is my potential list, I've picked 2 for each year so I have more freedom to chose according to my mood.
1990: A Suitable Boy, Seth or Alias Grace, Atwood
1980: Love in a Time of Cholera,Marquez or The House of Spirits, Allende
1970: The Sea, The Sea, Murdoch or In A Free State, Naipaul
1960: Big Sur, Kerouac or The Arrow of God, Achebe
1950: Naked Lunch, Burroughs or The Go Between, Hartley
1940: Canary Row, Steinbeck or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Smith
1930: Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald or The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
1920: The Sound and The Fury, Faulkner or The Trial, Kafka
1910: Of Human Bondage, William Somerset Maugham or The Secret Garden, Burnett
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Read a minimum of 9 books first published in 2009. You don’t have to buy these. Library books, unabridged audios, or ARCs are all acceptable. To qualify as being first published in 2009, it must be the first time that the book is published in your own country. For example, if a book was published in Australia, England, or Canada in 2008, and then published in the USA in 2009, it counts. Newly published trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks do not count if there has been a hardcover/trade published before 2009. Any questions on what qualifies? Just leave a comment here, and I’ll respond with the answer.
No children’s/YA titles allowed, since we’re at the ‘pub.’
At least 5 titles must be fiction.
Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
You can add your titles as you go, and they may be changed at any time.
Sign up HERE using Mr. Linky.
Have fun reading your 2009 books!
Sunday, 19 October 2008
The Rescue Challenge
In this weeks Booking Through Thursday people were asked about those books which just linger on the shelves for years, never making it to the top of the pile. Which got me thinking about a new challenge, The Rescue Challenge. Help rescue those unloved books from the obscurity of the bottom of the tbr pile.
There would be two parts to the challenge, the first would be to get rid of any books you know deep down you will never read, so whether you bookmooch, bookcross, give them away to a charity shop these books will take up less of your space and have the opportunity to be read.
The second part of the challenge, will be to set up a pool of those unloved books and read between 3-6 of them between Nov 1st 2008 - Dec 31st 2009.
Books can definitely count for other challenges as well, in fact this will probably urge you to read them, and you set yourself the amount of books you'd like to read. The prize, is simply space on your shelves and freeing yourself of guilt when you once again sweep past that copy to reach for a shiny new book.
List of Participants here
I'm going to aim to read 4 of these, all have been on my shelves for more than 3 years:
A Suitable Boy - Seth
Arthur and George - Barnes
Sister of my Heart - Divkrum
Glasgow - Freud
Acts of Mutiny - Beavan
Big Sur - Kerouac
Alias Grace - Atwood
The Robber Bride - Atwood
The Swimming Pool Diaries - Hollinghurst
Heart Songs - Proulx
The Woodlanders - Hardy
War and Peace - Tolstoy
Adam Bede - Eliot
North and South - Gaskell
Love in a Time of Cholera - Marquez
Exploration: Latin American Reading Challenge
This challenge will run for 4 months, between the 1st January - 30th April 2009. The aim is to read a 4 books from Latin America, these can be fiction or non-fiction the mix is up to you. The books can be used as part of other challenges, but must be finished between the dates of the challenge. I will supply a small prize drawn from the names of those people who finish the challenge.
I've shown below a couple of options you may want to follow:
Free Choice: Read any four Latin American books
Mix it Up: Read a variety of fiction and non-fiction Latin American books
Author Challenge: Read a variety of work from just one author.
States: Read a book from a variety of the different states of Latin America
Magic Realism: Latin America is famous for producing the Magic Realism genre, you may decide just to read books fitting this genre.
Just so everyone is clear as to what will count as Latin America, I found this handy definition:
The Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. The 20 republics are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The term Latin America is also used to include Puerto Rico, the French West Indies, and other islands of the West Indies where a Romance tongue is spoken. Occasionally the term is used to include Belize, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
List of Participants here
For now pick which option you would like to participate in, create a list or a pool of books you'd like to read (these can be changed at any point).
My List: (Free Choice)
Love In a Time of Cholera - Marquez
The House of Spirits - Allende
Easter Island - Vandebes
Bel Canto - Patchett
The Agero Sisters - Garcia
The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto - Llosa
The Empress of South America - Cawthorne
Signing up for the challenges: if you'd like to sign up for either of these, please leave a comment below with the challenge you'd like to join and a link to your pool of books. Anyone without a blog can list their pool in the comments. I'll then create a participants list. I'll also create a post where people can leave links to their reviews once the challenges are up and running.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
1 Twilight , Meyer
2 Mirrormask, Gaiman
3 Journey to the River Sea, Ibbotson
4 Gatty, Crossley-Holland
5 Apache, Landman
6. The Garbage King, Laird
7. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Taylor
8. Ruby Red, Glass
9. Blankets, Thompson (Graphic Novel)
10. Goodbye Tsugumi, Yoshimoto
11. Three Shadows, Pedrosa (Graphic Novel)
12. Varjak Paw, S.F Said
13. Rabbit Proof Fence, Pilkington
Thursday, 16 October 2008
My shelf has many books that have been sitting waiting for me for years, many of these are classics that I brought during university with the aim of having good knowledge, and never got around to, like Moll Flanders, War and Peace, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskel and The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy.
I also have:
The Robber Bride and Alias Grace by Maragaret Atwood, both of which I brought 10 years ago during my A' Levels, when I was just 17! I have no idea why these two haven't been read as I have enjoyed all of her stuff.
A few others with have been hanging out on my shelves for several years: A Suitable Boy, Arthur and George and Yellow Dog.
Maybe there should be a rescue challenge for those books that never quite make it to the top of the pile.
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Sunday, 12 October 2008
The End of Mr Y is about a cursed book of the same name, everyone who reads it dies. Well that's actually, surprisingly, fine as only one copy is known to exist and its locked inside a bank vault. Ariel is an overly intelligent (she knows about everything apart from religion and love) PHd student, studying Lumas, the author of The End of Mr Y, her lecturer disappears, her university sinks into the hill and she randomly comes across a copy of this book. Obviously this is a book in which you need to suspend your disbelief.
The book contains a recipe, which promises knowledge, and despite knowing all about the curse, Ariel seeks out the ingredients and takes the mixture. The recipe leads people into the troposphere a place where you exist within your own mind and can jump between other peoples minds. Now, some bad men also know about this recipe and want to stop anyone else discovering it, so they are after Ariel and any one else who's involved, and they are not so easy to escape as they can also travel through minds.
It all sounds very bubble-gum like from that description but in amongst this adventure there is a whole heap of philosophy, language theory and science. I could keep up with the Sartre and Baudrillard just about, but a lot of the science went over my head. Definitely a book that needs concentration.
Fall into Reading
I'm also going to participate in Dewey's Martel-Harper challenge. This challenge involves reading 3 books from the list of books that author Yann Martel has recommended for the Canadian Primeminister Stephen Harper. Dewey's sign up page is here . October - December 31st
Birthday Letters - Ted Hughes
Metamorphoses - Kafka
Anthem - Ayn Rand
Saturday, 11 October 2008
I've had a busy week, but managed to read all of The Hours, and I'm halfway through The End of Mr Y, which I'm really enjoying and planning to spend a few hours on later once I've got all my jobs done. And England is bathed in gorgeous sunshine at the mo, so I'm off for a wander around town and into the library to make sure I enjoy it before it disappears again.
My first short story for 100 Shots of Short.
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl By Yiyun Li (can be found online here).