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book update

Here's what I've been reading/listening to:

The Doomsday Book

This was a reasonably fun read. It was really two books: what's going on with the kid in the middle ages, and an "Outbreak" style epidemic plot in the current time. I could really have done without the latter. I didn't count but I think it's more than half the book. It made me tense. Now, reading about events unfolding in the 14th century, that's fun. Supposedly painstakingly researched, I am not one to judge.

The Minotaur

I haven't read any Barbara Vine in years, but I always love her stuff. Barbara Vine is actually Ruth Rendell, and it's really amazing how the two kinds of mystery writing can be so completely different. I have tried to pick up RR's books a number of times and never failed to be bored or feel loathesome about them. But as Barbara Vine, her books are careful, emotional, personal, and fascinating. I listened to this one on CD and I think it might have suffered some for that. If you like a book that is about mystery but not necessarily murder, pick up anything by Barbara Vine. I recommend starting with Asta's Book or The House of Stairs. They aren't big on action, but mood, setting, and atmosphere are there in spades.

Stranger in a Strange Land

What can I say about this book that hasn't been said already? Probably nothing. So far I like/hate it in equal measure. I can totally see why teenagers ate it up when I was one of them, I just never got around to reading it for some reason. I'm on disc 10 of 13 and I never want to hear the word grok again for as long as I live. But I'll stick it out.

I seem to be in a highly anglophilic state of mind when it comes to reading. Short of Wodehouse, what else should I pick up???



( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, if you haven't read it yet.
Oct. 25th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
I totally just finished that, and it is what kicked of my anglophile phase!!! Loved it!!
Oct. 26th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)
I've been reading that for a couple months now! So far I like it. It's difficult to sit down and read several chapters at once because of the crazy dogs and my habit of getting sleepy when I read, no matter how interesting the book is.
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
I listened to it on CD borrowed from the library, because man - it would have been really tough to read. Plus awesome accent on the reader.
Oct. 26th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
It is very tough to read. :) I may have to listen to the cd instead cause I swoon over those British accents.
Oct. 25th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
The Once and Future King by E.B. White

Howard's End by E.M. Forster

Two Cheers for Democracy, also by E.M. Forster

And put Footballer's Wives on your Netflix list.
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
Ooh, ooh, Room With A View! Love Forster.

Also, maybe Iain Banks's Culture novels (though he's a Scot, shh).
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
Iain Banks is that guy whose name I am always desperately trying to remember when I walk into a bookstore and my mind goes blank of all author names I am interested in. Oh, and I always get him confused with Iain Pears.
Oct. 26th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
Anything by Jonathan Coe you haven't read! Everything he does is awesome!
Oct. 26th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman.
Terry Pratchett.
Philip Pullman.
Storm Constantine (I haven't actually read her yet, but I had to get a woman in this list!)

And I like Wodehouse!
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh I love Wodehouse! I've just read it all! Same goes for Pratchett.

I read the first Pullman book in that series. It was good!
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
ooh, I highly recommend the rest of the Pullman series -- the second one really got to me, in a good way!

And if we are going "highbrow" too ;-) then Virginia Woolf, especially her wickedly funny leftist/feminist essays, A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas.
Oct. 26th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
Also, holy crap, Ruth Rendell writes mystery novels?
Oct. 26th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
I thought that was her whole claim to fame, inspector Wexford, blahdiddy? What else does she do?
Oct. 27th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
why don't i have a doh icon?
I...totally just realized I got her confused with Ruth Reichl, the food critic.

(Deleted comment)
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
I am actually usually anti-scifi. I made an exception for 'stranger' because I wanted to be able to participate in the discussion if anyone ever brought it up, also, because the library audiobook on CD selection is not the best. :)
Oct. 26th, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
I think I remember you've read Stephen Fry's stuff? If you haven't, it's good. He also reads the lastest version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I could listen to him read forever. Anything read by Tim Curry, as well. Mmmm.... Wait... what was the topic again?
Oct. 26th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yup, I've totally read all his stuff now too. More more more!!

I read Hugh Laurie's book too but didn't care about it as much.
Oct. 28th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
Didn't really like Hugh's book, either.

For some reason, I feel sacrilegious typing that.
Oct. 27th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
I frickin' can't stand Heinlein.
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
He makes me SO VERY ANGRY
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
Yes! I read _Stranger_ in my Fiction class at VPI, & I can *sort of* see why it's a classic, but I can't freaking <gritted teeth>S T A N D<\> his writing. And he seems to have this thing for too-young women IIRC. What EVER.

(I do like the concept of a "fair witness" though.)
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:56 am (UTC)
That's the thing - there are plenty of interesting concepts in the book. So many times I've thought, "hrmm! interesting!" but it is almost always immediately followed by "SHUT UP@#&^@*%^&#@".

Oct. 30th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
I loved Heinlein when I was 14 -- now I want to go back in time and beat the shit out of myself.
Oct. 27th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Heinlein was the master of the "Hey-let's-clone-and-chromosomally-modify-and-nail-myself," sci-fi art piece... If forced, I prefer THE CAT WHO WALKS THROUGH WALLS.
Perhaps you could decompress with a copy of the ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE by Max Brooks. Or just a few chapters of Robert Hamburger's mind-numbing REAL ULTIMATE POWER about Ninjas. ---> cOLLIN ^^
Oct. 27th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)


I just squee'ed like a little fangirl. In my head. I mean my coworkers think I'm weird, but I don't need to give them any more ideas.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


keep it dark

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