November 18th, 2008

  • gillyp

Please rec me some books!

I'm compiling a list of must-reads for the Christmas holidays.

My tastes are pretty wide but I particularly love any book that gets deep inside its character's skins. I love first-person; love seeing the world through one person's eyes. My favourite new(ish) classic = The Secret History. Other books I've loved this year are Andrew Davison's The Gargoyle and Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook. My most hated book this year = The Time Traveler's Wife.

I can't wait to see what you alll come up with. :o)

Axel 7 wks

Something to Share

I'm not sure how many people might know about this website already, for all I know everyone does. But I thought I might just share it because I've found it quite amusing and fun.

It's a site where you can create your ideal cast for a book. If you were to turn it into a movie and were in charge of who was playing who. Even if it's already been turned into a movie, you can make changes to the cast or give it a more updated one. If they don't have a book you've read or an actor/actress you're looking for its pretty easy to get it added, you can just write them a message and typically the book or person will show up fairly quickly.

Well I hope you all enjoy it. I know I have.

Have a good day!

November Books, and Some Reviews

My November list, which is quite short due to some other activities, and some thoughts on the books. The list:

"Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy
"Hannibal" by Thomas Harris
"The Bronte Myth" by Lucasta Miller
"Selected Letters of Dashiel Hammett"
"The Man Who Warned America" by Murray Weiss
"Escape From China" by Zhang Boli

Collapse )
  • Current Mood
  • Tags
A Birthday

Ciaphas Cain

I've been reading Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain books -- Hero of the Imperium (which is an omnibus), Death or Glory, and Duty Calls-- lately.  (They are Warhammer 40000 books, but you can read them without knowing about that game setting.)

It's the adventures of a self-professed arrant coward who keeps on -- completely by accident, he assures us -- getting himself cast into adventures and playing the role of hero.  He always has an explanation for his acts that appear heroic, but the intriguing part is that maybe one time out of ten, he is explaining to the other characters how he has to do this (which is the safest thing, he thinks), but nine times of ten, he is explaining to the reader that the apparent heroism was self-interest -- and when that fails -- well, once he and other soldiers were under attack in an underground complex.  They blast a hole through the wall, he and another escape, and the walls collapse, trapping the others.  Cain says he must have been in shock before admitting that he threw himself at the collapse trying to dig through to the others.

Everyone else thinks he's a hero.  This is because they always see him acting heroically and never in a cowardly manner.

What I find particularly intriguing is that it is a retrospective account by Cain.  Or rather extracts from it by another character who features in some of the tales.  She writes that she has let the main account stand, but puts in explanatory -- or justifying -- footnotes on occasion, and interpolates excerpts from other works when she thinks Cain's doesn't explain everything.

(scurrying off to read Cain's Last Stand)


I'm doing a presentation on Thursday and need a quick response. I thought I'd find a bunch of well read people here!

Can anyone tell me when and in which collection the poem "The Sharpening Stone" by Seamus Heaney was written/published? I've trawled the internet and can't find ANYTHING that'll tell me more about the poem.

Anything would be appreciated.



Recently I was flicking channels and there was something about Nazi proginy on the History Channel I think. Basically it was talking about how these people of the Aryan race were reproducing and giving the babies up to the Nazi government to be taught and cared for. I wish I remember what the program was called. Regardless, does anyone know of any books on the subject, or about what became of the children in the program? Thanks in advance!
  • Current Music
    The History Channel - something about parallell universes

Captivating Books

I need some quick help. I have a birthday coming up and in order for my presents to arrive in time, I have to order them this week. I want to buy books that completely draw you in. They don't necessarily have to be fantasy, but that'd be nice because I just recently got into that genre. I like urban fantasy but I don't like classic fantasy with ogres and elfs and the like. Books that really got me the past few weeks were Un Lun Dun, City of Bones, The Book Thief and Inkheart (I can't imagine what the translation of Inkheart must be like? I read it in German and the language is just beautiful, I hoped they didn't mess it up).

Thanks in advance! :)


#4-7 Gabriel Garcia Marquez


title: Of Love And Other Demons/Del Amor Y Otros Demonios
: Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
year: 1994
I read the novel over a week ago, primarily because I was in desperate need of something good and short to read. Something to knock me off my feet, but just a little bit because I have so many to do for school. And a school mate had just finished the book and the title did sound intriguing and there was a whole shelf of Garcia Marquez books in the school library and I very much liked One Hundred Years of Solitude.

I wasn't disappointed as this is an easy-going short novel that however manages to have a bit of South-American scented magic. 
For once, I have a fetish on red long hair since I was utterly obsessed with Ophelia/John Everett Millais/Elizabeth Siddal. And then, the story is just written like a grown-ups fairy-tale. I'm not denying the fact that he does put serious questions in the book, he does make you ponder on the nature of love and our mortality, but above all that -or maybe behind- it's just the beauty of magic and of writing. I love beautiful books, books that make you happy just because they're beautiful, all their words seem carefully choosen, the images they create, their plot and settings, I just want to start crying because I am jealous of those authors' dreams.
Maybe I'm just a shallowshallowshallow read. I know I am.

title : Leaf Storm/La Hojarasca
author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Garcia Marquez's first novel was not as much a disappointment as just a sad book.
I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude, adored it, but this book just feels so different from it. 
I mean it tells the story of the same village - Macondo but in a different way. The story slowly puts pressure on you, slowly absorbs and consumes you. It doesn't really enrage you, it just disgusts you, corodes you.
I think it's interesting to see how the author is still looking for his story and for his story, it's not the way he writes in later books. He tries to sound like Faulkner, maybe? Maybe I'm imagining. It's a good book, I don't regret reading it in the least bit, it just made me disappointed, not in the author in the book, in nothing in particular, in everything in general.

title:Light in August 
author: William Faulkner

no comment. O: other than that I *will* buy all Faulkner's books and read and reread them forever and ever and ever. I loved the book, there's no point in ruining it.

title: The Literature of the Humanism and Renaissance
author[s]: various
thoughts: In three volumes, this anthology aims to not as much cover all Humanistic literature and culture but rather to spark interest in readers. I loved reading it [I confess I didn't have the patience to read all the chapters -_-] but it made me want to re-read Don Quixote and also take a closer look at other "old boring" books.

I'm still sortof reading The Picture of Dorian Gray but not really. There's a collection of cheap modern classics in ugly paper-back versions at ridiculously low prices sold with a local paper and I'm buying the books for lack of a better occupation. And school is harder than I thought it would be. T_T