Sunday, May 25, 2008

A partial keyboard either breeds creativity

or homicidal thoughts
Recently Read:

The Foretelling, Alice Hoffman, one hundred eighty one pages
Rain, the daughter of an amazon leader, journeys toward adulthood discovering that change must come and that appearances are not the best evidence for truth. Horses, bees, bears and what life may have been really like as a member of a nomadic amazon tribe make for a well told tale.
a Wild Murakami Chase, the Japan Foundation, one hundred fifty one pages
a collection of essays from the Murakami gathering held in Japan includes various interpretations of what makes Haruki Murakami such a popular literary figure around the world. The essay on mirror neurons was wonderfully Carrollinian
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart, 440pp
Reynie, Kate Constance and Sticky reunite for what they believe will be a celebratory occaision. Instead they discover that their beloved Mr Benedict has been kidnapped and they set off on an adventure that will land them once again in teh evil clutches of Ledroptha Curtain and his smiling sweet scented minions: the Ten Men. Staple removers of death, killer wristwatches, deadly sharpened pencils and a clipbopard that would terrify madame guillotine are only a small portion of what these execs carry in their briefcases. One will never view an executive in the same way again.

currently reading:

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
Louise de la Valliere, Alexandre Dumas


Friday, May 23, 2008

may i......

While the getting is good I'm going to list books read and recently obtained:

Twenty Years After, Alexandre Dumas 749pp
The further adventures of the musketeers only this time D'artagnan and company face the son of milady as well as the machinations of cardinal Mazarin. More swashbuckling and derring do including a kidnapping of an english leader and an attempted rescue of Charles the II from the scaffold.

The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Alexandre Dumas 649pp
Once more our heroes are called upon, only this time they are at very different places of the game board: socially, politically and emotionally. This is the longest of the trilogy and so is divided into three volumes of which the Vicomte is the first. Alas I finished it before finding a copy of the second and so had to leave D'artagnan wondering why he was betryed by Aramis and Porthos while Athos' son attempts to prevent the duke of Buckingham from killing either himself or his beloved's intended husband: Louis the XIV

The Women's War, Alexandre Dumas 545pp
In which cardinal Mazarin makes a guest appearance but only as a plot device. The story itself centers around the crowned princesses of france during the time when the events of Twenty Years After were taking place. A woman disguised as a man resuces another woman's lover from the cluthes of a suspicious husband only to have him betrayed by the husband's wife. Secret passage ways into locked fortresses and passes under rivers as well as revolting aristocracy concludes in a climax remarkably dickensian.

A Harlot High and Low, Honore Balzac 554pp
Continuation of the adventures of Lucien Chardon de Rebumpre from Lost Illusions. This novel focuses on the villainous nature of Vautrin. A political gothic novel - just replace the lecherous priest from the Monk with a crafty and viscious criminal mastermind.

waiting to read:

Louise de Lavalliere, Alexandre Dumas
The Man in the Iron Mask, Alexandre Dumas
The Memoirs of Monsieur D'artagnan,
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
Reading Murakami,
Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
Summer Book, Tove Jansson
The Mysterious Benedict Society and Point Rendevous
The Foretelling, Alice Hoffman



Busy busy hectic, hectic.

Did you know that computers don't like tea? Who knew?

As soon as my laptop forgives me or I bond with another posting will be sporadic.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Here is another of those book lists in which one marks the books read, waiting, tried but put aside, and never heard of. I've only bolded those I've read and asterixed those that I have. This time though it's the books most often said as unread on the 1,oo book list. (Thanks to Fillyjonk for this fun review :)

*Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
*The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
*Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (have it at home, might read it)
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
*Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
*The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
*The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
*Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
*Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
*The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

I find it interesting that there are so many Neil Gaiman books listed.***CV

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Real Dumas

The Club Dumas, Arturo Perez-Reverte (362pp)In which antiquarian book collecting crosses paths with sataninc ritual, a world weary devil, and a Poe-etic Spaniard living in a mildewing mansion with a headless angel filled garden. It took me about a third of the book to get involved with the story. I wonder if any of his other books are worth pursuing.
The Amazing Kavelier and Klay, Michael Chabon (639pp) 1930's, the birth of the comic book, Prague, death defying escapes, true love, Dali, magical realism, a Max Ernst (sans Leonora Carrington) walk on: what's not to like? Well I could have done without the Oyster episode. But the dirigible cafe was great! Teabird does such a thing still exist in NY?
Currently reading Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas****CV