Monday, April 27, 2009

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens. A total blast. Best weekend reading ever. Beats my efforts at description right now, but trust me, it's a good time. I've never read Pratchett before, and Stardust was my introduction to Gaiman. After finals I'm going to try some Discworld books.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

J.M. Coetzee, Slow Man

J.M. Coetzee, Slow Man. Quiet, understated, and perplexing. Paul Rayment's life is jolted and his image of himself is shattered when he loses a leg. A reserved, dignified and solitary man is confronted by his own foolishness. I thought Elizabeth Costello as a mechanism detracted from the core of the narrative; but it's difficult to write about the need for human connection and care without sounding stale, and maybe the device avoided emotional boredom. But she seemed forced and unconvincing and poisoned the story.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Vladimir Nabokov, Ada

Vladimir Nabokov, Ada. Extremely sticky. More than a little affected. And yet- beautifully allusive, velvety, with spurts of enchanting wordplay. But the language was too indulgent to sustain and the romance was more ridiculous and annoying than erotic. I felt it was closely related to to a book I might enjoy, but I was never able to stop rolling my eyes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kid's books again

So these books have been a renewed addiction for me. I can read one of these in an evening, even if I'm tired - and if they are really good, I can read them out loud snuggling with the boys.

Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Seeing Stone. A retelling of Arthurian legend in very short chapters. Interesting and detailed snapshots of medieval life.

Eva Ibbotson, The Secret of Platform 13. A cute little story, old-fashioned in feel.

William Nicholson, The Wind Singer. Fantastic. Original, gripping and nuanced. Reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time. Passing this one on to my little brothers, and searching out the other two books in the trilogy.

Patricia Maclachlan, Tomorrow's Wizard. A very little story and very good fun. Perfect read out loud book.

Brian Jacques, Castaways of the Flying Dutchman. Just terrible. Disappointing - the Redwall books were fun, but this wasn't even fun. I was hoping it was going to have seafaring and adventures, desert islands and such. The first chapter was promising, but the rest of the book was just badly written sweetness and light.

EL Konigsburg, The View From Saturday. Championship sixth grade quiz bowl team.