August 4, 2008

July Books

Books! In July! I read 'em! It was, in fact, a particularly excellent month in terms of my reading, especially as regards things I'd never read before (marked, as always, with an asterisk).

Here are the goods:

*V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore. My brothers had been bothering me to read this for a good while now. And so I read it, and enjoyed it. It's dark and gritty and graphic; I thought that the premise/world was exceedingly interesting.

*Runaway, by Steve Simpson. I highly recommend this book only because it is so unequivocally, hilariously awful. Read my full review for further details.

Great Canadian Short Stories, ed. Alec Lucas. This collection from 1971 lives up to its name, as its contents are (a) great, (b) Canadian, and (c) short stories. Intriguingly, both the first and last stories have to do with codfish. No joke. You should pick it up.

*Stealing Athena, by Karen Essex. See my review.

*The Last Plague, by Glen E. Page. As above, see my review for further (any) detail.

Letters to Karen, by Charlie W. Shedd. I don't feel like talking about this book. So I won't. So there.

*Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett. As much as I heart Pratchett, I would have to say that this particular offering was not very memorable ... since I am wracking my brains and can remember only the piddliest amounts of plot. But it was probably excellently funny at the time. There is also gumbo in it.

*Equal Rites, by Terry Pratchett. MOAR PRATCHETT LOLOLOLOLOL?!?!?!

*Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Høeg. I really enjoyed Smilla's Sense of Snow, although if you're someone who likes books to resolve nicely at the end you might not do so. It was particularly exciting for me because I've visited Copenhagen, and so I recognized some of the setting, which I thought was cool. I didn't yell about it -- but you should see me when I see my city in a TV show.

*Absolution by Murder, by Peter Tremayne. This was hideously dull, and a definite exception to the whole July-books-were-so-good theme. It read like a boring version of those Ellis Peters mysteries. I read the first three or four chapters, and then skipped to the last two -- the ending was predictable and uninteresting. I rarely give up on books midway, but in this case I'm glad that I did.

*Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife, by Kate Walker. So, DailyLit offered this on some special read-it-free promotion. This is interesting because usually the free ones are more or less limited to OOP books, and so seeing something recent offered for nothing was a draw. Plus, I keep hearing that you can make a packet writing Harlequins, so I thought I'd see what they're like for myself. It turns out: trashy, not particularly well-written, kind of morally vapid, but escapist enough that I could see someone making a living by cranking them out. I can't say much for Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife except that it's so handy the way the plot is spelled out in the title like that.

*What If . . . ?, by Steve N. Lee. Good book! Review and author interview are forthcoming.

*The Fire-Dwellers, by Margaret Laurence. I love Margaret Laurence's books. Oh gosh. She's so good.

*Yellowknife, by Steve Zipp. Yellowknife is as beautiful and strange as the Northland it describes. A review and author interview are forthcoming.

*Moving Pictures, by Terry Pratchett. Giggle giggle giggle.

Awesome Lavratt, by Ann Wilkes. (reviewed)

*Proust was a Neuroscientist, by Jonah Lehrer. This book came in the mail to me courtesy of the lovely and generous Dewey. It is fascinating! I have a great interest in neuroscience (for which my spellchecker suggests "pseudoscience" and "bioscience")* and Proust was a Neuroscientist is extremely informative and well-written. It also has a very neat premise: Lehrer examines great artists -- Proust, (George) Eliot, Cézanne, Stravinsky, etc. -- and looks at how their artistry either used or foretold things about our brain that neuroscience would only "discover" years later. It is a very cool book, and the cover art has rays of glory bursting forth from a madeleine, which can only be counted as a plus, I think.

Of course, some of these books also fell into various challenge categories. Great Canadian Short Stories, Yellowknife, and The Fire-Dwellers were all read for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, although you'll note that none of them are actually on the list of books I thought I'd read for said challenge. I say: whatever.

I also read 17 books this past month, falling two short of my stated goal of 19. That means I'll have to count August for the 100+ Books Challenge, since I'm currently sitting at a total of 98/100. Ninety-eight! Good grief. I should have picked up two comic collections or something.

*My spellcheck also suggests "Overconscientous"  instead of "Neuroscientist." Um, okay there, buddy.

7 comments:

glumpuddle said...

woohoo! July book list!
have you seen V for Vendetta the movie? If so, thoughts?

bkclubcare said...

Are you in bookmooch? I am interested in that Lehrer book! and I love your attitude - if you dont want to review Letters to Karen, it's OK... :)

rantsandreads said...

I'm a big Peter Høeg fan, have you read any of his other work? I recommend a History of Danish Dreams, or Borderliners next.

kegsoccer said...

Wow 17 is pretty damn good :)

Ann Darnton (Table Talk) said...

Have you seen the film of 'Smilla'? It's one of the very few occasions when I think the film is almost better than the book.

Christine said...

Glum -- I haven't seen it. J has some thoughts, though, on the post I liked to in the VfV section.

bk -- I am on bookmooch here: http://www.bookmooch.com/bio/sadoatcakes . I don't know about letting go the Lehrer book, though, as I'm already pretty attached to it. But if it goes up, I'll let you know.

keg -- thanks :)

rants & Ann -- this was my first exposure to Høeg, in any medium. I really enjoyed it, though, so I'll definitely be on the lookout for more.

lenore said...

I'm impressed with how much you read!