October 8, 2008

September Books

Na na na na Na na na na na Na na na na Na na na na September Books!

*Halting State, by Charles Stross. The plot of this book was a wee tad confusing, but the writing was fascinating. There are three main characters. They all speak in Scottish dialect. And it's narrated in the second person. Whoa-oh-oh-oh! Go on, read it. I dare you.

*Story of the Sand, by Mark B. Pickering. This wasn't very good...

*In the Land of Invisible Women, by Qanta Ahmed. ... but this was.

*A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. Looking over the month, I seem to have a sort of beautiful-but-sad theme going on. This is the first of those.

The Big Over Easy, by Jasper Fforde. I actually hadn't read The Big Over Easy in a long time, because (much as I usually enjoy almost anything Fforde does) the first time I read it, I remember being increasingly frustrated and annoyed with the ending. It just! Went! On! And! On! But this time was different. Maybe because I knew what to expect, I thoroughly enjoyed this reading, even the ending. Well done once more, J. Fforde.

*Anna of the Five Towns, by Arnold Bennett. Victorian realist fiction! Woohoo! I don't know if it's because of the course I took last year, but I just really enjoy this sort of book. Anna of the Five Towns itself was lovely, although I found the ending rather implausible (dare I say, un-realistic). Charming, though.

*Mankind, by Anonymous. And what's even more fun than Victorian fiction? Why, medieval morality plays, of course! Mankind is both pious and scatological, much like the middle ages themselves, as I am given to understand.

The Fourth Bear, by Jasper Fforde. More fun with Fforde. Hi-tiddely-pum-oh.

The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I hadn't read this in a millionty billion years, but I chanced upon it at the used book store and so snatched it up forthwith. It's still good. It was actually quite interesting to be re-reading it after such a long time, since most of what happened felt vaguely familiar but was actually still a surprise. Anyway, Guy Gavriel Kay writes very good books, and though I think Tigana is the best, this is still quite enjoyable.

The other thing I enjoy about Kay's writing, especially when he does these historical fantasies, is how incredibly obvious it all is. The Kindath are Jews! The Asharites are Muslim! The Jaddites are Christians! Could this novel possibly be set in -- gasp -- medieval Spain? Why yes, yes it could. Now, who can guess where Sailing to Sarantium is set?

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. They certainly do!

Positive Attitude, by Scott Adams. Ho, hum, another Dilbert collection. This one was all in colour, which was kind of distressingly unfamiliar.

Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding. One of my go-to novels when I need a good laugh. The sequel as well, though I didn't get to it last month.

*Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Aw, his life is precious. And it's a graphic novel. And there's a dance-fight. Hello, sequel!

*The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas Kyd. Although this opened the way for a grand tradition of tragedies on the English stage, it wasn't all that interesting. Not enough blood, say I. What good is a hanging and a stabbing and a tongue-bite-outing if you don't get the fun of poisoned drinks, kissing skulls, and burning gold?

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood. Loved it!

*Genuine Men, by Nancy Bruno. Twas Okay!

*Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring, by Ron Pridmore. Not so much!

*A Jest of God, by Margaret Laurence. So I've been on this Margaret Laurence kick recently, when you count "recent" as, oh, say the last six months or so. This was very good, although I think both The Diviners and The Fire-Dwellers were better. Next up, The Stone Angel. Go, Manawaka, go.

*The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Ack. This book was so good.

*Endymion, by John Lyly. Shepherd-astronomer type falls drastically in love with moon, gets put into 40-year sleep while everyone else doesn't age for some reason. Also there are magical fountains and witches and, oh, all sorts of things. Renaissance drama, I love you because you are wacky.

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