Wednesday, February 27, 2008

new house

I had a very eventful weekend, I moved house. Well, not completely, there's stuff still to be packed and moved but I'm living in Stanmore now. Unfortunately this house does not have internet access as yet, and since my laptop has been broken for some time I'm not sure when internet access will be forthcoming, so no regular internet access for me. :(
So this blog will likely be even more neglected...
But it's kinda exciting anyway, and I also got to see Merry and watch Juno (which I recommend, by the way! Also liked the soundtrack).
Hi everybody by the way! Also I have been shopping for wedding shoes and I find that my feet are too big and practically nothing fits them. Stupid feet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

book list 2007

Haven't written a blog post in a while... And have been meaning to write up my book list from 2007, so in lieu of thinking of something interesting to say here it is: New books read in 2007

Puccinni's Ghost- Morag Joss
The Secret River- Kate Grenville. Good, but sad. Well drawn characters really make this book what it is.
Mister Monday- Garth Nix
Grim Tuesday- Garth Nix
Drowned Wednesday- Garth Nix
Sir Thursday- Garth Nix. Young adult fantasy, read on beach holiday, fun.
Enduring Love- Ian McEwan. Really very much liked this one. Well written, messes with your head a bit.
Daughter of Fortune- Isabel Allende. Pretty cool, sweeping historical adventure.
The Memory Keeper's Daughter- Kim Edwards. Why are so many of the books I read so sad?
Black Swan Green- David Mitchell A review of this made me start reading David Mitchell. Still like number9dream best.
Great Northern?- Arthur Ransome
Wieland- Charles Brockden Brown. For American Gothic course, one of few books I finished for the course.
Flowers in the Attic- V.C. Andrews. Also for American Gothic. Trashy, with horrible editing/grammar, but readable.
Wise Blood- Flannery O'Connor. Sam recommended it to me, but I didn't really like it because all of the characters were horrible.
The Labours of Hercules- Agatha Christie
Heart Songs- Annie Proulx. Beautiful short stories.
Chaucer's Constance and Accused Queens- Margeret Schlauch. A book about Chaucer and folktales, written in the 20s. I found it fascinating, came across it while writing a presentation.
Aunts aren't Gentlemen- P.G. Wodehouse
Hot Water- P.G. Wodehouse
Sam the Sudden- P.G. Wodehouse. I bought some second hand Wodehouse. Always highly enjoyable.
In the Woods- Tana French. Pretty good murder mystery, with somewhat obvious twist. Also sad.
Suite Francaise- Irene Nemirovsky. The saddest of all, but good.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- JK Rowling. Much hyped, satisfying end to a series, with fan-fiction-esque epilogue.
The Left Hand of Darkness- Ursula le Guin. Ursula le Guin is just so good at sci-fi and fantasy...
The Handmaid's Tale- Margeret Attwood. Why didn't I believe everyone who told me this would be good? Read this and Left Hand for Utopia course.
Snow Crash- Neal Stephenson. Also for Utopia. Very readable, fast-paced sci-fi with dubious history and philosophy.
Peepshow- Leigh Redhead. Murder mystery, somewhat trashy modern Australian noir/hard-boiled.
Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Deserves its classic status. What more can I say?
Making Money- Terry Pratchett. Always love a new Discworld book.
Atonement- Ian McEwan. Annoyed me intensely, but was well written.
Old Goriot- Honore de Balzac. I believe I've always known this as 'Pere Goriot', but my translation had 'Old', which is a pity as the whole father thing was pretty significant. Biting but amusing along the lines of Dickens.
Case Histories- Kate Atkinson. More murder mysteries. I thoroughly recommend Kate Atkinson, except for 'Human Croquet'. Mostly she doesn't write murder mysteries but when she does shes does them well and with originality.
Gentlemen's Blood: A History of Duelling from Swords at Dawn to Pistols at Dusk- Barbara Holland. Fascinating, but irritatingly American-centric and NRA friendly. Would have liked to hear more about swords in Europe as well as pistols in America.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The French Lieutenant's Woman- John Fowles. It had it's good moments, but the characters ended up annoying me and the central conceit could be a little wearing at times.
A Question of Death- Kerry Greenwood. More Phryne Fisher! Light and fluffy fun to finish off the year.

And that, my friends, was my year in books. Perhaps I should also mention the Old English narrative poem 'Andreas' here. I seem to be reading less every year, but I guess I can blame the thesis.

A lot of these books were very good, but some personal favourites were 'Enduring Love' and 'Heart Songs'. As well as 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Crime and Punishment' and 'Case Histories'. And I did enjoy 'Old Goriot'. I will keep an eye on Ian McEwan in the future, hope Kate Atkinson writes some more and dip into the occasional Annie Proulx. Because she really does have a beautiful writing style, and her stories are so well drawn and character driven and... I dunno, good.
Happy reading in 2008!