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Books I've read in the past couple of weeks (I've got a lot of time on my hands):

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher. Yay, a Dresden book! Borrowed, because I only buy the paperbacks. I didn't think this one was as good as the last couple, actually, but that's still way better than most other things.

The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. Interesting to have read, and I think is going to make a real difference to my next re-read of LOTR, but kind of a slog to get through.

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. About how group formation and collaboration has never been easier, and the difference that might make to the world. Loved it.

Bad Things by Michael Marshall. Regular crime spook-fest from Marshall - decent, but I wish he'd go back to writing fantasy as Michael Marshall Smith, really.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Lewis Wolpert. Wolpert's theory on the evolutionary origins of belief, and how a concept of causation could have kick-started the evolution of homo sapiens. Not just about religious belief - everyday beliefs, "common sense", mental health issues, drug-induced beliefs and hallucinations, and the paranormal are all explored.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I thought this was "normal" literary fiction, and then the vampire turned up. Pretty readable, not as intellectual as it seems to think it is.

PopCo by Scarlett Thomas. Bit of a kitchen-sink novel, as in "everything but the". Anti-corporatist rant, mystery, Bridget Jones love story, code-breaking and ciphering textbook, espionage tale, workplace satire, homeopathy promotion. Mostly good, with interludes of WTF.

Careless In Red by Elizabeth George. Latest Inspector Lynley mystery. They're not astounding to begin with, and this one in particular is predictable, with too big a cast and too many unrelated stories, and a bad case of research showoffery that doesn't quite come off. (No, people in Cornwall are not all called things like Benesek and Selevan. Really.)

Currently reading: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. It's obsessed with plants, and I can't take Mrs Danvers seriously thanks to Jasper Fforde. Next up will either be Great Expectations (I expect to have the same problem with Miss Havisham as I have with Mrs Danvers) or Matter by Iain M Banks.

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( 5 comments — Comment )
marrog
May. 25th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
High recommend Great Expectations. Miss Havisham is a laughable sort of figure already. It's the very fact that such a pathetic creature can cause so much damage that makes the story so interesting. To me, anyway. Sort of a "person you really really shouldn't give your impressionable young child to" manual.

Anyway, it's a great read, showcasing almost all the really amazing things about Dickens with very little of the bad stuff. Make sure you read both endings, though!
pickwick
May. 25th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Oooh, excellent. I've read quite a lot of Dickens but for some reason never got around to that one.
pmoodie
May. 25th, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
I'm finding the Silmarillion more enjoyable as I get older and crustier. Once you get past the turgid "Genesis" stuff, there are some great stories in there.

I keep meaning to attempt some illustrations for it, but I keep getting side-tracked.

Edited at 2009-05-25 09:40 am (UTC)
pickwick
May. 26th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
I might try reading some discussion about it, and then having another go in a few years - I was having trouble with the stories because I never knew who anyone was. Cast of thousands with different generational lengths and very similar names = confused pickwick.
pmoodie
May. 26th, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know what you mean. I found it helpful to have a copy of The Complete Guide to Middle Earth handy, for reference. And The Atlas of Middle Earth is also very useful, for keeping the geography straight. That might sound a bit like homework, but I found I was able to get a lot more out of the book.
( 5 comments — Comment )

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