Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reading Into the Past: Week of 8/6

This week the magic number was eight, and these are the books I was reading this week in 1998:
  • George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings (8/2)
    Second in the series of big fat fantasy tomes that are also serious novels about moral responsibility and family ties, but, for God's sake, don't start here -- A Game of Thrones is the first one.
  • Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary (8/3)
    I'm very fond of first person narrators, and I also quite like artificial structures in my novels, so the diary form was a lot of fun here. (The sequel, however, is lousy; avoid it.) It is not a book to take seriously at all, and it might read a bit differently these days (especially as it has spawned an entire sub-genre), but it was wonderfully fun at the time, especially read at full speed.
  • Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Making Book (8/10)
    A collection of essays and miscellania, mostly about books and the editing life. Books like this appeal only to a relatively small readership, but I'm smack-dab in the middle of that readership, and this is a great example of the type.
And what I was spending a lot of that week reading was Gardner Dozois's The Good New Stuff (a book of SF adventure tales from the mid-60s through the then-present day), which I finally finished on the 16th. I stuck it together with Dozois's similar anthology The Good Old Stuff (which had SF adventures of a slightly older vintage) to make a book very imaginatively named The Good Stuff. I don't exactly recall what was in either of them, but they each had a nice pile of swell stories.

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