Monday, May 14, 2007

Reading Into the Past: Week of 5/6

It's a six this week, so here's the books I was reading around now in 2001:
  • Paul McAuley, The Secret of Life (4/30)
    No memory at all, sorry to say. I have the vague sense that it was near-future, but that's it.
  • Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room (4/30)
    An early book in the wonderfully depressing series.
  • Greg Keyes, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory: Rebirth (5/1)
    I've agreed not to talk about Star Wars novels for six months, and, to be fair, I have to extend that to include even books that are six years old. So it's not that I can't remember this book (as far as you know), it's that I'm saying "no comment."
  • Thomas McCormack, The Fiction Editor (5/2)
    I think I read this because my boss Ellen Asher worked for McCormack back in the dim dark days of publishing, and because it had gotten decent reviews. I still have it, and it sounded reasonable. (Not having ever edited novel-length fiction for a living -- despite my job title -- I can't be more definitive on its merits.)
  • Brooks Haxton, translator, Fragments: The Collected Wisdom of Heraclitus (5/3)
    There isn't much Heraclitus left, but what there is is here. If you prefer your Eastern-ish philosophy from somewhere closer to Europe (but still awfully far east from where I sit), I recommend this. And, y'know, one of the roots of Western Culture and all that.
  • Julian Barnes, Love, etc. (5/4)
    This is the one that's a sequel to a love-triangle novel from a decade earlier (gets up to look: Talking It Over), in which the love-triangle undergoes further complications. I still think Barnes is at his best when he's being the most formally inventive (like A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters), but this is a fine and closely-observed novel of character.
  • Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima, Lone Wolf & Cub, Vol. 7: Chains of Death (5/5)
    Seventh in the great samurai-adventure manga series, featuring both lots of torso-chopping and moments of surprising and profound beauty and insight.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross, The Fall of Neskaya (5/6)
    Was the the first posthumous Darkover book? I've never quite got the point of Darkover -- it has the kind of social structure that turns me into a left-wing agitator and a technical level that makes me want to pave it over for hydroponics and arcologies -- but obviously it's popular with lots of other people. (Though I think these days they can get real fantasy novels, and don't have to have them with a thin SF glaze, the way MZB set it up in the benighted era of the '50s.)
Yes, I'm more than a week late...but at least I finally got this out.

2 comments:

Alexx Kay said...

I am under no embargo about discussing Star Wars novels, so I'll comment. Does George Lucas have a controlling interest in a colon factory or something? Three in one title would be unusual for any other franchise, but seems all too typical for SW books (and games).

Andrew Wheeler said...

alexx: Well, it actually makes perfect sense, since they're all Star Wars books, and then there was the big nineteen-book "New Jedi Order" series, and then Keyes's two-book sub-series had its own subtitle...um, yeah, I guess it can get a bit confusing.

Does the fact that I can keep track of all of it easily -- even several years later -- prove my geekly credentials or just make me one of those sad bloggers in the basement?

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