Thursday, February 15, 2007

Reading Into the Past: Week of 2/11

If I actually do this quickly, it will be two weeks in a row, for the first time in about six months, so let's dive right in to the books I was reading this week in 1995:
  • Guy Gavriel Kay, The Lions of Al-Rassan
    The first Kay book I read -- I still haven't read much of his stuff, though I've got a shelf of it -- and the discussion at the SFBC was whether it was "fantasy enough". (There is one, very minor, magical element.) It wasn't enough then, but it would probably be enough now; odd how things like that can change.
  • Larry Niven, Flatlander
    A book I'd completely forgotten that I ever read. Is this the Beowulf Schaffer stories? {checks} Nope, that's Crashlander (easy mistake). This one has all the "Gil the ARM" stories. They're vaguely coming back to me know -- I think I mostly liked them, but thought they were too gimmicky.
  • Justin Kaplan, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain
    It's supposedly the biography of Samuel Clemens, but it deliberately avoids covering any of the periods of Clemens's life that he wrote about himself (so it basically starts with him as a newish writer). It's well-written, but I still think Kaplan completely copped out of the job of a biographer. (And writers' childhoods are usually the most interesting parts of their biographies, anyway.)
  • Isaiah Berlin, The Crooked Timber of Mankind
    A collection of essays that made me feel smarter. I'm starting to feel dumb again, so I probably need a Berlin booster shot soon.
  • Nancy A. Collins, Paint It Black
    One of the "Sonja Blue" vampire novels. I thought they were fine, if a bit predictable. Haven't heard much from Collins this past decade; I suspect the last horror crash hurt her career. (And being published by White Wolf probably didn't help, either, he said cattily.)
  • John Harvey, Living Proof
    A middle book in a very good British police procedural series; I started somewhere in the middle myself and never quite made it back to the beginning, so I think you can start anywhere with these books. Harvey is also a poet, which shows in his control of language. When I had the time to read more mysteries, this was one of my favorite series.
  • Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, The White Gryphon
    A minor middle Valdemar book, back when those were my major guilty pleasure. (I was reading them for work, yes, but that didn't make it less guilty.) This "Gryphon" trilogy was, as I recall, awfully fluffy, but they were quite pleasant to read. (And this was before we got several chapters of building-the-magical-medieval-jacuzzi in every book, a few years later. I never minded reading any of these books, but sometimes the plot seemed to disappear for half a book at a time...)
Right after that, I dove into a re-read of Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" (starting with The Castle of the Otter for no reason I can see).

No comments:

Post a Comment