I’m a book person. This has become sort of widely known. This Christmas saw a wealth of stories come my direction…
They won’t last long, of course. I devour books the way a Hostess-goody-deprived youth devours Twinkie cakes; but right now with only one book devoured, and several to go, a veritable feast awaits. Here are the books I received for Christmas:
I already ate this one. I’ve been curious about Neil Gaiman books for some time, having not read anything by him, but rather a lot about him. I saw the movie Stardust, but didn’t know that he wrote the story for it. The book read quickly, it was engaging and well crafted. I’ll be putting more of his offerings on my book shelf.
You’ve likely heard of this one. I looked it up, and yes, this is the novel that the Broadway musical is based on. It is the story of the Wizard of Oz told from the perspective of the Witch… kind of like Mists of Avalon for the Arthur story. I have read about eighty pages, and I honestly don’t understand how this novel would translate to a musical. I’m curious. Under the Tuscan Sun, the movie, was unrecognizable from the book, though they were both excellent in their way. I wonder if ‘Wicked’ manages that. Maguire is cerebral and detail oriented, and the prose have been smooth and intelligent, so far.
I don’t know anything about this novel yet, so here’s some text I found on amazon.com:
“Roland Mitchell, underpaid English research assistant, is on a search for nineteenth-century poet Randolph Henry Ash’s copy of Vico, in the hopes that Ash will have written something enlightening in the margins. The book is brought up from the vaults of the British Museum, and in it Mitchell finds far more than Randolph Ash’s thoughts on Vico. Hidden between the pages, unknown to anyone, are two rough drafts of a love letter to an unknown woman, written by Randolph Ash – a man scholars believe was eternally, faithfully married. From here on, the plot thickens, as they say, to include romance, poetry, parodies of feminist and Freudian criticism, trips to old houses and foreign countries, thefts, deceptions, and true love. Possession is a novel about literary scholarship – a hymn of praise and an attack – a book about modern romance and the lack of it. It is a novel of many voices and about the difficulty of knowing anyone’s voice, even one’s own. It is a magnificent read – thick and engrossing.”
Hm. Well, we’ll see.
Ah, my darling Bryson, sent to me by my other darling, who also sent ‘A Walk in the Woods’ into my life. Alas, alack, where is my darling Katz? Stephen Katz does not show up except in a brief sidenote, in this novel, and that almost makes me want to cry. It is a very nostalgic look back at the world Bryson grew up in: The fifties. There’s lots of boy joy and young boy humor throughout- little grossness bits that make this memoir more fun and more refreshing than watching the Cleavers. But I do miss Katz. I think Bryson should be primarily employed with writing novels that feature his cream-soda loving, plain-speaking, plump-rumped, semi-insane travelling buddy, because… well, it would make me very happy.
Ed! Yong! Yes, of my very blogroll, Ed Yong. Our friend, the science wizard, has collected many writings from his first year of blogging into a well-crafted book of amazing science discoveries. ‘Not Exactly Rocket Science’ is written in his signature, down-to-earth prose, language that a regular, non-scientist human can actually understand. Since I read Ed’s blog during that first year, this book means a bit more to me than if this were just an excellently crafted collection of amazing scientific revelations. But even if it were just that… that’s rather a nice addition to the library, don’t you think?
Regrettably, I have read half this book already, and while the idea is cute, like a lot of the movies that have come out lately, the execution is pretty disappointing. I’m reading it anyway. It is basically the story of Pride and Prejudice told in a contemporary setting, around the seed of the plot of some people putting on the play, ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The fact that the characters are supposed to represent the characters from the novel is so thinly disguised, it’s ludicrous. So are the exhaustive descriptions of each character’s attractive personal appearance. Ms. Nathan overwrites, and she also mixes up columnists, critics and the word ‘journalism’ so liberally that I’m not certain she discerns between the concepts. However, she’s still young. Maybe there’s a work of literature on her writing horizon.
Robert Bateman Natural Worlds (with text by Rick Archbold)
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Goodnight Bush by Erich Origen & Gan Golan
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(This post in progress. I wanted to put something up, though, and didn’t realize it would take such a very long time to go through all those books)