Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

Sunshine has published an end-of-year post about interesting books she read in 2007. I thought I'd do likewise, but then I hit a tiny snag: though I certainly feel fairly well read, a number of stock titles in our perceived literary canon have somehow slipped through my cracks along the way. I spent this year catching these slip-ups. What good would come from adding more words to the world’s collective reports on To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Catch 22, Pride and Prejudice, or Of Human Bondage (a list to which I deem it appropriate to add The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Warm Worlds and Otherwise by James Tiptree, Jr.)? Therefore, what books I can include for limited review here, following Sunshine’s example, must be culled from my incidental side-reading. Here's nine:
I would also like to honorably mention Ted Chiang's shorter-than-a-novel The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (graceful as always), as well as James Maxey's Bitterwood (cleverly populous) which I read for the first time years ago. [Cavin]

Then, a 3 sided conversation ensued...

To which Anonymous 'ell joy added:

I read about 10 pages in Fifth Business before re-shelving it for later. Why, you ask, since it's so good? I learned it's one of a trilogy - the only one I have, at present. And one of my more inflexible Rules of Book is that I have all of a set before reading any of them - a lesson learned with great frustration from Stephen Donaldson years ago. I hope this keeps me from having to hang around for years after I die, waiting for someone with corporeal hands to turn the pages while I hover and read over his shoulder. Huh, my luck, it'll be someone who reads faster than I do. (So, MrC, remember I like to s a v o r the language ... )

Friday, January 04, 2008 3:36:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Oh good lord. Read the damn thing. I’ll buy you the other two when you’re done. The book was written as a standalone book, I feel, like many first books. Only after it was finished did the plausibility of further Deptford storytelling occur to Mr. Davies. When this happened he wrote those. They are less standalone, but because they really need that first book. The first book doesn’t need them at all (and if I may, is better than both of them put together, although they are both good). But, okay, I understand having to follow rules, too. The link in the post above takes you to the book you have, but suggests you buy the other two and includes the links. They are Manticore and World of Wonders. And don’t worry, by the time you are a ghost, you will be able to merge with the net and download books straight into your consciousness. Assuming you can read a Kindle file extension, that is. Doesn’t do to die a luddite.

Saturday, January 05, 2008 2:14:00 AM  
To which Anonymous 'ell joy added:

Baby, if I can merge with the net, I won't need to download anything. I'll be a surf demon with insatiable nosiness and some payback in mind. Watch out IRS (among others). I would've said NCDMV but what could I possibly do that would make anything there any worse? I could use my powers for good and pink slip everyone, I guess.
I read some comments that agreed the first book is best and the other two could even be skipped. But Rules rules and I like to see for myself. Amazon has a fat paperback with all three, like The Cornish Trilogy I borrowed from Sunshine (and returned semi-promptly with just minor damage). It's not the buying of the books that "interrupted" my reading, it's the not having at 3:00 a.m when I end one and want to start the next, right now, damnit. At least these have already been published. Something that wasn't the case with the Donaldson books.
About reading a Kindle file extension, maybe I can just rename it with a different extension and make it more ghost accessible. Or haunt a hacker if I can't find a dead one.

Saturday, January 05, 2008 7:13:00 AM  

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