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28 December 2004 @ 10:16 am
Hidden gems of the book-ie kind  
I took out a lot of books from the library a couple of weeks ago.

Things I finished:

Reading Lolita in Tehran. This book is interesting as it relates the experiences of reading and teaching a set of novels and author's works (books by Nabokov with Lolita in particular feature heavily in the first section, followed by Austen and James and Great Gatsby) and how the ideas in the books reflect what is going on in the thoroughly modern times in Tehran between 197x and 199x (my mind for dates is perfectly shocking, I know). While this isn't a story with what could be considered traditional character development, it is fascinating how reading these books allows the people to reflect on and come to terms with difficult situations in their lives. Certainly worth reading, and it only took me a week of stop-and-go train reading to finish.

Bellwether. by Connie Willis. I haven't actually finished anything of hers before. I got awfully far into Passages and just stopped reading it for unknown reasons. Bellwether is incredibly short. (and I didn't take it out of the library. If anyone wants to borrow it from me, just drop me a line) The short version is it is about the intricacies involved in fads and how people go from not liking something to deciding it is cool. But it is also a story about the process of making science, how inspiration works in the human mind, and sheep! How can anyone not like a book about sheep!

Books I haven't finished:

The Glory Cloak. I am not going to finish this book, but I have to put this note in here. This book is a good telling of Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton and the Civil War (at least at the point I am in the book). I want to finish it, but it is already a week overdue and has a hold placed on it so I can't renew. I will take it out again later and finish it. I wouldn't say the prose is richly written but it is certainly an enjoyable read nonetheless.

The Doomsday Book. by Connie Willis. I have about 40 pages left, and if I were not at work right now (and I am actually working in between sentences) I would be done. Yum. No spoilers, and I am not sure what I can say that wouldn't make it a spoiler. In a similar vein to The Wild Swans by Pamela Kerr, this book is written in parallel so that it feels like you are reading two stories at the same time. This book qualifies as a medical/psychological thriller more than science fiction. Hmm, yummy.

Thief of Time. (I really can't say much, because I haven't had more than 3 consecutive minutes to read this yet. It is certainly more entertaining than the last thing of his that I tried to read.)

Enough for now. Note to self, there has to be a better cure for insomnia than reading knitting magazine and playing video game. Bah.
Feeling like: sleepysleepy
the name of dogenochs_fable on December 28th, 2004 03:28 pm (UTC)
The Doomsday Book was really just terrifying. I don't think I've read a more gut-wrenching depiction of what it might have been like to live in the plague times.

I'd be up for borrowing Bellweather! Baa.

Possibly trying drinking something milky when you're insomiac - the tryptophan might help?
Qarylla Windragarqarylla on December 28th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
Heh. There's just not enough milk in the house. I think I just was thinking too much. Stupid of me, I know.

I'll bring Bellweather (or however it is spelled) with me on Sunday.
the name of dogenochs_fable on December 28th, 2004 03:55 pm (UTC)
Cool. Thinking too much is also my problem. Reading for a bit usually helps, often with some herbal tea or something. But hten I have to be careful not to be sucked into another book or I'll be up waaay too late.
thastygliax on December 28th, 2004 04:02 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Doomsday Book. Better than many other books with the same general plot device--partly because of those disturbingly realistic bits enochs_fable alludes to.
Sasavidya on December 28th, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thief of Time has a nice audio CD...if you want to multi-task your insomnia cures....