But probably without blurbs.
Because it is late.
And I am le tired.
Julian, Gore Vidal
Bor.ing. I need to find out why Vidal chose to write this way,
instead of in the far more interesting and engrossing fashion of “I, Claudius”,
or most other historical narratives.
I mean, if Julian was that much of a dull turd of a Roman Emperor,
…maybe Vidal was a stickler for authenticity?
Atonement, Ian McEwan
Got considerably better in the second half of the novel.
I found the actual atoning to be both satisfying and poignant.
It’s still a rather detached story in many ways,
but I’m okay with that as a style when it comes to books set in a time of war
(Corelli’s Mandolin, for example, also does this at certain points)–
Master & Commander, Patrick O’Brian
Still needed that naval dictionary.
But loved the book overall, in spite of that.
O’Brian manages to make his readers feel like they are a part
of the sea, sky, ropes, flying jib, watches in the night,
even if they don’t know a belaying pin from a poop deck.
Jack Aubrey is a great character–
so flawed, so wonderful.
I wanted him to succeed, even though he is a rake and a scoundrel–
takes a good writer to do that.
Stardust, Neil Gaiman
One of my favorites of his.
Perfume, Patrick Süskind
Creepy–and so very Germanic.
The story centers around a man named Jean Baptiste Grenouille,
who is born without any smell.
Not any sense of smell–
but no smell, period.
Süskind paints Grenouille as an unnatural being;
one who is brought up without love,
and grows up without a moral compass.
He also has a preternatural sense of smell,
and becomes obsessed with making the perfect perfume–
for which he will commit any crime to form.
I love scents, and I love the art of perfume,
so I had an interest in this book from the outset,
which helps, I think.
There are several gross events,
particularly towards the conclusion
(which I felt failed to forward the narrative),
so reader beware.
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
Solid, grim, noir.
Good story, good prose.
If you’ve just seen the Bogart film,
give the book a read–
particularly if you can read it on a rainy day
in an old coffee shop.
Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley
Hugo Award Winners Short Story Collection, ed. Isaac Asimov
The Known World, Edward P. Jones
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
Thematic Essays from The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Art History, Various
ed: Knew I’d forget one!
The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
26 27 books and counting for 2011, kids!)