Thursday, November 30, 2006

Reading list for November 2006

Currently reading
Will Johnson, The posture of meditation
Sven Regener, Herr Lehmann
George Steiner, Nostalgia for the absolute

Recently read
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

I would say "not much reading this month" but for the fact that the Stephenson alone is 1138 pages long, and quite dense (for fiction). This is my second Stephenson, after Snow crash, and it's in a very different vein. The discursive, excursive, style remains, as does the cinematic cross-cutting between several story lines which one presumes are twining towards each other; but there are also two significant differences. It isn't science fiction (though labelled as such by the library), none of the toys and software are beyond current technology. (It's not about cyberspace, in other words.) Secondly, there is a historical component: there are two sets of cross-cut stories, one in the present and the other during the Second World War, and many of the characters from the war survive into the present. It's unusual in there isn't a villain as such, the drama (and it is dramatic) is purely internal. A good read.

I promised last time to tell you about Alain de Botton's Essays in love, but unfortunately I had to return that to the library (it was reserved by another reader) and didn't take notes. From recollection, it was quite amusing, a work of philosophic inquiry done up as romantic fiction but retaining the numbered paragraphs and footnoted diagrams ("Figure 5.2") of academic texts. I'll borrow it again and flesh this out with a few quotes. Recommended.

Next month's list
Last month's list aka the first NaBloPoMo post

Thirty down.

In the immortal words of Sherpa Tensing: We've done the bugger. NaBloPoMo? been there, done that.

It's been fun, when it wasn't being hard work. Thanks to the new visitors - and the old friends - for dropping in, and to the many delightful NaBloPoMo'ists for the company and encouragement along the way, and to the charming Noorster for the idea of ending as I began with a reading list. Finally, (permission to shout "hooray" at an annoyingly loud volume?)


to the exquisite Mrs. Kennedy for having launched us on this whole absurd and enjoyable adventure in the first place.

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Anonymous noorster said...

I think congratulations are in order.

November 30, 2006 at 7:25:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

Hip Hip Hooray! (Would someone please design a "smiley" to signify congratulations?)

December 1, 2006 at 3:47:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Thank you both! Noorster, congratulations right back at you :-)

December 1, 2006 at 4:01:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger brooksba said...

Congratulations! You did it! Wonderful month and I hope that you continue to post often. I've enjoyed reading your posts all month long.

December 1, 2006 at 9:09:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Good for you! I was all excited about it and then forgot I didn't have internet at home. Sadness. But now I do.

Enjoyed the posts this month.

December 3, 2006 at 1:35:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous idan said...

If you enjoy Stephenson I highly recommend two books you didn't mention: The Diamond Age (a wonderful piece of scifi, even better than Snow Crash IMO) and The Big U, which is not so science-fictiony but is an excellent read nonetheless. Caveat, Big U is a difficult read the first time around, but I think it's very worth it. :)

December 4, 2006 at 3:03:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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