Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Reading list for October 2006

Currently reading
Alain de Botton, Versuch ├╝ber die Liebe
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding flow
Neil Gaiman, Anansi boys

Recently read
John Banville, The sea
Neil Gaiman, Sternwanderer
Kristjana Gunnars, The Prowler
Javier Marias, Morgen in der Schlacht denk an mich
Audrey Niffenegger, The time-traveller's wife
Linda Svenson, Marine life

Lots of reading last month, call it "hiding from reality;" much good stuff too. The Marias and the Niffenegger between them were the highlights, excellent books in very different styles. Reading Marias would require considerably more patience and an affinity for tangential subclauses, whereas Niffenegger is more straightforwardly enjoyable: a fairly conventional lovestory in a very unconventional frame. I'd recommend them both.

Gunnars and Svenson are what we in the trade call CanLit, i.e. Canadian literature, proof of the fecund diversity of our national etc etc etc. I found the Svenson hard work: very sad stories about unhappy people making trouble for themselves, not that there's anything wrong with that (c.f. Cormac McCarthy or a dozen others whom I've praised here) as long as it goes somewhere, but for my money Marine life just sits and stews.

I shall write about Alain de Botton and Csikszentmihalyi another time, right now I have a headache and the bright blue sky is calling me to take a walk. Today is a public holiday in Germany, which I'd have known from the silence of the street this morning without looking at the calendar.

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

And by the way welcome to NaBloPoMo. One down, twenty-nine to go.

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Blogger Savtadotty said...

The "reality" from which you are "hiding" requires energy that gets charged by reading. As a proponent of meta-think, let's just say there is a Higher Reality right here on earth that encompasses the library, the bookshop, and reading in the tub.

November 1, 2006 at 1:10:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous antonia said...

I had been reading the Marias when it was new, also Mein Herz so weiss... am not exactly sure anymore which one I liked better, I guess Morgen in der Schlacht denk an mich...that I liked more and that this line comes from a Shakespeare play....but forgotten which one of course...found these books very similar, you mentioning them makes me want to reread them...the universitybook he wrote was somehow completely different than the ones mentioned above....also good, but very different..straneg no one reads Marias anymore,how come you rediscovered him?

November 1, 2006 at 7:21:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Savtadotty: yes, I too think of it as recharging. One thing that I've learned is to take the needs & desires of my body & soul (more) seriously: when I'm in the mood for doing nothing it's usually because I am so distracted that I am also good for nothing :-) In this case it's different, as I wrote recently it has been a very highly productive month for work and play.

Antonia: welcome back from holiday! The link on Marias explains where the title - and recurring quote in the novel - comes from. I read Mein Herz so weiss after reading mention of it in a review of something entirely different, and quite liked it, though I too would say that Morgen in der Schlacht... is the better novel.

BTW I cannot get onto your blog any more, it keeps asking for my identity. Do you need to invite me, or how does this work?

November 1, 2006 at 8:31:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous antonia said...

hi udge,
I made my blog somehow rereadable again some hours ago...maybe it is a beta-bloggerthing? The strange thing also was that I thougth I made my blog completely invisible (for didnt want to be discovered by some universitypeople) but it always kept people asking for password etc...anyway..
if it does not go away let me know...but it should work now....

yes teh Marias is great, but I liked this long sentences and how long and diligently he always described the scenes...he should write something new....or did he and I just didnt notice?

November 1, 2006 at 11:25:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous noorster said...

This is such a great, Udge-esque way to start NaBloPoMo.

November 2, 2006 at 5:37:00 a.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

(squints into the darkness) Noorster? is that you? What are you doing reading blogs at 5:37 am?

November 2, 2006 at 8:38:00 a.m. GMT+1  

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