The OF Blog: 2006 Readings, Mid-May Through July

Monday, October 02, 2006

2006 Readings, Mid-May Through July

It's been a few months since I've last listed the reads/re-reads I've done in 2006, so here's just the listings, with very little to no commentary on the books:

51. Julio Cortázar, La autopista del sur y otros cuentos - Re-read from 2005, this is a collection of his short stories taken from many of the original edition collections. Good, strong collection from the author of Rayuela.

52. Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist. - 1926 novel that stands the test of time well. Neil Gaiman mentioned this book by name when he praised Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and it was indeed a delightful read.

53. Carlos Fuentes, Inquieta compañía - Re-read from the beginning of 2005, this was an enjoyable set of stories dealing with the supernatural from one of the finest authors of the Boom Generation.

54. Oliverio Girondo, Scarecrow and Other Anomalies (bilingual edition) - Very avant-garde, this collection of works from the Argentine writer/poet. Almost too weird/surreal for me, but yet his originality in prosery (in Spanish - the translation couldn't hold up well) ultimately made this an enjoyable re-read from 2003.

55. Gabriel García Márquez, Memoria de mis putas tristes - Re-read from October 2004. This was Gabo's first short novel in 10 years and it was a good read on the reflections of a life lived and wishes unfulfilled, among a great many other things.

56. Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz - Reviewed at wotmania. Enjoyed this book a lot, thought it held up well, almost 50 years after publication.

57. R. Scott Bakker, The Warrior-Prophet - Re-read from June 2004. Enjoyed it a lot, thought it was one of the more intelligently crafted and written epic fantasies available in English.

58. R. Scott Bakker, The Thousandfold Thought - Re-read from October 2005 (ARC). On the second read, I enjoyed this one even more than the other two books in the volume, so it improved on a re-read. Highly recommend this series to readers.

59. Xavier Velasco, El materialsimo hísterico - This young Mexican author has a lot of talent and this re-read from Summer 2005 reminded me of this. This is a collection of fables set in a true material girl world. Well worth the read for those who can read Spanish (hopefully, this will be translated into English in the near future).

60. Mario Vargas Llosa, La fiesta del Chivo - Re-read from June 2004. This historical novel about the last days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic is a fascinating account, one that was told well by a master storyteller. I enjoyed re-reading this and shall soon re-read La guerra del fin del mundo.

61. Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered - Re-read from 2003. This is an excellent poetic translation of Tasso's epic poem on the First Crusade and the siege of Jerusalem. I cannot recommend this work enough to those that enjoy heroic poetry in the epic style.

62. José Herández, Martín Fierro - This Argentine gaucho epic revolves around the exploits of Martín Fierro, as he exists between the white and native societies on the pampas in the 19th century. Although I had some difficulties with the localisms employed, I did enjoy this story quite a bit in original Spanish.

63. Manuel Mujica Lainez, La misteriosa Buenos Aires - This is a collection of story, perhaps based on actual people/events, perhaps figments of the author's imagination, that stretch from the city's first founding in the early 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. A story collection that I shall read and re-read many times in the future, I do believe, as it just seemed to be full of that je ne sais quoi that made the characters/scenes seem so real.

64. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird - I've re-read this story multiple times since my high school days back in the early 90s and each time, the story impacts me more and more, being a native Southerner who still has had to ask the basic questions that little Scout Lynch asks throughout this moving story.

65. Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys - Reviewed at wotmania. It ended up being a decent Gaiman story, but I'm still convinced that he's a better short fiction author than he is a novelist.

66. Hal Duncan, Vellum - Reviewed at wotmania. Title of the review there should tell you how much I enjoyed it when I read it for the first time this past July.

I'll make another post about my reads from August-early October later this week.
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