The OF Blog: To be read

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To be read

It's nearly the halfway point of 2008 and I thought I'd list recent acquisitions that I do plan on reading, but haven't yet. Some of these are in the process of being read, but none are complete:

Currently Reading:

1. Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (Spanish-language) - 135 pages into an 1125 page book.

2. Adam Roberts, The History of Science Fiction - 276 pages into a 368 page book.

3. Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver - 611 pages into a 927 page book (UK Hardcover edition)

To Read:

4. Halldór Laxness, Independent People (6/2008 purchase)

5. Kage Baker, The House of the Stag (6/2008 ARC)

6. Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence (6/2008 purchase)

7. Ken MacLeod, The Execution Channel (4/2008 purchase)

8. Nisi Shawl, Filter House (short story collection; 4/2008 ARC)

9. Умберто Еко, Тајанствени Пламен Краљице Лоане (Serbian; 1/2008 gift, translation of Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana)

10. Peter F. Hamilton, The Dreaming Void (4/2008 review copy)

11. Thomas Nevins, The Age of the Conglomerates (5/2008 ARC)

12. Rob Rogers, Devil's Cape (2/2008 ARC)

13. Paul Melko, Singularity's Ring (3/2008 ARC)

14. O. Henry, The Complete Stories of O. Henry (late 2006 purchase)

15. Katherine Dunn, Geek Love (11/2007 purchase)

There are others that I've received that are unread, but I currently have no plans on reading them in the near future, if at all.

Edit: Seven more books arrived in the mail today. While I have a copy of one, The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, from last year, receiving a second copy (this time from the UK) will probably encourage me to re-read it in full, since I'm bent on having a more comprehensive discussion of anthologies this December.

16. Paul Kearney, The Ten Thousand (finished copy; due for September release, I believe)

17. Adam Roberts, Splinter (2007 release)

18. Eric Brown, Kéthani (2008 release)

19. George Mann (ed.), The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction (2007 release)

20. George Mann (ed.), The Solaris book of New Science Fiction: Volume Two (2008 release)

21. John Scalzi, Zoe's Tale (ARC; August 2008 release)

Well, I guess my To Be Read list will be in constant fluctuation. Now back to reading 2666, currently at the beginning of Book Two, on page 211 of 1125.


Liviu said...

I've just read Amulet by R. Bolano and it was a very fast and hypnotic read. I also got Last Evenings on Earth and The Savage Detectives should come from the library soon since our system has 32 copies of it. There is one more Bolano they have and I put on hold, Distant Star. 2666 became a buy on publication book for me.

Of the rest here, I am mildly interested in Adam Roberts history of sf but it's too expensive for my interest level for now.

I've read and enjoyed Quicksilver earlier this year too, and I plan to read The Confusion sometime soon, I tried Halldor Laxness but did not like him for now.

I do not read Kage Baker.

I loved Enchantress a lot.

I completely disliked Execution Channel - but I usually dislike near future thrillers at least of the left wing variety - though I loved Mr. MacLeod other novels, read all 9 or 10.

I read Dreaming Void last year and liked it a lot, but it's not Hamilton's best.

Nevins' book is a check on publication, unlikely it's for me but who knows.

Melko was very disappointing, YA light fare when I expected mind boggling sf a la Reynolds based on his shorts.

I may try Nisi Shawl's collection if available at the library or cheaply.

Geek Love also sounds something that I may enjoy so I will check out, the rest do not tempt me, crime and Eco especially not.

Larry said...

I haven't read the other Bolaño books you mention, but in the near future (read: when I'm recalled from layoff) I plan on buying all that I can in Spanish, as they seem to be interwoven in some fashion, according to a few hints I've read here and there.

The Roberts book is good, but $27 is a bit high for many, I suppose, but still much cheaper than the $70 I paid for an old professor's book on the cultural history of the Eastern Front of WWI (I bought this 3 years after my MA graduation, so I did it by choice).

The MacLeod didn't engage me the first time I tried back in April, so I thought I'd try it once my pile shrinks. Shawl's short stories that I've read elsewhere generally were excellent and I'm only waiting until closer to the August release date before reading/reviewing it. Since I've read 1/3 of them and liked them, I have high hopes for this collection.

The rest I shall discover as may be.

Liviu said...

Of the new books you added I loved Splinter - but I really loved almost anything original by Mr. Roberts. Splinter is special, very hypnotic too, and of course reading the original Verne on which is based adds to the enjoyment. Stone is still my favorite being space opera and Mr. Roberts "answer" to IM Banks, but I liked a lot the other recent novels, Land of the Headless - lighter adventure/romance with a headless first person narrator, and Swiftly

I read both Mann anthologies, liked more the second, but both are very good

Ten Thousand is on my buy list and I own Kethani, read some short stories from it when published, and I am curious how they will fit together

Since Last Colony disappointed me badly, being another light YAish sf after the very interesting Ghost Brigades and light but original and entertaining OMW, Zoe's Tale is low priority. I will check it when published, but it's very unlikely I will read it.

Regarding book prices, it all depends on interest. I've just paid 51$ for a French edition of Salut de L'Empire the final volume in Dumas Napoleonic saga, mostly written by C. Schopp and just released this May there - and I read it almost twice since I got it -, and I also paid almost 30$ to import Pavic's Unique from Serbia,

And not to talk about professional books that I still read despite being out of academia for 11+ years I spend once in a while 100$ or more for a treaty on Set Theory or maybe some modern Number Theory - maybe not entertainment , more like to keep my logical faculties alive

Larry said...

True, interest plays a key role in how much one is willing to pay. I just received word that Wolfe's Memorare is about to ship and I paid $35 for it. Same for VanderMeer's upcoming book about Secret Lives. Thought paying only $38 (with shipping) for 2666 was a steal; saw it recently being advertised for $150-250. Still want the Pavić, though.

I'm very curious about the Kearney. I read his The Mark of Ran earlier this year and thought it to be a promising, decent first volume. Apparently this one is a standalone. The Roberts of course interests me (I loved reading Salt last year). The Scalzi was sent to me despite me never having read any of his fiction, so I might request copies of the older works first, just to see.

Speaking of academic interests - I'm tempted to do a search for books on the cultural histories of WWI, Weimar, and pre-1939 Nazi Germany in relation to mass culture and religion. Just to see what has come out in the field since 1998.

Liviu said...

I liked Kearney's Beggars 1 and 2, hope he will finish it. It's much darker than usual fantasy, so maybe this is why it did not sell enough.

I liked the Hawkwood Voyage 5 vol series, though it has some weaknesses, most notably the ending; hope the rewrite in the Solaris reissue will do it justice; but very, very energetic writing, quite cliched, but it pulls you along due to its energy.

For me libraries always offered a very good alternative especially in leaner times - it's true that I was lucky to have access in Romania, while here I lived in places with excellent systems at PSU and now in Westchester Co, NY, and I have the added bonus of free access to NYPL which has lots of foreign language books and even e-books that you can read from home without traveling to pick them up.

And the reserve system here at my local library is super - there are 30+ libraries in the county, I can order books from - and while it oscillates between free and 25c per item, it's fast delivery and order with a click

I will pm you on sffworld with my e-mail address so if you want we can exchange more opinions about books at leisure...

Larry said...

I live about a 45 minute drive from downtown Nashville, so I don't have those excellent library opportunities, alas. And yes, feel free to PM me over there whenever :D

ThRiNiDiR said...

I've my eyes set on Cornish and Kenyon from the books you are proposing.

Larry said...

Good! Although for a moment your commenting here than on the other thread confused me a bit ;)

ThRiNiDiR said...

Hah, it was intentional - just to befuddle you! (no, not really). :)

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