The OF Blog: September 14-20 books read

Sunday, September 21, 2008

September 14-20 books read

Some of these books were partially read before this time, plus I took the day off Thursday, so there are more listed here than shall be the norm for most of the rest of the year.

301 Tim Powers, The Stress of Her Regard - I ended up liking this quite a bit. I have a soft spot for the English Romantics and having the lamia/vampire storyline serve as a symbol for drug abuse and excess made for an engrossing read.

302 Thomas Ligotti, Teatro Grottesco - Although I had heard of him before this year, I never really read more than a single short story until very recently. I need to buy more of his collections, despite their prohibitive costs, because these stories contained in this collection are haunting, with taut but beautiful prose that serves to lead the reader on, like a lamb to the slaughter, to conclusions that are frightening without ever devolving into splatterpunk explicitness.

303 Steven Erikson, Toll the Hounds - see my review in the post below.

304 Paolo Bacigalupi, Pump Six and Other Stories - I'll be saying much more about him in December, as this short story collection has a place reserved for it on my Best of 2008 shortlist for story collections.

305 Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho - Chilling, especially in all the banality that surrounds Bateman's horrific actions. That juxtapositioning made for a truly remarkable read.

306 Guy de Maupassant, A Parisian Affair and Other Stories - Maupassant is the 19th century French short story master. These are some of his more well-known stories. I think you can guess my thoughts on these...

307 Elizabeth Bear, Ink and Steel - this third Promethean Age novel and the first of a duology set in late Elizabethan era England explores having Marley/Marlowe and Shakespeare as being agents that protect the realm from sorcerors, among a great many other things. Bear's story moves at a fast clip and while I ultimately enjoyed it, compared to the novels before it was rather light on the symbolism. Sometimes, one needs a little break, I suppose...

308 Nisi Shawl, Filter House - I had read many of Shawl's stories before now, but this new collection that came out late last month reminded me again why I think so highly of her stories. She mixes in African folk magic with futuristic elements to create a form that is pretty much sui generis without ever failing to be accessible and marvelous at the same time.

Currently reading:

Elizabeth Bear, Hell and Earth
- About 50% done, this novel is shaping up to be a worthy complement to Ink and Steel.

Robert Graves, Good-Bye to All That - I first read this for a Cultural History of World War I undergrad course back in the mid-90s, but I wanted to re-read this remarkable memoir in preparation for a unit I'll be teaching in November on World War I.

Shaun Tan, The Arrival (re-read that won't count in my yearly total, since I read it again back in January) - I'm in the process of selecting images that'll be used in a classroom presentation later this week, time permitting.


Brian Charles Clark said...

I was delighted to see you read Nisi Shawl's Filter House. It's one of my favorites of the year so far. I wrote a review, which is posted on my mostly-reviews blag:

Larry said...

Cool! I'll look at it later this week, once work settles down a bit (evaluation weeks are never fun).

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