The OF Blog: New March reading poll

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New March reading poll

Just posted a poll where you can weigh in on which book you'd most want me to review next (well, after the poll expires and after I write three other reviews at least on Tolkien and Roberto Bolaño's works). Hopefully, there's something on the list that'll appeal to you. I know it'll be very hard to choose between any of these fine works myself.

But let's say you're not psyched about any of these. What books would you have rather that I had listed there? Or which ones are you curious about that you'd rather know more about? Mention those in the comments section, just so you don't feel left out (and hey, perhaps I might be inspired enough to post something, if applicable, on the mentioned books).

8 comments:

The Witchfinder said...

I recently placed an order for "The Kindly Ones" myself, so I would very much appreciate your thoughts on that. Given your mighty impressive reading-speed, you'd probably have it finished thrice over (with non-spoilerific thoughts ready and posted) before it even arrived at my doorstep! =P

Liviu said...

I am on my third reading of The Kindly Ones - the first in English though, since I read it twice close to its original pub date in French in late 06, early 07 - and it's still engrossing as in the first two; dark is not enough to describe to it - if you thought 2666's middle part is dark, wait until you read this one :) but it makes the most terrible war in history personal in a way history books do not.

You could recast the first part in a fantasy setting, with a band of brothers on an "unpleasant" but vital mission for their lord... Makes you look differently at a lot of genre books btw

Liviu said...

Just a quote from Kindly Ones:

"I returned again and again, and that’s how another time, at the edge of a grave, a little girl about four years old came up and quietly took my hand. I tried to free myself, but she kept gripping it. In front of us, they were shooting the Jews. “Gdye mama?” I asked the girl in Ukrainian. She pointed toward the trench. I caressed her hair. We stayed that way for several minutes. I was dizzy, I wanted to cry. “Come with me,” I said to her in German, “don’t be afraid, come.” I headed for the entrance of the pit; she stayed in place, holding me by the hand, then followed me. I picked her up and held her out to a Waffen-SS: “Be gentle with her,” I said to him stupidly. I felt an insane rage, but didn’t want to take it out on the girl, or on the soldier. He went down into the trench with the child in his arms and I quickly turned away and entered the forest."

Larry said...

Yes, that does sound as dark as I expected when I read some comments about it months ago. And considering my MA research touched upon the Shoah in places...yeah, I expect this will be a very dark, powerful read for me. Will likely start it in a couple of hours...when I am at the doctor's office, waiting for an hour or two. Fitting place for such reads, no?

ConUladh said...

I voted for Titus Groan because I tried to start it years ago without success, looking for a reason to try again or not...

Larry said...

Good reason for the vote, then! I plan on re-reading it this weekend (already am 300 pages into the Littell) and likely both will have things written about them by the time Spring officially arrives.

Liviu said...

Regarding Kindly Ones - the first time I read it, it took me several days of concentrated reading since I am slow in French, and I remember those days as kind of dark (November/December 06 and my business was sort of going nowhere, my wife was applying for a medical resident position, so fear of the future...) and I was driving my wife for her residency interviews at weird hospitals so I got to read the German bombing part in a New Jersey Borders and the Auschwitz part in my parked car waiting for her to finish...

But on the reread today in more settled times (though again knock on the wood with all that's going on) it is till dark and powerful :)

Larry said...

So far, having just started Part III, Littell's book reminds me quite a bit of the microhistories of this time period that I had to read for my grad seminar on Hitler's Germany. He's obviously researched this well and the story moves at a good pace. A few niggling things here and there about the narrator, but I'll address that in the review itself, whenever I write it over the next couple of weeks.

 
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