Friday, January 04, 2008

More new year rubbish.

I need some books, please. So please offer your best suggestions. Oh, fiction. My brain is all soft and weak and needs love/conditioning.

I'm not sure if this helps but I'm presently reading Christopher Isherwood's
A Single Man (finding it rather depressing - social commentary...yada..), Irène Némirovsky's David Golder (also a bit depressing but for different reasons), and have the Hitch Hiker's Guide as a drop off to sleep standby.
I'm also looking forward to rereading, as an adult, Z for Zachariah (Robert C. O'Brien) which I last read when I filched it from my oh-so-grown-up sister's bedroom. It was one of her set readings at school. I think I must have still been in primary school when I read it and, given my nuclear holocaust fear (I must tell the story of this STUPID fear one day. It's all my mother's fault. Really.), it scared the piss out of me. I am hoping to lay that one to rest though.

The only plans I have for the moment are reading Poppy Z. Brite's new(er) stuff (I am addicted to her blog and, well, it would be nice to read some of her proper stuff.) and trialling Jasper Fforde. I'm at a loose end after that.

So, come on, suggestions.


Dale Slamma said...

I like Glenda Adams, it was a great shame when she died last year just before she was awarded the Australian Society of Author's medal.

I also like Chrisots Tsiolkas and Amy Witting.

lucy said...

Oh wow did Poppy Z Brite totally warp my poor virgin teenager brain.

She released a short story book way back which I still have, sexy and bloody which is the best kind.

Maria said...

I wander around bookshops trying to think of/buy more books than I can read, while a pile of books sits at home unread. I just finished Peter Goldsworthy's "Honk If You are Jesus" (and I read "Maestro") some time ago. I'd like to see if there are some more of his. And I've had the Phillip Pullman trilogy and Christopher Priest recommended to me.

As an adult I reread everything. I even considered buying a cheap copy of Anne of Green Gables recently because my old copy has the cover almost falling off it, but I didn't at the last minute because the depicted girl's hair wasn't red on the cover. Maybe that was a silly reason to not buy it at $5.99. I still read Anne's stories - only the first book though, in my opinion they went rapidly downhill after that.

Confessions, Confessions.

TimT said...

I'm reading 'The Neverending Story' at the moment, and have 'Farewell, My Lovely', a Raymond Chandler novel, on my desk. That'd go all right for summer reading ('The Big Sleep' is even better).

nailpolishblues said...

Dale - not sure how I feel about Tsiolkas. I've read Dead Europe, which I did enjoy, so maybe I should try some more. Haven't read Amy Witting in years, it must be time to revisit.

Lucy, I know. I don't think my brain ever recovered either.

Maria, I always have time for Anne. Although after she marries she does become super boring. I suspect Gilbert did nasty things to her on their honeymoon and warped her forever. Go Gil!

Tim, I loved The Neverending Story. I bought a copy for my sister a few years back and, um, accidentally read it before giving it to her. I totally loved the green and red.
Ah, Raymond Chandler, I should try him. Actual reading, not just books on tape.

Martin Kingsley said...

Well, let us seeeeeeee. Hmm. If you like lurid violence, neat prose and graphic sex, you can't go past Richard K. Morgan's Market Forces or Altered Carbon. Carbon is the more graphic of the two, and is also hard sci-fi, as opposed to Market Forces, which could be described as Mad Max meets Wall Street in near-future London. They're both a lot of fun, regardless.

Clive Barker's Books of Blood omnibus. Great short stories, if you're up for some masterfully skin-crawly horror.

William Gibson's Pattern Recognition gets two thumbs up from me, and was incidentally turned into a really, really fantastic audiobook by Tantor, the best audiobook company out there.

Oh, also, China Mieville's The Scar. It's a slow opener, but thoroughly engaging by the end of the first third, and can absolutely be read by itself despite being the second in a loose trilogy. In fact, I prefer it to the first and third entries by several body lengths.

Ahem. That is all. Move along.

JahTeh said...

Try reading Christopher Isherwood's Diaries which is good for the background to his novels.
It's a huge book but edited well and I enjoyed it enough to google everyone in it.

nailpolishblues said...

Er, Martin, no horror. I am a screaming coward with an over active imagination. What's more, I am a screaming coward with an over active imagination who lives alone.
Gibson looks interesting though. I've been too lazy to look up anyone else so far. Also, you know, scrabulous.

jahteh, I've always felt that I would probably like Isherwood and ought to read him but this is the first time I've gotten around to it. I may have started on the wrong book though.

Enny said...

I'm looking to read the Angus & Robertson Top 100 - I figured there's gotta be some good ones in there... my prior plan of buying cheap books on sale jus p!ssed me off.

nailpolishblues said...

I think I've largely read what I want from there, Enny. Some of them I wouldn't read if you paid me - ugh Dan Brown. Still, new books - YAY!!

Martin Kingsley said...

Pattern Recognition is the most easily accessible book Gibson has ever written, and is also almost entirely set in the present day, as opposed to being identifiably a work of science fiction. If you like visionary early-eighties/late-seventies cyberpunk mixed with a bit of subtle drug culture in the style of a much hipper Burroughs, you can't go past Neuromancer, his first book, or his book of short stories, Burning Chrome. Both are excellent. I also recommend Idoru, which contains a major supporting character (with great dialogue) based closely on none other than one Chopper Read. Can't get much cooler than that.

Also, Scrabulous!

Oh, and you should definitely check out Simon Winchester's The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Oxford English Dictionary. Cracking non-fiction read, and thoroughly engaging for anybody with a passing interest in either the OED, groovy 19th century-ness, sideburns, beards, Ceylon, or obsessive syphilitic lexical surgeons.

Maria said...

"I suspect Gilbert did nasty things to her on their honeymoon and warped her forever. Go Gil!"

Hmmm - that's getting my overactive imagination going already. Super-nasty things and honeymoons?

The first book is the best, hard to keep up the spark after that, specially after she was married. It's a warning to all single ladies. All the old traditional girly books I have seem to be like that - Heidi, Little Women, What Katy Did. The sequels aren't quite the same, and they become rapidly uninteresting once they're partnered off.

I went out to dinner recently and I've found out my friend who has recommended Phillip Pullman to me will also lend me the books, but I'm about fourth or fifth in line to another set of people she's promised. I am thinking perhaps I should purchase my own set or not be reading them this year!

Maria said...

You could purchase a book called 1001 books you must read before you die. Either you could read it, or you could read some of the books suggested ...!

nailpolishblues said...

Martin, sounds good. Gibson, that is. Have added him to the list and will check him out in 2nd hand book stores/ebay.
I've read Winchester's Meaning of Everything [or something]. I should read some more him it, it was a very enjoyable read.

Maria, that was kinda wrong of me, wasn't it? Still...
I think the lessen is that marriage makes one lose character. Or perhaps that husbands prefer quiet little wives and not, in fact, the girls/women they married. What a cynic I am!
His Dark Materials is pretty awesome. Definitely worth buying.
I am tempted with the 1001 books but then, a book about books for the price of a proper read? Cruel!

TimT said...

You might as well write a book called 'Everything of Meaning' as one called 'The Meaning of Everything'.

Having just finished the book, highly recommended - reads as well to me as an adult as it did when I was a kid. The beginning is a bit slow, that's the only problem. Incidentally, how crap was the movie? They removed practically everything that made the book special and in the process turned it into exactly the opposite of what it was meant to be.

nailpolishblues said...

I saw the movie first, long before I even knew there was a book [I may have been a bit dim as a child], and haven't seen it since I read the book so the movie kind of retains its original charm but is quite seperate, in my head, from the book.

Making books into movies is almost always bad though. What they do to one's favourites is so disappointing!

As Maria would surely agree about Anne of GG. Charming but why oh why remove/change so much?

sexy said...