Thursday, April 09, 2009

Part 2 of this latest book list, fangirly raving and other news type stuff

Firstly... I'm going to see Waiting for Godot tomorrow. I know jack about the play, other than that it's by Brecht (am I right?) [EDIT: Feminist Avatar informs me it's by Samuel Beckett, not Brecht. oops. he's probably still a master at what he does though] who is apparently a master at his stuff and well loved by theatre luvvies. I'm not really a theatre buff, apart from a Midsummer Night's Dream, which I love and have seen many many times. The reason I am seeing this play is for the actors. dum dum dum...wait for it.....
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan.

That's it. Just the two of them, on stage in front of me for about 3 hours. And I don't even have to travel to London to see them. They are in a theatre half an hours walk from my house. This shit never happens in Norfolk. I was stunned when it was announced. Tomorrow night is gonna be awesome. I am going with my sister who is visiting for the weekend, on Saturday we get to go shopping for shoes for me to wear at her wedding. Yawn. She studied drama at Uni so will be able to appreciate the play. Me, I'm planning on appreciating Patrick Stewart.

On other cool news I was rather pleased to see this art for the Justice League mini coming out later. Bee-yoo-ti-ful.

Back to the book list, part 2. (Found here by the way)
Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974) Pretty good actually. In the end I decided it wasn't homophobic, rather, it was mocking our currently held views. A point which seems to have been lost on the dickhead reviewer:
"It's not perfect - it's hard to take seriously a future in which hetereosexuality is a perversion"
Screw you asshole.
M John Harrison: Light (2002) Not interested.
Robert A Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) Rubbish. And offensive. I got halfway through the book then gave up. Maybe it improved later, but I was sick of male world view by that point.
Frank Herbert: Dune (1965) This is on my bookshelf waiting to be read. It has had a long wait. Comics, Ursula Le Guin, George R R Martin and Sheri S Tepper have seemed far more appealing.
Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game (1943) Sounds like it would drive me mad with frustration.
Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker (1980) Not read this one, but I have read 3 other Hoban books and they are wonderful, and showcase a specific type of Englishness, which doesn't come across as forced. he paints a very natural picture of English life and he is to be commended for that. Very much recommended.
James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) Hmm. Is about Christian religion, but somehow it's not grabbing me.
Michel Houellebecq: Atomised (1998) I always thought I'd want to read this, now I've read the review I'm not so sure.. :/
Aldous Huxley: Brave New World (1932) Oh god this book is amazing. For my GCSE English coursework I wrote a comparative essay on Brave New World, 1984 and The Time Machine. About the only time I ever got the coursework done on time. Anyway, BNW is easily one of my most favourite books ever and everyone should read it.
Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled (1995) Not interested in anyone who's been compared to Phillip K Dick.
Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1959) A laaay-dy. Could be good.
Henry James: The Turn of the Screw (1898) Too old for me to be interested in.
PD James: The Children of Men (1992) A dystopia eh? Apparently made into a movie. Still never heard of it.
Richard Jefferies: After London; Or, Wild England (1885) This may be Victorian, but ti sounds gooood.
Gwyneth Jones: Bold as Love (2001) Blah. I hate books about music and musicians.
Franz Kafka: The Trial (1925) I know I should read Kafka but I am that contrary I refuse to read stuff foisted or pushed onto me.
Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (1966) Awesome. Thought provoking, intelligent. Recommended.
Stephen King: The Shining (1977) I have read this, but I didn't think too much of it. The Dark Half is a much better King novel.
Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953) This looks good. I shall seek it out.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas (1864) Great name for an author. Oh look, Victorian again. Not interested.
Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961) The American film was shit. I have the Russian one downstairs, not yet watched. I am hesitant to read translations of Russian books because so often the translation is awful. If you want to read a Russian book about the supernatural may I recommend The Night Watch.
Doris Lessing: Memoirs of a Survivor (1974) This looks really good.
David Lindsay: A Voyage to Arcturus (1920) Tried reading this, was very very bored. gave up about a third of the way in.
Ken MacLeod: The Night Sessions (2008) Sounds good - it has religious themes. Could be one to pick up.
Hilary Mantel: Beyond Black (2005) I really don't need to bear witness to a "shocking, upsetting, often painful read". Think I'll give this one a miss.
Michael Marshall Smith: Only Forward (1994) Hmm. It's a possibility. It has cats.
Richard Matheson: I Am Legend (1954) LOVE this. One of the first stories I read/watched that tried to look at vampirism from a scientific perspective. Thereafter I wanted all vampires to be treated scientifically, hence why I liked Blade. I haven't seen the Will Smith film, but from reviews and plot synopsis it seemed to move away from the central themes of loneliness and madness.
Charles Maturin: Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) Good book title.
Patrick McCabe: The Butcher Boy (1992) Read this as a teenager. Good, but odd. I think I was too distracted to really appreciate this at the time of reading.
Cormac McCarthy: The Road (2006)
Jed Mercurio: Ascent (2007) It's got Soviets in it. That's enough to get me interested.
China MiƩville: The Scar (2002) I think I confuse the writer with the band, China Drum. This is steampunk and sounds fantastic. Definitely one to pick up.
Andrew Miller: Ingenious Pain (1997) Sounds desperately dull.
Walter M Miller Jr: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960) Cold War books can be horribly bigoted and stereotyping, so I think I'll leave this one.
David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas (2004) Read this. Wasn't impressed and can't remember any details.
Michael Moorcock: Mother London (1988) Moorcock is a great writer. I haven't read this one but every one of his I have found is a keeper.
William Morris: News From Nowhere (1890) Read as part of my Utopias and Dystopias module at Uni. Didn't like the style.
Toni Morrison: Beloved (1987) Meh. About slavery. Could be promising.
Haruki Murakami: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995) A friend of mine loves Murakami, but as explained before, I resent people trying to foist their book choices onto me. So I won't read it.
Vladimir Nabokov: Ada or Ardor (1969) I've read Lolita - a lot more complex than most would have you believe. I reckon this one would be good.
Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife (2003) Despite the title, not actually about the wife.
Larry Niven: Ringworld (1970) The SF Masterworks cover for this puts me off. That and the fact he's called Larry. I think it will be classic male sci-fi, too focused on the faux science explanations and not enough on the stories and themes.
Jeff Noon: Vurt (1993) "it's been described as the spawn of Alice in Wonderland and A Clockwork Orange" Way to make me not care.
Flann O'Brien: The Third Policeman (1967) "inspiration for the TV show Lost - is indeed fantastic in every sense. Set in a rural Ireland that is also a vision of hell, it features policemen turning into bicycles; that SF standby, the universal energy source; and any number of scientific and literary in-jokes. It's also gleefully dark and properly creepy" OK, now I'm interested.
Ben Okri: The Famished Road (1991) I like the sounds of this - "According to Yoruba tradition, a spirit child is one who has made a pact with his fellows in their other, more beautiful world, to rejoin them as soon as possible. Azaro breaks the pact, choosing to remain in this place of suffering and poverty, but the African shanty town where he lives with his parents teems with phantoms, spirits and dreams."

Currently listening to: Suede - Coming Up. Fun fact - I am in the audience for the Film Star video. It was fun.

Part three coming next week.
Have a fun Easter everyone! Tis the season of renewal and life, and daffodils :-)


Feminist Avatar said...

waiting for Godot is Samuel Beckett- and it is literally 3 hours of watching two people stare at each other- so should be interesting with this cast.

Saranga said...

Brecht, Beckett.. told you I wasn't theatrical! Thanks for letting me know :)
I have actually heard of Beckett so part of my family's drama knowledge has rubbed off on me.