Book dump

Jun. 13th, 2009 10:29 am
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (sad)
+ The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan: Meh. Remind me never to pick up those much-hyped chick lit things again.

+ The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco: Way too many 'now our characters have a deep and meaningful discussion with other characters', but highly enjoyable. I am, in many ways, the ideal reader of a mystery novel - I never guess the right answer and I always fall for the red herrings, which means, the end always leaves me shocked. Although, I did have my suspicions about You Know Who, and the end filled me with geeky joy.

+ The Last Moghul by William Dalrymple: Very, very good. Dalrymple is as fascinated as I am with the Delhi of yore, and it shows here. Well-researched, and the right mix of facts with narrative. I could have done without the slams on academia - I'm not really well-read when it comes to 1857, especially Delhi in 1857, but his claim that there has been no nuanced historical study of early colonial India and that every historian ever only indulges in jargon and fails to look at the colonizing British from the 'right' perspective is absurd. In fact, his fascination with whom he calls the 'White Mughals' comes with a kind of defensiveness, which I suppose springs from the hostility that he must - as a British journalist/researcher studying colonial India - have faced every now and then (and that he is probably not taken very seriously by academics). Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book, and wish to see more from him in the future (also cannot wait to discuss this with the Little Historian when I get back).

+ Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny: Wow. I'm sorry, this book requires a lot more thought than I am capable of right now. It uses Hindu and Buddhist mythology in a way that left me speechless. I would have been happiest if the protagonists were brown people to begin with (they did not seem to be, from the hints Zelazny leaves us), but that just means that there is an extraordinary degree of appropriation at work, and that, coupled with the story of colonization... And, of course, the way it uses Hinduism's conflict with and appropriation of Buddhism. As I said, it deserves a lot more thought than I'm capable of right now. Also, this Kali? Would have eaten Neil Gaiman's 'Mama-ji' alive, and thank god for that (although, while the book does very good on the culture part, I would have been happier if Zelazny had taken a little more time developing the female characters; not that it has much in the way of character - I read it for the plot). I also loved the disjointed narrative, which, as you know, is one of my bullet-proof kinks.
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (boom de yada)
+ Twilight in Delhi - Ahmed Ali. Had been looking for this book for a while now (it was out of print and unavailable even in libraries), was v. delighted to learn that Rupa had brought out a new edition. That said, the book itself is only moderalately interesting: sentimental to the point of being unbearable. Worth a read only for its representation of life in the Walled City of yore, with lovely images of the pigeon fliers and dust storms and so on.

+ The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper. Apparently I should've read that other book whose name I can't remember first? Oh well. I liked it, nonetheless.

+ Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi. Stark, funny and painful - if rambling at places. Definitely worth a read.

+ Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi. Another book about Iran. I read this right after Persepolis, and was a bit irritated by it's... literariness (as opposed to the raw honesty of Persepolis) in the beginning, but then the narrative sucked me in. Again, very highly recommended.

+ A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini. So I cried. Shut up. I was a bit surprised by my reaction, honestly, given how much I disliked The Kite Runner, and I still think Hosseini is a bit too mellifluous in places and emotionally manipulative on occasions. But that said, he does have a way with words, and did I mention I cried?
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (brotp)
I finished reading American Gods. I have mixed feelings.spoilers inside for both Neverwhere and American Gods )
That said, I'd recommend Good Omens to anyone who hasn't read it.

Thoughts, flist?

kites

Aug. 15th, 2008 10:55 pm
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (cuddy)
Various NPH crossovers I want people to write for me:

1. Dr. Horrible/HIMYM x-over: You know that part about Barney's evil twin Larney? Wasn't entirely a lie. Only his name was Billy, and he was part evil.

2. House/HIMYM x-over: (Barney/Cuddy) Hi, haaave you met Dr. Barney Stinson? He's with Doctors Without Borders, and he's in town for just one night before he leaves for Africa.

3. House/HIMYM x-over: (Barney/Amber) Barney is nothing if not sympathetic to women who've just been fired. They're ridiculously easy to get in bed.

4. Dr. Horrible/Pushing Daisies x-over: Ned does his thing. About the You Know What that happened to You Know Who.

*

So instead of writing my [livejournal.com profile] cuddy_fest fic (I'm making up for all the books I didn't read in the past two years - TAKE THAT, MICHEL FOUCAULT), I read The Kite-Runner. It was...disappointing, to say the least. brief thoughts )
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (brotp)
NPH and Jason Segel being adorable. Clearly there needs to be a HIMYM musical episode, possibly one with a return of Robin Sparkles.

*

I finally watched the last two acts of Dr. Horrible. I'm too tired to write a review (except maybe to say "Oh, Joss, you never change, do you?" and "ILU NPH!!!!"), but will someone please rec me Billy/Penny fic? [livejournal.com profile] roga?

And while we're at it, won't somebody write me a Dr.Horrible/Pushing Daisies crossover? Bonus points for having singing involved (because songs make EVERYTHING better).

*

I also finished the Temeraire books at a go (yes, this is what I've been doing instead of writing fic. what deadlines? *facepalm*), and again, too tired to write a review, but the series does get better with the later books. The fourth and the fifth, especially, were impressive, because of the dragons. I demand more dragons. And also Roland, who is awesome, and should have a series of her own.
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (brotp)
I read The Mists of Avalon and really enjoyed it, despite minor quibbles (the archaic language falls apart at places; the pace varies; too many thoughts in italics, argh - a pet peeve of mine). I can't resist revisionist narratives, as you know, especially when they feature tragic, broken women (ref. Wicked). more thoughts )

*

Afterwards, I read His Majesty's Dragon (yes, I've been living under a rock), and I *loved* it. It was well-written (of course!) and fast-paced; Laurence was surprisingly easy to fall in love with; Temeraire is absolutely adorable, as are the rest of the dragons. What I loved most, however, is this is spoilery )

I have ordered Throne of Jade, and the guy in the bookstore promised me that they'd get it for me tomorrow. *g*
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (jaye)
I have in front me the City Watch trilogy, which means I finally get to read Guards! Guards!, and then re-read Feet of Clay. Then there is Night Watch. And Maskerade.

Pratchett ate my brain.
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (Default)
I HEART Carrot. *has just read Men at Arms*

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