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It’s been a while…part two and Library Loot

June 18, 2009

I had an extended sojourn it appears, and by appearances, no body has missed me. I’m not bitter, just really really dejected. I think I’ll wallow.

Anyhow, interesting news: there is none. However, I have been reading and here is Library Loot (although I got these out last week but hey, who’s reading!)

Underworld by Don DeLillo – My third DeLillo book and so far my favourite. It’s seems to have divided people, if we go from the always reliable information and non-biased reviews of Amazon, the novel is either best thing since bread came with expiry dates or my brain is confused, help me, help me dear god help me.

There seems to be a large consensus that the book is confusing because of the way time is treated, for example, the book is separated in parts, which begin in the ‘90s, and works backwards. DeLillo also has a tendency to begin something where the narrator is writing about, say, his wife and then takes a paragraph, talks about something else and then comes back to talking about his wife five or six paragraphs down the line. Also, he doesn’t immediately signify whose he’s talking about. However, it’s pretty straightforward if you concentrate, it’s definitely not a book you can skim read.

Theft by Peter Carey – I saw Oscar and Lucinda but, due to size, I got this instead. I think I made a mistake, if this is the quality of his writing then I’m dismayed that he won a Booker…twice! Okay, okay, it’s good but, I don’t know….it’s like chewing gum that’s run out of it’s minty freshness, you know it’s useless but you can’t help chewing it. That’s what I felt with this book, it was lifeless and stale but I wanted to carry on. That might be more my dogged, I can’t go on, I’ll go on attitude. Although if it was, someone neglected to tell me that I had it.

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold – I’ve always wanted to read this after since I saw the cover way back when. It also featured on How I Met Your Mother, which was cool or nerdy depending on how you look at it. I’m 200 pages in and I’m loving it so far.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers – I picked this up hearing good and bad things about it. I glanced through it enjoying the pages and pages of preface; I’m a sucker for self-referential literature.

Chronicler of the Winds by Henning Mankell – Couldn’t find any of his Wallander series so opted for this.

The Bat Tattoo by Russell Hoban – Surprisingly my library has a fair number of Hoban’s books. So…yay.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Marg and Eva that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 10:22 pm

    I’m reading Oscar and Lucinda this month; I hope I have a better reading experience with it than you and Theft!

    • June 18, 2009 10:49 pm

      I might take a peak at O&L one day. I look forward to your review.

  2. June 18, 2009 10:31 pm

    “I’m not bitter, just really really dejected. I think I’ll wallow.”

    Here’s my suggestion: start visiting lots of blogs and leaving comments (make sure your name links back to your blog). When I began blogging, I barely had any comments either; it takes awhile to work yourself in the community. And try not to take long blogging breaks, even if it means blogging less frequently so that you have drafts to publish when you don’t feel like writing. Oh, and include pictures! They make blogs prettier. 😉

    • June 18, 2009 10:58 pm

      I was being semi-unserious. It was my attempt at woe-is-me humour. Although, I appreciate your comments, and, yeah, I totally understand you have to be patient. The break was unavoidable to be honest, hopefully I’ll have some new reviews up soon.

      Thanks.

  3. June 19, 2009 4:19 am

    Sorry! I didn’t mean to offer unsolicited advice, even though that’s what I ended up doing. I just saw you were pretty new to book blogging and wanted to encourage you! 😀

  4. June 19, 2009 3:56 pm

    Peter Carey eh. I tried him once with My Life As A Fake but somehow never got past the first 30-40 pages. Maybe I need to give his other stuff a try.

    • June 19, 2009 5:57 pm

      Yeah, he’s supposed to be great but he was just so-so, it might just have been a bad novel for him. We shall see.

  5. June 19, 2009 9:42 pm

    I really should read more Peter Carey. I feel a bit like a bad Australian because I have only read one book by him, which was Jack Maggs. I liked it, but didn’t love it!

    • June 20, 2009 1:33 am

      Heh, yeah. Perhaps he isn’t all that great, regardless of him winning the Booker prize twice. Hell, they’re usually wrong anyway.

      Australia, eh? I don’t suppose you have some good recommendations for Australian writers to read (not that I need more books to read!)

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