Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

December activities

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

The past month I haven’t been posting much. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. For one part I’ve been occupied with some non-fiction and my policy is not to include non-fiction in my postings except for certain non-fiction that is worthwhile reviewing and also more accessible for readers of my site.

Besides the non-fiction I have also been reading some heavier stuff which simply doesn’t read as fast as other books I read. One is the already longly listed novel Eline Vere by Louis Couperus. Although I do enjoy it, I need to be in the mood for it. I hadn’t been into it for a while and some weeks ago I suddenly felt in the mood to pick it up so I’ve finally made some serious progress. I hope to continue it so I can finally review it and remove it from my list.

I also still have plenty of novels on my stash and I decided to pick up the third Musketeer-novel by Alexandre Dumas, titled The Vicomte Of Bragelonne (1850). It is actually the first part of greater work Ten Years Later, but as this work is 2000 pages (in small print), the work is usually cut into three parts. Of the five Musketeer-novels it is one of the two less known ones. The stories of the second novel, Twenty Years After, and the fifth, The Man In The Iron Mask, have been adapted (more or less) for TV and film. To discover what the other novels are about is a nice experience and hopefully I can determine why they have not been adapted.

Either way, I blog my reading activities for my own pleasure. I try to be sufficiently active, but slower periods can always happen. I’m actually pretty amazed I’ve been able to post fairly regularly for 1.5 years already.

The arrival of the long-awaited one and more

Friday, July 15th, 2011

With some many fantasy novels being part of series of more than three books it is not uncommon that the period between two books can take several years. Overall I usually am quite patient. There are plenty of other books to read in the meanwhile. One of those series with larger intervals between the latest books is A Song Of Ice And Fire. There was a wait of 5 years between books 3 and 4. When book 4 came out, in 2005, the author, George R. R. Martin, said he had to cut the intended novel in two because it became too long. So the next book was already partially written and shouldn’t take too long to finish. Soon he rued saying that. Now, finally, after 6 years book 5 has finally been finished. It goes without saying that I have already started reading A Dance With Dragons (2011). Like many other fantasy fans it is one of my favorite series.

On my home from work, when I had picked up A Dance With Dragons at the bookstore I found a pleasant surprise on the floor when opening the front door of my home. Two books had arrived which I had ordered online. These were books 2 and book 4 of the so-called Fortress series by C. J. Cherryh, Fortress Of Eagles (1998) and Fortress Of Dragons (2000), sequels to Fortress In The Eye Of Time, a book I read and reviewed recently. Yes another book with dragon in the title. Books 3 and 5 I expect to receive soon as I ordered them at the same time as the other two books.
More books added to my stash, but that’s the life of an avid book reader.

Unreadable vacation

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

There has been a break in my posts due to the simple fact that I was taking a break: exploring the nature and culture of Greece. I took some reading along but in the end I did not get much to reading until the vacation was almost over, when I took up David Copperfield (1850) by Charles Dickens. I had not intended to do much reading but I had expected to have some time that I wanted to relax and read some bits. No regrets however. The less I read the more I have enjoyed my vacation.

Keeping on track

Monday, May 30th, 2011

I’ve been a bit lacking on keeping this blog up to date lately. Not that I haven’t been reading, but it has partially been non-fiction, which I usually don’t incorporate for this blog, except for certain classic or old material. I did manage to expand my collection a bit more with two purchases: Never Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro, of which has been made a movie, which I haven’t seen, but I wanted to try the book first as the concept interested me, and The Fortress In The Eye Of Time (1995) by C.J. Cherryh. I’ve seen books by Cherryh in second hand book stores for quite time, but they were mainly Science Fiction of a type that did not draw my interest. This book however is Fantasy and did make me decide to pick it up to see if I like it. It’s the first book of a series, so hopefully it will make me want to read more.

In the meanwhile I’ve picked up The Island Of The Day Before (1994) by Umberto Eco. I already mentioned it in a recent post, but it hasn’t caught on to me that much yet, so I’m slowly but steadily progressing. Eco’s works are not always that easy to get into but usually you do catch on.

The works of Alexandre Dumas

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Those who have read the reviews on my site, or checked the List of Reviews, will have noticed that I often read several novels by an author in short succession. Usually this happens because I have read a book and like it so much I decided to read more. As I don’t have a particular stash of books that I want read but rather a stash of books I can read, I prefer to read what I am interested in at that moment.

Recently I read The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. I liked it sufficiently that I decided to pick up the sequels. As I don’t have money issues at the moment I can allow myself to buy all four sequels at once. The titles are Twenty Years After (1845), The Vicomte de Bragelonne (1847), Louise de la Vallière (1847) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1847). The last one is almost as famous as The Three Musketeers. The last three novels were actually originally one novel, with the title of the first book, but as it was too large to be printed in one volume it was split. Each book is over 700 pages in my edition so they are all heavy volumes.

I got them all from the Oxford’s World Classics edition as I like to have connected books in the same cover style. In this case this is actually not that easy as the middle three books are far less famous compared to The Three Musketeers and The Man In The Iron Mask. Those books are widely available.

I’ve already started with reading Twenty Years After, to find out why these volumes are less famous and if they should be mentioned instead.

Russian realism

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

It’s been a while since I did a post about what I’m reading. I’ve picked up a short story collection by the Russian author Ivan Turgenev called The Three Portraits (2006). This is not an original collection, hence the recent year, as Turgenev lived in the 19th century. He is not as famous as his contemporaries Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, but is counted among the many great Russian authors of that time.

The book is part of a box-set I bought some years ago which contains different work by those earlier named great Russian authors. Half of the set are novels, while the other half consists of short story collections. I’ve picked up Turgenev because I wanted to read some short story stuff and not a whole novel. I have to admit that I have to be in the mood for those as whole novels can be tough reads with those Russian authors. They always have a bit of a gloomy atmosphere to them and the endings can be nasty or quite depressing, which is not something I want to carry around for a longer time. It’s not that I don’t like to read them, but I do have to set my mind to it when I do. They have an unique nature which can’t been found elsewhere in literature so I keep coming back to them.

Getting ahead of myself

Monday, February 7th, 2011

I had a somewhat unexpected break which in two ways hindered me from updating my blog. First I was to immersed in reading (the last books of the Black Company by Glen Cook) and when I planned to write my reviews I got sick. First that made me unable to spend much time in front of my PC but later I did manage to do more reading to pass the time. I picked up The Dreaming Void (2007) by Peter F. Hamilton and I liked it sufficiently that I decided to get some more. Last Saturday I felt well enough to go into the city and visit a bookstore where I picked up two new books. These were its sequel The Temporal Void (2009) and Watcher Of The Dead (2010) by J.V. Jones, the fourth novel of Sword Of Shadows, a fantasy series that Jones has been fairly slow (compared to some others) on progressing, with at least 3 years between each novel. But I’m happy to continue the series.

Now I’m feeling somewhat better again and I’ve already finished The Temporal Void as well, which means I’m four books behind on reviewing. As such I hope to be able to push out several reviews this week, but more books are on the way so hopefully they won’t interfere too much.

In and started

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

A quick roundup on the latest events. I’ve started reading The Demon King (1998), the second book of the Seer Trilogy by Chris Bunch.  Today I received two books I ordered online. The first one is The Riddled Night (2000) by Valery Leith, the second book of the Everien Trilogy. I wanted to have the same edition as the first book and as this one seemed to be sold out I had to do with a second hand copy. Unfortunately it was not in as good quality as I hoped, but it will do.  At least I can now continue the series, as I’ve received the third book some weeks ago already (ordering from the USA can take some time). The second book I got is not a novel in the true sense, but related to a great series. This is the Vorkosigan Companion (2008), providing interviews, overviews and background information about the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. For those who don’t know it: it is Science Fiction and she won several important SF awards with this series. Although the series isn’t a classic the novels are well written with great characters and character development. Especially with longer series which I’ve enjoyed I like to read more about it. Of course there is a commercial reason behind it to get the publisher to publish it, but the books are usually from fans or an author wanting to tell more than can be put in a story.