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20 January 2009 @ 10:45 pm
Portable Magic (9)  
Anne Rice: Interview With The Vampire

I have never seen the movie, so I was completely clueless as to what to expect. I liked it a lot, especially the dark mood. I will check out some of the other books of the series, I'm pretty sure of that.


Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon

When someone on my reading list tells me
his updating frequency is going to suffer because he's busy reading some author's latest book, that author's just begging to be checked out. So I did, and I'm glad I have.

I absolutely love Stephenson's use of language and narrative technique. I love his sense humor and I especially dig his quirky, nerdy digressions. His vocabulary is pretty outstanding, too. The story itself got a little too conventional for my liking, especially near the end, but I still enjoyed myself a lot. He's another one I'll come back to, probably a lot sooner than Rice, too.


That's it for 2008, some 80 books in total. Not quite the 100 I originally aimed for (GTA's to blame...), but quite decent nevertheless, I believe. On for 2009 then:

Alan Weisman: Die Welt ohne uns (The World Without Us)

What would happen if mankind were to vanish all of a sudden? How would Earth recover, how long would it take... not really an uplifting experience and not because of the premise either. Boy, we really are good at creating long term problems *sigh*


Susan Kay: Das Phantom (Phantom)

The book expands on the original, Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, and aims to make Eric (the Phantom) a more complex character by telling his backstory. It was very much recommended in an online board, and I did like it. Still, I couldn't quite understand the raving reviews at Amazon and the like, which is probably to blame on me failing to read the original first... well, that's bound to happen every once in a while when you prefer just plunging into books instead of doing some research first. Leroux's also on that list of mine now, no harm done :)


Jason Lutes: Berlin. Steinerne Stadt (Berlin. City of Stones)

The first part of a trilogy of graphic novels set in the final, turbulent years of the Weimar Republic. Very political, very personal all the same - very much recommended.

(Wikipedia on the author)

Ray Bradbury:
Fahrenheit 451


One of the most amazing books I have read in a long time. It totally blew me away. Most people probably know that it's about a dystopian society where books have been outlawed and are being burnt - that's what I knew.

It is so much more though. It's a thrilling tale, the journey of a character and it contains some wonderful philosophical tangents regarding books, society, people, truth, fear... you name it. The book was first published in 1953, which is both amazing and terrifying as a lot of it rings so very true with what's going on right now. At the same time, it manages to spread optimism even in the face of one of the more gruesome ending's I've read.

The 50 year anniversary edition I read contains an afterword and a coda by as well as an interview with Bradbury, born at different points during those 50 years and reflecting on certain aspects of the book and what has happened since then - a truly great addition.

Can't recommend it enough!!


J.K. Rowling: Die Märchen von Beedle dem Barden (The Tales of Beedle the Bard)

Far too short, but still very enjoyable, especially because of "Dumbledore's" annotations. Very nice addition to the Potterverse. Plus, it's for charity. (Btw. I absolutely loved Rowling's way of saying thank you with the handmade editions...)


Current read is Dan Ariely: Denken hilft zwar, nützt aber nichts (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions).

ext_96520 on January 21st, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
Yay, another stevenson-recruit. I got Cryptonomicon as a birthday gift years back and it totally got me hooked. Snowcrash is pretty good too, although its diiferent, more like Hardcore-Cyberpunk-SciFi. I even tried myself on the baroque cycle. The first book is ok for most of it (there is a bit of the cryptonomicon-style shinning through), but I'm seriously dying of boredom on the second one. Hundreds of pages about some boring royal court society stuff? Never made it far, and I have all 3 books sitting around here!

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my faves. I remeber there is some longish monologue of the fire chief about how dangerous printed media can become and how it will make people dumb or something like that. I can't remeber the exact content, but I can remeber thinking "Nice description of the current media industry". I'll propably read it again soon.

Right now, I seriously need some new scifi to read, after I got through with Asimovs Foundation series. Got any tips for me?
tschilai on January 21st, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, this firechief monologue was some really good stuff as well, that's for sure. I especially liked the fact that it wasn't even the government that first started burning books but ordinary people. Sheesh...

Mmmh, SciFi books... have you considered "The Yiddish Policemen Union" by Chabon? It's not hardcore SciFi, more like on the outer fringes I'd say. It did get the Hugo Award though (but then, so did "HP and the Goblet of Fire"...) and I thoroughly enjoyed it: http://tschilai.livejournal.com/27921.html

"Sperling" hat mir auch gut gefallen und auf der Suche danach hab ich gerade einen Post im stboard mit meiner Antwort auf eine ganz ähnliche Frage gefunden:

Wenn ich Lust auf neue SciFi habe, schaue ich generell gerne mal in die Hugo Award Liste in der Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel). "Hominids" hab ich mir da z.B. vorgemerkt, "American Gods" von Gaiman sowieso, den ersten Band der Riverworld-Reihe hab ich nach Empfehlung im stboard sogar schon im SUB (Stapel ungelesener Bücher) liegen.

HTH :)
(Deleted comment)
tschilai on January 21st, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Beedle the Bard
Ich hab's auf Deutsch gelesen, da ich es nicht als so furchtbar zentral für das Potterverse ansah, daß sich eine Zweitanschaffung für meine Mutter gelohnt hätte. Ansonsten hätte ich aber auch Englisch vorgezogen.

Aber wie gesagt, viel isses wirklich nicht, das muß man IMO wirklich nicht unbedingt _haben_, auch wenn sich das Lesen dann doch lohnt. Eine der Stories war sogar richtig düster und unmärchentypisch (mehr so à la Hauff), die gefällt Dir sicher.