Time to try and catch up with the “what books I’ve been reading” thing. Here’s a partial list since last time. I’ll let the rest roll over into the next one, and I’ll be more brief than ever about these…
Calumet ‘K’ – Samuel Merwin: Brilliant.
An Anarchist – Joseph Conrad: Still on a mission to read all his books. This one was great…
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad: …this was even better – probably the best so far…
The Duel – Joseph Conrad: …also great…
Typhoon – Joseph Conrad: …and this too. Another plotless wonder, like The Secret Sharer (see previous list).
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka: I enjoyed this, but couldn’t really see how it’s worthy of so much acclaim. Also I wished all the way through that I could read German well enough to read it in its original language.
The Trial – Franz Kafka: As above, but more Kafkaesque.
Eastern Standard Tribe – Cory Doctorow: Liked it.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom – Cory Doctorow: Loved it.
When Sysadmins Ruled the World – Cory Doctorow: Silly.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Francis Scott Fitzgerald: Very poor indeed. Do not waste your time reading this under any circumstances. If you’re stranded on a desert island and this is the only book you have, get your scissors (you remembered those, surely?), cut out all the words, and rearrange them to form something worth reading.
Burn – James Patrick Kelly: Very good.
At the Mountains of Madness – Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Great.
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward – Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Good.
Anthem – Ayn Rand: Wonderful, apart from the last chapter which should have just been left out. We got the message. Spelling it out in great big letters spoils it.
Postsingular – Rudy Rucker: Enjoyed it.
Captain Blood – Rafael Sabatini: Fantastic. Rafael Sabatini will be my new Joseph Conrad – must read everything. Although I haven’t finished with Conrad yet.
Star Maker – William Olaf Stapledon: Hmm.
Five Weeks in a Balloon – Jules Verne: A brilliant novel.
In the Year 2889 – Jules Verne: Crafty. Published under his name, but actually written by his son, who did not, at least judging by this, inherit any writing talent. Dreadful. Maybe I will get my children to write my blog posts in future. It might work the other way round in my case.
2 B R O 2 B – Kurt Vonnegut: A short story, but nowhere near short enough. Approximately zero words would have been about right for this.
Starfish – Peter Watts: Superb. Read it. No excuses, it’s Creative Commons. Just download it and read it…
Maelstrom – Peter Watts: …then read this…
Behemoth – Peter Watts: …then read this…
Blindsight – Peter Watts: …and then read this.
Bella Mafia – Lynda LaPlante: I’ve been rude about her writing more than once before, so I won’t do it again. But in any case, I couldn’t put the bloody thing down.
Divided in Death – J.D. Robb: Very good.
By the way, you may have noticed that most of the above are either Creative Commons licensed, or just plain out of copyright. There is a good reason for that.