Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Month In Review and of Things to Come

The End is Nigh! At least for February. Feb-rue-air-e. Worst word in any language, ever. I thought it would be a slow month for reading, considering the limited days and that I was busy finishing a bookcase--the stacks on my floor finally started to bother me.

I made it through five books this month, which is one more than normal for me.

Guy Gavriel Kay's Finovar Tapestry has helped to restore some of my faith in heroic fantasy, previously my favorite genre. It's a trilogy in which none of the three books felt superfluous and the dialogue wasn't cringe inducing. While it leaned heavily on Tolkien's The Silmarillion (of which Kay was the unofficial ghostwriter) it was fun to read in the familiar, 'comfort zone' of fantasy so to speak. It felt like a great writer's first effort. I don't know how the Arthurian legend got introduced in the second book, and I'm not sure it lent any real strength to the story, but I'm looking forward to checking out more of Kay's offerings.

I can't put together a litany of praise long enough to talk about how much I loved Harlem Redux by Persia Walker.

The last book I read this month was The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes. It was weird in a Neverwhere Neil Gaiman kind of way: good weird, though not Gaiman good. Not painful by any means, but underwhelming to the end. I don't say this as a bad thing, but to me, it felt decidedly, "English," if you know what I mean. If the awesomeness of the title triggered your imagination to think something awesome, keep looking. Sadly, the awesome that the title suggested to you is not in between these covers. In consolation of awesome there is, however, a good story.

The Ron Barcelo Imperial Rum along with another I'll be reviewing in March were easily this month's greatest discoveries. And speaking of next month, I'm going to try a little something different; not with the drinking, rather my reading: Non-fiction.

Kinda foreign territory for me. Steven Hawkin's A brief History of Time is of true interest to me because I'm a nerd. It is also the only book with more reprints and hundreds of different editions than the Christian Bible. Nabokov's Speak, Memory is surely more than the greatest title for a memoir ever. And Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks by Ethan Gilsdorf made me laugh out loud just reading the preview. Any one have any crucial non-fiction suggestions for me?

I plan to sneak some fiction in there as well. I have three relatively short volumes that I think I can add to my reading load without cause for worry.

Oh, yeah, I also plan to not buy any books in March as a cost saving venture… we'll see how well that goes.


Terry Weyna said...

I strongly recommend Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana, which is an extraordinary book. If you liked the Fionavar Tapestry, I'm quite certain that Tigana will blow you away.

Chad Hull said...

I've come across that title many times before. It's on the list.