I know it’s traditional to point to something from the 100 Best Books Evor list or the classics section of the library, but my choice is a bit more obscure.
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Years of Rice And Salt is a speculative history based on the concept that 99.99% of Europe’s population was lost during the Black Death. A series of short stories spanning several hundreds years are linked by the fact that all the characters are reincarnations of the same souls though out. So whilst world history progresses without Western culture, we also see the development of complex interpersonal relationships whilst the characters change age, sex, race and in one case species.
Because of the linking of characters this isn’t an easy read, rarely does the author actually tell you which characters are which, though clues are given in the first initials of names. It’s mostly left to the reader to work out by personality. The book also requires the reader to be willing to read about a variety of other cultures and to have a basic understand of history in order to understand the differences with reality. All the effort is more than rewarded with the scenes set in the various afterlifes, I could happy read those over and over.
Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 8 – Track For Dancing To Sleazily
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
Jane Eyre is one of the few books I can keep coming back to and still enjoy, probably because it’s the only book I’ve every actually identified with in any real way. I love plain ordinary mousy Jane and the way she faces up to her supposed physical, mental or moral betters. Everytime I read it, I’m reminded that I need to be more like Jane.
Or at the very least I must keep in good health and not die :p
Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge – Day 6 – Track for Swaggering To
It’s hard not to dance down the street when this comes on the iPod.
For the next thirty days I’m going to attempt the Thirty Days Of Books meme. Just to stop this becoming an entirely book centric blog I’m also going to do the Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge from Facebook.
Day 01 – A Book Series You Wished Would Just End Already
I’m not going to say Twilight. It’s ooooh so tempting to choose that one, but I’m going to have some integrity and not talk about anything I haven’t read. I’ve seen New Moon and that has guaranteed I won’t ever read the Twilight series :p
I nominate A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin. My partner got into these books whilst we were at university (2001-2004) and really enjoyed them. They were originally planned as a trilogy. But after reading the first three he found that the series had been expanded beyond the original limit AND the fourth book hadn’t come out yet. Whilst we only waited a year for it to be released, there had actually been a 5 year gap between the release of book 3 “A Storm Of Swords” in 2000 and book 4 “A Feast of Crows” in 2005. Book 5 still hasn’t been released, and I won’t believe the July 2011 release date until I see the book on the shelves. There are apparently 2 more books due before the series is finished. Onwards To Rantings
I bet you read that in Professor Farnsworth’s voice. If you didn’t, you need to watch more TV. If you’re still reading in his voice, you need to watch less TV. Nah, not really, no such thing as too much Futurama. Anyway, to business….
The new issue of Irregular Magazine is here!!! Hoorah! This issue, entitled BEASTS OF WAR, is packed full of RPG and wargaming articles, painting tutorials, gorgeous art and a plethora of reviews (one of which is by yours truly).
Download the new issue here!
In terms of art, I recently completed an album cover and I’m now working on contributions for a steampunk RPG project. I can’t say much just yet, but I’ll be posting more when I can.
A great man once said-
“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.” – Sir Terry Pratchett
And that is absolutely true. A good bookshop should contain significantly more books than you could ever imagine it containing, and it should distort time and space in such away that ten minutes of browsing turning into three hours and a budget of £10 should mysteriously turn into £70 worth of purchases.
My person heaven of book shopping is Fables Book Shop in the village of St Marychurch near Torquay. If you ever happen to be in the area I strongly recommend it. It’s tiny, not just compared to monsters like Waterstones and Borders (RIP) but tiny compared to the average living room. However it’s literally packed to the rafters with books, and you always get the impression that the owners have read every one of them before adding them to their stock list. It’s the kind of store where every shelf has multiple rows of books, stacks of books, tottering piles of books! I found a gorgeous hardback set of The Larklight Series by Philip Reeve hidden away the first time I visited and I’ve made a point of going back every time we’re in the area ever since. And there in lies the problem- this store is about as far away as its possible to be from my home town and still be in England. On a good day its a 6 hour drive.
So what do we have closer to home?
I read. A lot. Constantly in fact. I’m more than a little picky in my tastes. I don’t generally read women’s fiction or chick lit, and I rarely read straight contemporary fiction. I’m the kind of person who walks straight through the fiction section to that lovely little corner of the book store labeled “Sci-Fi and Fantasy”, from that haven of printed glory I’ll read more or less anything- space opera, steampunk, alternate history, sword&sorcery, time travel, dragons, werewolves, zombies, seamonsters… I’ll even venture into the vampire section, though I draw the line at (and through) Stephanie Meyers and I swear I only read Charlaine Harris as the equivalent of reading the funny pages. That isn’t to say that I don’t read the classics, I fact my favorite book of all time is Jane Eyre, but usually I’ve have to hear a lot of good things about a non-scifi book before I’ll spend my hard earned cash on it. Even then I might not finish it, Catch 22 has been serving as a door stop for a few years now. So beware, my tastes may not be yours, but I think the following will appeal to a lot of different people on a variety of levels.
Onwards to the Librarium…