Books

Book List – 2010 – part 2


Part 1 is here.

 

26Farewell My Lovely – Raymond Chandler: Marlowe ❤

27Playback – Raymond Chandler: see above(s).

28Cousin Bette – Honore de Balzac: A nice book, reminding me that the inaction and cold emotion-suppression in english novels may not necessarily be the best kind of fiction.  It also completely altered my opinions on mistresses, with the character of Valerie putting a shuddering end to my fantasies of becoming such a charmer.

29The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett: This was kind of tame in comparison to Red Harvest, but I liked the descriptions, and I liked the depressing air, and I liked Sam Spade.

30The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand: I loved this the way only fresh fans of Ayn Rand can.  Howard Roark is a bastard but I adore him anyway.  Its a long book but its worth reading, if only to explore the ideas. 

31The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett: Another Hammett! A good book.  It was one of those mystery novels that delight in giving you absolutely no clue as to who the real murderer is, so that the ending hits you harder.  It hit me pretty hard.  Still tamer than Red Harvest though.

32Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett:  I was pretty much in awe after reading this.  The slow corruption of the guy who was supposed to be solving things, the volley of  depressing murders that ended up taking place on the road to solving the case, and the sheer fascination of the book is beyond commendable.  I don’t think any book so connected to gangsters and the dark sdie of american life could’ve held my attention as beautifully as this did.  An amazing novel.

33Frankenstein – Mary Shelley: Classic horror, basically. I read it because I was tired of being a stephen king/anne rice buff and yet having no knowledge of the old masters.  But it sort of proved that different loves (such as my love for horror and my love for classics) sometimes shouldn’t be mixed. On the whole I found it boring

34Dracula – Bram Stoker: This was much better. I particularly liked the sense of creeping, real-life horror that comes from the way this is written, in fragments of diary entries and newspaper clippings and journal entries.  It was also good story-wise, building up the suspense to an exciting end.

35American Gods – Neil Gaiman: Gaiman is about the only author that can make fantasy complex enough for it to be enjoyable even at my age.  The length of this was a bit much, but I liked the concept of how migrants from other places brought their gods with them to America, where their gods suffered from lack of faith.  And the whole story is definitely worth reading.  I liked Neverwhere better, but this was still a fantastic book.

36Nero Wolfe – The Second Confession – Rex Stout:  One of the 40 or so novels starring Nero Wolfe.  It was pretty good as far as they go.  Nero Wolfe is no Sherlock Holmes, but he comes close enough.  He’s been described as an American version of Mycroft Holmes, and he really is that good.  A good one-day mystery novel.

37The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Macker: Hehe, this book was an indulgence.  I hadn’t read cheesy teenage fiction for so long, not since I finished the fifth or sixth Princess Diaries book in grade 11.  And it was funny and cute too. 

38The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories – Tony Millerman and Rosemary Herebert: Notable book, spanning authors from as far back as Poe and all the way to Rex Stout and more recent authors.  No holmian fiction here – most of the short stories were typical of the hard-boiled street-smart detective fiction that made Chandler and the lot famous and was the stuff of pulp magazines for years.  A comprehensive collection – I liked it a lot.

39The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler: Last Chandler book 😦   Oh woe is me.  What will I do now?

40Bible Camp Bloodbath – Joey Comeau: I love Joey and his writing, as a.p. can testify, and most of his fiction up til now has been gross and twisted but still made a sort of sense, had a sort of logic, even if completely random on the surface.  I didn’t get the point of this one though.  What the?  It was like a slasher flick, only in words. yech.

41Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin: Kudos to the author for making me laugh.  The book is nice if you prefer dim-suspense-type horror, boring if you like violent-murder-gore type horror.  The whole book is simply suspense added layer-on-layer til by the end you are screaming for something to happen.  And then the ending is so anti-climactic its hilarious.  I definitely recommend this book.

42Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro:  Um, good if you like Wyndham-type sci-fi scenarios overall, but the way genetics and organ donation and the ethics of cloning is dicussed here is brilliant though, better in some ways than anything Wyndham wrote.  It takes a roundabout way to instil that awareness, but it does so with more effect. A highly recommended book.

Phew! glad that’s finally done with 😛  see you guys soon! with something less bookish, hopefully 😀

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22 thoughts on “Book List – 2010 – part 2

  1. Rosemary’s Baby (L)

    Still have to try out Nero Wolfe though.

    Neil Gaiman is Awesome. Coraline pretty much tops my fantasy list, followed by Sandman. It’s like a dreamy goth noir world that’s supposed to be ideal but has a very distinct loneliness and romantic isolation to it.

    Something that an very unhappy person could feel shaken up by and a very happy person be depressed by. Like the post rock of books.

    Comeau sucks. A softer world is good but like his books stales with the same mood repeated over and over again. And he relies too much on shock no?

    And what was Poe’s created detective? I loved the guy. After Holmes of course.

    1. Poe’s detective was the guy in The Murders in the Rue Morgue *wikis* C Auguste Dupin. He comes in another story too, where he finds a letter.

      Nero Wolfe is cool. But the books are like Agatha Christie’s, the same format over and over. The only thing good about them is Archie Goodwin’s character (wolfe’s assistant) who is witty and funny.

      Comeau doesn’t suck, he’s good, Lockpick Pornography was a really good book and so was One Bloody Thing After Another. Its just this one that was pointless. He does rely on shock but not wholly, imo, his stories have a deeper side to them too.

      Agreed on Gaiman’s awesomeness. Sandman, Coraline, Neverwhere, American Gods – the man is simply fantastic. 😀

      1. Sob. This is the biggest betrayal ever Shumaila! Also, I have a kickass European history book that I’ve never read, I’m planning on reading the section on revolutions over vacations. (Again, peer pressure, all of them popular journalists in the 20-30 age group know about shit like Marxism and socialism and capitalism and not just brief details, but actual theories and principles and shit!)

    1. aww, don’t upsetting, Murtaza. You’re a busy banker dude, you don’t have time for stories! Books are for poor undergrads like me who want to escape from their miserable, exam-filled, overworked existence 😛

    1. while I hated to, I actually had to agree with the author of the post. Even with epics like LOTR and Wuthering Heights, one needs to realise that they aren’t necessarily the best written or the most readable books.

      HP probably didn’t make it because it was a really readable series.

      and I ❤ listverse. Its great if you're bored.

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